Vendor recommendation for purchasing electric fence controller?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Intheswamp, May 3, 2017.

  1. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to be purchasing an electric fence charger and have decided on the Parmak MAG12-UO, a battery-powered charger. This will be set up in conjunction with a pv panel and charge controller. It's primary use will be to protect a vegetable garden from (lots of) deer.

    Has anyone got a recommendation for a vendor to purchase this from? I've looked at a couple of vendors but reviews seem to be all over the place for them...good, great, bad, crooks, you name it!!! Some first-hand experience from the forum would be good to have.

    Thanks!
    Ed
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I ended up getting it from Jefferspet.
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is the same fence charger I use, except when I look at it they have updated or "improved" it. Hope that is the case. Sometimes "improvements" are not. But if it works as well as mine does, no varmint is going to be lingering around asking for another helping of that. They will head for the exit PDQ.

    Anyway, I got mine at a local farm coop, which sells the Parmak fencers under a store brand label, but is the same thing. But they are available from Amazon if can't be found elsewhere.

    On the solar charger, I have found that a basic deep cycle 12 volt battery from Walmart will charge these fencers for nearly 3 months on a single charge. When it drops down a bit, I'll put a charger on it for a half day or so and it is good to go for another 3 months. I do that vs. messing with the solar setup, which will require a controller in addition to the solar panel. But I already had the battery charger, so that wasn't an issue for me.
     
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Howdy Howard E, thanks for the positive feedback on the charger. Most everywhere that I've looked the reviews are good for this model...hopefully mine will be a good, long-lived one. And, yes, I've seen several different names on the Parmak chargers...Parker McCrory Mfg. Co. is the manufacturer I believe. I checked Amazon, but they directed you to "other sellers" but I could never get a good feel for those sellers. Jeffers (www.jefferspets.com) has been around a long time and is more or less local to me here in south Alabama, and with a coupon was as cheap as the rest.

    They had the new style (red) with the plastic case. It's stated as weather-proof, but I believe the gold painted one is also stated weather-proof. I hope to have a shed to mount it inside of to help with it's "weatherization" a bit more. Hopefully the electronics are as good/robust as the previous gold-colored version.

    I will be running without solar for a while so I'm glad to hear it does well regarding battery usage. The group 24DCM from Wallyworld is what I've been figuring I'd go with. I've already got a 100w pv panel that I'm going to use, but had to order a $30 charge controller. I had the panel so figured "why not?". It's amazing the price of some of those low-end charge controllers...but like any of the Chinese knockoffs the quality is all over the board. I decided to pick one that wasn't running at the bottom of the price range, but definitely not one of the premium ones. We'll see how it works.

    After I get the garden growing (and protected) I'm planning on building a small shed on the north side of the garden and have the fence charger and solar/power setup inside of it (or at least beneath the roof) and plan on using the battery/pv setup to run some lights. I could go with a 12v LED bulbs or go with 110v and a small inverter....I think for efficiency and weather/humidity considerations I will be going with the 12v setup.

    How much fencing are you charging with your charger? Wire? Tape? Rope? How have you got it set up? I'm looking at the double fence with conductors at 18", 36", and 54" on the inside fence and a single conductor at 18" on the outside fence. A few aluminum foil peanut butter baits attached on each side. The only thing I don't like about this setup is keeping the fence and the lane between the inside and outside fences clear/mowed...that narrow area may pose problems for my 54" mower. I may have to make the single-strand fence movable...maybe some pvc pipe sunk into the ground with just an inch or so protruding from the soil...drop the fence posts into these "holes" and they will be fairly easy to remove and place against the larger fence...mow the area and then reinsert them into the pvc "holes".

    Anyhow, great plans of mice (or deer) and men.... :)
    Ed
     
  5. Rickba

    Rickba Out Of The Brooder

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    I found one new in box on E-Bay for 80$ delivered.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For now, I'm fencing in an area of about 100 feet square. Since this is intended to confine birds and repel varmints, I went with low wire system.

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    I started with only 2 wires, lowest about 5 inches off the deck, the next another 5 inches above that. Using our little house dog as my tester (he is a runner and has a history of making a break for it every chance he gets). So with the two wires, he found out it was hot, but was willing to jump over it. So I added two more. That pretty much did it. I've seen him go up to it, crouch down to jump, then chickened out. Have not seen him out once since the last 2 wires went up and that was last summer.

