Installation Instructions: 3D Deer Fences on 2 Lines of Posts
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3D instructions - deer shock depot (288 KB)
Instructions For Installing a 3D Baited Deer Fence
A 3D Fence That Runs on Two Lines of Parallel Posts:
One line of posts with a single wire, and one line of posts with a double wire
Height: 4 feet Width: 3 feet
These pages provide the following:
- A list of items needed for setup
- Step-by-step installation instructions
- Maintenance tips
- Electric Fence Charger/Energizer: A strong 1-joule charger able to maintain over 2.5 kv on the fence line in the face of a 500 ohm weed burden is suitable for excluding deer with a baited 3D fence
- Steel U-posts: Use 4-footers for the outer fence line, 5-footers for the inner fence line 2 per corner, 2 per end, 4 per gate
- Fiberglass posts - 3/8-inch Use 4-footers for the outer fence line, 5-footers for the inner fence line Enough so that no posts are separated by more than 30 feet
- Insulators - corner knob style (No. of corners + no. of ends) x 3 = Number needed
- Insulators - U-post gate style: no. of gates x 6 = Number needed
- Insulators - clip-on style for 3/8 inch fiberglass posts: No. of 4-foot fiberglass posts + (no. of 5-foot fiberglass posts x 2) = Number needed
- Wire - 16 ga. aluminum electric fence wire: length of fence x 3 = Length needed
- Insulated Hookup Wire: (1) AC charger only: distance from AC outlet to the fence plus 11 feet, and/or (2) if more than one 1 gate, or if fence is otherwise interrupted: twice the width of each gate to be crossed plus 20 feet
- Wire to Wire connectors - Split-bolt Clamps: (5 to connect charger to fence wires) + (6 x no. of gates) + (1 each time you need to join two wire ends) = Number needed
- Scent Caps: 1 for every 20 feet of fence
- Apple Scent: 1.25 oz for shorter fences or 4 oz. for longer fences
- Gate Handle: No. of gates x 3 = Number needed
- Ground Rod: Use a 2-foot rod if the whole fence will be within 300 feet of the rod Use a 6-foot rod and clamp if any part of the fence is more than 300 feet away
- Warning Flags to Alert Deer: Two flags for every 5-foot (inner) post
- Warning Signs: Use one at all places where people might be surprised by the fence
- Fence Tester: You need at least a 5-lite tester; for a really precise reading use a digital tester
- Work gloves
- Wire Cutters
- Twist ties or nails
Installing the Fence:
- Clear the path over which the fence will run.
- Drive in the U-Posts: Use a hammer to set all the 4-foot steel U-posts a foot into the ground. Insert them at the fence corners, ends, and at both sides of any gate opening, placing all of them at the outer margin of the fence. Then set all the 5-foot U-posts at the inner corners (4.2 feet in from the 4-footers), ends, and inner gates (3 feet in from the 4-footers).
- Attach insulators to the fiberglass posts: Attach one clip-on insulator to the top of each 4-foot fiberglass line post. Also attach one insulator to the top of each 5-footer and another one 2 feet further down. Do this when the temperature is above 40º F in order not to risk cracking the insulators, or bring the insulators over to each post in a bowl of warm water.
- Drive in the fiberglass posts: Space the fiberglass line posts so that there is no more than 30 feet between any two fence posts, and so that the outer 4-foot posts are placed 3 feet out from the inner 5-foot posts. If you need to pound a fiberglass post in with a hammer, put a small board between the hammer and the top of the post to avoid marring the post top.
- Attach U-post gate insulators: Attach two U-post gate insulators on each of the inner gate posts. Place one at the top, and one 2 feet down using the cotter pins provided. Attach one U-post gate insulator at the top of each outer gate U-post.
- Attach your corner knob insulators to the U-posts at the corners: Cut off a foot-long length of wire and run it through one of the corner insulator’s channels (with the U-post in the middle) and twist the wire around itself on the other side. The insulator goes on the inside of the corner. The actual active fence wire will later run through the second channel (the one not being used to attach to the U-Post) to make a corner. Repeat this action on each of your corner posts at every place on the post where you want a fence wire to make a corner.
Corner knob attachment is confusing. Please watch our video on insulators for a demonstration.
- Start stringing the fence wire: Begin stringing the wire at the right side of your outer gate post, running the wire all around the insulator and then twisting the end of the wire around the outgoing wire tightly several times in order to fix it firmly on the insulator. Proceed to run the wire all around the fence, hanging it from each clip-on fiberglass post insulator. Pull the wire reasonably tight as you go, making sure it is taut enough to maintain a height of about 3 feet.
