A Complete Guide To Solar Electric Fences: Build An Off
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A solar electric fence can be an important tool to protect your animals and livestock while being completely off-the-grid and renewable energy. Solar electric fences are a great form of clean, reliable energy.
Installing The Solar Unit/charger
We decided where to place our solar unit. It was in a south-facinglocation that gets great sunlight most of the day. We mounted the unit to atree temporarily until we can install a standalone Post in the next couple ofweeks. We also pushed 2 ground rods into the soil. The unit has twoconnections, one connection attaches to the ground rods. The other connectionattaches to the electric fencing wire. We tested the outside polytape fencefirst. Once that checked out we attached a jumper to the two wires on theinside fence. The entire fence was electrified.
Maintenance Of Your Beeyard Fence
An investment in a good electric bear fence is not money wasted. This type of fence usually lasts for years with little repair.
Maintenance will consist of testing the charge on the fence and keeping weeds from growing up under the wire. Keep the wires tight and in good working order.
And for heavens sake, keep the fence charged. If the current is off, a bear will know.
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Materials And Costs Are Modest
Installation of an electric fence around a small, 50-feet by 50-feet home garden should cost less than $200. The materials can be reused for 10 or more years, so the long-term cost will be around $20 per year. A basic list of fence supplies includes about 75 yards of polytape or electric wire about two dozen 4-foot fiberglass support rods and the same number of plastic insulators and a high-voltage fence charger, along with a copper rod for grounding the system. Its also helpful to purchase a digital voltage meter to test the fence and ensure it is working properly. A meter costs $15 to $20.
About half the cost of this system will be devoted to the fence charger. If an electric outlet is readily available, you can use an AC-operated fence charger, which will provide continuous current and eliminate the need for battery recharging. If an outlet is not close by, you can operate a fence charger with a deep-cycle marine battery, recharged either by solar panels or by a standard battery charger. Purchasing a marine battery will add $50 or more to the roughly $200 cost of our hypothetical fencing system. I have used a fence charger with a self-contained, rechargeable battery and solar panel for more than 10 years.
What Will You Need*
Energizer – Select your energizer based on the area you need to fence. It is important that you have adequate power or you risk weak spots in your fence which could allow animals to escape or enter.
Battery – Stores the energy harnessed by the solar panel. Stafix 1 J, 2 J and 3 J solar systems are designed to run with 12 V batteries . The size of the 12 V battery must suit the current consumption of your chosen energizer. See the quick comparison tables on pages 5 and 7 for the current consumption of your chosen energizer. The 12 V battery must also have sufficient storage capacity to power the energizer during periods of reduced sunlight .
Solar Panel – Captures and processes light from the sun. Select your panel based on the power of your energizer and battery system. See the quick comparison tables on pages 5 and 7 for the recommended solar panel for your chosen solar compatible energizer. Note: larger energizers and battery systems require larger solar panels.
Regulator – An important component where external solar panels are connected to battery energizers. It limits the voltage to prevent overcharging of the battery.
Grounding – As with other types of electric fence systems it is important to ground your solar electric fence.
* Contact your local Stafix dealer for assistance in selecting the right solar fencing system for your needs.
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Electric Deer Fence Tips And Resources
Last November we hosted a workshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on constructing a low-cost, solar-powered electric deer fence for a farm, garden, or food plot. Since people are planting their gardens now and the growing season is getting started, we wanted to provide a recap of the workshop with tips on constructing an electric deer fence. You can also find a video of the workshop on our YouTube channel here.
We hosted the workshop at Cobblestone Farms in Fayetteville. We had set up a solar-powered deer fence around incubator farm plots to help limit the deer damage to the incubator farmers crops. Many thanks to all of the individuals and small businesses who pitched in to help us purchase the fencing supplies for our incubator farmers. If youre interested in reading more about the Woolsey Incubator Farm Project, you can find our blog post about it here.
Kenny Simon from the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service traveled up from Little Rock to help us construct the fence in September. Our local county extension agents Ryan Neal and Colin Massey came to help, too. One of the incubator farmers, Jenni Vaughan, also helped out and learned first-hand how to construct an electric deer fence. In the weeks after the fence was put up Jenni noticed a dramatic reduction in the amount of deer damage on her okra and other vegetable crops.
