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Thread: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

  1. #16
    III
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Anyway, I'm getting mixed signals everywhere I go.
    Some say pipe and cable locators are useless for this purpose, others are saying that the pipe and cable locator in question is identical to the two box metal detector that is regularly employed for treasure hunting.

    Does anyone actually know for certain?

  2. #17
    III
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    (I guess I can't edit posts?)

    To add:

    On the Metrotech site, there's a swf called "Principles of Pipe and Cable Location". I won't post a link, since those cause sprayandpray to smell him some SPAM!

    Anyway, on it, they explain induction mode, how it works, etc and honestly, the principles are pretty easy to understand.

    One detects underground anomalies of a metallic nature.
    The other, locates underground pipes and cables.
    I mean, I don't mean to be a new guy and come off like a jerk, so I'll speak deliberately here, but this is a totally inadequate answer.
    One detects buried metal, the other detects buried pipes and cables. The question is, what methodologies are employed by a two box metal detector and what methodologies are employed by a pipe and cable locator that makes them 'different'? To take it a step further, what's the difference between the 'induction' mode on a pipe and cable locator and a "pulse induction" metal detector?

    I'm being left with more questions than answers here.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Pulse Induction... http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...detector4.html
    The induction mode we use on locating utilities strictly refers to the act of transmitting our frequency through a conductor without directly connecting to the conductor. This however has its limitations, The conductor has to be a certian length, at a certian depth.

    As for the "Split box" locator, I not only use one, but I swear by them for large or linear projects (Storm installs, Fences, and others) They do have their limitations. The front box acts as a transmitter/ metal detector, and the back box is a reciever. As you sweep an area, if it is a large burried metal object such as, a Man Hole Lid, the front box will pick it up, if it is a Utility line, the back box will pick it up.
    The way to check is to walk over the signal, note where the peak is compared to the front box. Walk past the signal, turn around and walk back to the signal. If the front box picked it up, your mark will be in the same spot, and it will be a metalic object. If your mark is not in the same place it will be a utility being picked up by the back box. At this point I plop a flag in the ground to mark the spot and then I come back with the 810 to light it up.

    As for trying to find burried treasure with one....... I've found shovel heads, hatchet heads, horse shoes, but nothing like gold rings or coins. And it does depend on how you calibrate your machine, when you are strictly looking for metalic items, you calibrate it a bit different, and you hold the transmitter end closer to the ground.

    Depth on the metal detector side of it is the way it always works, the deeper the item the bigger it needs to be to be picked up. The smaller the item it needs to be closer to the surface.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Mke

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    III, first, we get our share of spammers that come thru here, as well as a couple of disgruntled banned members stopping in now and again. Everyone keeps a close eye out for those people because we are a very close-knit group of people (utility locators), there aren't many of us out there -especially with more than 10 years experience. We tend to be a little more sensitive to people coming in to spam "OUR" forum. The paranoia that we all have, is what makes us good at our jobs. Forgive us.

    Ok, now onto your questions. I am not an expert in metal detection, but I DO know how the ferrous based detectors work, and the principles are NOT the same I'll do the best I can to address your questions. My last suggestion stays the same, find a Metal Detection/Treasure Hunting forum to find those who may have answers that I don't have. We have some really really intelligent people here, but I am not aware of any treasure hunters that are members of this board, but who knows who is lurking around here. If you can't find one......sign up with VBulletin and create your own. I'm sure there are thousands of people like you that share the same hobbies and interests.

