Early alternating current (AC) fence chargers used a transformer and a mechanically driven switch to generate the electrical pulses. The pulses were wide and the voltage unpredictable, with no-load peaks in excess of 10,000 volts and a rapid drop in voltage as the fence leakage increased. The switch mechanism was prone to failure. Later systems replaced the switch with a solid-state circuit, with an improvement in longevity but no change in pulse width or voltage control. "Weed burner" fence chargers were popular for a time and featured a longer-duration output pulse that would destroy weeds touching the fence. These were responsible for many grass fires when used during dry weather. Although still available, they have declined in popularity.