- Stringing the wire around corners: When you reach a corner, detach the corner knob from the post by untwisting the ends of the attachment wire. Insert your fence wire into the inner channel on the corner knob, replace the corner knob on the loop of attachment wire, and reattach the wire to its former position on the post.
- Spanning the gates: When you reach the a gate, run the metal wire around the gate insulator several times to secure it without touching the insulator’s metal base. DO NOT cut the wire at this point. Instead, figure out how much wire is needed to span the gate opening and cut the wire at that point. Thread the end of the wire through the hole at the back of a gate handle, arranging things so that the gate handle can hook onto the other gate insulator. Twist the wire several times around itself at the back of the gate handle to secure the wire to the gate handle. Remove any excess wire at the back of the gate handle with wire cutters.
- Finish stringing the wire: Proceed to anchor a new run of fence wire to the gate insulator at the far side of the gate (the side where the gate handle hooks in). Continue stringing until you reach the place on the fence where you started and terminate the wire at that point.
- String the remaining runs of wire: Repeat the steps for stringing the fence wire with the inner line of posts, first stringing 2 foot high wire on the lower insulators, then 4 foot high wire at the top of the posts.
- Tighten saggy wires: If the fence wire is running a little lower than desired, tighten it by taking an extra turn or two around a nearby fiberglass post (fiberglass is an insulator) or by twisting a clip-on insulator around a couple of times. Also, check to make sure that none of your fence wires come close to the metal base of any U-post insulator at any point.
- Hanging the scent caps and baiting the fence: Attach the scent caps to the outer (3-foot) fence wire at intervals no greater than 20 feet by wrapping both ends of each scent cap’s aluminum wire around the fence wire. Arrange things so that the open end of the scent cap points downward, so as to protect the deer lure from the rain. Then go to each scent cap, turn it upward, and place a few drops of apple scented deer lure on the cotton ball. Then place the lure facing down again. This action needs to be repeated every 10 to 14 days.
- Mount warning signs: Post the warning signs on or near the fence, giving special attention to places where people are likely to pass by.
- Place the ground rod: This is best done in a place where the soil is generally moist during the seasons when the fence will be working, is close to the fence, and that is also reasonably close to the electric fence charger. This spot should also be at least 50 feet away from the grounding system associated with your home’s electric service.
- Hammering in the ground rod: Pound the rod (thread end up if you are installing the 2-footer) into the ground until only about 4 inches protrude. If you are installing the 2-footer, place a board between the hammer and the top of the rod to avoid damaging the threads. If you are installing the 6-footer, slip its clamp over the top of it after it has been pounded into the ground, undoing the clamp’s tightening screws a bit if necessary.
- Connecting together the fence’s sections: Should there be a place where a building or wall interrupts your fence, or should you have more than one gate, you will need to use insulated undergate and hookup wire and split-bolt clamps to connect all the sections of your fence.
To connect two sections of your fence on either side of a gate, cut a length of insulated wire nine feet wider than your gate opening. Strip an inch of insulation off each end and attach one end to the fence wire at one side of your gate with a split-bolt clamp. Now take the hookup wire across the gate opening, burying it a few inches underground to keep it away from feet and lawnmowers. Bring the insulated wire up and connect it to the fence wire on the other side with a split bolt clamp.
If vehicles will be coming through the gate it’s a good idea to put the hookup wire through a pipe to protect the insulation against cracking and also a good idea to put some holes in the bottom of the pipe to ensure drainage.
DO NOT use regular insulated wire designed to carry house current as a substitute for the hookup wire, because the charger’s output, though harmless, has too high a voltage to be contained by house current wire, and so this substitution will prevent your fence from working.
- Connecting the outer posts to the inner posts: Next, carry the charge from the wire on the outer line of posts over to the other two wires on the inner line of posts. Use insulated wire and split bolt clamps to achieve this. Remember to connect all three wires at each independent fence section.
Charger/Energizer Installation and Trouble-shooting:
- Remove the fence charger/energizer from its package: upon opening, read the installation instructions; including the safety provisions. Never by-pass the charger, and never use an extension cord carrying house current outdoors in connection with this kit–because house current is dangerous and can create life-threatening situations. Note that charger instructions are commonly written for cattle fence lines extending many miles in dry conditions. They often recommend installing multiple 6-foot or 8-foot ground rods. Unless you are operating in the desert or tundra, you don’t need so much grounding.
