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Electrical Help Needed

Posted on 06/12/2012 6:19:07 PM PDT by VA Voter

I need some help giving pest Grackles a hot foot. My wife hates the Grackles so much she wants me to take down the bird feeders altogether but I like all the other birds, so I designed an electrical hot foot for the bottom of the metal feeder that by all I know about electricity should work, but it doesn’t.

The concept is simple: two parallel 16 gage non-insulated copper wires ½" apart, 1/4” above the bottom of the feeder, and attached via wire nuts to the two wires of a modified extension cord. When plugged in, the Grackles are supposed to step on both wires at the same time and, wa’la, the hot foot and they then they aren’t supposed to come back.

It’s a little more complicated with insulation, stability and placement but not much. Definitely low tech. I have tested the wires with a light bulb that lights up when touched to the wires. I do know enough not to test it with my finger.

The Grackles have taken over the feeder for most of the day and bully all the other birds away so I only plug it in at my end when they are on the feeder.

The problem is that the Grackles walk all over both hot wires without so much as a tingle. The design inspiration is from a very similar concept from Bird-B-Gone.

This exhausts my very long ago HS electrical expertise and likewise that of the associate at Home Depot, who got a huge kick out helping with the parts: alligator clips, plastic hose for insulation, electrical tape, portable GFCI switch, wire nuts, etc.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance for any help and for all the wise cracks this is sure to attract.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Humor; Miscellaneous; Weird Stuff
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Fire away.
1 posted on 06/12/2012 6:19:10 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

Just be sure to film it so we have video when the news runs with the resulting story.


2 posted on 06/12/2012 6:21:22 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: VA Voter

My guess is their feet/claws are non-conductive.


3 posted on 06/12/2012 6:21:22 PM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: VA Voter
Fire away.

Yes. I'm not an EE, but I suggest judicious use of firepower.

4 posted on 06/12/2012 6:23:46 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Obama needs more time. After all -- Rome wasn't burned in a day.)
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To: VA Voter

years ago (Im talkin bout 50)...I have vivid memories of my grandfather hating the grackles for crapping all over his driveway and cars...his remedy was to go out into the tree they loved to perch in...and set off a Roman candle..then he would laugh his arse off........as I recall, to worked...at least for a few days LOL!!!!!!
Good luck


5 posted on 06/12/2012 6:24:20 PM PDT by MagUSNRET
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To: raybbr

I thought about being non-conductive but then why does the Bird-B-Gone work?


6 posted on 06/12/2012 6:24:20 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

“Fire away.”

Yeah..hope your fire insurance is paid up..

As a starter you need to to be using DC not AC..


7 posted on 06/12/2012 6:24:28 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: VA Voter

Put on wire to the hot, the other wire goes to ground.


8 posted on 06/12/2012 6:25:29 PM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: VA Voter
I do know enough not to test it with my finger.

Test it with your tongue.

9 posted on 06/12/2012 6:25:42 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (If Obama was any more thin skinned, he'd have a receptacle end: Dennis Miller)
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To: VA Voter

Look at the grouse!


10 posted on 06/12/2012 6:26:06 PM PDT by Harpo Speaks (Honk! Honk! Honk! Either it's foggy out, or make that a dozen hard boiled eggs.)
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To: montanajoe

Why does DC work and AC not. I’m using house AC.


11 posted on 06/12/2012 6:26:06 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: raybbr

I suggest you go from 115 volts to 240 volts, so that not can you only remove the birds, but they will be cooked for dinner.
However, one word of caution, if you install the 240 volts and while you are doing it, if you see your wife with a hose.... jump of the ladder andRUN


12 posted on 06/12/2012 6:26:32 PM PDT by learner
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To: VA Voter

You need some DC “ringing” current. That always got me running.


13 posted on 06/12/2012 6:26:32 PM PDT by deweyfrank
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To: raybbr

I suggest you go from 115 volts to 240 volts, so that not can you only remove the birds, but they will be cooked for dinner.
However, one word of caution, if you install the 240 volts and while you are doing it, if you see your wife with a hose.... jump of the ladder and RUN


14 posted on 06/12/2012 6:26:50 PM PDT by learner
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To: Focault's Pendulum

lol


15 posted on 06/12/2012 6:27:02 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

Perhaps they use a high voltage transformer and there is enough voltage to overcome the resistance of the birds’ feet?


16 posted on 06/12/2012 6:27:12 PM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: VA Voter

Are they wearing sneakers ?

Bird feet are insulators ?


17 posted on 06/12/2012 6:27:12 PM PDT by mike_9958
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To: VA Voter

You mentioned light bulbs. How much voltage are you using and are you exposing 120V AC?


18 posted on 06/12/2012 6:27:19 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: VA Voter

19 posted on 06/12/2012 6:27:27 PM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: VA Voter

birds sit on hot power lines all the time.....they’re not grounded, hence an incomplete circuit.


20 posted on 06/12/2012 6:28:07 PM PDT by terycarl (lurking, but well informed)
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To: VA Voter

Here’s a more robust design and more effective.
http://tinyurl.com/yjprwrd


21 posted on 06/12/2012 6:28:43 PM PDT by BipolarBob
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To: VA Voter
Work a very large, industrial ballast as used for starting banks of fluorescent lights and you have a grackle zapper.... I maybe a zapper this way that had to have the elements separated about an inch and a half.... fireworks baby!
22 posted on 06/12/2012 6:28:43 PM PDT by Uriah_lost (Is there no balm in Gilead?....MiE (Mainer in Exile))
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To: VA Voter

Are the copper wires clean???

