New Smart Gate Motors from Centurion Systems

Centurion Systems - Next Level Smart

Are they Smart and how smart are they and who benefits more? Things to consider. Deep dive into what’s said, claimed and what exactly it all mean in real life.

Manufacturer’s claims and main features:

  • Taking intelligence to the next level – a machine crafted for excellence and perfected through innovation
  • Pushing the limits of technology to bring you the ultimate in strength, security and endurance – suitable for gates weighing up to 1t with 750 daily operations
  • SMART hardware and SMART connectivity provide the best experience for installers
  • Intelligent theft and break-in protection with an integral vibration sensor and patented theft-deterrent cage
  • More space and dedicated accessory tray for complementary solutions such as GSM devices
  • World-class reliability with a sealed gearbox and improved, more secure manual release mechanism
  • Die-cast aluminum gearbox coupled with a high-torque DC motor built for pure power and performance
  • Uncompromising security, uninterrupted convenience with 24V battery backup
  • Instant access to advanced, in-app diagnostics and logs, monitoring system health in real time
  • Accurate and safe position control incorporating reliable Hall Effect technology
  • Improved wire routing
  • SMART universal controller – compatible with all CENTURION SMART solutions

How long do gate motors last?


Life Cycle

Manufacturers do really put in great effort to determine how long a gate motor will ast out in the real world. For this they make use of the life expectancy of various electrical components and combine it with the mechanical parts and the life expectancy alike. Word like should would could are words I don’t often use.

This is measured in operations and not in years or in time format.


Anybody can go on the internet and see if they can find answers, I do it myself but I think users are expecting way to much from it. And why would’t they. When looking for answers please make sure to look at more results than only the top of the page.

Collecting Data

I will be collecting data on the life expectency of equipment, real lif data from each replace installation. This will Take some time but will be well worth it.

Gate Motors I replaced

  • Centurion D5 -10 years
  • Centurion D5 Evo – 6 years (due to poor installation, fly by night installers increased)
  • Gemini 220v – 20 + years
  • Gemini 12vdc SEL Model – 10 years

Longevity of gate motors depends on the installation.

Inexperienced and or unqualified “technicians” can decrease gate motor life by 75%

Here are some images of poor workmanship – these are all repair I have done when called to repair the gate motor. Turns out everything else needed repair 1st.

Centurion to the Test

Centurion to

Mother Nature is a notoriously fickle – and at times downright ruthless – dame. While she may occasionally do something whimsical like giving us a monkey’s wedding, there are also times that it’s quite evident that she’s had a fight with her boyfriend or something. This year especially was fraught with meteorological curve balls including, but not limited to, tornadoes. Freaking. Tornadoes.It’s also starting to become pretty clear that Al Gore was onto something with the whole global warming thing. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Earth’s overall temperature has increased by 0.8°C since 1880. While this may seem insignificant, the effects are dramatic and far-reaching and, regrettably, climate change is showing no signs of slowing down.

While there’s not too much that we can do about the weather, we can set your mind at ease by telling you thatCENTURION products have been designed to handle very extreme environmental conditions.According to senior electrical engineer Tony Baia, reliability as a design philosophy and something to be sought with relentless fervour has been ingrained in CENTURION’s DNA since the very beginning.

“From its inception,” begins Tony “Centurion Systems’ founding fathers and design engineers understood that, to ensure the reliability of its now-famous D5 [sliding gate motor] and other electronic products, they had to tame one of nature’s most awesome and powerful phenomena: lightning”.Lightning has for long been the bugbear of electrical appliances, the lure of so much sweet, conductive metal in one spot simply too much for heaven’s own electricity to withstand. It’s a siren song as old as time, but the tune is no easier to hum along to. Every year, insurance companies pay out millions in lightning-related claims, and some firms do not compensate for lightning damage as it’s seen as a vis major.“With this in mind,” continues Tony “the design engineers approached the CSIR [Council for Scientific and Industrial Research] and other institutions who had the equipment and knowledge to tame lightning.“A cost-effective and highly efficient circuit was designed that has remained with Centurion Systems to this very day, ensuring that our control cards continue to function when other equipment has failed”.Tony provides a detailed description of the kind of technology that goes into such a sophisticated and robust piece of equipment.“CENTURION uses a layered approachto protect against lightning; all inputs exposed to the outside world are protected by multiple components”.

Layer 1

Right up front is a high-power resistor that absorbs and slows down the lightning surge.This is followed by a Zener (analogous to a clamp) that prevents the lightning-induced voltage from going above levels that are harmful to the rest of the electronic components on the PC board.

Layer 2

The lightning-induced voltage sometimes climbs much faster than the Zener is able to respond; to further protect the sensitive electronic components, another capacitor and resistor are used to slow down the rising voltage allowing the Zener time to respond and clamp the harmful voltages.

Layer 4

To protect against lightning surges, the energy that is being absorbed by the above mentioned layers needs to find a path to earth or ground; to achieve this, another gas arrestor connects to the mains power supply earth.

