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View Full Version : Solar Powered hot wire?



Jaegermonster
Jul. 11, 2010, 06:58 PM
I need to put a hot wire along the top rail of one of my pastures. It is roughly a half acre, more or less, and rectangular.
Have been googling, etc, but can anyone recommend any particular solar powered charger over another and why?
Any other tips?
Right now I have no hot wire on the farm, have not needed it, but this one pasture will need it and it needs to be a solar powered charger.
No high weeds, grass, etc to cause a problem, area where charger will go is unobstructed, and I am in N FL so snow is not an issue.
Thanks!

shortbusgeek
Jul. 11, 2010, 07:57 PM
We bought a Zareba 10 mile solar charger over a year ago and haven't had any problems... but then again I just went with what Tractor Supply had sitting on the shelf.

Frank B
Jul. 11, 2010, 09:35 PM
We've had good results with Parmak. Their website also has an excellent downloadable installation manual (http://www.parmakusa.com/Install/Parmak_Energizer_Booklet_English.pdf). Be sure to read it thouroughly and pay particular attention to the instructions on grounding. Even the most expensive, powerful units won't operate properly without a good ground system!

Voice of experience: Florida soil can have very poor conductivity, depending on your location as shown on this map (http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/m3/smallm3.jpg). The lower the number, the worse the conductivity. Again, plan for a good ground system.

Almost Heaven
Jul. 11, 2010, 09:48 PM
Agree, Parmak 12v has been our only successful application. I've got about $500 worth of Zarebas sitting around rotting.

Everythingbutwings
Jul. 12, 2010, 07:51 AM
Another happy Parkmak user. We had one at our old barn that lasted for years and gave us no problems.

Jaegermonster
Jul. 12, 2010, 08:09 AM
Thanks everybody! EBW, will the sand still affect it if it's along the top of the fence along the top rail, or does it just affect the ground?

Hampton Bay
Jul. 12, 2010, 10:49 AM
Oh the sand will very much affect any hot wire you put up, even if it's just to top wire. It's the ground (read: grounding rods) that are the issue. Sand doesn't conduct electricity unless it's very wet. So unless your pasture is always wet, your hotwire isn't going to work because there's no ground.

Best bet is to use the Bipolar tape or to run a ground and hot strand several inches apart, and use the wire spacers to keep everything straight. Bipolar will be easier, though not cheaper. And I've yet to find the spacers anywhere but at my local feed store with the absurd prices (like $60 for a quart container of Hoof Heal absurd).

deltawave
Jul. 12, 2010, 10:51 AM
We had a Zareba--lasted about 3 months and just quit. :(

Now we have a Gallagher, going on 18 months, out in the elements 24/7/365 and working perfectly.

katarine
Jul. 12, 2010, 11:09 AM
I had fluke trouble with the Parmak we bought- sent it back, and I think they sent it back to me in the same condition it left here in ---grrrr

We now have a Zareba in it's 2nd yr and it's fine. NIce to be able to deal with it locally (TSC) which I couldn't do with the Parmak (only available via catalog around here).

anchodavis
Jul. 12, 2010, 12:24 PM
I'm researching the same thing... Gallagher has been the brand most consistently recommended to me.

baysngreys
Jul. 12, 2010, 01:41 PM
Use the Fi-Shock solar charger from Lowes. This is the 3rd farm we've use them on and no problems.
It supplies shock to a top rail strand around one paddock and a "bad-corgi-horse-chaser" strand on the bottom rail along 2 fences.

I leaned on the bottom rail yesterday - works fine!!!!

If your soil is sandy like ours, get the longer grounding rod (8') and try to place it in the wettest area possible.

classicsporthorses
Jul. 12, 2010, 01:48 PM
I think we have the Zareba kind and really have had no problem. With the regular electric ones we have. One time we had an issue with the one on our stallion's pasture, died about a year after we got it. We took it back to TSC and they replaced it for free, no questions asked.

This summer we're going all solar on the farm.

jaimebaker
Jul. 12, 2010, 04:24 PM
I think we have the Zareba kind and really have had no problem. With the regular electric ones we have. One time we had an issue with the one on our stallion's pasture, died about a year after we got it. We took it back to TSC and they replaced it for free, no questions asked.

