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Old 09-27-2021, 01:41 PM   #1
Dusty Britches
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Default Cheap Aggie Feeder Indicator

I have been trying to think of a cheap, easy to install, indicator for determining how empty my feeder is. I had added a cone to ensure all of the corn made it to the spinner plate. Before I did that I could easily thump the bottom of the barrel and determine how close it was to empty. The cone kinda' makes that difficult.

Every now and then I come up with a pure genius idea and time will tell if it works.

I took my dogs' large hard plastic chew ball that was originally a miniature Jolly ball with the handle on it. The dog chewed the handle off and little pieces of red plastic were coming off from his powerful chewing. It was time to throw it away. I ran a piece of wire through 2 small holes and tied the wire ends together. Then I grabbed my paracord, drill, lighter, and 1/4" grommets.



I tied one end of the paracord to the wire and burned that end so it would not fray. I don't know what it would be afraid of, but it won't be now.

I drilled a 3/8" hole at the top of the feeder and pushed a grommet in. Then I dropped the ball into the empty feeder, measured out the paracord with enough tail to tie off.




I ran it through the grommet and tied a knot on the outside of it.



I took the ball and flipped it out and filled my feeder. Then I placed the ball on top of the corn (and protein). That's my filling apparatus on the right side of the photo.



Then I pulled the loose end of the paracord out. I made the knot super big. It so happens (ok, maybe I deliberately) placed it on the side of the feeder that faces the camera. The extra large knot and bright line is very easy to see in the photos. When the knot gets close to the top, it is time to refill.

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Old 09-27-2021, 01:45 PM   #2
EastTexasTiger
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stealing this idea. awesome
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Old 09-27-2021, 01:47 PM   #3
Dusty Britches
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A few things that people asked about so far -

- Did you think about adding a weight to the outside line. Yes. It was too much for the ball and it would not fall into the feeder. I'm not really concerned about the string moving in the wind.

- How do you keep rain from getting into the hole? Well most of the hole is covered with the thick paracord, but the feeder cover that overlaps the top also covers it.

- What about squirrels taking joy rides on the string. Squirrels cannot get up the legs or over to the string. The legs are covered in shark teeth that are wired on.

- How do you know the string didn't just fall into the feeder or the ball got sucked under the corn? Two things - I know that the topped off feeder lasts about 3 months and I can always pull the string to pull the ball up and drop it to double check the indicator.

Anything else?
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:30 PM   #4
gigem95
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Pretty neat!


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Old 09-27-2021, 02:34 PM   #5
DaveC
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I like it, please update as season goes along so we can see how it worked long term.
I can’t see a flaw, but some shortfalls take time to reveal themselves.


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Old 09-27-2021, 02:55 PM   #6
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Ok now that’s a keeper idea. Nice.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:21 PM   #7
Dale Moser
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I'm a cynic until I see it work. It's not my fault...
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:20 PM   #8
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Sounds logical that it would work.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:32 PM   #9
2BigMethod
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What kind of feed you running...premixed or mix yourself
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:55 PM   #10
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you madam, are a genius!
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:59 PM   #11
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You write: “I'm not really concerned about the string moving in the wind. When the knot gets close to the top, it is time to refill.”

While the “Cheap Aggie” Feeder Indicator name is not bad, why not call it the “Dylan”? The question “When to Refill?” can be answered by these Bob Dylan words:

“The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind”


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Old 09-27-2021, 06:52 PM   #12
texan16
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Pretty cool idea, in theory it should work (and I hope it does), but I’m gonna wait for some feedback before I start riggin one up.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:05 PM   #13
Dusty Britches
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That's cool that yall want to see the long term results. I totally understand. Yall were rightfully skeptic about my hog trap, too. I'm willing to make improvements.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:32 AM   #14
chehunt
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Pretty neat idea...but why not just fill it up in 2.5 months before it runs out?
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:01 AM   #15
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Silly me....I just generally know on the side of the barrel....
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ79 View Post
Silly me....I just generally... "know" ...on the side of the barrel....
So you're a feeder psychic?
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnyart View Post
So you're a feeder psychic?
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:23 AM   #18
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I like it!

