# Need ideas for a cheap but effective locating system

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
I am shopping for "invisible fence" products for my dog and I'm only finding two types; the kind where I would have to dig a 2,000ft trench around my property and bury a wire, or the wireless kind where the transmitter is in the center and the dog can't leave a certain radius of it.

Option #1 - pain in the ass as I would have to bust up 2 driveways to lay the cable and contend with copious amounts of tree roots at the surface of the yard, and furthermore, if the dog bolts past the barrier wire, he's home free, and would actually receive a dose of "static correction" should he dare to return home after escaping.

Option #2 - limits me to the most inconvenient boundary shape ever - a circle. There's nowhere I could put the transmitter where he could have room to play, and still come inside the house, without accessing the neighbor's yard.

There was apparently a 3rd option which was for sale on Amazon, which was unreasonably expensive, got overwhelmingly terrible reviews, and then was pulled off the market.

It's something like this 3rd option which is what I would like to achieve. Leave out the part about zapping poor fido with electricity; that's against the tos and outside the scope of this post. I won't be designing the probes and associated torture circuitry, I'll use an off the shelf handheld remote dog trainer collar for that. All I want to design is the system for tracking my dog's exact position on my 3 acre property to within a couple inches of accuracy, inside or outside. Once I can do that, I can set up boundaries wherever I want them, and the canine torture device can do the rest.

So, any ideas how to do that? So far I've looked into Radio Direction Finding via zigbee, wifi, RFID, etc. and nothing seems accurate enough. Nor does GPS. If there's one thing I don't want, it's inconsistent performance. I don't want the dog not knowing exactly where the boundary is, and if it's going to be in the same place tomorrow.

The option #2 single-point wireless device seems to get consistently good reviews in that the boundary is consistent. Once the dog gets a certain distance from the transmitter, signal falls to a certain level, and the collar is activated. Repeatably. So if I could take that principle and integrate a few more transmitters, it seems that instead of using signal level to dumbly activate the collar, I could use signal level from 3 or 4 transmitters to triangulate a position, and based on that position, make an intelligent decision whether or not to activate the collar. but if it were that simple, there would be such a system already, one that doesn't take a thrashing from reviewers.

What other options are there?

Sonar? dog collar sends out a ping, receivers at corners of the property reply, dog collar calculates distance from each based on speeed of sound, calculates position?

Lasers or IR?

What else?

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
1) Tape a iPhone to his ass and activate FaceTime. Then you can see exactly where he was.

2) give an iPhone to the doggy nanny and have him/her call you with updates

3) report your dog to the NSA and then look out the window to see where all the agents are on your property, your dog will be close to them.

By the way, what is your budget.

#12

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
You can also get one of those little red flags on a red Fiberglas pole like some parents put on their kids' bikes. Put one on your dog, add a bell. The exact location of your dog will be 3 feet under the flag.

#### Sensacell

Joined Jun 19, 2012
2,567
This is a problem that is very difficult to solve, in fact, if you can come up with a solution that really works, it would be worth billions.

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
24,706
It might be possible to use Option 2 with more than one lower-power transmitter so that the boundary would be a series of smaller overlapping circles.
The limits of the boundary would still be based upon signal strength.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
@GopherT feeling snarky are you? Lol. I take it you opine the whole idea is a ridiculous waste of time. I can't say i disagree but i never turn down the opportunity to take on a project... or at least go on the internet and feign interest in taking it on.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
By the way, what is your budget.
that question is my bane. All that my life experience has taught me about how to assign a budget or a deadline on something is that, whatever it is, I will fail to meet it. If I double my estimate, the final outcome will be double that. And if i quadruple it, double still.

Let's say $1000.$1000 would get me a nice in-ground system installed by a pro.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
@strantor
I do think it has been an effort by a lot of people for a lot of reasons. The most effective (cheat) method is currently used in some large stores. The LED lighting in the building flashes at a specific duty cycle / pattern so the Stores's iPhone app (with help of the camera), determines which aisle you are in and gives you directions to the item you are looking for.

Anyhow, the single point radio in your Option 2, is rather inhumane. The weather, battery and other influences change the effective distance of the signal and he dog gets an inconsistent message. Option 1 is only as difficult as you make it. For driveways, push the cable into an expansion joint or use a masonry saw blade can make a groove and some concrete - easy. Roots are not that bad either, just stable the cable to the roots above ground. I think this is the best option.

Just so you know, In my neighborhood, it is clear that Labs and Lab mixes do not care about the collar shocks. They seem to be willing to suffer the consequences. I can show you 3 different Labs, 3 different invisible fences and 3 frequent run-always. I cannot figure that one out.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
This is a problem that is very difficult to solve, in fact, if you can come up with a solution that really works, it would be worth billions.
in that case maybe i should invest in these guys:
https://www.pozyx.io

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
@strantor

Anyhow, the single point radio in your Option 2, is rather inhumane. The weather, battery and other influences change the effective distance of the signal and he dog gets an inconsistent message.
I have done a few hours of consumer research on these things, and per the reviews I read, it seems like the makers of the more expensive units have mitigated these issues, at least to the point of getting good reviews from people who aren't wearing the collar.
Just so you know, In my neighborhood, it is clear that Labs and Lab mixes do not care about the collar shocks. They seem to be willing to suffer the consequences. I can show you 3 different Labs, 3 different invisible fences and 3 frequent run-always. I cannot figure that one out.
Yes I noticed this trend as well. When I read reviews I generally filter them to read all the 1-star reviews first. Most people who complained that their dog was oblivious to the collar were owners of labs. Long haired dogs have (less frequently ) resistance to it as well, so you must upgrade to longer probes. Also hounds with deflated parachutes for neck skin have an issue.