- Place your charger/energizer:
- If your charger is AC-powered, plug it into an AC outlet near the fence, arranging things so that you have enough insulated hookup wire to reach from the charger to the fence. If charger is being placed outdoors: Prolong the charger’s life by providing some protection from the weather (rain and snow). This can be done with wooden housing or with something as simple as the bottom of a 1 gallon plastic milk bottle, with a small vent cut in it. If the charger is being placed indoors Provide a small hole through a wall or woodwork that is large enough to admit the insulated hookup wire. Do not pass the insulated hookup wire through a door or window opening, as this is likely to cause bending or other stress that could break the insulation.
- If your charger is battery-powered, get either D-cell batteries or a deep cycle battery of the appropriate voltage; these batteries (in contrast to car batteries) can be drawn down fully before being recharged. Locate the charger near the fence and connect it to your battery. Prolong the charger’s life by providing some protection from the weather (rain and snow). This can be done with wooden housing or with something as simple as the bottom of a 1 gallon plastic milk bottle, with a small vent cut in it.
- If your charger is solar-powered, orient it so that its solar panel catches maximum sun and place the charger near the fence. Allow it some time to charge before testing it.
- Test the charger/energizer: Plug in or turn on the charger/energizer; many have lights, meters, or clicking noises when activated. Use your fence tester to touch both the positive and negative terminals simultaneously, and the tester should activate. If it does not activate, you may have a problem with your battery/outlet/charger. Run control tests to see if you have a defective battery/outlet. If still unresponsive, the problem is likely with the charger, and you should call the charger’s maker.
- Connect the positive (+) terminal to the fence wire: Unplug or turn off the charger. If you are using insulated hookup wire, strip 2 inches of insulation from it. Attach the wire to your charger’s POSITIVE (+) terminal. Run that wire out to the fence. Attach the other end of the connection wire to the fence wire with a split-bolt clamp. If you are using insulated wire, put it an inch or so underground to keep it safe from feet and lawnmowers. Or else, if heavy traffic passes over the hookup wire at any point, put the wire through a well-drained underground pipe to protect it.
- Connect the negative (-) terminal to the ground rod: Take a connection wire (either bare or insulated) that is long enough to reach from the top of the ground rod to the NEGATIVE (-) terminal on your electric fence charger. If you have our two-foot ground rod, thread the two nuts onto the ground rod. Open a space between the two nuts, loop the wire around the ground rod in this space, and tighten the nuts so that the wire cannot move. If you have a 6-foot rod, tighten the clamp on the top of the rod with the two screws and unscrew the top screw until the hole below it is fully open. Slip the wire into the attachment hole and then tighten the top screw until the wire cannot move. Then attach the other end of the connection wire to the electric fence charger’s NEGATIVE (-) terminal.
Make sure that NOTHING attached to the charger’s positive (+) terminal–including the charged fence wire–has been connected directly or indirectly to the charger’s negative terminal. The positively charged system (positive terminal, hookup wire, fence wire) must be kept entirely separate from the negative system (negative terminal, ground wire, ground rod, moisture in the ground). That’s because the target animal will get a shock when it provides a bridge between the two systems. If the systems are already hitched together, or if weeds leaning on the fence provide a better bridge between the two systems than the animal does, then the target animal will not get a shock.
- Test your fence: Take your fence tester and check the fence wire at various points along the fence line to be sure you have at least 2 kilovolts on the line. Do this by inserting the tester’s needle (at the end of the cord) into moist ground and then touching the metal tip at the top of the tester to the charged wire. If the tester doesn’t read 2 kilovolts, even though the charger’s light is flashing, check all the connections on the fence to ensure that a good flow of charge is being maintained across all these connections. Once the tester is registering at least 2 kilovolts along the whole fence line, your fence is operating in a manner suited to repelling deer.
The soil just outside the charged wire should be damp enough so that any animal touching the wire will be grounded. Wetting the fence line area during periods when the soil seems dry should help to accomplish this (remember to first turn off the charger to avoid a shock).
Be aware that deer or other animal impacts, falling branches, or plants leaning on the charged wire can neutralize your system. Therefore, inspect periodically for downed posts or lines and for encroaching vines, grasses, or other plants in order to minimize times when the fence is out of action.
Finally, please note the following seasonal limitations of your system:
An AC-powered charger can operate through the winter, but very low temperatures can freeze the ground hard enough to neutralize the system.
A battery-powered or solar-powered charger will be less effective in cold winter seasons, partly because of reduced sunlight and partly because chemical storage batteries tend to operate at less than full efficiency in cold weather.