Electric Fence Monitoring System

I live on a farm of about 6,400 acres of land of which some is Cattle and some is AG. I have been planning on a project to help monitor the many Electric Fences on our farm. I am currently struggling on how to power the monitors of which will communicate using XBee but thats another struggle. Our Fence is a Pulsating High Voltage Electric Fence. Would it be possible to bring the power down enough to store some in a Capacitor and use it to power the Arduino? It Pulses about once every second. I would appreciate any help you could offer.

Pulsating AC or DC ?
Are you going to tell us the voltage or do we have to guess ?

Probably yes. How long are the pulses, what is the voltage level, how much current can be supplied?
Can you supplement the charging with solar? Or, supplement solar charging with the fence?

Can you supplement the charging with solar? Or, supplement solar charging with the fence?

I don't think there is any where to mount the solar panel as there is nothing but land and fences .

I dont know the Voltage As of Now but i will find it out when i wake up tomorrow morning. Solar power is always an option but this option would be easier for me because our fence is on all night and day and the sun is on only during the day.

I am assuming the earth acts as the return for the circuit. The electricity passes through the animal and returns to earth.
You will need to drive a copper ground stake at least a couple of feet long and 1/2 " thick to use as your ground for the charge pump circuit. Voltage of the fence will determine the rated voltage for the capacitor to act as the storage for the charge. A diode with the anode connected to the fence and the cathode connected to the capacitor. with the ground connected to the "-" terminal of the cap. If that works then it needs to be reduced somehow to 12V to charge a car battery.which can power a stepdown (buck) dc converter to reduce the voltage to 7V to plug into the external pwr dc barrel jack on the arduino . It may take a little experimentation to get the charging circuit to work.

Hi, how are you powering the ELECTRIC FENCE?
The arduino would probably like a little bit of that power too.
Tom........ :slight_smile:
PS An electric fence spec as per standards.
(Standards for electric fences needed in Australia to help prevent death and bush fires.)

I have been planning on a project to help monitor the many Electric Fences on our farm.

What aspect of the fence do you want to monitor? For example - do you want to monitor that the fence energizers are receiving power? That they're delivering the right voltage to the fence? That the fence is transmitting enough voltage along its whole length? Whether there is something touching the fence? These would each impose different requirements and we don't want to go thinking up complicated solutions when you actually only need something simple.

Also, how much distance is there between the point(s?) where you need to monitor the fence(s?) from, and the place where you want to receive the alerts? How are you planning to communicate between these places?

You can see the copper ground stake I mentioned in the illustration in the standards document.

Max of 12 Joules AC

That's a measurement of energy , not power or voltage. Power is voltage times current .
Knowing the energy won't help us design your circuit. What we need is the voltage (to ground) , the current (in milliamps) and the power in Watts (it that is available. Additionally it would probably help to know the duration of the pulse in milliseconds.

I doubt you ant to take much power off of the fence less the shock value decline. You might use a neon bulb and high value resistor to make a pulse detector for the end of the wire.

Hi Pinkman, please answer Reply #6, how are the electric fence units powered, why can't you use that?

Tom....... :frowning:

Max of 12 Joules AC

That spec is there because when you talk about electric shock effect on living animals, humans, the energy level in Joules is the unit most useful for describing the lethality or lack thereof.