I have been looking to modify the net activation from the pull cord system to being operated electronically with a remote key fob and capable of doing this from the house for some time. I put the finishing touches to it yesterday and set it up in the garden, tried it, and it activated ok. I then set it up again and went into the house and it again activated ok. Test complete and now for the real thing.
In the afternoon I had to go to the garage for a screwdriver and just as I opened the door of the house a Jay flew over my head and perched on a tree above the net. I stopped and waited and within a few seconds it flew down to the bread in the catching zone. One click on the fob and thank you, it was caught and it worked brilliantly.
This picture and the one below show how the net was operated with the pull cord on the right. The elastic bungee's are blue with one either side of the net that slide over projectile poles. The net was supplied by Peter Reid last year and if anyone wants to get in touch with him I can forward his email.
At the end of the elastic there is a length of nylon rope with a plastic loop which fit over the projectile poles and a metal ring which is held in place by a trigger pin in the vee of some Dexion angle iron which is knocked into the ground. Pulling on the white rope on the right through the 90 degree pulley pulls the trigger pins out, the elastics retract and pull the net upwards along the poles and then onto the ground flat.
This picture shows more clearly how the trigger pin is positioned. There is a trigger pin on each side of the net.
This is the modification.
The end of the black rope which was attached to the white pull cord is attached to the short length of orange cord. The other end of the orange cord is attached to the loop/hook on the 18 inch yellow bungee.
The black bit is a conversion kit to make your car doors work by central locking, available from eBay. The rod at the end operated by a key fob retracts and extends. The rod end is attached to a piece of 90 degree metal hinged in the corner. When the rod retracts it pulls on the angle iron and releases the pin which is holding the bungee under maximum tension being pegged in the ground at the other end. The bungee when it retracts pulls out the trigger pins on the net and the net fires.
One other important thing is the metal plate has to be pegged to the ground as well, the position being important. It needs pegging, leaving about half an inch of slack of the orange cord so all the elastic tension is between the stake in the ground and the firing pin. I tried setting it up with no slack in the orange cord and occasionally the tension from the elastic would set the net off if the plate was not exactly in the right place, so it gives you some room for error and does not affect the operation in any way.
Finally this picture to show you the layout in its firing position. To adapt to remotely operated did not cost a lot of money. It certainly was less than £40 which included the cost of the central locking bits and pieces, a battery, 200mm x 100mm aluminium base plate, 5m cable and connectors. It has been worth all the effort and fiddling to get it to work properly. Anyone who has a whoosh net will not be surprised with anything I have written but might find it helpful if thinking about a remote operated system and it's not difficult to do, saving yourself a lot of money as well.