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Yet Another Weird Problem


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Hello everyone....


A while back I had posted a problem with a controller I was having (3 channels on unit 01 (all on the 1-8 side)) "Spazz out" and blink, sometimes it's #3, sometimes it's 3,6, and sometimes it's 8 & 3, whatever, it's ONLY 3, 6, and 8 that do it and ONLY the one controller.... 


OK, So here's the thing, these 4 controllers are over 400 feet from my house (Out front), AND 400 feet in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION, we have a fencer... yup !      click......... click........... click............ click,


ALL 4 controllers are on one outlet (15 amp), and the fencer is on another outlet (over 1000 feet of underground wire between them in opposite directions.


ONLY Unit 01 does it, and ONLY those 3 channels....



Guess what.... yup !!! the channels blink in time (when they do blink) in time with the click of the fencer.... (AM radio, off channel proves this).


I can deal with this and resolve it on my own, BUT some stuff to note:


The solution (shielded cat 5 wire) actually I'm going to try Belden foil over 2 conductor, as the distance from the G3-MP3 to the first controller is (as the cable lays) over 1000 feet (currently it's just normal Cat 5 E from home depot)


This is called "Ground Effect" funny that the elevation of both the fencer, and the 01 is the same (even though there is a small hill and rise between them), (as well as 800 + feet ).


I tried moving the controllers breaker to the other leg of the panel, problem persists (this means it's NOT a spike on the AC being back fed from the fencer).


So far I unplugged the fencer, the blinking does stop, (so I know it is the cause) but have to leave it running or we'll be chasing horses all over the place.


ALSO to note is that it is ONLY 01, I am also going to re-address the unit while it's still in it's location, (software and hardware test), FMI (For My info) to see if it's physical location of that controller or software related, the other three controllers are all, within 100 feet of that controller, AND there is an extra 50 some odd feet of cable AFTER the last controller (truck out on the road) the network cable HAS terminators at the two far ends of the cable (far end of the 50, and at the end of the 1000).


It IS the fencer, it's just HOW it's causing it, is what I want to know.... I already know how to fix it, just why.............








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Depending on how good your neutral and ground are, it could still be AC through neutral.

Have you tried running the fencer off a battery and inverter, or generator to further isolate?

Also, this looks like a good place to use a USB-485ISO to electrically separate the PC and the controller data ground.

Does your cat 5 stub to the road cross the fence at 90 degrees? Are you coiling it up and hanging it on the fence when you aren't using it?

Have you tried just unplugging this stub to see if it clears things up?

Does the run from the house run near the fence, or is it well separated?

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I'm thinking that 400 feet is a stretch when it comes to data shielding using CAT5 wire for RS485 communications. Now in a lab environment and lots of power, data and so on running all over the place...I had to command some RS485 devices. I used the proper Belden wire for this which was dual twisted pair shielded which also had an overall shield in place. Those shields had to be properly grounded on both ends and RS485 required terminators. CAT5 doesn't have the shielding needed for that length of a run. Try CAT6 cable and see if it improves otherwise you might have to buy the proper cable and make put your own RJ45 connectors on it.

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HI Guys, Thanks for the replies.


Ground & Neutral are good (this is verified).


Trying the fencer off an inverter from the truck sometime today,


Using a G3-MP3 director.

The area that the fencer is "fencing", is the lower portion of the property (in the photo) the upper portion is on a different fencer, and that one is NOT being used nor is it plugged in at this time (we do NOT put the horses in that pasture during the winter).


The fence out front the extra 50 feet is coiled, BUT there is no fencer there (or fencing wire). Terminators are at the far ends of the total network ( end of 50ft coil, and at the G3)


Trying the different segments today (unhooking), (without moving anything else), I'm trying to do this systematically, i want to actually find the direct cause.


The run from the house has NO other electrical (of any type) near it, (purposefully done, and routed cat 5  this way, for that reason).


Total cat 5 length (all added together) 1200 feet thereabouts


I have had RS485 (not within 10 miles of a fencer) to well over 3000 feet using terminators, however it WAS shielded.


Again, I'm trying to do this systematically, I do believe that this information will be useful to LOR, and other users, as the community grows, and more and more people like me (on acreages) get LOR-ized :).....



I have a 1500 ft spool of Belden E118871 telicomm wire (foil over with drain, over 2 conductor twisted 24 ga.) this is what I'm going to use IF the problem IS the Cat5e


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For contrast, I'm pretty sure I have had over 1,000 feet in a run before, where the burried conduit (in the same trench as power) travels a couple hundred feet to go 30 feet at the surface. Repeat a few times, and hook up 40 controllers in just that network, and you have quite a bit of total run. Add in that there are 3 separate utility feeds, and most of the display is in a field that sets off non contact voltage probe constantly (135KV & 345KV transmission lines overhead) and I should be a prime example of bad com behavior. But in fact, I have only experienced 3 issues. One was a bad com chip killing all communication on the network. One was a RJ45 jack so damaged that I don't know how I failed to notice when plugging it in, aside from the Buford holly attacking me as I reached over to plug things in.

And the last one is a RJ45 where the cable simply got pulled too tight. This one was pretty much in the middle of the chain, and was causing missed commands on pretty much all the controllers in the chain.

