Battery powered electric fence???

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  #1  
Old 02-18-11, 12:44 PM
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Battery powered electric fence???

Hello:
I have a vegatable garden 100 feet or so from my home, and there is no electricity available. For the past few years, I have been fighting a losing battle with Raccoons, Groundhogs, Deer, etc. getting the "fruits" of my labor before I do. I am contemplating putting up wooden poles around the perimeter of the garden, and then attaching a bare copper wire about 6 inches up and possibly 3 feet up that would be attached to the wooden poles, again, circling the perimeter.

Could I hook up that wire to one terminal of a battery, and have the other terminal of the battery connected to the earth via a ground rod? I don't want to hurt the animals, I just want them to get a small shock so they become wary of going near the garden. Any ideas, or suggestions on where to get directions for doing this? Should I use a car battery, or would a 9 volt or something similar deliver enough of a shock? Thanks.
 
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Old 02-18-11, 12:58 PM
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Could I hook up that wire to one terminal of a battery, and have the other terminal of the battery connected to the earth via a ground rod?
No. You don't get a shock from a 12V battery. They do make battery operated fence chargers. You can even add a solar charger. You need AC or at least pulsating DC.

Above only applies to low voltage DC voltage. Higher voltages are dangerous.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-18-11 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 02-18-11, 01:34 PM
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Ray, please explain "you don't get a shock from a 12 volt battery". If I went to my car, and touched both terminals, I would not get a shock? Obviously, I have never tried that!!!

However, when hooking up jumper cables, there is a spark when it makes connection. Why would I not get a shock, since there is obviously current flowing. To be clear, I am assuming that any animal is connected to the damp earth (ie. grounded), so I would assume that, when touching a hot wire, current would flow through them and give tehm a shock. Thanks for any clarity you can provide.
 
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Old 02-18-11, 01:52 PM
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If I went to my car, and touched both terminals, I would not get a shock?
All I can say is when I have intentional touched the poles of a 12v car battery when someone doubted me I never got a shock. Maybe it is just me since a lot of people seem to believe you can get a shock.

I should add that you will get a shock from higher voltage DC sources and that can be more dangerous then AC because the power is constant.
 
  #5  
Old 02-18-11, 01:53 PM
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Electric Fence

Use a battery powered fence charger. Be sure to insulate the wire from the posts. Electric fence wire will be cheaper than copper. The charger will pulsate the current on and off, which will make the battery last longer. Keep the grass or weeds away from the wire; if you don't, the vegetation will short out the current and render the fence useless. Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 02-18-11, 01:54 PM
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The 12 dc, or 120 v ac must be amplified to nearly 8000 volts (low amperage), by using a fence charger. It pulsates so as not to send a constant charge. Pulsating allows you or an animal to let go between hits. You will let go, believe me. As for deer, forget the electric charger. Remember they can clear 4 and 5 foot fences with no problem just lunging forward. Check with your local county extension service for deer fences. Most I have seen are angular away from the garden and nearly 10' in height. To keep rabbits and other ground animals away, plant marigolds around the perimeter. They can't stand the smell.
No, you don't get a "shock" from a 12v car battery, although there is current flowing.
 
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Old 02-18-11, 02:07 PM
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An electrical solution requires a whole lot more than a car battery, both in dollars and time. A 12-volt car battery has the potential to kill you if you grab its terminals, but it depends on how much current will pass through your hands and across your heart. That, in turn, depends on the conductivity of your skin. Dry hands have higher resistance, which means less current. Wet, sweaty, or oil-covered hands lower that resistance, and that's where it can be dangerous. The current (as little as 100 milliamps) carves a path across your chest that can stop your heart.

If you could get a raccoon to dip his paws in oil and then grab the fence, you'd have something.

We've had very good luck keeping critters away from the vegetables by sprinkling cayenne pepper and other nasty (to critters) spices around the perimeter.

Edit: Chandler, we think alike. Marigolds eh?
 

Last edited by Rick Johnston; 02-18-11 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Add comment
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Old 02-18-11, 02:17 PM
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When you shuffle across a carpet and touch something and see/feel that shock, it is about 10,000 to 20,000 volts. It doesn't kill us because it is almost all voltage with no current.