Layer 5

CENTURION power supplies like the CP84SM have an earth tab that connects to an earth spike, allowing the lightning surge energy to find a very quick and easy path to earth, thereby avoiding damaging the sensitive electronic components on the control card.

Layer 3

The TRG [trigger] input is the one that is most exposed to lightning surges due to it having the longest connection length – this connection could run from the gate motor all the way to the indoor intercom system.To ensure that this input has even more protection against lightning surges, a gas arrestor is placed in front of the high-power resistor to further absorb the energy of the lightning surge.

Layer 6

The power supplies like the CP84SM also have protection against lightning surges coming down the municipal power lines. These take the form of metal oxide varistors, or MOVs. MOVs limit the voltage supplied to an electrical device by either blocking or short-circuiting to ground any unwanted voltages that are above a safe threshold.“Lastly,” Tony concludes “it must be remembered that, if the lightning surge is too powerful or too close to the gate motor then something has to give. That is when most of the components referred to above will be damaged, sometimes leading to unseen damage of other components on the PCB”.In addition to superior lightning protection, CENTURION operators boast a number of sophisticated design features intended to moderate Ma Nature’s onslaughts. These include:

  • Insect-ingress protection – insects are a big problem throughout continental Africa
  • High water-level lines for reasonably good immunity to flooding
  • Black-out and brown-out failure protection – CENTURION’s products are purpose-built to address these classically Third World-type infrastructural problems



Source: Centsys. “Centurion vs. Nature” Nov 18, 2016 Accessed April 24, 2019.

Guide to Sliding Gates

to Sliding Gates

Guide to Sliding Gates

Unless you possess the power of teleportation (in which case we’d like offer our thanks for reading our modest newsletter, oh visitor from another world), chances are that you gain access to your property by means of a point of entry enclosed by walls, or “gate” as we sometimes like to call it (as an interesting aside, the word “gate” derives from the old Norse word gata, meaning road or path). But, perhaps you only recently had the fence or wall erected and it as yet sans gate, or you have simply decided to automate an existing one. Then, dear reader, it is important to know what kind of hardware you’ll need and what function it performs, lest you end up with a gate that is either recalcitrant  or, even worse, unsafe. Fortunately, we in the gate automation business composed an ease to follow  Guide to Sliding Gates. 

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Guide-rollers do exactly what their name suggests, they guide the gate. In other words, the guide-rollers – which are normally just two nylon rollers that rotate on shafts – hold the gate vertically and prevent it from falling over which is, you know, something you’d want to avoid if possible. For improved safety, we recommend fitting additional support posts to prevent the gate from falling over should the guide-rollers fail.

Anti-lift Brackets

  • Again, the job description is more or less in the name here. Anti-lift brackets help prevent unauthorised access to your property by ensuring that the gate can’t simply be lifted off its track by some devious criminal/strongman combo (of course, most gates are light enough not to require a strongman to lift it, hence the need for anti-lift brackets).


  • Endstops are very important from a safety point of view and prevent your gate from abandoning its track. Remember that there is always the chance, however remote, that the gate will overrun its limits (and we’d like to point out here that with our new generation of gate motors, the chance is even more remote since the operator will always look for the origin magnet and will run the gate slowly if it is not detected), and you don’t want the gate behaving like a runaway train with nothing to stop it. CENTURION recommends installing mechanical endstopsthat are sturdy (preferably welded onto the track) and do not move even when subjected to considerable force.


  • The movement of your gate depends largely on the presence of a collection of spherical objects that rotate about a shaft, or “wheels”. Keep in mind that the entire weight of your gate will rest upon the wheels, so it’s important to keep them in a good condition and rotating freely. They will also need to be compatible with the profile of the rail. CENTURION stocks both U- and V-profile gate wheel kits, as well as the novel GateShox system which dramatically reduces noise in sliding gates. Over time, the rails of sliding gates can become corrugated and uneven from use, and GateShox help absorb the load through a spring system, resulting in a smoother ride and quieter operation.


  • If you’re planning on automating your gate (and, let’s be honest, it’s the logical thing to do), you’ll need a toothed rack fitted along the length of the gate to mesh with the pinion of your gate motor. The setup works in an almost identical fashion to the rack-and-pinion configuration found in the steering wheel mechanisms of most cars and, depending on which operator you’re planning on having installed, you’ll need either Raz, nylon angle or steel rack. Not sure which one? Give us a call on +27 11 699 2481 for some friendly advice.

A Reliable Gate Motor

  • We previously likened buying a new gate operator to selecting a new car. Considerations such as the weight of the gate, maximum number of daily operations, push force and duty cycle all need to be taken into account when choosing an automation system. But, most of all, it’s important to ensure that you choose a gate motor that will never leave you out in the cold, so to speak. CENTURION manufactures a wide range of reliable swing and sliding gate motors for domestic, light industrial and full industrial applications. Our operators are constructed from only the most robust materials in accordance with the ISO9001 quality assurance system, and carry a 24 month warranty.
Centsys. “Guide to Sliding Gate : What You’ll Need” Aug 27, 2013 Accessed April 24, 2019.