My View from the Ramparts: Farmhack: My latest attempt at temporary animal fencing

I’ve spent quite a bit of the past decade trying to figure out how to create portable temporary animal fencing. My previous attempts were mostly focused on cattle because that’s what we had, but now that we have sheep and goats instead, the durability needs of the solution has changed.

My latest attempt uses 3/4in EMT conduit to build a frame to support 10ft sections of sheep fencing held on by 16 gauge wire. The secret to this assembly is the handy fittings from MakerPipe that allow me to assemble the frames with little more than cutting the pipe to length and wiring on the fence.

These panels are very lightweight but strong enough to resist rubbing by our sheep and goats and our livestock guardian dogs leaning on them. Once I get enough built to show them in use, I’ll post an update. –DLH

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Science and Technology: So you want to automate some stuff…

Automation systems are all the rage in certain tech circles these days, and rightly so. Being able to save money by adjusting your thermostat from work via your smartphone or being able to shut off a light you forgot about from the cafe are great ideas.

The problem is that most of the mass market stuff out there assumes a whole lot about what and how someone wants to automate things.

I live in a 150ish year old farm house built on solid limestone. A room in our basement was built to store food once upon a time, but now it gets very damp in the summer and not always cold enough in the winter. What I need is a system that monitors temperature and humidity and operates fans and vents to keep the place dry and at specific temperatures based on the time of year. I’d like to be able to monitor that setup from my PC or smart-device via a web interface, but I’m not necessarily interested in broadcasting that data to the cloud.

There are a few devices that do some of what I want, but they all tend to fall short. What I’ve discovered is that if I want to do this kind of stuff, I’m going to have to build it myself.

Such is the life of a maker.

The projects I’m considering to date are:

  • A system to manage the temperature and humidity of the food storage room in the basement.
  • A system to monitor the temperatures of the various fridges and freezers we have (you might be surprised how many a farm like ours ends up with).
  • A system to monitor for fire and carbon monoxide emissions from a couple of alternative heating systems we have.
  • A system to monitor for fire in most of our buildings.
  • A camera system for the farm main.
  • Others as time permits and necessity demands.

Time to get to work…

DLH

Read more at my Science and Technology site...