Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ghosted

I placed an order for an electric fence charger with DeNial (da Smile) on-line retailer for a 6J, low-impedance, electric fence charger.

One week later, I received a message from DeNial that they were canceling the order because the retailer was MIA. They said I could attempt to contact the retailer but they gave no contact information. Searching the internet revealed that there are multiple entities in various states with a name identical to the name given to me by DeNial.

Hmmm! That stinks. I have a 0.3 Joule charger sort of charging the fence and I expected the new charger last week sometime between Tuesday and Friday. For those who are math impaired, 0.3J is 1/20th of 6.0J.

Another tilt at the windmill

Another search of the internet. Another order placed. $25 to have it delivered October 7-11, and October 10-15 if I opt for free delivery.

Source

It would not break my heart to have two chargers. I may end up making a road-trip to Indiana where the closest distributors who carry Parmak fence chargers can be found. Two weeks is a long time to rely on a fence charger that might be up to the task.

Trouble-shooting the old unit

A wise person is guiding me in attempting to trouble-shoot the in-op unit. So far there has been no joy. 

The gray-beard hauled me back from hyper-focusing on things that MIGHT be causing the problem and redirected me to splitting the circuit in half and determining which half, then splitting it in half again.

There are no relays in the unit. The problem is upstream of the main capacitor.

In very broad brush-strokes, the circuit board ---is supposed to--- charge a 500V capacitor. When it hits (roughly) 500V, it exceeds the break-down voltage of an inert-gas lamp. Once the lamp activates, it acts as a switch and dumps the capacitor's charge through a 20:1 transformer which fires 10,000V to the fence.

Replacement circuit-boards are $55 retail and "out-of-stock" with no estimates of when they will be available.

Local retailers

I went to two of the local farm stores.

One's website said they had 6J fence chargers in-stock but that prove to be false when I visited the store.

Visiting the other store, the guy at the checkout did a hard-sell on the service plan. Paraphrasing, he said they were selling junk and if I bought the service plan I could swap dead chargers for new rather than having to deal with the company who made the units. I declined to purchase the unit.

7 comments:

  1. My bet is bad diodes in the rectifier bridge; these can be underspeced due to high peak current bc of the nature of the circuit. This kind of peak voltage circuit only conducts for a small fraction of the AC sine wave. Unlike vacuum tubes, semiconductors do not deal well with any overload.

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  2. Good luck, and halving makes sense. That allows you to TS down to a 'point' failure, if that's what it is. And service plans usually DO NOT benefit the buyer...

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  3. We always had good luck with Gallagher chargers. They make solar ones as well. Pricey though.

    https://am.gallagher.com/en-US/Solutions/Electric-Fencing-Solutions#system%20type=Electric%20Fencing

    We used them for cattle, sheep, and horses.

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  4. A couple of those on the map in Indiana are Amish places right by me

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  5. https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/homemade-electric-fence-charger-zmaz82jazgoe/

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  6. I'm looking at buying one of these: https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/primashock-8-fence-energizers-kits?cat_id=245&option_id%5B0%5D=78

    Everything else I've bought from Premier 1 has been great, from fence netting to heated waterers. So while this isn't a mainstream brand, I feel pretty good about it.

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  7. Gallagher all the way. I have 2-3 running at all times. Year round. Plug in and solar. I’ve tried others thru the years, always disappointed. Cost to repair, unavailable parts, etc. I had one Gallagher break due to ants shorting out the circuit board. Parts available. Back in service. I’ll pay more for this Gallagher quality.

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