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Strange problem--help!

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Darrell Ticehurst, Feb 9, 2006.

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  1. I have been fighting this problem for several years and it finally forces me
    to ask for help in finding a switch that will work properly.

    The problem is in setting off a horn on a boat when a fish hits. Finding a
    good switch to do this has eluded my many months of searching and asking.
    Here is the set up: The line is running out the end of the rod with
    substantial pressure on it from the friction of the water and the weight of
    the lure. Additional tension is placed on the line by a release mechanism
    which is released when a fish hits, causing a horn to go off.

    My jury rig solution has been to modify a spring driven pinch type line
    release mechanism by drilling it with two small holes through which I insert
    very small bolts, one through each flat end of the release pincers. I attach
    the positive to one bolt and fasten it with a nut, the negative to the
    second side. The bolt heads are now the point of contact when the spring
    forces the pincers closed.

    I attach a short line with the clip attached to one end to the boat, wrap
    the line around the fishing line in the water, then insert the insulator
    material into the release mechanism. When the fish hits the line, the
    insultor is pulled out of the release mechanism making contact, and the horn
    goes off. (On my boat this is a very loud set of horns that plays the
    horserace "Call to the Post"--sure does stir up the troops and get the blood

    Anyway, it is difficult to use my modified line release mechanism because it
    is really not designed for electrical contact and doesn't really have enough
    space to put the nut and bolt on very easily. Can anyone steer me toward a
    more efficient release mechanism? Any good suggestions on how else I might
    approach this?

    Oh! I meant to mention that I really use this horn a lot when I am fishing
    by myself. Sometimes I am 45+ miles out to sea and that horn tells me I have
    just had a strike if I haven't been watching.

  2. Feltch Pipe

    Feltch Pipe Guest

  3. TimPerry

    TimPerry Guest

    you have neglected to mention whether you are trolling or bottom fishing,
    pan fishing or big game, and how many six packs of Bud are consumed each
    trip :)

    my initial though would be to use a tilt switch from a pinball game machine.
    the ones i have seen are a dangling conductor (like a bell clapper) and a
    hoop. maybe even an automotive alarm/tilt switch.

    then it occurred to me that a alarm system switch such as mounted on garage
    doors might do you. these are spring loaded with a weighted contactor which
    makes or breaks when a sharp impact is detected.

    of course you could install a strain gauge on the mount that holds the rod,
    but that's getting complex :)
  4. Guest

    Why not a mercury switch on the rod tip that fires an SCR?
  5. TimPerry

    TimPerry Guest

    i have a couple blinky thingies that go on tire valve stems. bet you could
    tap onto them and get a contact closure. ... and you could find the rod when
    night fishing :)
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