Ken's Electric Fishing Float
The first time I went squidding with a friend, we used a float. I caught two squid -sheer luck.
My very experienced mate didn't catch any! But he did cut up the squid for our tasty lunch.
Boy, staring at a float for ages is boring! I'd rather have been reading a book.
So at home I searched the net for a hi-tech solution. The only ones I found, lit LEDs on a float when a strike happened.
Still have to watch it.
So I came up with this solution. (As yet untested in the the waves.)
- Buy a wireless doorbell, small mercury switch, small sliding switch. (I got them all at Jaycar.)
- Acquire an appropriately sized decent plastic pill bottle which is waterproof.
- Open up the doorbell switch/transmitter and receiver. (Involves screws and gentle levering.)
- Remove the pushbutton from the transmitter PCB. -Makes more room for the tilt switch.
(This was the hardest part of the exercise. I also removed the LED, but it didn't measurably reduce current drain.)
- Slip a bit of sleeving onto the mercury tilt switch leads, cut them to around 1-2cm, solder onto (removed) switch PCB pads.
- Align the mercury switch so it will be upside-down (off) with the PCB horizontal. (See diagram.)
- Stuff the switch PCB into the pill bottle, so the switch is off when horizontal, on when vertical with the cap at the bottom.
- Put the pill bottle cap on.
Fashion some coathanger wire or similar into a loop and some folds, that fit around and along the bottle.
This in an orientation so the wire loop is at the bottom, when the tilt switch is off.
- Tape some bright plastic tape around the bottle to hold the wire loop on, protruding loop at the cap end.
- Cut a slot and a couple of small (screw) holes in the bell lid, to take a sliding switch. (See diagram.)
- Cut the solder tabs short on the switch, so it doesn't protrude too deep into the bell.
- Fasten switch. Route the positive from the battery compartment via the switch. (Might save some annoyance later.)
- Put some sticky tape over the bell speaker holes on the back, to quieten it down.
It was a crude job. Results are below. Take care, and you might be able to relax, next time you are float fishing.
Leaving some length on the
mercury switch leads allows
pivoting it for correct alignment.
A switch crudely mounted using screws
from an old 2.5" hard drive.
Some careful stuffing with foam
secures the PCB adequately.
The finished float,
upside down to show the wire loop outline.
The trace and line are fastened to the wire loop. (Could also have an extra loop at the top for the line.)
The theory is that a fish or squid grabs the hook and pulls the float vertical, with the Tx antenna at the top, out of the water..
The mercury switch tilts on and sends to the bell.
Turn the bell off using the slide switch before adjacent fisherpeople get too annoyed.
Store the float with the loop at the bottom, so it isn't always activated.
(It uses a Lithium coin battery, available at cheap shops for... cheap.)
Happy fishing. Let me know if you make one, and how it goes. firstname.lastname@example.org.