Do they have any insulation???

What voltage are you using???

120 VAC or 240 VAC???


23 posted on 06/12/2012 6:29:04 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: VA Voter

Entice them into the house and then have them stick their feet in a wall socket. It worked for me.


24 posted on 06/12/2012 6:29:18 PM PDT by Krankor
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To: VA Voter
My guess is they are not conductive enough and you need more amperage. Maybe a sprinker in the area putting a light mist into the air might do it.

otherwise...


25 posted on 06/12/2012 6:29:24 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: VA Voter

“portable GFCI switch”

Why are you using a GFCI. Wouldn’t the breaker trip when the birds short the lines? (assuming it’s part of the circuit)


26 posted on 06/12/2012 6:30:03 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: moonshot925

I’m using 120 VAC.


27 posted on 06/12/2012 6:30:49 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: MarineBrat

28 posted on 06/12/2012 6:31:06 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: VA Voter

how bout a cattle fence zapper? or do you need to be grounded for those to work. I know they use a single wire.

(I’ve never tested one, or pee’d on one.. so IDK)


29 posted on 06/12/2012 6:31:56 PM PDT by cableguymn (If your policies are pushing the economy in to headwinds.. TURN YOUR POLICY AROUND!)
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To: VA Voter
From their website: "The Bird-B-Gone Direct Charger plugs into a regular 110v outlet and supplies power to up to 500’ of Electric Track. If placed outdoors, the direct charger must be protected in a waterproof box. The input voltage of the direct charger is 110- 120VAC, the output voltage is 800V (+/-) 20% Open k-circuit voltage. "

So they use a step up transformer to overcome the resistance. Also, DC cannot be transformed so it has to be AC.

30 posted on 06/12/2012 6:31:56 PM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: terycarl

That’s the purpose of the two wires to complete the circuit.


31 posted on 06/12/2012 6:32:21 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

Use a fence charger (electric fencing unit). Safer and more effective than house current.


32 posted on 06/12/2012 6:33:27 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: VA Voter

Tell me you’re not really using AC. Please.


33 posted on 06/12/2012 6:34:21 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: Rebelbase

The breakers is in the basement and the GFCI should do the trick.


34 posted on 06/12/2012 6:34:29 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

35 posted on 06/12/2012 6:35:43 PM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery, IXNAY THE TSA!)
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To: VA Voter

36 posted on 06/12/2012 6:36:00 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Yes, it’s AC, he said sheepishly.


37 posted on 06/12/2012 6:36:35 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

How about put the wire further apart and put water at the bottom so the birds stand in an electrified puddle. (Kinda like throwing a hairdryer in the bathtub)

Hang and electrify tinsel.

Use a higher voltage.... get a 12V transformer and wire it backwards... 1200V output. (Don’t do that)


38 posted on 06/12/2012 6:36:49 PM PDT by mike_9958
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To: VA Voter

Make sure your life insurance is paid up. Your wife will remember you fondly.


39 posted on 06/12/2012 6:37:36 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: BipolarBob

:)


40 posted on 06/12/2012 6:38:19 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxBa5bQfTGc


41 posted on 06/12/2012 6:38:44 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: VA Voter

You want high voltage. Try a 25v doorbell transformer wired backwards — that should give you four or five hundred volts. Or borrow an electric fence transformer.


42 posted on 06/12/2012 6:40:23 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: the invisib1e hand

That would do.


43 posted on 06/12/2012 6:40:23 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: VA Voter
You're a sadist, and cruelty to wild creatures is a mental illness. What you're doing wrong is acting as though your deranged behavior is in any way normative or acceptable.

I'll be forwarding your post to the SPCA. Lawyer up, sicko.

;-\

44 posted on 06/12/2012 6:40:34 PM PDT by Gargantua ("All men ARE 'created' equal--but 21 years later... well, 'nuff said...")
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To: VA Voter

You are using coal fired energy. You will fail. You must use either solar, wind, or algae based power. You do not mention it, but I presume you have gone through the mandatory 3 year EPA approval period and obtained an endangered species waiver from the Fish and Wildlife Administration?


45 posted on 06/12/2012 6:40:34 PM PDT by davius (You can roll manure in powdered sugar but that don't make it a jelly doughnut.)
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To: VA Voter

Is the GCFI in the circuit to the bird feeder?


46 posted on 06/12/2012 6:40:34 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: VA Voter
You're a sadist, and cruelty to wild creatures is a mental illness. What you're doing wrong is acting as though your deranged behavior is in any way normative or acceptable.

I'll be forwarding your post to the SPCA. Lawyer up, sicko.

;-\

47 posted on 06/12/2012 6:40:54 PM PDT by Gargantua ("All men ARE 'created' equal--but 21 years later... well, 'nuff said...")
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To: VA Voter

The Bird-b-Gone is 800 volts.


48 posted on 06/12/2012 6:43:54 PM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: Rebelbase

yes.


49 posted on 06/12/2012 6:45:05 PM PDT by VA Voter
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To: Gargantua

lol


50 posted on 06/12/2012 6:45:44 PM PDT by VA Voter
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