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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,658

    Default Please help me buy a fence charger

    So I have a 250 x 150 paddock I am fencing and assume two strands of tape to keep horses off the fence. Eventually I will be adding a lot more feet of "hot" tape as I subdivide and fence in the rest of the property (about 10 acres). I think regardless of fence type, I still want hot as a deterent everywhere--so assume 2 strands a 2.5 acre paddock, the smaller one, and a 3.5 acre paddock and potentially a strand on the entire perimeter fence as well.

    Is it possible to have too large of a charger? Is it a good idea to buy a charger now that is capable of doing the entire farm? I think I am looking at a 2 summer fencing project.

    What size should I get? Brands to avoid? Any other advice?
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,180

    Default

    Get as large a charger as you can afford. More importantly, Drive (3) 8 foor ground rods 10' apart and connect them all together with #8 bare copper wire with UL listed "direct burial" ground clamps. A charged fence is only as good as the grounding system.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,658

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hosspuller View Post
    Get as large a charger as you can afford. More importantly, Drive (3) 8 foor ground rods 10' apart and connect them all together with #8 bare copper wire with UL listed "direct burial" ground clamps. A charged fence is only as good as the grounding system.
    So you can't over charge?

    Sorry, I vaguely remember doing electric experiments in physics, but that was a long time ago.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2013
    Posts
    43

    Default

    No, you can't overcharge.

    It's only volts - not current. It won't hurt anything or anyone seriously or permanently.

    fully agree with above post - grounding is CRITICAL. If it's super dry, you can even run a 3rd wire around the property with the two hot wires that is only tied to ground...horse touches hot wire and ground wire at same time means zappp.

    I really like the woven poly wire. Kencove has it really cheap, much cheaper than tractor supply. Kencove shipped free as well. We did tie some marker flags on the hot wires every 10 or 20 feet for visibility when we fenced in 5 acres our neighbors let us use last summer to augment our pasture space.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,189

    Default

    Mattv, welcome to the boards, but Kencove? you must post links! Obviously I'm off to check prices but my googling skillz stink PLUS I'm lazy.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    Solar? I got a large (I think 3 mile) solar charger by Parmak. My fencers loved it and it is doing a terrific job with my Horsegard tape.
    friend of bar.ka



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    106

    Default

    We installed a solar power Gallagher. Very affordable at less than $200. Two year Warranty. Very portable for multiple paddocks. Best of all, no backhoe to install power supply to paddocks. Planning to purchse two more for distant pasture fields.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,658

    Default

    This is interesting, because everyone is always saying do a plug in. So I was really just thinking that was the way to go. I do want the fence to be *hot* but the portability of a solar sounds nice.

    Are there solar models that allow you to do a battery back-up?
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2004
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    This is interesting, because everyone is always saying do a plug in. So I was really just thinking that was the way to go. I do want the fence to be *hot* but the portability of a solar sounds nice.

    Are there solar models that allow you to do a battery back-up?
    All of the solar chargers have a battery. The charger has to work when it's dark or cloudy. Some models have it inside the case, some are external.

    The most powerful chargers are "plug-in" Solar cells get larger and more costly as the power needs increase. Plug-ins are a bit more vulnerable to lightining strikes, but surge suppressors at the outlet help that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    Location
    a little north of Columbus GA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    Are there solar models that allow you to do a battery back-up?
    All of them have a battery inside -- otherwise they wouldn't work at night.

    When I did my research I chose a Parmak DC charger -- hooks up to a car or boat battery. Then we'll either swap out the batteries as needed and use a regular charger in the garage, or perhaps rig up a small solar panel and charge controller to do it in place.

    Yet another of the half-finished projects around here, it hasn't been put in use yet.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
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    5,658

    Default

    This has been very educational. I thank everyone who has taken time to add info! I obviously know next to nothing about chargers. It is not something boarders pay a lot of attention to.

    Is it really possible to get a knock-you-on-your-#ss charge from a solar charger though? I am looking for major determent.

    Also, I looked at some of the brands mentioned and reviews are mixed. Are there brands that are better than others? I don't mind spending money on something that won't bust a month after the warranty ends.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2009
    Location
    Lyman, ME
    Posts
    401

    Default

    I would think you would go with solar only because there is no AC available where you are fencing. The simple 110 v plug ins are not all that expensive..maybe $100 for a pretty long range 25 mile one. My experience has been that we used the 1 1/2" white tape in the back and most of the time the charger is not even on..they stay away from it.
    The aluminum bare wire is pretty cheap, just be sure to put it in an insulating tube when you bury it under gates, etc. Hardest part is finding the correct plastic insulator to go with the tape vs wire, wood, rod or T bar post combination haha.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2009
    Location
    Lyman, ME
    Posts
    401

    Default

    PS I know my neighbor with cows has an absolute knock you on your butt charger cuz I got zapped by it. And he is running several miles of wire pasture fence. I can find out, but you might cause even more problems with spooked zapped ponies with that sort of set up. Just want it to be unpleasant, not the Green Mile..


