Portable Electric Bear Fences For Any Adventure

Should I pack the volt meter? How do I use it?

You’ll need a volt meter to check that your Bear Sentry is working properly after set up and before bed. It’ll tell you whether you need to troubleshoot for optimal voltage potential.
Voltage potential is the “pressure” in the fence system that allows a bear to close the electrical circuit when it comes into contact with a charged wire. (See the FAQ “How does an electric bear fence work?”)

If the bear hits the wire with its wet nose the connection is relatively easy.
This is the best scenario, and another reason why you should attach a warning sign to each side of your fence - a bear will lead with its nose to investigate.

But there is no guarantee how a wild animal will touch the fence. If a bear makes contact with a furry body part, you’ll need more voltage because hair insulates the wire from the animal’s skin. For a connection, the electrical charge has to find its way through the fur to the skin: the thicker the fur, the more voltage required. And you do want a shock with first contact - think big, hairy grizzly.

The voltage required to leap through 1/8” (3mm) fur is about 5000 V; this is generally accepted as the minimum for a bear fence. But we don’t design for minimums except when it comes to packable weight. The Bear Sentry energizer creates a 10,000 V potential for a reliable shock.

We include a volt meter with every Bear Sentry so you can be certain that you have at least the bare minimum voltage and can take steps to reach optimal levels. 

In ideal conditions, you would detect 10,000 V between anywhere on the hot wire and anywhere on the ground. However, dry conditions (in both the ground itself and on the bear) will reduce that potential. You can’t do much about how damp a bear is, but you can keep your ground stake watered,
You could even water the area outside the fence perimeter where a bear would stand.
The meter works by closing the circuit just as a bear would and reads the voltage potential of that connection. When you test the voltage you should see the meter blinking at the same time as a clicking sound from the energizer (see the FAQ “What’s that clicking noise?”).


To use the volt meter, we suggest you test the energizer first. Touch 
the probe to negative (black) and the metal clip to positive (red). You should see an LED light up briefly on the meter. It should read 10,000 V. In direct sunlight, this can be hard to see. Best use the tester in the shade.

Next, stab the probe into the ground as deep as you can and touch the clip to anywhere on the hot wire. 

If you see much less than 10,000 V, water your ground stake at least.

 

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