Tip & How-To about Measuring Tools & Sensors

Using an AM radio and RF chock as a wire locator

Having a technician come out to check on your invisible fence can be expensive and leaving the break unattended can lead to your dog running away. This is a short guide to fixing and finding the break in the fence.

You are going to need a few tools before we begin. You are going to need a RF choke (looks like an unraveled paper clip stuck through a black tube and wrapped with copper wire) and a handheld AM radio.

The first thing that you have to do is make sure that there really is a break in the fence. To do this you can take the wire that connects from the transmitter to the perimeter and disconnect them. Then put either end of a paper clip into the jacks that the wires came out of. If when the paper clip is inserted and the alarm stops then you know that there is a break some where in the wire.

Once you have confirmed that there is a break, take out the paperclip and replace it with the two ends of the RF choke. Take the two wires you had disconnected at the beginning and connect them to either side of the RF choke.

Now its time to tune the radio in, take the radio and turn the dial down on the lower end of the AM frequencies. The signal will sound like a rapid beeping or tapping. It will be louder or more clear when over the wire. When the radio is tuned in its time to head out to the yard.

Following the perimeter of the yard take the radio and aim it down at the ground. Try to keep yourself from getting shovel happy, there will be points where the signal will get weak but when you go over the break the signal will drop off completely. Only when the signal drops off completely is where you need to start digging.

When you do finally find the break, be careful when you dig it up. You don't want to knick or cut the wire. Also keep in mind that the wire is not going to be buried too deep so you don't have to go crazy looking for it.

Once both ends have been exposed take the radio to check the signal on the lines. If they both have a strong signal then this is your only break in the wire. If you find that one side doesn't have a signal this could mean that there is an other break somewhere along the wire. When both lines have a strong signal use a piece of wire to connect the two ends. In the case that there is an other break, follow the end that doesn't have a signal along until you find the other end and then connect the two ends back to the wire with the signal using some wire.

Head back to the transmitter and take the RF choke off, connect the wires back in. If the alarm doesn't star up again then you go the break. Now that its confirmed that the break was fixed, you have to make sure that the fix is weather proof. You can use wire connectors at a hardware store, place them on the wires and bury the wires back up. All should be fixed!

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neighbors dogs digging under fence and sliding under gate.

Have you tried talking with the neighbors?
You could get a local welder to tack something to the bottom of that gate so it won't have room for them to crawl under, if that will not impede its swing. Should be quick and simple, for the right person.
There is a product sold at pet stores that prevents dogs from licking their wounds and so forth, that could be sprayed in areas where they dig or intrude into your property. It is apparantly offensive to dogs. The one we use has rosemary in it. (Maybe you could get a big bag of rosemary and boil it and spray it with a pump sprayer along your property line.)
It's a little unorthodox, but when I used to live in the country, I would mark my territory by going out in the evening and peeing around the edges of the yard, on protruding bushes and so forth. We had no fences at all. And while this may seem like stooping to their level, it sends an unmistakable message to the other dogs that your yard is not their territory. They may still argue the point, but if you are consistent they will get the message.
Seems like the barbed wire might be a cause of future conflict, in the event that someone or some pet were injured.
You might also google "dog territory" and read a bit. You have to communicate to them to get them to stop. There's a story about a guy whose feet were tender from walking on the hot sand and sharp rocks, and had an idea to cover the whole earth with leather.
Good luck.

I hope this information allows you to resolve this issue. If you need further assistance, please post back with a comment to this thread.
If I've managed to answer your question or solve a problem, please take just a moment to rate this post....thanks!

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