Only thing I would do is put a rubber grommet in the hole, preventing the paracord from getting hung up on the slightest metal sticker in hole, if not ground down smooth. Would hate for it to get hung up.
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hully1029 View Post
I like it!

Only thing I would do is put a rubber grommet in the hole, preventing the paracord from getting hung up on the slightest metal sticker in hole, if not ground down smooth. Would hate for it to get hung up.
Ummmm....
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew View Post
Ummmm....
didnt even see the pack of grommets..

geezz... my bad.
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:44 AM   #21
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Nice!
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:32 PM   #22
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Very clever but I’m curious to see this feeder filler
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:36 PM   #23
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From what I saw last Saturday, that Aggie ball won't travel as far as you expect it to.
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:53 PM   #24
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All fun and games until the coons use it as dental floss. :-)
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:54 PM   #25
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Very good, might keep wasp out too.
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:04 PM   #26
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As an Aggie, i approve this DIY thread!
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Britches View Post
That's cool that yall want to see the long term results. I totally understand. Yall were rightfully skeptic about my hog trap, too. I'm willing to make improvements.
Not doubting you, it's just Murphy that I battle...
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Old 09-28-2021, 02:19 PM   #28
Dusty Britches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hully1029 View Post
I like it!

Only thing I would do is put a rubber grommet in the hole, preventing the paracord from getting hung up on the slightest metal sticker in hole, if not ground down smooth. Would hate for it to get hung up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew View Post
Ummmm....
Quote:
Originally Posted by hully1029 View Post
didnt even see the pack of grommets..

geezz... my bad.
Bawhahahaha!!!

I gotcha' Dale. I normally come up with these great ideas only to start working on them to realize it won't work. But... so far, so good!

My feeder filler is the bucket on my tractor. I put 3 bags of corn in it and 3 bags of protein in it, mix it up real good, then raise it and sweep it in.
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Old 09-28-2021, 03:00 PM   #29
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As corn runs out of the feeder the middle falls first leaving more corn on the sides than in the middle. I worry that your ball is going to flow down wit the corn in the middle and clog the bottom of the feeder before all of the corn can drain out. May want to tie the string so that its tight when the ball is at the top of the funnel. That way the ball cant clog the feeder and you know all you have left is whats in the funnel. But I am probably overthinking it.
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Old 09-28-2021, 03:03 PM   #30
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Wonder how long it'll take for Wild Game Innovations to have this on the shelf?
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Old 09-28-2021, 04:38 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWB View Post
As corn runs out of the feeder the middle falls first leaving more corn on the sides than in the middle. I worry that your ball is going to flow down wit the corn in the middle and clog the bottom of the feeder before all of the corn can drain out. May want to tie the string so that its tight when the ball is at the top of the funnel. That way the ball cant clog the feeder and you know all you have left is whats in the funnel. But I am probably overthinking it.
This was my thoughts as well. I’m also a Neanderthal and just bang on the side of the barrel though.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:14 AM   #32
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that's what I get for hitting post before reading what I type...I meant knock on the side of the feeder. I have thought about cutting a narrow vertical slot towards the bottom of the barrel and cover with a strip of plexiglass and seal with silicone as a sight window.
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Old 09-29-2021, 10:28 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWB View Post
As corn runs out of the feeder the middle falls first leaving more corn on the sides than in the middle. I worry that your ball is going to flow down wit the corn in the middle and clog the bottom of the feeder before all of the corn can drain out. May want to tie the string so that its tight when the ball is at the top of the funnel. That way the ball cant clog the feeder and you know all you have left is whats in the funnel. But I am probably overthinking it.

Makes sense to me.


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Old 09-29-2021, 02:22 PM   #34
Dusty Britches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fajkus7 View Post
This was my thoughts as well. I’m also a Neanderthal and just bang on the side of the barrel though.
I guess Neanderthal's don't read too good either. From the first post, first paragraph.

