Catching worms with electricity

Another interesting use of electricity. You can catch worms with it. Don't want to ruin your garden, not enough room to dig or simply don't want to get your hands dirty digging for worms? This is the perfect solution!

I have been using this method for a few years now. It does not give you high quantity's of worms, but you will not get dirty. It is perfect for when you go fishing or feeding a few pet frogs.

All you need to do is put metal electrodes in the ground an run some AC current through it. The worms start surfacing within a minute. You can just pick them up. I think it has something to do with the pulsating current, this probably simulates a heavy rainstorm. Or it just gives them a lot of pain and they flee to wherever there is no current.

You have to be careful that you are not part of the circuit. You can separate the circuits by using an isolation transformer or a generator of other portable power source. Never use the AC grid directly! 230V AC seems to work pretty well with an electrode distance of about 40cm. The current stays below a few amps, depending on the moisture and minerals. You can try using different distances with different voltages. I use a 12V battery and a 1kW 230VAC inverter.

I had some old high voltage switchgear laying around, and decided that these would make perfect electrode handles. I attached 50cm of M6 Stainless steel threads as electrode.

Originally I saw this idea being used in the movie Godzilla, where one of the scientists was examining worms in a radioactive area. He used a generator in the back of his truck. I decided to try if this works in real life and it did!

Resistor calculator (series and parallel)

If you need a non-standard resistor value you could probably realize a close match using two resistor. If you use two resistor in series it is quite easy to figure out which values give the best match; on the other hand, using a parallel connection it is not so easy (at least for me) to find a good combination.
This resistor calculation tool shows which combinations of two resistors (series or parallel) gives a match better than the closest standard value, for the E12 (10%), E24 (5%) and E96 (1%) series.

INPUT DATA

Resistor series to use for the calculations: 

Desided Resistance, R :  ohm


CALCULATED VALUES


Courtesy of Claudio Girardi

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