Saturday, March 26, 2011

Whatever Remains

'Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth' - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (also Data and Spock).

The electric wire at the top of my field fencing was no longer hot. We'd had a lot of wind, so I figured there were just branches over the wire. I donned my rubber boots and started the arduous journey around the very muddy fence line.

I did find several branches on the wire, and one small tree I had to cut out. In one spot the blackberries had grown over the wire, in another the wire had come loose from the insulator. I fixed all those things.

I checked all of the connection points, and fixed one of the gates that's been a problem. I happily went back up to the charger and plugged it in again, certain I had solved this problem.

The tester showed NO current coming through. I checked the tester against the other fence that I knew was working. The tester was fine.

This wire is not critical to keeping animals in or out, so I let it slide for a few very wet weeks. Then I once again slipped and slid up and down hills, in and out of mud holes, and checked every inch of the wire. Everything was fine. No issues. None. And it was very much not working.

I tested the outlet. It's working just fine. 

And then it struck me - maybe the CHARGER wasn't working. In order to use an inside charger (meant to be protected from the weather) outside, it's tacked to a fence post and covered with a bucket. I unplug, uncover, untack, disconnect it from the fence, and plug it back in. No lights. No clicks. I check the fuses, both are fine. My charger died! For some reason that possibility had never occurred to me.

Fortunately I have a few chargers hanging around, and one of them works without further investigations necessary, so I use it as a replacement. Everything works just fine, fence is hot. Lights are on. Unit clicks. The bucket, however, doesn't fit over this charger.

I cobbled together a temporary solution. I need a different sized box or bucket to protect the thing. At least the fence is now working!

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