Here is a little circuit, nothing but a useful beacon light, for deterring foxes and other carnivorous night predators. This fox deterrent beacon light is suitable for using around lambs, poultry, goat kids, ducks, geese and piglets, or wherever animal that needs to have raiding foxes and other night predators.
Idea behind this design is grounded on the well-proven fact that the fox thinks random flashing lights are a human with a torch and it avoids going where the light is flashing through the night. Many foxes are used to being spotlighted by farmers and hunters and know to keep away from night lights!
This is a device, built around the popular CMOS IC 4060, which activates a white LED strobe light only at night time, or when ambient light level is very poor. None of the parts are critical and it should be easy to get good results with “off the shelf” parts. Operating power for the whole system can be supplied by a rechargeable 9V battery. In one prototype model, the author used a 12V/500mA solar panel to charge the battery pack. The construction drawing included here shows how the device may be ‘cased’ using a homemade waterproofed box.
(circuit diagram of the fox deterrent beacon light)
(circuit diagram of the power supply unit)
We can conclude with a few practical remarks and tips:
- Good-quality reflectors and optics are needed to get the best from the fox deterrent beacon light
- Value of resistor RP1 in the power supply unit should be selected with respect to the current rating of the rechargeable 9V battery
- Many resistor values shown in the schematic (test select) can best be approximated by trial and error method. We leave the necessary calculations as an exercise for the reader
- It is also possible to use 7 Ni-Cd/Ni-MH cells in series (7×1.2V) instead of the 9V battery pack
- The number of the white LEDs can be increased to raise the performance. Don’t forget to modify the white LED driver section, since 4060 IC can’t cater plentiful output current when the LED wiring is altered
- After construction, attach the waterproofed beacon light to the top fencing wire in your farm, or hang it from a tree, elevate it up to where a predator can see it. Ambient light sensor in the system automatically turns the beacon light on at dusk and turns it off again at dawn. You don’t have to be there to activate it or turn it off. If you want a fully-automatic system, then add an appropriate solar-charging unit with your beacon light