Quote:
...I had added a cone to ensure all of the corn made it to the spinner plate. Before I did that I could easily thump the bottom of the barrel and determine how close it was to empty. The cone kinda' makes that difficult.
...
The ball is pretty good sized and I am a little concerned that it will fall into the center, too but time will tell.
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:26 PM   #35
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Cool thinking.
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:37 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Britches View Post
I guess Neanderthal's don't read too good either. From the first post, first paragraph.



The ball is pretty good sized and I am a little concerned that it will fall into the center, too but time will tell.
Slow your roll there before you get your feelings hurt. I wasn’t making a jab at you. More of one at myself than anything. Also, we were referring to the ball covering the hole. Not going into it. Seems like you got it all figured out and don’t want any feedback anyway. Good luck to you.
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Old 10-01-2021, 12:49 PM   #37
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sounds like a very good idea.. as stated time will tell.... i as well have had the idea of cutting a slit and gluing plexy glass as a sight glass
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Old 10-01-2021, 04:33 PM   #38
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Great idea. My buddy just looks at it with his thermal and sees the level. Ball and string or 4K thermal
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:39 PM   #39
Dusty Britches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fajkus7 View Post
Slow your roll there before you get your feelings hurt. I wasn’t making a jab at you. More of one at myself than anything. Also, we were referring to the ball covering the hole. Not going into it. Seems like you got it all figured out and don’t want any feedback anyway. Good luck to you.
Yeah I'm sorry. I picked on you but several lithe made the same comment. It's all good. I can only reach the bottom 8" of the sides. The cone is about 8". I've had it for about 20 years but only recently put the cone in it.
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Old 10-02-2021, 07:00 AM   #40
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DB
Looks like you can up with a simple and reliable solution.

If anyone decides to do the plexiglass covered slot, put it on the inside of the barrel. If it’s on the outside and fails your feeder instantly goes from single serve to Buffet mode.
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Old 10-04-2021, 02:11 PM   #41
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Good idea, Dusty! I've got a plastic barrel feeder at my lease and it's hard to tell when it's getting low.

I'm doing this next time I go out.
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Old 10-09-2021, 05:32 PM   #42
Dusty Britches
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWB View Post
As corn runs out of the feeder the middle falls first leaving more corn on the sides than in the middle. I worry that your ball is going to flow down wit the corn in the middle and clog the bottom of the feeder before all of the corn can drain out. May want to tie the string so that its tight when the ball is at the top of the funnel. That way the ball cant clog the feeder and you know all you have left is whats in the funnel. But I am probably overthinking it.
Well dern it. This is exactly what happened. And I like your solution! I'll give thata try.
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Old 10-09-2021, 06:33 PM   #43
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This is genius, going to have to try this
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Old 10-09-2021, 08:13 PM   #44
Dusty Britches
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Actually I think what I'm going to do is tie the ball up and after a few months when I think it might be getting low, untie it and let it fall, with the knot as the indicator so it isn't continuously falling.
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Old 10-10-2021, 05:05 PM   #45
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You should be able to just pull the string raising the ball all the way up out of the corn, then drop it to land on top, giving you your reading.
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Old 10-11-2021, 08:54 AM   #46
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Yes, that is what I did. I had to stand on my ATV to reach the dern thing. I'm thinking of tying on an additional length so I won't have to stand on anything but solid ground.
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Old 10-14-2021, 06:11 PM   #47
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Great idea!

I've been thinking about doing something like this for a long time. We have 20 feeders of various sizes and shapes to keep track of over 2 ranches. Other people also put corn in them, so it's a pain to track and it's hard to prevent them from occasionally going dry (usually 2 days before I hunt that feeder).

I wonder if you could cut a piece of metal slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the feeder barrel, tie the string to the middle of it and set it on top of the feed when you fill the feeder. As the feed level drops, the plate should ride down with the outside of the feed pile and stop at the top of the funnel. You could attach a golf ball to the end of the string outside and paint marks on the outside of the feeder like a fuel gauge. If you have a cell phone camera, you could see the feed level from your phone.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:27 PM   #48
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Great idea. May try it for fun.

I love the sight windows on the stand and fills.
Is it hard to fit something see thru on a curved barrel ?
I have several feeders to fill currently.

PS this corn price has me feeding lightly on most!
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