electronic scarecrow

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toejam
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by toejam » Sun Jul 25, 2004 8:12 am

My humble apologies to any one that feels insulted or otherwise disturbed by anything i say. Sometimes people seem to overlook simple solutions to problems that can be solved without creating garbage such as spent batteries and other things. I try to point them out. We all have egos here and it has been a hot summer. Please try as i will to keep this place a friendly place to gather information.
:)

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jollyrgr
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by jollyrgr » Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:31 am

As far as tiger or lion urine, why not simple Tomcat urine? (BTW anyone that has owned cats knows how bad their urine can be if you emptied the litter box. I'll bet that is nothing compared to big cat's pee. And a fixed house cat is nothing compared to a Tomcat.) In any case for those of you NOT familar with this smell, take the worse gas station bathroom you have ever been in and multiply it by a factor of ten. You do not want this smell in your camp site.<p>I like the tree method. Or how about installing several lock and hasps hinges on the cooler? Arrange the hasps such that they fall down and latch unless they are ALL the way up. You do not need to use a lock in the hasp, just run a steel cable or chain through the hasps. Run a chain from a dog leash through the hasps and clip the dog lead to the end of the chain. There may be some clever critters out there but I doubt any would be able to figure out how to unhook the chain from itself, pull the chain out of three or four hasps, lift all the hasps, then undo the latch on the cooler.<p>If you want a "simple" solution, use the above idea. But if you need a "Oh, WOW NEAT IDEA!" high tech method, how about this: Put parallel wires or form a crosshatch pattern of alternating wires. You will need to alternate every other wire in the parallel method or insulate the wires where they cross in the crosshatch pattern. Put the wires in some sort of insulated sheet so that you can cover the cooler in a "blanket" if you will. Or put down a piece of metal window screen under the cooler and put a metal latch on the cooler or box. Or put a metal plate next to the latch and use a metal latch. Arrange it such the varmit has to touch two metal conductors to open the latch on the box. Use an oscillator and step-up transformer to charge the wires. A very cheap and ready source of such a circuit would be the strobe circuit of a disposable camera with a flash. Some "one hour" photo developers will give you a couple for the asking. Many Wal-Marts, Osco, Savon, etc. that do on site developing have these as well. (DO NOT pay for a used camera guts! Buy a camera and snap some pictures. Run the film all the way off the end of the roll when done. Then simply take the film out and develop it like a normal roll of film and recycle the camera yourself. I have seen new cameras with flash for under $5. Or buy a multipack so you have spares, just in case.) <p>Remove the flash circuit from the disposable camera. Note that there will be three wires that go to the xenon strobe tube. The two at each end are the energy supply wires; the one wrapped around the outside of the glass tube is the trigger. You will not be needing the trigger wire. Connect the two supply wires from the xenon tube such that you have two separated conductors that the critter will come into contact as they raid your food storage container. Wire the oscillator circuit to a 555 timer circuit that comes on for about 20 seconds every five minutes or so to recharge the capacitor so that you can conserve battery life. Also consider using a larger and/or rechargable battery pack. You might be able to remove the high voltage capacitor and use the oscillator in free running mode. (There is not much kick to these things if the capacitor is removed.) But then you would need to run the oscillator for something like five seconds every thirty seconds or so to catch the critters off guard. <p>Put the circuit inside a small project box and fasten it to the inside of the cooler lid. Run the wires outside the lid to clip leads to fasten to the grid or screen protection.<p>I wouldn't go overboard and use an electric fence charger or ignition coil from a car. You just want to "hot foot" the animal so that it scared, not harmed. Not that an electric fence charger would kill a squirrel or raccoon but it might be too overboard and more difficult to come by.<p>Do realize that raccoons can make lots of noise by just being hit with a jet of water from a hose. I don't know what kind of noises they would make getting shocked. But the campground would probably accept the raccoon making noise rather than some gadget you would install!<p>[ July 25, 2004: Message edited by: Jolly Roger ]</p>
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

toejam
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by toejam » Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:11 am

eurika
i have the solution. First you need a racoon i guess a male one would be best. Than you tie him to a stake. now you get shower head that is sure to get the racoon wet. You attach a hose with a water tank and pump activated by a portable passive infrared sensor and walla the sensor pump water system sprays the racoon with water when it senses an intruder and he makes scarey noise. :)

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sofaspud
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by sofaspud » Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:16 pm

Thanks for all the ideas. I like the occasionally-active sentry robot, if it uses less power than detector-activation and isn't too obtrusive. The edge-detection circuitry I was thinking of simplifying by using a circular path, or having the robot move up a foot and back a foot, or alternating forward-reverse on activation.