What Is Your Job
Dont be deceived by the Pro-Tech 5s compact light-weight design. You probably already know that many electric fence energizers are big boxes mostly full of air and heavy batteries. Pro-Tech 5 WILL perform in a wide range of electric fence situations. Do you really want to be moving a 7kg energizer around when the Pro-Tech 5, weighing just 0.9kg, will do the job?
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Lay The Boundary With Posts
Having purchased a solar-powered electric fence best-suited to your needs, its time to lay the boundary around which the fence shall run. If youre keeping foxes out of a chicken coop, the the boundary is going to be the chicken run similarly, if youre keeping horses in a field, the boundary is the perimeter of the field. Pretty self-explanatory, but worth making sure you are aware of the boundary you need to cover, and have enough materials to do so.
The first step in laying the boundary is to plant wooden corner, or end posts at the corners, or extremes of your boundary, around which the electric wiring will curve, to line back up with the T-posts in between each corner.
Dig the holes for your end posts/corner posts with a post hole digger, digging down about 2-3 feet. Having positioned your pole in the hole, you can fill up your excavations with cement in order to secure the pole firmly. Before leaving the cement to set, be sure to use a level and tape measure to ensure that your corner posts are all level, and at the same height. Your cement should take 24-48 hours to fully set, before you can move onto the next stage of the solar-powered electric fence installation.
To install T-posts, use a T-post driver, and beat the posts into the ground, down about 2 feet , ensuring that the posts brackets face away from the land you are surrounding with electric fence. It is on these brackets that you will hang your electric wiring in step 3.
The Layout Of Your Electric Fence
First of all, a layout has to be planned. Do you want to fence in the large area or create a small paddock? For what kind of animal you are building your fence? On what kind of terrain your fence is going to be situated? This will help you to decide what kind of materials should be used, how many posts you will need and what grounding measures should be taken.
Install The Metal Stakes
The second step includes the metal stakes.1) Lay out the metal stakes around the parameter of the garden. They should be spaced about three to five feet apart. Adjust to best fit your garden. a) While laying out the metal stakes, you should also put two plastic hooks on them. These should be 4 and 6 inches away from the ground. TIP : The corner metal stakes will use the round plastic pieces instead of the plastic hooks. 2) Once the stakes are laid out, use the sledge hammer and/or pile driver to drive the metal stakes into the ground. The type of tool you use will depend on the size of the metal stake and personal preference. TIP : A pile driver is best for taller stakes and a sledge hammer is best for shorter stakes. Caution: Be careful when using a sledge hammer and a pile driver. They can cause injury if used carelessly.
How To Make An Electric Fence
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Electric fencing can be dangerous but are a helpful tool for people who own farm livestock or horses, or who need added security. Electric fencing are necessary in order to keep animals safe and contained within the fence, as well as to keep intruders out. When you learn how to make an electric fence properly, you must be extra cautious so you don’t electrocute yourself.
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Choose The Type Of Fence You Need
Solar electric fences come in varying types, shapes, and sizes. Make sure you get one that is most suitable for what you intend to use it for. Since there are different types of solar fences available on the market, deciding which ones to choose is quite challenging.
For one, you need to consider the purpose of why youre getting a solar fence. If you need it to contain livestock such as horses, cattle, and pigs, you have to select a strong fence to hold them in. You also need to factor in the electrical strength required for the fence to work effectively. As a general rule, larger animals require a stronger fence energizer.
You also need to think about the size of the area that needs fencing. The bigger the enclosure, the stronger the energizer.
Alternatives To Electric Fences
All things considered, building an electric fence to keepraccoons out is a relatively extreme step to take. In some cases, it might verywell be a necessary one, but in many others, there are probably alternativesthat will help keep raccoons away without having to take on such an elaboratebuild.
There are plenty of deterrents that might be worth trying. Forexample, raccoons are particularly repulsed by the strong, pungent odors ofthings like chilis. You can try making a concoction of powerfully smelling andintense tasting things and spread it all around the area that youre looking toprotect from raccoons.
You can also try spraying ammonia around the area. Ammonia is anatural repellent for raccoons. Ammonia is found naturally in urine, sospraying ammonia around an area can trick raccoons into thinking that theres abigger, tougher animal in the area that it will want to stay away from.
Raccoons are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. Sonaturally, they prefer going about their business under the cover of darkness.You could try bathing the area in light to make it unpleasant to raccoons.
You can also consult with a professional wildlife removalcompany. They will have expertise in keeping wild animals out, includingraccoons, and they should be able to give you a good idea of whether or not anelectric fence is the right move for your situation. Remember, when in doubt,its always a good idea to consult with an expert.