My dog is a .... well, it's sorta like a ... ok, imagine if you genetically modified a fox and spliced in pomeranian DNA. it has long hair so I might need long probes. But now we're bordering on talking about zapping puppies which is against the TOS.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
@strantor
I do think it has been an effort by a lot of people for a lot of reasons.
This got me searching...

From Popular Science:
Indoor navigation is most certainly the holy grail for positioning system makers right now.
[...]
There have been copious attempts at providing indoor location services by dozens if not hundreds of companies, but nothing has yet proven effective enough to be rolled out on a commercial scale.
I had no idea. I know when I've bitten off more than I can chew. I think I'll let this one rest.

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
@GopherT I got a laugh out of the Face Time suggestion. So impractical it's funny.

As for Strantor, I suggest Ceasar Milan, The Dog Whisperer. In my experience, I had dogs I could fence in with a piece of chalk. They knew I was Pack Leader and all I had to do was point to a line and say, "No!" I have seen the TV shows where Energizer dogs changed to orbiting the owners...right after the owners earned the Pack Leader position. But then, you're married. Everybody in the family has to change the inter-dog dynamics, and that is a major problem after you start out believing you're trying to teach the dogs some rules. Teaching a wife is a much more difficult problem than teaching a dog.

Either everybody learns the rules or you dig the ditch. Florida is made of sand. We, "hose" pipes and wires under concrete, but traffic sensors are installed all over America with a concrete saw.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
Dog knows who's boss, but boss isn't always home. Dog has short memory, seems to clear contents as soon as boss leaves.

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
but boss isn't always home
I think you located the problem.
When you aren't home, the dogs don't have a Pack Leader. They also don't annoy you because you aren't there. She who chooses not to control the dogs complains that she didn't control the dogs. You don't have a dog problem, you have a wife problem.

On that note, I quit. I have already proved I can not fix a wife.

#### gerty

Joined Aug 30, 2007
1,276
My son has option #1, he loves it. As to burying the wire, he just stuck the shovel in the ground, stepped on the back of it, rocked it back and forth. He then pushed the wire in the slot in the dirt and was done. When he came to his driveway, he went through the 12" pipe that's in the ditch that the driveway crosses. As the dogs approach the wire their collars start beeping louder and louder, until the shock comes.

#### Roderick Young

Joined Feb 22, 2015
408
A 2000-foot trench is expensive. I'm not a dog owner, but here is what I would do:

Put the restriction wire in a small area, and mark it with flags that the dog will recognize. Every once in a while, move the active area, and move the flags with it. The dog should learn to avoid the flags. Then place flags around the perimeter of your property. If the dog bolts past them, so be it, he'll come home when he's hungry. Make sure he has tags so he doesn't get taken as a stray.

I took Animal Behavior in 8th grade as a science elective. There was some scientist that did experiments with dogs. I'm not sure, but the name Pavlov rings a bell.

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,462
Dog knows who's boss, but boss isn't always home. Dog has short memory, seems to clear contents as soon as boss leaves.
I have chickens and no fence around my yard. Decades ago, we took the time to train them to stay in our yard. We only had to do it for the first generation; now the older chickens train the younger chickens.

Every once in a while a chicken will stray and we have to discipline them, but, unless they're lost (after being chased by a neighbors dog) they put themselves to bed.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
I have chickens and no fence around my yard. Decades ago, we took the time to train them to stay in our yard. We only had to do it for the first generation; now the older chickens train the younger chickens.

Every once in a while a chicken will stray and we have to discipline them, but, unless they're lost (after being chased by a neighbors dog) they put themselves to bed.
I had no idea chickens were trainable. I learn something new every day. How do you train a chicken BTW? Every chicken training scenario that comes to mind is comical; Harshly scolding a chicken, swatting a chicken with newspaper, putting a shock collar on a chicken, blasting chickens with a firehose, the list goes on.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
A 2000-foot trench is expensive. I'm not a dog owner, but here is what I would do:

Put the restriction wire in a small area, and mark it with flags that the dog will recognize. Every once in a while, move the active area, and move the flags with it. The dog should learn to avoid the flags. Then place flags around the perimeter of your property. If the dog bolts past them, so be it, he'll come home when he's hungry. Make sure he has tags so he doesn't get taken as a stray.

I took Animal Behavior in 8th grade as a science elective. There was some scientist that did experiments with dogs. I'm not sure, but the name Pavlov rings a bell.
My sister has option #2 and she trained her dog with the flags. The dog knows where the boundary is, even now that the flags are gone. But the dog also knows that the collar isn't always on (dead battery, dead transmitter, etc.) and when she approaches the boundary and the beep is absent, she obliges herself to stride right through it.