Sabbath before last, Savannah and I rode to services with my sister Jessica and friend Colton. I claim Colton as a cousin even though he isn’t really related to me. He’s my sister-in-law’s nephew and we pretty much grew up together despite me being several years older. Anyway, he’s at a college across in Missouri and comes down occasionally to attend services with us. As we were leaving, I asked him how bad a job I had done on my fence (I was only half joking) and if it would hold up. He said it would be fine, but that my idea of having metal corner posts would be much better. He offered to come out and help the next day. He’s done electric fence building for both family and the college so I quickly took him up on it.
The Sunday afternoon after that, I had all the supplies together on the 4-wheeler, but got called away for Savannah. Next thing I knew we heard a banging noise. Colton had snuck in and was already driving corner posts for me. Shortly after, Papa came up to visit. After a few minutes, I bowed out and left Savannah with him and Travis visiting in the basement. While Colton drove the rest of the posts and tightened my wires, I finished the set up for electrifying it.
I am borrowing Papa’s solar-powered set up for cattle. It’s a little overkill because it can run a 10 mile fence, but it’s handy and Papa says he has hardly ever used it. I set the collecting panel and battery pack box on the southeast corner to optimize the amount of sun it gets I doubt I have much to worry about given the size of the collecting panel and the size of the area it is powering.
I ran the hot wire by fastening it to the bottom wire and looping it around each wire strand as I took it straight up. Then, I ran it over to the hot outlet on the box. (I did make sure the box was shut off before I started connecting it.) I ran the ground line next and I did it a little different than most. Colton said that they always just used the metal post itself as the grounding rod. This was a great idea in my opinion since standard grounding rods are 6 foot long and require most of it to be in the ground. With rocks being then best grown thing in Arkansas, I was not looking forward to having to drive something that far down. So I ran wire from the grounding nob down away from the fence wires and fastened it to the metal post. Colton added a bend in the wire to make it stand out more from the post until the bottom.
Colton certainly made my poor fence look a lot better! The fence is working well. Its biggest job so far has been getting the dogs used to it. Raleigh and Mac (the dog Papa and I co-own) have learned quickly; Dixon, not so much. He’s stuck his head through it a couple of times. I’m hoping he’s catching on. The fence has also been helpful in keeping Dixon out of a couple potted plants I had on the catwalk. I put them in there when I realized I couldn’t get him to quit chewing and tearing the leaves. I’ve set them out in the garden area to wait until they die back to the bulbs and I can store them for the winter. Maybe he hasn’t done permanent damage…