Power Supply capable of shocking soil

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Mar 26, 2005.

1. Guest

Hi, I'm working on a biology project at my high school. I'm raising
worms in a small tank of dirt (about 1.5 feet long 1 foot tall 1 foot
wide). I heard worms could be drawn up through the soil by passing an
electric current through it. Here's my problem, I tried using my
teachers power supply connected to two iron nails in the damp soil. The
power supply plugs into the wall and provides from 0-20 volts either AC
or DC to the probes. I don't know an exceptional amount about
electricity but I used a voltage meter to measure the voltage passing
through the soil. I measured 10 volts through the soil when the supply
was set to its highest (20 volts). Is this sufficient information to
calculate current?

I was only able to draw up one worm with this weak amount of energy. I
understand it is current and not voltage that will be the determining
factor here. I would like to design a power supply of my own. I have a
transformer that is labeled with input 120 volt and output 24 volt. If
I use this what will the current be? Is it safe relatively safe? I
would like to give the worms a good shock without using something
capable of killing a human. What is the power range I'm looking for
and what do I need to get it there (just a transformer or more)?
Should I rectify the output?

All responses greatly appreciated, thank you.

2. Michael BlackGuest

I don't know, but surplus stores used to advertise surplus phone
ringers (ie from military field phones) as useful for bringing worms
to the surface. These were hand-cranked generators, which I don't know
the output of, but if someone else does it might answer the question.

Michael

3. Andreas RutzGuest

It's around 100V AC , 20Hz for these old-stlye field telephones. Maybe ist
is a possibility to use current limited mains voltage. Use an isolation
transformer under any circumstances and be very careful what you are doing!
Or get such a military phone...

Andreas

4. Lord GarthGuest

I wonder if the fire ant would leave if the soil were energized?

5. Eric R SnowGuest

I wonder if they would just catch on fire. But as to the question of
bringing worms to the surface: How could you be so mean? Well, if you
are that cruel, wanting to shock defenseless worms until they do your
bidding and all, you'll need about 90 volts minimum. It seems AC works
best. I dunno why, but that's what worked when I was a kid. And after
you get all those worms to surface mebbe you should consider a career
in the military working at Gitmo.
ERS

6. Guest

They had a hand crank generator on their site a while back that they
touted as a good "worm shocker"

7. Glenn AshmoreGuest

When I was your age I grew red wigglers and Lousiana pinks to sell in bait
shops. (A truly gross out way for a teenager to earn pocket money) I had
12 beds about 4'x16' full of cow manure and yard clippings. When I needed
to harvest a bed I would sprinkle it with water and use an old crank type
telephone generator. I would work down the bed with a couple of pieces of
copper rod and the worms would come to the surface where I could scoop them
up. Worked a lot better than a shovel or garden fork because it didn't
damage the worms. Unfortunately I have no idea how much voltage it was but
it could give a pretty good shock.

Eventually I upgraded to a Model T spark coil from JC Whitney. The worms
would just about jump into the bucket.

--
Glenn Ashmore

I'm building a 45' cutter in strip/composite. Watch my progress (or lack
there of) at: http://www.rutuonline.com
Shameless Commercial Division: http://www.spade-anchor-us.com

8. JohnGuest

WOW! You ever go fishing? These womanized "men" these days get on my fucking
nerves.

9. Eric R SnowGuest

Oh John, how can you say that? You've hurt my feelings! Sob! John, my
post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. If I was really worried about
hurting worms why would I have posted the method to do it. Maybe you
should drink a little more coffee before you read the posts. Or maybe
I should stop my pathetic attempts at humor. I thought that the
deliberate misspellings would sort of be a clue. Guess I was wrong.
Not the first time.
Cheers,
Eric R Snow