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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by perfectbite » Sun Jul 25, 2004 6:12 pm

Toejam,<p>You missed a selling point. When the raccoon gets hungry it's got a lunchbox right there. It will protect its food source.

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jollyrgr
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by jollyrgr » Wed Jul 28, 2004 3:21 pm

I told a coworker about this question and let him guess my solution (and he guessed TASER and got it right). But he had a solution that he used on camping trips that never failed. And the raccoons he dealt with were huge. Two words: LARGE ROCK.
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toejam
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by toejam » Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:13 pm

I think a water gun and a video camera, low lux of course, would be fun might even be profitable.

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sofaspud
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by sofaspud » Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:40 pm

For what it's worth, I'll briefly relate a story of the event that first got me thinking of this project.
A few years back a friend and I were camping. We left for a couple of hours to fish and upon returning I found that a squirrel had gnawed a hole through the plastic container to get at a loaf of bread.
So LARGE ROCK is not the solution.
But thanks anyway. I'll now excuse myself. Too many comedians and too few techies.

perfectbite
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by perfectbite » Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:09 pm

Morgen, Animals are very smart and will figure out a fixed time cycle. Perhaps a variably timed motion activation with the occasional flashing of lights and a squeak or two and no movement in between motion activations will deter dem little critters from investigating your stash. The motion and light effects don't have to come from the same timing activation source. They could coincide or not. A Yosemite Sam figure on a swaybacked horse would be perfect for your locale. 'Sufferin' Succotash'. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Actually a wide stanced 4 legged robot, even one rotating around one fixed foot, would be quite stable even under gusting wind conditions and AllElectronics has some what looks to be 'low profile' rubber wheeled 6VDC motors cat # DCM-224 page 30. 9700 RPM though, you'd have to slow that mustang down.<p>[ July 29, 2004: Message edited by: perfectbite ]</p>

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jollyrgr
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by jollyrgr » Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:50 pm

Morgan Typed:
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr> I found that a squirrel had gnawed a hole through the plastic container to get at a loaf of bread. <hr></blockquote><p>I suppose squirrels might do that. The can be pests can't they?<p>But I considered my first answer somewhat techie. Considering farmers and ranchers have been using an "electric fence" type arrangement to keep livestock in locations where they want them and out of areas where they should not be. Even many home owners use invisible fences to keep their dogs in place as well. The collars have an electric shocker in them that most dogs respect. Or at least friends I know that have used the system say the dogs know better.<p>Too bad we cannot engineer an animal proof container for you and not have fun with the thread at the same time. Since you want only techie type stuff, how about a third idea?<p>Get a motor and put an eccentric weight on the end of the shaft. Place the motor/weight inside a rubber rat, spider, snake, etc. Add red LEDs where the eyes of whatever critter you finally choose. Connect the motor and properly biased (read series resistor) LEDs in parallel. Connect this to a 555 timer and transistor such that the motor comes on for a couple seconds every few minutes. Place this on top of the plastic container so that the critters are scared away.<p>
I doubt that this will work as most animals see past scarecrows eventually.<p>
It is the job of engineers to design a better mousetrap. It is the job of mother nature to design better mice. <p>(Sorry, mother nature wins.)
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

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Joseph
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Re: electronic scarecrow

Post by Joseph » Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:16 pm

That last thought is on it. Around here, the varmits (racoons) will not even enter a trap for sardines or tuna fish. The only eventual solution, sorry to say is pain. It is the one thing they're unable to sidetrack. Make it too uncomfortabe to bother you. Sounds cold, but its their life or ours. If you can afford the sacrifice as you determine things, then endure. Otherwise you decide the hindrance is unacceptable, and try various things as necessary in an escalating manner until your level of functionality is acceptable.<p>[ July 29, 2004: Message edited by: Joseph ]</p>

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