This summer we're going all solar on the farm.

Same here. I don't know why folks let Zareba's 'sit around and rot' when TSC will exchange them out. I've got 4 Zarebas on my farm currently and 3 are the battery type that takes D cell batteries. I've had to replace, I think 2 (one battery and one electric) in the last 15 years. I'm sure I just jinxed myself so I shall knock feverishly on wood.:D

Lady Counselor
Jul. 13, 2010, 12:37 PM
What Gallager's do you use?
I need a 12v/solar for a grass paddock set far away from any electric, and a (hopefully) one time application of convincing a problem bear to beat feet permanently.

He keeps coming up onto our deck and knocking stuff over. We don't have any food or garbage out, he's just become a huge PITA in the area.

I'm afraid one day he's going to try to get into the house, esp. in the hot weather when we leave windows open. Screw that. Let's see how he likes livestock containment.

I plan on stringing a hot wire across the area he keeps coming in from and setting it at night. I have a trail camera to record whatever happens. I'm hoping that once he gets jolted, he'll cross our place off his list of places to go hang out. I've heard electricity will deter them.

I needed a charger for this paddock anyway, so 2 birds/one stone time. I'm just not sure how heavy a shock I need for this PIA bruin (I've seen him, he's a BIG boy) I was thinking 220 volts, but I'm not sure the EPA would be pleased with me...;) (just kidding in case the smiley doesn't explain that...)

wateryglen
Jul. 13, 2010, 04:27 PM
Have had bad luck w/solars and switched to plug ins with the best results. But I had more ground to cover than you. I found the solars undependable and often weak or not working after a cloudy day or 2. I had 2 and neither lasted more than 1-2 years. The plug ins give consistent strength of current over a longer stretch of tape or wire. BTW use wire as much as possible for stronger shocks. I'd use only one strand of tape so they can see it but use multiple wire strands if its going to be for a dividing fence.

KrazyTBMare
Jul. 13, 2010, 10:40 PM
I got this one over 4 yrs ago and it is going strong and let me tell you, it packs a punch. My step dad has touched it a few times and LITERALLY threw him to the ground and his arm hurt up to his shoulder. Its for 25 miles which I have like... maybe 1,500-2000 ft total that is hot. I am fortunate that the soil in my pasture near my perimeter fence has clay and it stays pretty moist year long. We drove a 10' ground rod down and havent had a problem since.

http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=6371529b-814d-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5

We did run a very small section (3 strands at 50 ft each, so 150 ft hot) and bought a small plug in charger (something from TSC) and drove an 8' rod for this one. I can tell the difference with the chargers though as if someone touches the little one, its like a strong static shock. Not the big one!

pwynnnorman
Jul. 14, 2010, 11:27 AM
Parmak, Parmak, PARMAK, Jaeger!!!

I cannot say enough about the Parmak solar-powered fencer. I have had several, resold them at very little loss after YEARS of use, and still own one I bought FIFTEEN YEARS AGO! That particular one, I will never forget, got dropped (by me) on asphalt, years ago, and is still going strong. (I pressed it against my front with one hand while trying to pick up something else with the other hand, not realizing that the "on" bottom was facing me!)

If you want durability and effectiveness, the Parmak box with the guage on the front is outrageously good.

pwynnnorman
Jul. 14, 2010, 11:29 AM
Totally agree with you on the Zarebas. The Parmaks pack a punch, so I've bought some smaller Zarebas over the years so as not to traumatize the foals for life with the Parkmak punch, but the Zarebas never last--and they seem particularly sensitive to how well they are ground, too. With the Parmaks, I've never used the recommended three ground rods, ten feet apart. With the Zarebas, if I didn't have at least two (in FL, in NJ or in NY--so it wasn't the problem with sandy soil that caused it), they'd be really unreliable.



Same here. I don't know why folks let Zareba's 'sit around and rot' when TSC will exchange them out. I've got 4 Zarebas on my farm currently and 3 are the battery type that takes D cell batteries. I've had to replace, I think 2 (one battery and one electric) in the last 15 years. I'm sure I just jinxed myself so I shall knock feverishly on wood.:D