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Does anyone know what these things are? We keep digging these old things up in our yard. They appear to be a hard plastic with some kind of electronics inside them. Thanks.
 

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littlespark

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What’s on the other end of the flex?
Is there any writing on it, or a sticker?

I’m thinking float switch??

How many have you uncovered?

I would be surprised if it was a detonator of any sort.
 

snowhead

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What type of ground is it?
If it's a desert area they may be moisture sensors for an irrigation system.
 

Megawatt

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Does anyone know what these things are? We keep digging these old things up in our yard. They appear to be a hard plastic with some kind of electronics inside them. Thanks.
@Ruzzell I don’t have a clue as to what that is but call City hall and have someone to come out and check it. The electronics inside is what I would worry about
 

marconi

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DPG

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I wonder if they are the transducers for a mole repeller buried underground in a garden. Each one generates a high pitched (modulated?) sound which moles hear as indicative of a potential predator - so they scarper from the area insonified by the transducer stopping a garden from being wrecked by mole hills and tunnelling. The wire goes to a power supply or amplifier.

Amazon productView: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Battery-Operated-Ultrasonic-Repeller-Deterrent/dp/B00GLT4REO
They look a bit too well sealed to be emitting anything.
 

Andy78

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They certainly look a bit rough and ready in their manufacture. Just clear tube chopped squashed and sealed. Certainly not made for appearances so perhaps made to be buried. Chopped off and left in the ground after their use was over instead of digging them up.

Some good theories so far, I'm pretty intrigued to be honest. We may never find out though if they are some homemade project.

A good way to figure out their use would be to hand them to someone good with electronics and get them to analyse the contents. BigClivedotcom on youtube springs to mind.
 
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I'm intrigued too now.

How big are they?
Thanks, all, for your input. I'm attaching a couple more photos. Several of these were buried just under the surface of the ground next to my garage. We live in suburban Philadelphia, so I don't think I have to worry about them being some of kind of leftover war ordinance or something. But I am a little hesitant to try to cut them open, in case they are a type of detonator or so. I'm intrigued and surprised that they aren't instantly recognizable to the electricians in this forum.
 

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littlespark

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Telephone joint box?
Or simply a terminal for capping off a single cable.
How many cores?

It’s much smaller than I initially thought from the first photo.
 

DPG

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Ah, it's transparent plastic. I thought it was crimped metal tubing. Could just be a cable joint, although why you've got so many of them I don't know.
 

James

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I was originally thinking they might be temperature sensors or p.h level sensors.
however, I am leaning toward the mole repellent device that was mentioned by @marconi

it seems the most logical suggestion so far.

as if it was a sensor, it would probably not need to be in a large sealed tube.

please don't take what is below too seriously **

If you are at all concerned about them being explosive, then DO NOT put them all in a bag, bang them down on the counter of your local council and say "are these things explosive?"

You will get an answer, I am sure, but you might have to wait a couple of days (under guard) whilst they do a few checks on both you and the contents of the bag.
 
I know some radio hams love burying supplemental earthing , expecting in a star formation ... but insulated !
Was there ever a radio station near by (free energy project !)
(still need clues to how much copper / reistance to rule out some weird heater ! )
 

Marvo

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I vaguely remember the many years ago they used to make LED net lights and fairy light strings similar to that where the enclosed the LED's and their associated components in little heat sealed plastic sleeves to try to give them some form of IP rating.
Post automatically merged:

Cut one open and post a few pictures of the components inside please.
 
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I'm hoping things have gone quiet ,due to a "downed" telephone cable !
( snagged a few in town helping a bus get thru in the snow -another cold winter )
( he had unwanted rear end steer on a slight slope/camber )
 
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freddo

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How to tell if it's telephone cable - That stuff is amazingly springy ,resists bending straight a bit like spring steel ? (in UK at least)
That's just the crap copper clad steel rubbish that most of the wholesalers seem to stock now. Proper telephone cable is solid copper. That steel stuff is really awful, shouldn't be allowed to be sold.
 

marconi

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Ruzzell - Do you have an update or any more pictures on these as yet unknown terminations? I cannot hold my breath much longer. :)
 

Megawatt

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Thanks, all, for your input. I'm attaching a couple more photos. Several of these were buried just under the surface of the ground next to my garage. We live in suburban Philadelphia, so I don't think I have to worry about them being some of kind of leftover war ordinance or something. But I am a little hesitant to try to cut them open, in case they are a type of detonator or so. I'm intrigued and surprised that they aren't instantly recognizable to the electricians in this forum.
Ruzzel iv got to agree with the group it’s similar like a fiber optic splice filled with silicon or some kind of telephone splice. I’m like Dan cut it open and see if it goes bang
 
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Ruzzell - Do you have an update or any more pictures on these as yet unknown terminations? I cannot hold my breath much longer. :)
Thanks, all, for your interest and patience in getting my reply. Well, I finally cut the thing open with gloves on and hiding behind a box, and I'm happy to report that there were not explosions. ;) Here are the pics. I will also say that these gadgets kept digging up under a huge 120-year-old English hew tree that a bunch of boys used to play in and around in the 1970s, with tree fort etc. I don't know if these might have been part of an electronics kit? Maybe a buzzer system or something? Appreciate your input on this modest little mastery. IMG_4463.JPGIMG_4461.JPGIMG_4468.JPGIMG_4462.JPG
 

marconi

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I am sticking with this being a transducer to emit sounds into the ground (around the old tree) to repel vermin (and thus protect the tree).
 

Lucien Nunes

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I think they are bimetal thermostats for the fridge evaproator defrost heaters. Many fridges now use a thermistor controlling an electronic thermostat instead, but some models are still bimetal. The heater is a sheathed element threaded through the evaporator and the thermostat is strapped amongst the fins. It's sealed into the tube as it gets dripped on when the ice melts.

Typically, the defrost timer switches the compressor and fan off and the heater on, Then, once the ice has melted, the thermostat opens and restarts the timer motor in series with the heater. Some have another contact for the timer. See pic:

Fridge defrost thermostat
 
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DPG

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I suspect Lucien is right. I reckon kids got hold of these years ago and just connected them all together and buried them for something to do. Of maybe even to confuse people (like us) in years to come.

Great thread.
 

Marvo

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The bi-metallic thermostat theory has a few clouds over it for me, firstly he's found multiple of these items in the same area over time and I can't imagine any application that would result in numerous bi-metallic thermostats being left around. Secondly I'm doubting these things were 230v or even US 110v because one of the wires is connected to the outer metal body which means this thing would have been outdoors at mains voltage with no protection other than a heat sealed plastic sleeve.

I'd guess some type of ELV switch like maybe a vibration sensor for a very old perimeter alarm.
 

Lucien Nunes

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They are from fridges, they aren't meant to be outdoors! No idea how they came to be there; soneone's stock got dumped somehow, maybe kids as per DPG.
 

PEG

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I'm with Lucien,on this.....simple devilment...

It's the reason i dug up the Blue Peter time capsule,and swapped the contents for a teddybear,holding an AK47 ;)
 
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Thanks, all. Seems like most votes are for thermostats, in which case they must have ended up there somewhat randomly. No reason for them to be there. Maybe kids found a box of them and buried them. Marconi's suggestion made more practical sense, because this tree and area around it is thronged with chipmunks, mice, and squirrels, which we trap and shoot every year because the tree is right next to our garage, which gets infested. Hew berries are a favorite of the rodents. Guess we'll never know for sure, but I really appreciate your input. Makes me feel better about NOT being able to figure out what these things were. Best, R.
 
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