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Novice engineer here (primarily IT guy - I consider myself a jack of all trades, but go easy on me - I don't profess to be at the level of most of you.) I recently adopted a rescue dog, who is a real sweetheart. My only regret is/was not realizing how much hair she sheds. I've never owned a dog that shed a ton, so this is new for me. It gets EVERYWHERE. Vacuums, sticky rolls, the works - barely dents the amount. I can blow off or wipe off my desk and keyboard and within 30 seconds have more hair there.

I'd like to take a stab at building (since I can't seem to find anything close commercially available) an "electric dog hair wand" of some kind. I saw this post - Need electrostatic material to attract pet hair which is what got me started in this forum. I'd like to try building something in a portable "magnet" wand like device first; and then go from there once I got a grasp of how well it works / shortcomings etc possibly building other "traps" such as mats, etc to help keep the hair contained.

The last post from William Hird in the article I quoted has basically what I am looking/trying to do.

high voltage charging circuit like the ones designed to charge up electrostatic loudspeaker diaphragms, just a low power high voltage power supply that feeds the conductive layer through a high value resistor, somewhere in the range of 5 megohms or so. This is the way to safely generate a strong electric field without the chance of getting a bad shock.

It sounds like the main difference is that I would be hooking it up to a metal wand/rod as the "conductive layer" and then adding a light coating of non-conductive (insulating) paint or epoxy to prevent shocking myself.

Assuming I'm halfway in the right direction here, I was hoping someone could elaborate a bit more on the "high voltage charging circuit like the ones designed to charge up electrostatic loudspeaker diaphragms". I am vaguely familiar with what a loudspeaker diaphragm is (although I did not know it needed a high voltage charging circuit), but I don't know if the same would be recommended for a smaller and portable unit, nor how exactly I would hook it up to a metal wand / rod.

Sorry for the long post and detail, but I figure its better to be thorough all at once. All advice and feedback is much appreciated!

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, I was lucky, my dog loved being hoovered so that got loose hair at source... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jan 3 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ Heh. My dog is terrified of everything except other dogs (then, she is king kong). Vacuums are big, scary monsters. -sighs- $\endgroup$ – universalsoldier Jan 4 at 14:57
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The separation of charges by rubbing is achieved through the triboelectric effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboelectric_effect

The degree of charge separation during rubbing is quantified by the triboelectric series. In the triboelectric series, hair tends to pick up positive charges. Therefore, any material that is in the negative end of the triboelectric series should obtain a negative charge when rubbing hair, and thus electrostatically attract hair.

It seems the most generally accessible material that is on the negative end of the triboelectric series is PVC. Could you try taking some PVC piping - white is preferred over the more common gray one - and try rubbing it against your pet to see if it attracts its fur?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi MeEngineer, I took a 6" long, 1.25" dia piece of white pvc and did as you suggested. I got about a dozen or so hairs to stick to it rubbing it on my dog. Now to clarify, I am wanting to build a wand for cleanup around the house; not the dog itself. $\endgroup$ – universalsoldier Jan 9 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ Would a PVC brush or broom do? Or perhaps some roller type contraption where you have a few PVC pipes next to each other and roll that across the floor like an electrostatic vacuum cleaner. $\endgroup$ – MeEngineerTrustMe Jan 9 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ I have a decent vacuum that has good suction and a powered head. This was more of a replacement for all the "other" tools - you might have seen them. Brushes and rollers for upholstery, bedsheets, clothes.... The hair gets everywhere. It would be nice to have a wand-like object that had a magnetic-like effect on hair (and dust and dirt too wouldn't hurt). Ever try to clean a desk with stuff on it with a vacuum? Yeah. :) $\endgroup$ – universalsoldier Jan 10 at 16:06

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