Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials
To start, you'll need to round up a handheld AM radio and a RF choke (Radioshack part number 273-102).
wadams41 year ago
In further looking over for options on the internet, I've found the $100-$200 wire break detect products range limited to 1000 ft. The Dogwatch team who did the repair used a Greenlee 501 product where the range goes to 4000 ft. (A distance that would cover a range of shapes for 6 acres). The only downside is the product is >$600 and a questionable investment I'm mulling over, for only home use with infrequent issues. http://www.greenlee.com/products/TRACKER-11%2540dCABLE-LOCATOR-(501).html?product_id=15377
wadams41 year ago
I have a dogwatch system for 6 acres. I tried the RF Choke method with a AM radio and due to size of property, could not make locate the break. The signal became too weak at the longer distances. I tried the method with Dogwatch transmitter set to FM settings (on back of unit), the signal pickup is on AM radio. I also tried the method with transmitter set to AM (on back of unit). On FM, the signal is loud interference, on AM the signal is a pulsing one with interference. I gave up after 3 days and called in Dogwatch to find/repair the break. They have pro grade wire break detection equipment, amplified signal transmitter (independent from the fence transmitter) and a receiver with very sensitive pickup. They were able to walk the entire perimeter with a strong signal, no fade out like the AM/RF Choke experienced, in the wire up to the break. Overall, I appreciated all the info to try a DIY and save $$.

Knowing the chance of having more fence breaks, I'm looking into the DFNA device set (and will look at the buying in China to save $$$) . What I'm trying to sort out is whether the unit works up to 1000 ft or up to 3000 ft. In different places on the web, it is listed as 1000 or 3000 . Would appreciate to see more field experience in this thread about property size of length of wire.

Also, any other methods to save $$ will be good. E.g., make your own amplified transmitter that can be picked up on AM band for sizeable properties.

The sequence of pics for the post are great for newbies in trying this out.
FWIW, at radio shack, bought the choke for $1.39 and AM/FM small radio for $14.99 .
Cost here in central MA for Dogwatch fix and repair is $100 which includes upto 2 splice repairs (with materials), more fixes would be $12 each.

Separate issue, but somewhat related....trying to find something. One of our dogs lost a collar with the receiver. Dogwatch has a wide-spread scanner unit to detect it...a future visit. Dogwatch provides lifetime replacement and or rebates for damaged units. So even though I had to buy another receiver, when I find the lost one, I will get reimbursed.