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Since I cannot go hunting this time of year, I spend a lot of time thinking about hunting and getting ready for the next season. I am too cheap to purchase an ice eater, but have seen some youtube videos of some that guys have made. Have any of you actually made one? If so, how did it work for you and what would you do different next time?
 

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What speed did you run the motor and would it last all night?
We had (2) batteries run parallel, the TM had 5 settings and we would use #3 most of the time, #4 if there was a hard freeze coming. We had a LOT of trial and error, we got (2) what I call swimming pool chemical buckets with the screw on lids, a 15" inner tube for each one to set in, painted the buckets black/brown. We tried romex the first few times, problem was that the colder the water the stiffer the wire become and it was white at that, hell to take up and move! We exchanged the romex for outdoor/waterproof extension cords, worked much better. Kept the bucket's handles on them to be able to transport. We hunt more river backwater than fields and had to devise a way to keep the batteries above water. Our field set up was the same, used the " T" post for the base, in the woods we would use a 2x4 painted black , wood screwed in between two trees .

The initial setup is quit a bit of work, once you get it going it sure does the job.
 

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While I can see the trolling motor set up working to some degree I think the pictures pretty much show it won't even come close to doing what a real ice eater will do. Just something to know on the front end.

We have a real one at our place and on below 10 degree nights ours will keep open at a minimum of a 1/4 acre hole without the first piece of ice in it. Like mentioned above we also use it at times just to keep water moving and decoys swimming. It is cumbersome to move and set out and without close electricity you pretty much have to have a generator to run it so there is that added problem. Nice to have though on those few cold snaps a year.
 
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