Friday, September 4, 2009

Fencing, Electrical Repair, and Pears


For those who were wondering. The pain I was feeling in my face and head, turned out to be a TMJ problem. I'm on Ibuprofen therapy, basically all day and night, not chewing yummy good things like gum and jerky (which I haven't had in ages anyway - sigh) and going to be fitted with a guard at night. Joy.

Thank you for all your well wishes on that. It does my heart good. Maybe it will do my TMJ good as well!

We've been struggling with our electric fencing for a month now. We replaced the car battery, thinking it was bad. But found that, though it may have been contributing, it was not the problem.

I don't think our fence charger unit is working. Michael has been trying everything for days now.

There was a new break in the wire as well. Funny how so many things go wrong all at once, you know?

So here is a mini tutorial on how to repair a broken wire.

First you need to trim the insulation off of the wire ends. If you have gauged insulation cutters, great. If not, you can carefully use scissors. If you take off anymore than one of the little interior wires, you should re-cut the end and try again.

I use to work in a factory when I was a teenager, building wire harnesses and pc boards for fancy and expensive medical equipment, so I picked up a few skills there. With these old trimmers, I usually carefully cut, not quite into the wire, and pull the insulation off, so I am sure that I don't take any wires off with it.

The larger the number, the smaller the wire. That's because it is counting how many wires will fit into the space - or at least that's how I can remember it. So 5 gauge wire is thicker wire because only 5 of them will fit. 22 gauge wire is thinner because 22 of them will fit. Make sense?

Now they are stripped and ready.

When you splice them together, don't just hook them like you'd hook two fingers together. If you do that, you have only one point of contact between the two wires, and a great chance of not getting the electricity to flow through. Instead, wind one repeatedly around the other, starting half way down, the take the top of the straight wire and wind it repeatedly around the other wire.

Of course, in the sample, I did not wind it as much as I could/should have. There is plenty more wire than could have been used to contact the opposite, but I left it straight.

You can buy handy little covers to slip onto splices and shrink down, or pinch down to squeeze it tight. But I just used the girl-who-did-not-want-to-dig-in-the-tool-shed method. Electric tape.

Aaaaaaaaand, we've got one more problem. Rusty clamps to sand off, so they make good contact.

However, still no worky. I may take a shot at seeing if someone at Radio Shack might pity me enough to take the time and see if there is a fried part on the board, because we can see no damage in there at all. If that does not do the trick - it's another 100 dollars to get that fence going again.

We went and picked pears from a beautiful farm yesterday afternoon. My friend's mother has this unidentified pear tree which is suffering broken branches from the weight of the fruit.

It was very tall, and on a good slope, so a ladder was not doable. It was also covered in poison ivy around the trunk, so Michael's desire to climb it was nixed.

We were only able to glean as far as we could reach from the ground. We now have many boxes of unripe pears in our minivan. I'm not sure they will ripeen before they rot. They were really not ready to be picked, despite the fact that they were dropping like crazy.

So while Michael mows the place, I've got to clean up this very well-used household area. We've been working at night on some photography for sale, and the house has suffered for it. I need to then figure out how to set those pears up for ripening. Have to leave early to office clean again.

I really want a vacation. Who's got an island rental for me?




  1. Everything you always wanted to know about wire gauge thickness but were afraid to Google.

  2. Faith..If you find an Island rental...I'll go half..LOL!

    I wonder what kind of pears they are? What do you have planned for it? I am jealious!!!! You know so many people with such goodies down there! :0)

    If you like apple should try pear butter!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  3. Just a thought, your ground may be to dry, or your ground rod not deep enough.

  4. Angry White Man,

    LOL Quite a title. ;)

    Thank you for the link, lots of good info.

    It's not too dry and our ground rod is fine. We have tested it repeatedly with various testers. I, just this evening, took it into TSC and they confirmed; it's dead as a doornail.

    So sad.


  5. SBF,

    You're on. :)

    Yes, I have in mind pretty much the same as the apples; sauce, butter, pie filling, and pears in syrup. Hope they ripen!

    I don't know what kind they are, they're a diamond shape, but colored like barletts.

    I feel very blessed to have been given so much food to process. If I can just find all the rest, I won't have to garden!


  6. Faith,

    If you will wrap the pears in newspaper, pack them loosely in a box and put them in a cool dry place they will ripen.
    You will, however, need to check them a couple times a week and take out the ones that are ripe and ready to eat.

    I learned this from my grandpa and it works well.

  7. Farmers,

    Thanks for the tip. :)

    I do have them in cardboard boxes covered in newspapers in the middle of the kitchen floor.

    I keep meaning to put bananas in there to add to the gasses, but haven't done so yet. I'm afraid I"ll forget the bananas and they'll rot. LOL


  8. Faith, thanks for the tutuorial! I forget, what is the fence for..the horses?

    How were the pears?

    We are getting ready to harvest plumbs..Nitschke has already started helping us pick them... :-)

    R Dean

  9. Hi Dean,

    Yup. It's for the horses. We run it above the field fencing to keep them from pushing it over for the grass that is always greener on the other side. Also to run them up here by the house, around the garden area, to reduce mowing and give them more pasture during the day.

    Yummy plums! I think prune plums are my favorite. Do you have a plum tree?



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