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Our Acre Plot Materials List:
Assorted accessories like tape splicers, insulated handles, ground rod clamp, wire splicers, etc.
*Note this unit could power a much larger fence. By adding a few more posts you could charge up to 5 acres with this configuration easily.
|Every Post was measured so we kept a consistent height across all three wires.|
|I temporarily hung the main solar unit on a tree. In the next couple of weeks we’ll dig a post hole and mount the unit to that.|
|My McCormick X10.55 made sinking the T-post a simple job. Sure beat the hell out of using a sledge hammer!|
|The outside hot wire wasn’t a wire at all. We used Polytape which is a plastic tape embedded with higly conductive wire. The tape is far more visible to the deer than a wire and it helps prevent the deer from crashing into your fence.|
|An inegral part of any electric fence is the grounding system. The directions called for 3 rods but we use 2 and they worked just fine. We sunk the grounding rods in 5 feet into the ground.|
|My son Matt put most of the fencing up and it came out great.|
|The back corner where we hooked up the Charger.|
|Our completed fence project. It was very easy to do and took about 2 hours to install.|
Electric Fence Testers And Flashers
This from Speedrite electric fence systems
- Fault finding Faults in the fence can reduce its effectiveness and may also cause other problems, such asinterference on telephone lines or internet connections.Causes for faults may include: Vegetation touching the live wires Corroded metals somewhere in the fence-line Poor connections Poor insulation
Checking your fence regularly using a digital fault finder or a digital voltmeter is important in order tomaintain an effective, problem-free electric fence installation.Finding faults using a digital fault finder or digital voltmeterElectrical current flows towards a fault in the same way that water flows towards the plug-holein a bath. A digital fault finder allows you to follow the direction of the current towards the fault,whereas a digital voltmeter allows you to test sections of the fence and isolate a faulty section.
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How To Protect Your Apiary From Bears
Bears are smart and strong. You would have to construct a very strong regular fence or wall to keep them out.
A solid fence or wall that tough will make access to the bees more difficult for the beekeeper. This is why we often depend on electric shock to deter bears.
I always tie my hive tops down with ratchet straps for wind protection. I thought that might also protect my hive interior from a bear, until I saw pictures of a friends damaged hive. The bear peeled that hive top off like a banana.
Even a properly built electric bear fence will not keep a very determined bear out of the bee yard. All of that shaggy fur protects them from being shocked.
Lets face it, if that fur didnt offer some protection, how could he eat a hive of bees! However, our goal is to make it so unpleasant and difficult that the bear decides it is not worth the effort.
Installation of an electric fence can be done without a lot of stress. If your bee yard is near your home you can use an fence charger that plugs into an electric outlet.
A bear that approaches cautiously will hopefully come into contact with the electric fence by touching it with his nose or mouth. A sharp jolt here may deter him.
This is more successful when dealing with a one that has never tasted honey/brood. An inexperienced bear may go on to easier pickings.
What Increases Electrical Resistance In Soil
The increase in soil resistivity seen in poor soil conditions is due to three characteristics: Low moisture content, chilly soil temperature and general soil type.
Dry, sandy soil makes it difficult to complete the circuit in your electrical fence. To counteract this, move your ground rods to a better location or add more along your fence line.
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How To Plant Tulips In Pots
Your garden looks beautiful. The beans, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and flowers are all growing well, and youre enjoying the results of your diligent care. Then one morning you discover some tomatoes are missing and several bean plants have been nipped. The culprit has left tell-tale ragged edges on the plants, and most of the missing shoots are more than 2 feet above ground. Tracks in the soft garden soil make it clear that white-tailed deer were responsible.
As a specialist in managing wildlife damage, Ive seen a lot of plant losses caused by these four-legged vegetarians. The deer population in North America is higher than ever some biologists speculate that whitetail numbers exceed 20 million nationwide. The impact of deer on vegetable gardens and landscape plants is particularly severe in suburban areas where there is some woodland habitat and not enough deer-hunting to keep numbers down.
In many cases, deer damage to home gardens during the summer can be prevented with a simple electric fence. An electric fence is not a complete physical barrier instead, it produces an electric shock that conditions animals to avoid the fence. To a deer, an electric fence is an unfamiliar object. A deer investigating the fence for the first time may touch it with its nose. If the deer receives a sufficient shock on this first encounter, it usually stays clear of the fence afterward.