Author Topic: Electric fence interference?  (Read 892 times)

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Offline Intheswamp

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Electric fence interference?
« on: May 12, 2017, 09:22:27 AM »
I need to install an electric fence close to my vp2+ ISS and I'm wondering about interference. 

The fence will probably have three strands of wire/tape...less than 1000' total.  This is for a vegetable garden area that will be subjected to heavy deer pressure.  The fence wires closest to the ISS will be about 15-20 feet away.  The fence charger is a Parmak 12v/3.1 joule one and will be located little over 100' away from the ISS.  I'm only going (to start with) drive a single 8' copper ground rod...hoping it will suffice for only 1000' of fencing.  I'm planning on using good technique to install the fence...good connections/splices/etc.,.  The ISS will have a clear LOS to the receiver but one stretch of fence will run semi-parallel and in somewhat close proximity to the signal path...within 10-12' of the signal path.

I'm just curious about whether I can expect radio interference if the fence is installed correctly with no arching.  Or, if the pulse on the fence or from the charger itself will still affect the ISS due to the nearness of it.   :?:

Thanks for the feedback (as usual)!
Ed

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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 10:51:15 AM »
No sure about interference but electric fences around gardens are usually just 1-wire. Once deer sticks nose on it they don't come back.
Randy, the Aviator is my father in 1963 with his Indian bike

Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 12:00:19 PM »
I can't see an energizer being an issue at 100' or more.  Maybe a wire arcing to ground through stray grass or other plant material, but I'm not even sure of that.  Keep one wire low enough for raccoons, rabbits and the like, but spray weed/grass killer under it to control stray growth and arcing.

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Offline CNYWeather

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 12:17:55 PM »
I've had Invisible Fence in my yard for 12+ years and no issues if that helps.
Tony


Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 09:15:42 AM »
Randy, we have some heavy deer pressure down here.  I'm not too sure about a single wire working, though a guy at the local co-op said he uses a single wire.  But, a friend of mine has had multiple experiences of deer knocking a couple of strands of wire down and Mrs. Deer and younguns walking in and enjoying my friend's hard work.  The standard is a solid 8' tall mesh-type fence.  I'm fudging with the idea of a 4' woven wire fence topped with 2-3 strands of energized conductors.  Another design that is spoken well of is a double electric fence...inner fence has conductors at 18", 36", and 54"...the outer fence has a single strand at 18"....their is a 3' gap between the fences.  The double fence plays on the deer's problem of depth perception due to their eyes being positioned more on the sides of their heads.  I've looked out the window and seen a half dozen deer milling around our vehicles which are parked 10' from the house.  I just don't know if I want to risk a garden on a single strand. <sigh>

Thanks for the feedback, WeatherHost.  I agree that any arcing *could* cause interference, that is something that I will insure doesn't exist...clear fences, good connections, etc.,.

Thanks Tony, that does help.

Well, my "Percentage of good packets received" is currently 96.9% so I will be watching to see what happens.  My console/ISS LOS distance is about 280' and except for some vegetation is pretty much unobstructed.  A sudden deterioration in signal quality will be a big tip off.  It might be a week or two before it goes "live", but I'll post back the results.

Thanks everybody,
Ed

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Offline miraculon

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 09:35:45 AM »
Quote
I'm just curious about whether I can expect radio interference if the fence is installed correctly with no arching.

Parmak claims shielding in their design and at least mentions radio interference. As you indicated, it appears to be largely caused by arcing.

Quote
Fence chargers and phone, radio, and modem interference.

All Parmak fence chargers are thoroughly shielded and filtered against radio, television, and telephone interference. When interference occurs, it is usually caused by one or more of the following:

    A current leak (spark) to ground at some point along the fence line. This may be a result of very dirty or cracked insulators, wire touching a post, trees, a building, or vegetation.
    A loose connection in the fence wire, possibly due to poor splices, gate opening, or a rusted wire causing a spark.
    Poor ground connection.

Any of these conditions could cause a "spark gap" resulting in a spark jumping the gap when the fence controller charges the fence wire. When the spark jumps, it acts as a broadcast antenna and noise is transmitted to all radios, telephones, televisions, etc. in the immediate area, and you will hear a "clicking" sound each time the fence charger pulses. A careful check of the fence wire installation will disclose the trouble. Two people checking together will help locate the source more easily.

