Skip to comments.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 doesnt.
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, wala, the hot foot and they then they arent supposed to come back.
Its 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.
Here’s a more robust design and more effective.
Are the copper wires clean???
Do they have any insulation???
What voltage are you using???
120 VAC or 240 VAC???
Entice them into the house and then have them stick their feet in a wall socket. It worked for me.
“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)
I’m using 120 VAC.
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)
So they use a step up transformer to overcome the resistance. Also, DC cannot be transformed so it has to be AC.
That’s the purpose of the two wires to complete the circuit.
Use a fence charger (electric fencing unit). Safer and more effective than house current.
Tell me you’re not really using AC. Please.
The breakers is in the basement and the GFCI should do the trick.
Yes, it’s AC, he said sheepishly.
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)
Make sure your life insurance is paid up. Your wife will remember you fondly.
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