Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's Electric, At Least It Will Be Soon...

I'm talking about our new horse fence system. We got some hot wire for the ponies, and I have to say it's been quite a little project.

First step was to put in the T-Posts. We got 80 posts from Home Depot for a little under $400.

[Click here to see the first part of this project...]

So next, we got the hot tape and all the accessories for that at our Ranch store for another $400.

I needed to install the tape charger box. We had an outlet installed in the barn for this purpose, and I put the box on the exterior wall with a little cover over it just in case. It's under an over hang, and obviously the electrical connections should not get wet.

I know that looks ridiculous, but I just wanted to make sure... it's kind of a "belt and suspenders" approach. You may have heard, it rains a bit up here in the Seattle area.

This box was less than $50, and is rated for up to 3 miles of tape. That sounds like a lot, but the thing I didn't realize at first is that we have three lines on each pole. So it's what ever your distance is times 3 in our case. We should still be well under 3 miles.

Next up, we had to install the insulators that the tape will go in. We needed two kinds: one to screw into wood, and one that clips on to the t-posts. These are the ones we used to screw into the wall. It's a pretty simple concept. Don't let the electric tape touch anything but the insulators.

That's how they look installed. You just feed the tape through and click it closed. One note on termination points. I've seen people just tie an knot in a termination point, and I think that looks terrible, so we got some metal connectors to make it look a bit more pro when we install the tape.

These little buggers were kind of hard to install. Not hard in that I didn't know how to install them, that's very obvious. Hard in the sense that you really have to put some elbow grease into it. My thumbs were sore for two days. And since there's three on every t-post, there's just no easy way around it.

So I have the three clips on every post, and in the corners we used a round insulator attached with baling wire because the guy at the ranch store told us to. I guess they get a lot more torque on the corner ones.

Next time we'll string the tape, pound in the ground rods, and connect the juice.

Talk to you soon.