Sparking Interest in Electric Fencing
The ideas of electric fencing appear to have been around for a considerably long time. In the early nineteenth century, the concept of using electricity in defensive weapons was introduced in novels by Jules Verne and Mark Twain. A patent was actually issued to David A. Wilson in 1886 for experimental of this fencing that combined the use of an alarm, and telephone communications along a distance of 30 miles in Texas.
The Russian army used an improvised version of electric fencing at Port Arthur, during the war with Japan in 1905. The German army was also known to use a form of crudely constructed electric fencing along the Netherlands and Belgium border, during World War I in 1915. Extending for over 300 kilometres and consisting of barbed wire, these early fences were capable of conducting several thousand volts, and were ultimately responsible for the deaths of over 3000 people.
In the early 1930s, electric fencing was introduced in the U.S. and New Zealand mainly to control livestock. In 1936-1937, an inventor from New Zealand, William “Bill” Gallagher, assembled a device using the ignition coil and a magneto set of his car, to prevent his horse from using the car as a scratching post. He later formed a company with the intention of improving the design and marketing his product.
In 1964, Doug Phillips, another inventor from New Zealand patented the short-resistant electric fence, with an extended the range of use, while reducing the cost. The non-shortable fence replaced ceramic insulators with non-conductive plastic, and was later manufactured as the “Waikato Electric Fence.” by Plastic Products of New Zealand.
The use of these fences has become much more diversified. Buried electronic fences can now be designed to emit weak radio signals that can be detected by collars worn by pets. The collar produces a warning noise that is audible only to the animals, when they are in close proximity to this fence. A mild shock is produced if the warning noise is ignored, and your pet is forced to remain with the boundary. The technology has evolved to where it is used, not only for containing livestock, or pets, but some form can be used for detecting intruders.
There are some very important design considerations for efficient operation of electric fencing. If the fence is poorly designed or maintained, problems may be caused by the admittance of electromagnetic radiation that can be responsible for interference of signals for television, radio or even wireless transmissions.
• Short cuts should be avoided, and one of the most important features in almost every situation is to ensure that there is adequate grounding to earth.• Avoid the use of different types of metals, as they can conduct at different rates.• Use only high quality insulation. They should be composed of material that is resistant to degradation by ultraviolet light.• The correct size and type of wire must be chosen to ensure efficient operation of your fence.
Electric fences can be expected to find more expanded uses in the protection of property as the cost of electronics continues to decrease as the technology continues to advance. Physical contact is no longer needed for the deterrent to be issued, and the risks associated with any contact are now greatly minimized.