Other isolation tests to consider.

Can it be replicated when driving the display from the truck? If so, does it still happen if you disconnect the cable towards the house? Does swapping which port it is plugged into matter?

What about swapping loads with other channels? Does the issue follow the channel, or the load?

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As a ham radio operator, experience has taught me what a the situation is. Your fencer has become a transmitter AND the entire length of fence has become the transmit antenna. Your long wire runs to the lights have become a receive antenna.  In your case the wavelength of both antennas is close enough that you're receiving a strong enough signal to have an undesired effect.


Hook up an AM radio to that long wire run and you'll definitely pick up stations FAR away that you didn't know you could. 


Are you using Ferrite chokes to attenuate the signal on the Cat5 cable?

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I would generally agree, but I'm curious how the fencer is generating signal that looks like commands to 3 specific channels. Of course that applies to most of the ideas being chased as well.

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I would generally agree, but I'm curious how the fencer is generating signal that looks like commands to 3 specific channels. Of course that applies to most of the ideas being chased as well.



Quite easily, actually.


Remember, computers talk in terms of 'off' and 'not off'.  You already said your fencer 'pulses' the line.  The pulse length, and/or timing can be such that it is only messing up data that controls those 3 channels, or a combination there of.


RS485 works by something called 'Differential Voltages' and timing.  It looks at the DIFFERENCE in voltage between the D+ and D- and how often/fast those voltages change.  Your fencer's 'pulse' may be loading up BOTH lines to the point where there is NO voltage differential.  The length of pulse may be such that what is getting destroyed just happens to be what the controller is listening for to direct those 3 channels.


FlyInverted is 100% correct.  Your fencer has turned itself into a transmitter, and your data lines are just long enough to be an effective receiver for it.  Or, you are saturating your 'ground' reference with enough voltage that the controller can't find its ones from its zeros.


A wise electronic engineering guy once told me 'All RF (Radio Frequency stuff) is Voodoo'.   High voltage creates a lot of RF noise.  

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Then we could talk about inductive voltages....  


It could also be that fencer is putting out enough of a magnetic disturbance to induce voltages on the board itself.  It may (by coincidence)  be that the traces for those 3 channels' gate lines just happen to be the exact correct length, to pick up this magnetic pulse and turn it into sufficient voltage to trigger the triac.  

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well..... lets kick this to the curb....


unplugged the network cables (one at a time), as each cable was unplugged, I noted any change, kept going, from longest (one to the G3-MP3 first), to the far coil..


Result.... NO Change, that's right Controller 01 channels 3,6 & 8 still do the same thing. Remember ALL 4 controllers are plugged into the SAME 15 amp outlet (all LED display).


Tried the fencer on an inverter running from the truck, NO change.


Now HERE's the thing, NEW PICTURE below......  (same shot, more info).




this is NOW clear as mud, ain;t it... :)



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Nope, sorry Max... this is one of those CD fencers (like an ignition system capacitive discharge),(special because I ordered it that way)


I might have found something..... checking the fence wire test, it shows a short somewhere, I would guess a tree or something.... this MIGHT (not sure yet) be the problem, the tree might be "Shocking the ground (dirt)..... I have to get to bed (special day at work tomorrow) so will pick all this up later,


Thanks to all for their help, will continue the saga tomorrow evening or Friday.



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OK, I need to clarify something..... 


The Photo's are from Google Earth, CURRENTLY, there is about 4 feet of snow AND the temperature (until yesterday) was around MINUS 35 (-35) however, here are the results...


Tree had fallen (small one) on the fencer wire causing a short, BUT here's the thing, the GREEN line is the fencer wire the "X" is where the tree was, the controllers are at the top of the photo, well over 900 feet away from where the fencer was shorted to ground.


AS the temperature changed, SO DID the NUMBER OF CHANNELS in the one controller AND ONLY on the one side (1-8), NONE of the other controllers where affected,  AND it didn't matter if the network cable was in, or not, IN FACT I left the controllers where they where (powered) and completely removed the network cables, the one controller persisted with the blinking channels. (3,6,& 8)


As it would warm up, ONLY 3 & 6, as it got warmer only 3, then as it approached Minus 5 (-5) NONE, correct, no channels blinked, I re connected the network cables and fired up a show, everything works correctly.




My opinion of what was happening... 


The shorted fencer  ( I tried using my scope as verification of what was happening, my result is that "Ground effect" (dirt)  was causing the shorted fencer wire (at some 400 feet from the fencer to capacitively  couple the wire like a coade, and trigger these channels through "thin air"


I attempted having the fencer on an isolated power (inverter from truck's battery) and no-go problem persisted.


SO, for those out there that have plastic cased LOR boxes, and you have a fencer on or near your property, and getting weird blinking, this post is for you......


Side note.... I wrapped THAT controller in tinfoil late Friday night, (was blinking), used a jumpler (alligator clips) to attach the tinfoil to ground (green)  in controller box........


problem gone.


Say it with Me...... RADIO Emission from the fencer pulse, plain and simple....




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'All RF (Radio Frequency stuff) is Voodoo'  :lol: 



DevMike.... SOOOOOO True !




Oh My.... the EDIT button is back, YAY !

Edited by a31ford
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