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabtfarm View Post
    PS I know my neighbor with cows has an absolute knock you on your butt charger cuz I got zapped by it. And he is running several miles of wire pasture fence. I can find out, but you might cause even more problems with spooked zapped ponies with that sort of set up. Just want it to be unpleasant, not the Green Mile..
    Re solar vs. plug-in--The spot I am thinking of for the corner of the fence is right next to the electric pole. I have to imagine they can run a plug-in off the power source relatively easily? I'm not sure if I call rural electric or my local electrician though. I will need power out there for the water anyway.

    I was a silly city kid and believed my friend when she told me I wouldn't get shocked by the cattle yard fence if the grass I was holding (because we were hand feeding the beef steers) touched the fence. Knocked me a foot back and on my #ss. I felt it in my molars. Ugh. She thought it was hillarious.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2013
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    Mattv, welcome to the boards, but Kencove? you must post links! Obviously I'm off to check prices but my googling skillz stink PLUS I'm lazy.
    Sorry! I'll include links from now on

    I'm a cheapskate googlemaster hack-of-all-trades. I hate spending money almost as much as I hate working with crappy equipment/materials. You see my dilemma

    anyway - https://www.kencove.com/fence/ -- good stuff! They'll send you a free catalog too. I look through it when i'm sitting on the 'throne.'

    As for solar -- it certainly works, but I'd much rather go with 110 if I had the option.

    For our cattle we had to use solar chargers with 12v batteries for years...seemed like the batteries would run down overnight in the cold if we didn't keep a close eye on them, and then the cattle would be in the neighbors wheat fields. Not good.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mattv View Post
    Sorry! I'll include links from now on

    I'm a cheapskate googlemaster hack-of-all-trades. I hate spending money almost as much as I hate working with crappy equipment/materials. You see my dilemma

    anyway - https://www.kencove.com/fence/ -- good stuff! They'll send you a free catalog too. I look through it when i'm sitting on the 'throne.'

    As for solar -- it certainly works, but I'd much rather go with 110 if I had the option.

    For our cattle we had to use solar chargers with 12v batteries for years...seemed like the batteries would run down overnight in the cold if we didn't keep a close eye on them, and then the cattle would be in the neighbors wheat fields. Not good.
    I'm not 100% on what you are referring to as "woven poly wire" but I will tell you I saw they had field fence with a class III galvanized coating for what I thougth was a good price. I didn't calculate out their shipping yet. I wonder if it is Baekart brand, because that's what they link to on the video??

    I still think I want something like field fence for my perimeter fencing...just in case they decide to break/jump out of paddocks. Or I decide to get sheep, etc.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2009
    Location
    Lyman, ME
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Woven poly wire is what I was referring to: 1 1/2" wide white plastic woven tape that has fine wire woven in that discourages horses with the ability to shock them just like regular wire fence. It has a good visibility aspect for the horses, while being fairly easily installed, long lasting and affordable.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2005
    Location
    Elmwood, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,369

    Default Get a high joule fencer.

    I like the poly rope fence for fast fencing for horses. I prefer
    the braided rope like the Dare product to the twisted rope.
    All types have steel wire embedded in the rope to carry an
    electric charge. Our fencer which has given good service
    for many years is a Blitzer, a plug-in of the 6 joule size (that
    is a "zap" measure). The one we have is rated for 100 miles
    of fence and comes with a lightning arrester.

    I find rope is preferable over electric tape if you have open
    land and a fair amount of wind. The wind beats tape to
    death but just blows around the rope. Our fence is corner
    braced wood posts and 7' t-posts for the line posts. Fence
    is still good after 25 years of service.
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    18,347

    Default

    I've had a Gallagher small solar charger for a paddock about the size you describe for about seven years. In that time it's never given me one problem and I've only had to replace the 6v battery once.

    If I were buying an electric fencer charger of any kind, I'd buy one from a New Zealand company. The New Zealanders have made an art of electric fencing and their stuff is top quality. I can't remember the names of the companies, but Gallagher is Orange, one is green, one is red, and there is still another whose color I cannot remember.

    My first electric charger ten or fifteen years ago was a Zareba and it didn't last. My next was a D cell charger from New Zealand for a tiny paddock, and it's still in good shape. Then I got a Patriot solar, which did not work for more than a month, and replaced it with the Gallagher. I'm a huge Gallagher fan.

    The low impedance chargers work quite well for horses. They actually seem to hear the current and will not get near the fence unless they are terrified.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,968

    Default

    We've had a Parmak for nearly 20 years of continuous use and have a few of them that we've picked up from garage sales here and there. We're very very happy with all of them; never let us down.



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