    So on to varmints......this same low wire fence also works on deer. Last fall I planted forage turnips and radishes for the birds, and shortly after they came up, we went on vacation for a week. While we were gone, I turned the fence off. When I got back, I found so many deer tracts in there it looked like a Texas cattle drive had gone through. Turned the fence back on and a day or so later, all that had stopped. I can only assume they must walk into it or else is just tall enough their belly brushes it, but whatever, they find it and that is the end of that.

    A person might look at that fence and assume it would not work on chickens. It does. They get zapped too and learn to stay clear. Will go up to it, but almost never cross it. But if they do, in a panic, they will punch through or lift up and hop over it to get back in. Almost never do that to get out.
     
  7. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I've come a long way since my last posts. I've got a four-strand polywire fence up and the 12v Parmak up and running. I sunk an 8' ground rod down 7' by hand (the bottle of water and shoving up-and-down method) but had to hammer the last foot down. My little fence tester maxes out at 7kv and that's what it does...maxes out. The charger itself stays pegged over at the max. So, I think it's working pretty good...I've yet to "real world" test it...I'm still looking for a volunteer but I'll probably be the unsuspecting guinea pig. I believe it was May 25th that I got the fence up and charged...since then I've seen no deer tracks in there. :clap I did paint peanut butter thinned with vegetable oil on some of the polywire strands on all sides of the fence...I don't know if a deer sampled it but I hope so and hope they when and spread the news to their friends!! I'm still not dropping my guard, though, and am considering putting one or two more strands up.

    I've got the garden planted and a drip-tape irrigation system set up. Still some work to do on the drip-tape (a few leaks at some connections) but it works very well in watering the wide rows. Interestingly, the real first rain that we got after planting was during the time I was installing the irrigation...and I think it has rained most every day since!!!! We could use some sunshine, but I'm not saying anything bad about the rain we're getting...we'll be begging for it later this summer.

    Here's a few images of the garden...I hope to start getting mulch in there *soon*. :)

    [​IMG]2017_May29_Garden-finishplanting_labeled (Custom) by Intheswamp, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0033iphone by Intheswamp, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5065a (Custom) by Intheswamp, on Flickr
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Howard E, my charger is pegging out like your charger is doing. Have you per chance "bumped" into the fence? :eek: I figure it ought to roll whatever comes in contact with it on to their...behind. :D Thanks for sharing your experience with the deer entering the un-charged fence and then staying out of the charged fence. So far, so good with mine. The only thing that has ventured (that I can detect) in has been one visit by an armadillo.

    I like the switch on your Herdsman...I wish the Parmak 12Mag-UO had a switch like that. I'm going to put an inline switch on the hookup wire so my wife can turn it on and off (so I can, too, for that matter! :) ). I still need to build a regular walk-in gate rather than the plastic-handled "gap" hooks...my wife is *very* leery of electric fences!!! ;)
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about the delay. When BYC switched to the new forum, they sent me notice my email was rejecting their overtures, and insisted I change to a different one. So I have not been getting notices.

    Nope, I've never touched it. I have a digital tester and my fence shows 14.6 kv. I've done some dumb things in life, but touching that......either by accident or on purpose.....has not bee one of them. Your wife has good reason to be leery. The last time I touched one (has been decades ago) I remember it felt like my arm was being jerked out of it socket.

    Consider putting your gate as a dead end by the charger. That way you can turn it off if you need to go through the gate. When you are working in there, fence does not need to be hot. Depending on the gate, you may not even need to make it hot. Even if you do, you may be able to wire it up in such a way you can open and close it with the wires on.
     
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BTW, that fence may work for deer, but maybe not coons, etc. If you added one more low wire about 5 inches or so off the deck, it should also work for coons and other furry varmits, as well as keep the birds in. Bottom two wires are the key. Bottom wire low enough they can't go under it and 2nd wire close enough to the bottom to zap em if they try to crawl through it.

    You may not want the birds in there now, as they will tear up stuff, but come fall or winter, they can scratch and dig and fertilize all winter long.
     

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