Finding a Break in an "Invisible Fence" Wire


A friend has an invisible fence for her dog. The wire was apparently severed by someone turning over soil in a rather large area adjacent to her property. She claims to have used a portable radio to find the break in this system before, but she can't remember whether she was using the AM or the FM band. In any event, this time she has tried a different radio (the other one is broken) with no success. My question is: Can one use a radio to find a break like this? And if so, how is it done? If not, is there an inexpensive device that could be used to do it? (She doesn't want to spring for a metal detector.) I really don't need more info, but would like to know a little more about how invisible fences work. I would assume the wire simply acts like a transmitting antenna. Your help is, as always, much appreciated. Thank you. Frank
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dags

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Gee, that was helpful.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

She could use what she already has; the dog collar. Strap it on her arm and take a stroll around the yard.
--Andy Asberry-- ------Texas-----
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AM, tuned to a staticky place between stations.

I've observed that some radios work better for this than others. We have one radio that's just dandy for locating breaks, and another one that isn't worth a hoot. Don't know why.
Fresh batteries make the job a lot easier.

Yes. Tune an AM radio between stations, and move it side-to-side across the suspected path of the wire, just above the ground. It's best to start in a spot where you *know* the exact location of the wire -- like where it crosses a driveway, or a sidewalk, where you can see the saw cut that the installer made in the concrete or asphalt. Wave the radio back and forth until you hear a definite change in the pattern of the static -- that's what you're searching for. Then start walking along the path of the wire, continuing to wave the radio back and forth.
Sooner or later, you'll come to a spot where the signal fades, and eventually disappears completely. Mark that spot.
Now go back to where you started, and in the same manner, follow the wire around the yard in the opposite direction. Again, you'll come to a place where the signal fades, and eventually disappears completely. Mark that spot, too.
The break is approximately half-way between the marks.

Well, metal detectors aren't all *that* expensive... but the radio works just fine.

Yep, that's all it is.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Thanks so much Doug! Will relay this info to her. One quick comment: The Petsafe guy told her she would need an analog rather than a digital radio. I would assume that would cover most of the cheapo AM's, no? Thanks again! Frank
On Wed, 02 May 2007 12:42:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

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I should think so, yeah -- or anything made more than, say, five years ago.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Analog rather than digital pretty much because analog radios tend not to have a "squelch" and you can hear whatever noise there is between stations, whereas digital radios automatically apply squelch to, well, squelch the noise (turn off the speaker whenever thewre is no signal).
Dave
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On Wed, 02 May 2007 12:42:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Yeah, but then I'd have to keep it in the basement for the rest of my life. Even if I buy it used and could sell it for the same price, I wouldn't want to sell my metal detector, in case I need it again. :)
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mm wrote:

Why not just watch where the dog exits?
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OK you buy the metal detector to find the break. In the process you pick up a hum in the yard . Then you think hummmmmmm maybe a rare coin as you dig you find a watch BUT its attached to an arm then what? As the police are back- howing your yard after they tear out you fence You think I should have sprung for the cheap radio Wow it sure can get complicated

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