To determine if the fence controller or the fence is at fault, disconnect the fence wire (ground and fence wire) from the fence charger, letting the fence charger operate while disconnected from the fence installation. If the clicking noise continues with the fence disconnected, the controller is at fault and needs repair. You can return the fence charger to the factory for the necessary repairs.

If you do not get the clicking with both the fence and the ground wires disconnected, this means the problem is in your fence line. You should check the fence line for loose connections in the fence wire possibly due to poor splices, gate opening, rusted wire, or cracked/damaged insulators. Check for spark gap due to vegetation (weed, grass, tree limb, etc.) contacting the charged fence wire. Poor ground can also cause interference.

Without understanding the frequencies and waveforms involved, I suspect that the fence controller will be relatively low frequency in comparison to the Davis 900MHz band (902-928MHz). Also the Davis frequency hopping should offer some protection against discrete noise spurious responses. You may indeed see some degradation in good packet percentages, but hopefully the harmonics from the fence controller are very low at the 900MHz range.

If you had access to something like an RF Explorer you would be able to see what the emissions from the fence controller actually are.

Greg H.




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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 02:29:49 PM »
Yeah, I'm hoping if there is any noise that it comes from the lower bands.  I've got an old MFJ antenna analyzer I might dig out and check it to see if it does work down that low.  An AM radio would work, too...I think I've got a little AM/SW receiver around here somewhere.  Thanks for the idea!  I'll check it out when I get the fence up and going.

I just got back from the local co-op with some t-posts and some other supplies.  Other than wire they did not have tape, only rope.  I was shooting for the higher visibility of the tape but apparently there's a reason they don't sell it...I do know that the tape requires a few different types of connectors whereas the rope/twine uses more of a "tie a knot" type of connections.  There is still more visibility with the rope than it is with wire so I think it will work good.  I talked to two guys there and both uses a single strand of wire to keep the deer out of their gardens.  Though I've decided to forego the 4' mesh fencing for the time being you can still call me hard-headed as I'm still going with three strands of hotwire (hotrope?).  One guy did say that the first visit from the deer will leave a post or two bent over, but that after that they won't come around anymore.  I'm stepping out on faith here....  :)

Ed

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 04:53:00 PM »
^^  Around here we tie bits of that plastic colored marker tape about every three foot along the strands for visibility.

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Offline Beaudog

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 06:27:48 PM »
I have two electric fences they cause no problems.

Good grounds are the key to electric fence.

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2017, 10:22:52 PM »
My terminology hasn't been the best...what I'm going to use is "polywire"..."polyrope" is a larger conductor.  What I'll be using is a bit heavier than poly bailing twine.  It is salt and pepper colored...I think it will be fairly visible on it's own, but if not then I will tie some tags to it. 

Beaudog, gotcha on the grounds.  I'm going to try and sink an 8' rod and see how well the fence works with it alone.  I'm thinking of going with four runs of conductors....10", 24", 38",  and 56" so that would be a tad over 1000' total feet.  Hopefully a single ground rod will be good enough.  If not, I'll sink another one.  I'm hoping know rocks are hidden below.  Years ago I drove a ground rod for a ham radio station and hit "something" at around 6-1/2 feet...probably some limestone...not many rocks in our area.  It's good to hear that you're having no issues with your fences.

Thanks for the feedback.
Ed

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Offline WeatherHost

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 09:14:09 AM »
I'm hoping know rocks are hidden below.  Years ago I drove a ground rod for a ham radio station and hit "something" at around 6-1/2 feet...probably some limestone...not many rocks in our area.

I got lucky there the other day.  This is a red rock gravel hill.  There are places I can dig fine and there are other places I have trouble getting the tip of the shovel in the ground.  I went to sink a second 8' ground rod beside the house since I've heard there are supposed to be two now for better grounding about 10' apart.  Knowing this ground and my luck, I expected it to 'stop' about 4' or so.  Didn't happen.  I got it down all 8' without a whole lot of effort.  Used a fence post driver for most of it, then a sledge.  Might have helped that the ground was wet from recent rains.