The above explanations are correct that you would need an actual device designed for fences and animals. But Chandler must have the same deer as we have, because they will get over just about everything. The people who really want their garden for themselves go 8' minimum with their fences. A garden just tastes so good the animals won't quit until they are in.

12' - 4" x 4"s sunk 4' into the ground every 6' to 8' apart with 4' wire fencing attached in two rows will give you back your garden. Add diagonal braces to each direction on the corners and fashion a door to get in.

Bud
 
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Old 02-18-11, 02:29 PM
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You know, Bud, I live in the Chattahoochee National Forest, have 53 blueberry bushes, 5 grape arbors, countless fruit trees and in 11 years have never had a deer in the property!! It could be because we have dogs, but never seen a deer print. Now, bear, 'nother story.
 
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Old 02-18-11, 02:41 PM
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Don't jinx yourself Larry

I bought my place in 1991 and up until 5 or so yrs ago, I never saw a deer on my property. Saw plenty of them on surrounding roads, just never at my place. Twice I've seen deer in my front yard and about 50' from my dog. While he barks every time something walks along the animal trail 50' down hill from his house, neither the dog or deer seemed to care about the other's presence.

I don't know if the deer population has increased locally but after 15yrs of cultivating my slate rock garden - it's starting to resemble dirt. I can now get corn to grow, just can't harvest any Whenever the corn looks to be a few days away from picking, the next morning the deer have come and helped their selves.

We got bear too, but they just pass thru, never have bothered anything
...... well except for maybe my wife and grandson - don't know why they're such chickens.

btw - I'd also recommend a battery/solar fence charger - the small ones aren't all that expensive.
 
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Old 02-18-11, 11:03 PM
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Lucky lucky! I'm surrounded by corn fields, yet every winter the deer find it necessary to eat most of my wife's landscaping. I don't think we've had a shrub that's lasted a year.
 
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Old 02-19-11, 05:41 AM
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It is possible to get a shock from a battery if you add the use of a coil. Ever held onto a spark plug lead? Nowadays, car ignitions are electronic so the "coil" is built into the electronic ignition, but a few years ago, they had "coils" on cars. Their only purpose was to create a hi voltage from 12VDC to create a spark, but it will shock as well. A poor mans electric fence could be created from 12vdc source, a coil and a relay.
 
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Old 02-19-11, 06:08 AM
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Absolutely NOT with an automotive coil. It will not pulsate and not only will burn out prematurely, but will not offer personnel protection as a commercially made chargers do with the pulsation. Try googling Gallagher or other manufacturers. They are not that expensive. The secondary voltage from a car's coil carries too much amperage and can be a health hazard.
 
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Old 02-19-11, 06:31 AM
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Go with the electric fence charger. A solar one with a battery backup would likely be the best way to go. They range from $50 - $150 depending on quality without battery. Any farm supplier (like Tractor Supply) will carry everything you need to get your electric fence up and running. Just remember you will have to put the electric wire or tape close together at the bottom to keep out small critters.

For what it worth, we live in farm country and we only put a 4' fence around our garden and that keeps the critters out in most cases. I think it is more of a deterrent and they just go find an easier place to snack.
 
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Old 02-19-11, 07:23 AM
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Pavlov had it right. One blue arc to the nose and they learn quickly to go elsewhere.
 
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Old 05-25-11, 04:36 AM
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Solar powered electric fence charger at Harbor Freight

Just an update... I went to the local Harbor Freight store last week and came upon a Solar Powered Fence charger for $60. I haven't set it up yet, but, supposedly, I can put this near the garden, facing the sun, and it will keep the electric fence charged. I bought 300 feet of wire, insulators, and a ground rod, and hope to put it to work this weekend. I will re-post to let you all know how it works out. Thanks to everyone for their help!
 
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Old 05-25-11, 05:27 AM
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In case it doesn't come with a cover over the solar panel, tape some light occluding paper over the collector while you assemble this thing and discharge it before you work with it. Not pretty having it pulsate high voltage through you while you hook up your wiring and ground. Let us know how it works.
 
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