An invisible fence prevents your pet from becoming a nuisance to neighbors. It also protects your dog from dangers that he can get from roaming, such as getting contagious diseases or being knocked by a car. In this guide, we discuss a step-by-step process on how to find a break in an invisible dog fence with AM radio. Read on!
How an Invisible Fence Works
An invisible dog fence wire on the perimeter of your home creates an invisible boundary. Your dog wears a receiver collar which is activated when he approaches the border. After days of training, the dog is conditioned to respect the dog fence wire’s limits. Invisible fences are inexpensive and can be installed on any terrain. Most dog lovers prefer invisible walls as they can be installed very quickly and do not interfere with your property’s scenic beauty.
However, an invisible fence can have a wire break. Should this happen, your transmitter box will alert you by incessantly flashing and beeping. Your dog’s receiver collar will also not react when he approaches the boundary. While the dog may overlook the fault right away, it is essential that you find the break-in and repair it as soon as possible.
How To Find A Break In An Invisible Dog Fence with AM Radio
A buried dog fence wire makes it harder to locate the break, but it is the best choice when you want to protect the wire from harsh weather. The first step is to ascertain that, indeed, you have a break. You can use an ohm-meter to check resistance on the disconnected wires. If you find that there is no resistance and the wires are continuous, it proves there is no break, and the problem could be on the transmitter.
Another way to verify the break is to disconnect the two wires that run from the transmitter to the fence. Once disconnected, put a piece of wire into the jacks where the cables had been initially connected. A silent alarm means your transmitter is properly functioning, and you have a break.
The second step is to gather materials. You can easily find the break without any professional help using an RF choke and handheld AM radio. This will cost you just a few dollars.
Connect the Choke
Pick the two wires you had disconnected from the transmitter. Carefully connect them on the leads of the RF choke. Next, insert the RF choke leads into the transmitter’s jack where the wires were connected initially. With this connection, the transmitter will continue to send a signal to the fence regardless of it being broken.
Fine-tune the Transmitter to Full Power
The fence sends a radio signal that is picked by the dog collar’s receiver. When the dog comes near the electric boundary, the receiver gives the dog a warning or shocks it. You will be able to get this signal in the lower AM range. When you fine-tune to the right frequency, the signal will be audible when you pass the radio over the ground. For more clarity, you can turn up the signal’s intensity at the transmitter.
Find the Break
Well, it’s time to get that break! Walk the perimeter while passing the radio antennae over the ground where you have a hunch the break might be. You will pick a clearer and definite signal. Fine-tuning will give the signal will sound like a tap or beep.
Closer tuning will make the static get louder when you pass the AM radio over the wire. An area where the signal drops and you hear nothing out for a few feet is most likely to be where the break-in is located. Don’t start digging yet. Instead, slowly check the whole perimeter to be sure.
Voila! Dig it
You have successfully located the area you suspect to have a break. Now, expose the wire. You can use a 3-pronged hand tiller, spade, or a pickaxe. Whichever tool you use, be careful not to knick or cut the wire.
Check the Break
After exposing the wire, the next step is to use the AM radio signal to check whether you have strong signals on both lines. You may have more than one break so if you find no signal on the other end, continue digging since the two breaks might be just a few feet apart.
If you get a strong signal on both ends, connect them with a wire piece, then disconnect the RF choke. Reconnect the wires from the perimeter into the transmitter. Fingers crossed, if the alarm goes off, there is your break!
Repair the Break
Depending on the extent of damage, you can quickly fix the repair. Use a test wire to make the connection if the wire is too short to re-join.
Easy Steps on How to Join the Broken Wire
- Expose the copper core by stripping the wire coat about half an inch.
- Remember the butterfly twist? Twist the two ends together to make the butterfly twist.
- Secure the joint by tying a knot close to the twist.
- For added protection, use masking tape to wrap the joined wires.
- Fold it over a few more times to create additional slack.
- You don’t know when you will get another break in the wire, so be sure to leave extra slack in your house.
- Finally, protect your wire from lawn trimmers by putting it inside a PVC pipe.
Your furry friend may not like physical or invisible barriers. However, as a dog owner, you must put boundaries that keep your pet safe. Boredom can tempt your dog to escape and look for adventures. Therefore, ensure you exercise your dog adequately and keep him occupied when in the yard by giving him enough toys. A wireless fence gives your pet the freedom to play in confined spaces, and you won’t have to invest in a physical fence.
Check the transmitter batteries regularly and get a customized dog collar that fits your pet’s temperament and personality. Lastly, invest in a durable invisible fence that guarantees you many years of service. The wires should also be high quality to prevent an annoying regular break-in. A happy, well-trained dog makes the owner happy!