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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 10:35:17 AM »
The typical garden fence around here does just use the single wire but if other critters are a concern using T-post and chicken wire fencing along bottom with the 1-wire elect at deer nose height works.
Randy, the Aviator is my father in 1963 with his Indian bike

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 10:20:30 PM »
I'm hoping know rocks are hidden below.  Years ago I drove a ground rod for a ham radio station and hit "something" at around 6-1/2 feet...probably some limestone...not many rocks in our area.

I got lucky there the other day.  This is a red rock gravel hill.  There are places I can dig fine and there are other places I have trouble getting the tip of the shovel in the ground.  I went to sink a second 8' ground rod beside the house since I've heard there are supposed to be two now for better grounding about 10' apart.  Knowing this ground and my luck, I expected it to 'stop' about 4' or so.  Didn't happen.  I got it down all 8' without a whole lot of effort.  Used a fence post driver for most of it, then a sledge.  Might have helped that the ground was wet from recent rains.
Dig a small 1/2 soda-can sized hole.  Fill with water and let soak in.  Fill back up with water and stick the ground rod into the hole.  Start moving the ground rod up and down in the same spot.  Soon the rod will start disappearing into the ground simply by pumping it up and down in the soupy mud.  As long as you don't hit a rock you can sink it all the way to ground level simply by using a little water and your hands.   :)

Ed

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2017, 10:23:44 PM »
The typical garden fence around here does just use the single wire but if other critters are a concern using T-post and chicken wire fencing along bottom with the 1-wire elect at deer nose height works.

Randy, I'm set up for  three strands and was thinking of using four but now I think I'll hold at three.  I had thought of the chicken wire along the bottom for mostly rabbits and armadillos.  I wonder if armadillos will get shocked by electric fence wire...that would be interesting.

Ed

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2017, 09:25:21 AM »
I thought I'd update the thread...

I got the fence energized yesterday.  The fence is four strands of polywire and more *might* be added.  I managed to get the ground rod down 7' with a little water and a pumping action and then finished the last foot with a small sledge hammer.  The Parmak 12v fence charger is maxing it's meter out and the small 7kv tester that I have is maxing out so I think it's pretty hot (any volunteers to come do a real-life test?  :lol: ).  I've yet to check it this morning to see if the deer have knocked it down...hopefully not, but hopefully one got a taste of that 7kv and has already spread the gospel to its friends.

In regards to the signal from the ISS it appears to have been affected *some*.   My "percentage of good packets" number has gone from around 87% down to around 90%.  I didn't check this prior to firing up the fence charger but I might do a little testing this weekend.  Also, I ended up extending the fence a bit and now the LOS between the ISS and console has to pass through/along a good bit of the fence.  I can handle 90%, I think.  If it keeps the deer out of the garden area it will be worth it!!!

The weather computer and Cumulus have been up and running for 152 days so I'm not sure how many missed data packets were already logged.  I think I may reboot it to start fresh on the station data.  Seems earlier the missed data packet # was a little below 600...it's showing 611 now.  I'll watch this.  What impact will missed data packets have on the station data...seems like there would be holes in the data here and there....???

Logging this data for future reference:
Current at 8:23AM 5/26/17
missed data packet...611
percentage of good data packets...89.6%
packets with crc errors...249

Ed

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 08:44:35 AM »
I just checked the station status and was surprised to see 98.8% for good packets received....I haven't seen the fence this morning...I hope a deer didn't take it down last night!!!!   :roll:

Current at 7/7/2017 7:37:31 AM

Total number of data packets received....4856
Number of missed data packets.............57
Percentage of good packets received......98.8%
packets with crc errors.........................36

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Offline Old Tele man

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Re: Electric fence interference?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 11:54:16 AM »
FYI -- Ever since our electric power company installed their new I-tron™ RF-transmitting Watt-Hour meters, my station has been recording "hourly" single drops from 100% (normal) to 98.2% (@ 1hr).

How do I *know* it's the power company and not some random noise? Simple: the drop-outs occur 'regularly' at 1-hr intervals (05:15, 06:15, 07:15, 08:15 etc.), then suddenly just to a new hourly interval (13:45, 14:45, 15:45 etc.)...just like the I-Tron™ literature claims they're supposed to do. Random noise does NOT operate on hourly cycles and then suddenly jump to a new hourly cycle.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 11:56:33 AM by Old Tele man »
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