[RFI] electric fence interference

Hare, Ed W1RFI w1rfi at arrl.org
Wed Apr 6 10:33:54 EDT 2005

In the fence case I got involved with, the culprits were poor splices and gate hooks. In two cases, it was evident that the sparking was eating through the fence wire, which sooner or later would have let the horses get out.

See the Electric Fence Interference section at http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/rfigen.html.  It has a QST article that you can download. The neighbor in that case was very cooperative, so the article is one hams can show to the operators of electric fences to help secure cooperation.

The alternative is for your neighbor to get a personalized version of the letter at:


Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Laboratory Manager
225 Main St
Newington, CT 06013
Tel: 860-594-0318
Internet: W1RFI at arrl.org
Web: http://www.arrl.org/tis
Member: ASC C63 EMC Committee
   Chairman: Subcommittee 5, Immunity
   Chairman: Ad hoc BPL Working Group
Member: IEEE, Standards Association, Electromagnetic Compatibility Society
Member: IEEE SCC-28 RF Safety
Member: IEEE EMC Society Standards Development Committee
   Chairman, BPL Study Project
Member: Society of Automotive Engineers EMC/EMR Committee
Board of Directors: QRP Amateur Radio Club International

> -----Original Message-----
> From: rfi-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces at contesting.com]On
> Behalf Of Tim Groat
> Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 8:32 PM
> To: rfi at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [RFI] electric fence interference
> Typical electric fence problems are plant growth touching the 
> wire, wire 
> falling out of insulators and arcing to other fence parts, improvised 
> "insulators" made from who knows what scrap material, rusty 
> terminals on 
> the charger, and bad connections where the fence wire is 
> poorly spliced. 
> Everything in the fence must be properly insulated or 
> reliably joined; 
> so-so workmanship and materials cause trouble.
> Talk nicely to the fence owner about how you can hear the 
> fence arcing, and 
> how that might ignite dry grass or weeds (it does happen!). 
> Also how the 
> fence may not be working as effectively as it should. Often 
> they will be 
> happy to walk around with you looking for trouble spots, but 
> some folks are 
> just plain difficult...
> My next door neighbor has a working electric fence (how do I 
> know? Can you 
> say OUCH?). It gives me no RFI problems, so it is possible to have an 
> RF-quiet electric fence.
> 73 and good luck,
> --Tim (KR0U)
> >David Garnier <dgarnier at wi.rr.com>:
> >
> >I am posting this for another friend (yes I have them,) who is 
> >experiancing the cyclic "one a second" interference spike 
> from a nearby 
> >neighbors electric fence.
> >
> >We have gone as far as draging a hp 8594em out into his yard 
> and it's an 
> >ugly broad-band decaying pulse which extends past 70 Mhz 
> (maybe worse 
> >given our simple antenna for the spectrum analyzer.)
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