    Grrrrrr, Mke already took care of it. LOLz

    But I'll add this, to locate underground utilities we transmit a specific radio frequency that couples to, and is conducted by the metal within the pipes and cables we locate. We do not locate the metal within the utiliies, but locate the reradiated radio signal as it radiates back off our target utility. Ferrous Metal detection involves using magnetic based locators to detect the magnetic anomalies in the earths magnetic field created by metal objects buried in the ground. I have no idea how they pick up gold, silver, tin, brass, tin, etc. Good luck with that.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
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  5. #20
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Locating basics:

    To locate a pipe or cable you need two pieces of equipment. One is a transmitter and the other is a receiver. To locate a pipe or cable you transmit a signal through the pipe/cable using the transmitter by either hooking directly to the pipe/cable with a wire. The 2nd method is to induce a signal into the pipe/cable with the transmitter by placing the transmitter (in induction mode) over the pipe/cable. The receiver is tuned to the same frequency as the transmitter so it is able to detect the signal in the pipe/cable. The problem with induction is that you cannot get too close to the transmitter with the receiver or you will detect the signal from the receiver and not the signal in the pipe/cable. The deeper the pipe/cable the further away you have to go with the receiver to find it. The training video I saw recommends starting at about 30' from the transmitter.

    In your buried treasure chest scenario you would need to know where the chest is to induce a signal into it before you could hope to pick it up with the receiver. Even then, the chest is equivalent to a blob of metal with nowhere for the signal to go as it would in a pipe/cable. 2nd, you would need the receiver to be over the chest, next to the transmitter so you would have no hope of discerning between the transmitter and the chest if the chest would even conduct the signal.

    In the setup where the pole connect the two boxes, although i've never used it nor seen it used, I would guess that this is for detecting shallow lines where the receiver would pickup the signal induced into the line before it would pick up the signal from the transmitter itself.

    When they talk about underground anomolies of a metallic nature, I'm sure they are talking about an unknown pipe or cable that runs through the locate area. Industrial sites have these that run from building to building which need to be found or at least scanned for.

    Induction vs. pulse induction. I don't know the difference.

    It sounds to me like you want someone to say: Yes, you can find buried treasure with one of these things. The answer is really, No. You can't find buried treasure with one of these. If that were the case, I wouldn't have spent $1000 on a Minelab Explorer SE. I would have just used my locating equipment. I have a split box and it works well for what it is supposed to do. But, I don't know any way to detect metal objects underground like you are describing. Split box locators are cheap compared to metal detectors made to detect metal at greater depths. If it were possible to find that buried chest, you would see them using them on all these treasure hunting shows that pop up now and then.

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  6. #21
    III
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Thanks for the recent replies. They were helpful.
    As far as the spam thing, just a bit of good natured ribbing. I admin a few sites and am all to familiar with those schmucks. I'm the first to know when a SEO campaign is launched for designer sunglasses or online poker bonuses.

    I did ask this question on the geotech forums.
    Carl Moreland- engineer at Whites and just generally a very bright guy- says they're basically the same thing. That the pipe/cable locator I posted isn't too different from a two box MD when in induction mode.

    I am a pretty avid metal detectorist- own an array of machines- however, deep seeking is something else entirely. This is why guys use two box units like the Gemini and the 808. Those can go feet and feet and feet down, where a typical MD doesn't go anywhere near that deep. Naturally, the limitations are that they can only locate large metallic objects (not "a coin" or "a ring") which is why they're used for 'cache hunting' and not run of the mill hobbyist metal detecting for jewelry or relics.

    I'm suspecting that if I mount that pipe and cable locator on a pole, much like the two box MD, it would act much the same during induction mode and detect deep and large metal objects when walking around with it. As far as why they aren't regularly used, I learned long ago that 95% of people simply copy what they see others doing, while 5% explore novel solutions that wind up getting copied by everyone else. I try to keep in that 5%, whenever possible.

    Thanks for the help

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    III,
    If you could come up with the right type of split box, you could be on to something. This is a way equipment evolves and can make some people rich.

  8. #23
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    I have a split box as I mentioned before, minus the pole. It is the detectron pipe and cable locator. If you go to the manufacturers website (tinker and rasor) you will see instructions for using the split box in the method you are describing. It also gives theory and methods of operation. This page may answer all the questions you have. Hope it helps.

    I found this paragraph which seems to counter my earlier statement about finding metallic objects.

