Rogue Porcupine Spotter

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Capt-Killjoy, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Capt-Killjoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    I would like to build some sort of notification device that I could set up on my front porch to alert me when the porcupine that has been chewing on my house is outside on the porch. If anyone has any ideas I am open to them. I figured a couple of small LED transmitters and receivers that could run on batteries would be best, if they can be wired up to ring a buzzer or illuminate a bulb to let me know it is out there. I would need 2 separate entry paths covered for full coverage of the porches perimeter. Does anyone have any schematics kicking around that will accomplish this? This porcupine has already chewed the ends off of 2 logs in my log cabin and I really need to catch him in the act. Any help will be most appreciated.
     
  2. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    I'd "notify" that porcupine with a good shot of lead. :D
     
  3. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    If it is a small area, you could do with a proximity alarm, these are ready made off the shelf.
    A bigger area can be covered with infra beams, triggering silence alarms of any sort.
    It's up to you to decide the budget.

    Rifaa
     
  4. hgmjr

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    Jan 28, 2005
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    If you are into do-it-yourself circuits, I would suggest you take a look at this PIR sensor that you can get from RadioShack. For a few more bucks you can add a few parts to trigger an alert that could be a light or a buzzer.

    hgmjr
     
  5. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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    What are you going to do when the alarm trips? Run outside with a video cam and use the video evidence to sue the critter in court? Why don't you just set a trap? :rolleyes:
     
  6. SgtWookie

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    Jul 17, 2007
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    A number of states have passed laws against "leg traps" as they are considered inhumane.

    There are traps that are humane, but they're rather expensive - and our OP may wind up with a number of the neighbor's cats, raccoons, opossums etc. in the trap before they finally got the critter in question.

    I think the PIR sensor that hgmjr proposed could be a viable solution, when coupled with a few more components, and a .22 caliber revolver. ;)
     
  7. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Use IR diodes and a camera, then use an integrator as a motion sensor. You could also attach a microphone to the porch near the problem area, and key off that.

    A simplier solution might be to wire a simple 555 as an ultrasonic oscillator, and make the area too unpleasant to hang around.
     
  8. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    A "varmint launcher" is much preferable...and more fun to watch anyway. (See various YouTube links on this) These can be constructed of a skeet or trap launcher and suitable bait. Typical range for a squirrel flight is around 150 yards, though porcupine mileage will probably be a bit less....though still impressive.

    :D

    Eric
     
  9. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

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    I haven't seen any videos of this device but your description made my eyes tear with laughter!!:D:D
     
  10. R!f@@

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    Damn.. I'm laughing my ass off reading the replies. This is gonna be fun.:D:D:D

    Rifaa
     
  11. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    A german shepherd in a suit of armor comes to mind.

    More realistically, my wife uses a special substance to stop her horses from cribbing (chewing on wood). She just paints it on and it tastes very bad, so they go and chew somewhere else. You can track this stuff down, or invent your own. You just want your house to be less appetizing than the neighbor's.

    EDIT: here's an example I found.

    http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/shop/index.php?page=shop-flypage-21267

    Some of the solutions stain, so you may need to find a nonstaining type, or invent a new soltion optimized for porcupines with a little research on what tastes they don't like.


    EDIT #2: Here is one that says it does not stain.
    http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/shop/index.php?page=shop-flypage-5545

    When I look at some of these chemicals, there are mentions of hot cinnamon and capsaisin (i.e. chemical in hot peppers), so this stuff should be very safe around pets and people, and it wouldnt' be rocket science to invent your own solution.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  12. SgtWookie

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  13. loosewire

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    Chicken wire to block paths with few staples. As a temp test.
    Captin kiljoy where are you,picking out quills.
     
  14. CDRIVE

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  15. Capt-Killjoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    First I would like to thanks you all for the replies!
    After much consideration I went out to Home Depot and bought a cheap motion detector floodlamp and tore it apart and rewired it so I could plug it in to a regular outlet and extended the lamp wiring to mount next to the bed. I fed that into a flasher unit so the flashing light would wake me. It works ok, but seems to pick up more movement than I would like. even after taping part of the sensor to restrict coverage area.
    The trap idea is out of the question as, although I don't have any qualms about shooting the porcupine for a quick kill, I really don't like the idea of a leg trap and a Havahart live trap would only get destroyed when I pump the porcupine full of lead shot!:)
    The animal catapult is funny as hell with squirrels, but this porcupine is only getting launched into porcupine heaven whenI do catch him.
    I am going out today and buy the PIR sensor suggested earlier by hgmjr, but I will probably need help designing the circuit to run the whole thing. It would be nice to have a speaker as well as a flashing light for notification as getting up in the wee hours of the morning for a passing deer in the front yard is NOT what I wanted to happen, although that is happening with the makeshift setup I have at present. If I had a remote speaker on the porch in addition to the light to wake me up, I could at least lay there and listen to see if there really is something on the porch, or just wildlife passing by.
    If anyone out there can suggest how to design such a device, I would be forever indebted to you. I have been up multiple times during the past few days when my light has gone off, but no porcupine yet. Just passing deer and moose tracks.
    I am also glad I have been able to entertain you all with my porcupine plight, even though at this point, the humor is still kind of lost on my end. :D
    I am also very interested in the post by Bill Marsden regarding the 555 timer wired up as an ultrasonic transmitter. Can you provide a circuit for this? I'm not sure if it will work for the porcupine, but I bet it would help erradicate the colony of brown bats I have living in my roof! So if you could help with that circuit, I would also be indebted.
    Thanks again for all the suggestions and any help with the circuit design.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  16. pawspetcenter

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    Jul 2, 2009
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  17. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    It's easy enough to do, if you want to build a simple version go with this.

    555 Hysteretic Oscillator

    Go with the 10µF cap, a 9V battery, and a speaker. The range of frequencies is quite wide, the problem will be finding the right one.

    If you want something really loud let me know, and I'll sketch it up. The speaker freq responce will likely be a minor issue.
     
  18. Capt-Killjoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    Thanks for the response Bill. I am not sure exactly what frequency or amplitude would be necessary to drive the bats out of my roof, but I am researching that at present. I would imagine that being able to increase the volume would be a big asset, so if you are still inclined to sketch me out a design that would work, that would be great. We have a dog and numerous salt water reef tanks, so I will need to play around with different frequencies and amplitudes to make sure I don't hurt the dogs ears, or accidentally hit the resonant frequency and cause the fish tanks to break! (Visions of Ella Fitzgerald and crystal glasses shattering still in my mind from years ago.) :) Do you know of any reference material available concerning the different frequencies and applications for such? I have been looking, but it all seems to be rather general information, nothing specific. I'm sure it will take some trial and error to get in the right frequency range, but it would be nice to have a basic idea of where to start. Thanks again for all your help.
     
  19. Capt-Killjoy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    Thanks for the link to the circuit you mentioned. VERY NICE PIECE OF WORK! I especially like the way you show the circuit bread-boarded! Makes it very easy to follow and understand. I have a wide variety of components from my HHO experiments kicking around, so parts shouldn't be an issue. I will be building this shortly to begin experiments on finding the best frequency to use. Thanks again for your help.
     
  20. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    Not sure what the size of your property is, but porcupines don't travel far, and once you find a new chew, you should be able to track him down with relative ease. I'm thinking if you can shoot him with a shotgun, your away from the nieghbours.

    The motion controlled sprinkler is great. Especially since porcs hate getting wet. Maybe a carefully positioned nozzle motion activated.
     
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