    LOCATING AND CENTERING METALLIC VALVE BOXES, MANHOLE COVER AND ISOLATED OBJECTS INDUCTIVELY (WITH HANDLE)

    The suspected area should be investigated systematically. Tune the instrument in a non-metallic area while the instrument is in normal operating position. A traverse is made over the suspected area in a grid pattern of passes approximately three feet apart. The presence of a metallic object shall be noted by sharp signal response. To locate the center of the metallic object hold the instrument in vertical position (receiver down) and approach the indicated area from multiple directions. the exact center of the metallic object shall be determined by the "null" or minimum signal (figure 13).
    http://www.tinker-rasor.com/detectro...r/din_505.html
    Last edited by TheCableVine; March 13th, 2011 at 01:36 PM.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Well. I guess I will have to retract my 'spam' comment. My apologies, however, I think the best thing you could do to find your treasure chest is to contact the producers of 'Gold Rush Alaska' and they could help finance and film the entire thing! Of course, it took them an entire Summer to dig a 40 ft hole so don't get in a rush!
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    III
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    III,
    If you could come up with the right type of split box, you could be on to something. This is a way equipment evolves and can make some people rich.
    It should be fun. The one I just purchased is a "go ahead and break it, it was cheap" unit that I can tinker around with, modify, etc. My main interest is in macro-locating in consort with an integrated waas GPS. This would have some pretty strong applications for utilities locating, in addition to treasure hunting, etc.

    I've already worked out the GPS program, now just have to find the right detecting platform to integrate it with. I'm still learning as I go

    (thecablevine- brilliant link. That was VERY helpful. Thanks again)

  11. #26
    Member overspray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    This company claims that this can locate anything.
    http://www.ssilocators.com/plastic-p...innspector-p-6

  12. #27
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Quote Originally Posted by overspray View Post
    This company claims that this can locate anything.
    http://www.ssilocators.com/plastic-p...innspector-p-6
    I really don't see how it can locate anything. Maybe this is a joke that gets people to go to their website.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Alright i gotta ask the question- why is gpr out of the question? Isn't this what it is designed to do. I know it has limits but with the new antenna choices it could read this deep?

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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    I really don't see how it can locate anything. Maybe this is a joke that gets people to go to their website.
    Well I have this machine the inspector and when I first got it my first thoughts was shit I have done my money but lucky I bought from a good company so they sent another and this one worked but it had problems with battery sensor so they sent me another but it seemed to work but was not quiet happy with either so I was about to give up on the dam thing as I have never seen a good word about it on these forums after neally a year just before warrantee was about to run out on it, I rang the company and they sent me another and hey presto it work I find it good for locating things that I know what size they are as that way I can confirm that it is on right track, like sewer drains septic tanks and other

    One thing I can't help but think is that I think they must be tricky to tune in factory,

    I am a full blown worrier so I not ready to trust it on optic fibre but maybe after I have given it a lot more testing and understand it better I maybe

  15. #30
    Mke
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    Default Re: Hi all. Question about utility locators for an alternate use.

    Boots, There is a couple of reasons why no one has suggested GPR. One is, Not a cost effective way to look for treasure. By the time you add in all the costs of the equipment, programs to process the data and any additional antennea you are into it over 30K. The second is the fact of the limitations of the antennea itself.
    There are so many veriables when it comes to using GPR. Soil type, target diameter, target depth, antennea frequency, terrain. If you use the normal antenna for utility scans, in perfect conditions you will be able to get reliable resolution to about 5-6' for utilities larger than 3/4". Thats pushing it. You can change to an antenna that can go deeper, but the resolution will drop and the target range will have to increase considerably.

    That being said, the interpretation of the information gathered is important, Soil anomolies, large rock, other things can effect the picture and you could be digging for days in areas that don't have anything metalic.

    I do believe that GPR has a place, but in treasure hunting not so much, it looks good for archeological digs, but not for the everyday dirt digger.

    Mke

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