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Thread: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

  1. #1
    Member GroundScope's Avatar
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    Default Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I never heard of a Pipehorn till I started reading about them at the CableVine.
    I start seeing simple one line answers to tricky locates .... 'Get a pipehorn'

    yah Right ( Yah, I've been to Fargo, it catches on)

    Then I start having a few tricky locates, like I sort of know something is there because its on the plan but I dont have a snowballs chance in hell of finding it with my RD & Tx10 by induction.

    Well we dont have any Pipehorn shops here in Oz, and nobody I talk to has ever heard of one so I say its only money and order a PipeHorn 800H , ( I like the look of the 100 Model but that Wooden box would cost too much to send by airplane).

    It arrived yesterday & I gotta say, Man this thing is Awesome. I love it already.

    I have to tell you, to test it, we have a RFC stormwater pipe in our yard, about 300' long & ontop of
    that I put in a 35mm PVC conduit about 50' long with CTV & Garden lighting about 10 years ago, and there is no way I can locate that LV power cable in the conduit with my RD4000, by induction even maxed out at 10 watts & 200Khz, I can only locate it with ring or direct connection & only because I know its there, I could never find it in a blind search.

    Whats More I can locate the entire RFC pipe which I was told at Locating school would be impossible without a trace rod .

    Man, now I understand those answers, 'Get a Pipehorn'

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I have two. A 100 original and a new 800. They are great for the hard to locate that an RD, Met-tec and others will not pick up. You just have to be careful as they light up everything.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I havn't used the 100, but i've used the 800 and i'm still biased with the Metrotech 810.... she does just fine for me. To the Pipehorns defense, I havn't done a Head to head on a difficult utility so I don't know exactly how they measure up on the same exact line.

    Mke

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    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I was once called pipehorn king before someone got their panties in a wad and I had to change my name.. I created that name for a reason. I use a pipehorn on 90% of my locates through out the day. Personally The pipehorn is the best locating machine on the market.

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    Member BD2U's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I love the Metrotech 810. When I had to locate in Downtown Dallas, thats all that I would use for locating the Cast Iron mains down there. As far as the pipehorn goes, I first learned to use the 100 so many years ago. Now I have an 800 in my truck. I like em and they are a handy tool for the use on a lot of the crappy gas lines we have out here.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I found out the hard way that you really have to know what you are doing with the pipehorn before you use it for production purposes. Get some training on it even if it is over the phone training. I think pipehorn has some videos too. Not 100% sure about it though.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    No video, but on-site training provided free of charge.

    David Dodd
    Pipehorn Utility Tool Co
    800-952-3710
    www.pipehorn.com

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I keep a pipehorn locked in my office, just because I want it here when I need it, and want to keep it in tip top shape. One of my favorite tools.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


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    TMO
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    I use my 800 daily , but i do wish for another 810 some times. BD2U- you probably know the cast iron at Bluebonnett Circle, the 810 nailed those down perfect. Cast iron parrelleling bare steel , then crossing each other at an angle, with poly risers coming off the cast iron . lots of fun, and the 810 is made for those conditions, and it nailed them down great. The pipehorn would lay down a wide flat signal, not what i could paint.
    Tthere are so many MW and WW mains with poly insert risers in Fort Worth , a pipehorn is a must.

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    Member BD2U's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    Agreed TMO. Pipehorn is a must with all the poly inserts. Makes life so much less frustrating. Also completely agree... the 810 is a must have when it comes to that damn CI.

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    Junior Member X-ray specs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    Reading this post was enough to illicit a response from me. "The" pipehorn(800-h)... there is a lot to say about this very simple device. All that needs to be said however is that it works. I have used all kinds of locate equipment in all kinds of conditions. whether it is a break in the tracer or insulators on the main, I have found that inducing and direct connect very rarely bleed off and when it does you usually know. Some things to remember however are to walk out the entire line when using the pipehorn. What I mean by that is to take it to it's source. If you are locating a gas line then make sure that you are not walking it to a ctv ped. Also I like to induce from "established" lines; meaning that I will usually do the locate to the best of the ability of my primary locator ( rd 7000) when I have exhausted that option then I will "drop the box" 1-2' past where my last good marks were. Also when trying to find those indoor gas meters, I establish the main and will drop the box on the main near one of the property corners. Then go and do a sweep near the house. If you get nothing then drop the box on the other side of the lot. Do your sweep again. You will usually get a signal near the house. Then go get your box and drop it on the signal near the house and do your sweep near the main, if you get that signal then walk it halfway to the box and then you switch it up and go drop the box on the signal you got near the main then walk that other half to the house. I have also used the pipehorn on outer concentric neutral power lines, feeders, open primarys it seems to me that it works in congested areas just as well as wide open fields. I use it so much that I was told to stop it by the higher ups because I was making troubleshooting look too easy and the peeps were losing faith in their own machines. Too funny I think.
    You're over the target when you're getting the flak.

    "If it's funny, you're not in trouble." - Damon Wayans (referencing his kids.)

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    Junior Member X-ray specs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    Ellicit... ha too many cheetos as a kid.
    You're over the target when you're getting the flak.

    "If it's funny, you're not in trouble." - Damon Wayans (referencing his kids.)

  13. #13
    Mke
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    Hey X-ray, welcome aboard. I agree with you on all but one point. Inducing or direct connecting with a Pipehorn or Metrotech 810 will have bleed off. Thats kinda their forte'. I know when I go to do locates, weather i'm direct connected, ringed, or induced on a line I do a large sweep because the high frequency tends to naturally bleed of on other conductors that are in close proximity. The Trick is to understand what is in the ground as your doing this.

    I should of prefaced this with the infamous "Noobs shouldn't try this because most contract locating companies do not like you to induce or use bleed off in order to locate utilities."

    Now with that out of the way back to the point. Your experience will help you through the bleedoff, but that bleed off will always be there, and thank goodness it is.

    **As in all locating, bleedoff is not 100% reliable, but should be used in the bag of tricks just like a Pitching wedge or a fairway wood.

    Mke

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    Junior Member X-ray specs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    Thanks for the welcome, I have been reading the posts here for quite a time and just never bothered to sign up. I finally did, I always have a lot to say and sometimes it is to my detriment. I realize that there are many conditions that can throw a signal off and I do agree that a newbie should not ever be trusted with a pipehorn ( you'll end up with a rainbow yard.) Through the years though I have noticed definite upgrades to locating equipment. I do have to throw in that my favorite piece of equipment is the vivax. Now that I have said that I will also say that it is the least dependable piece of equipment I have ever used. (my opinion only.) When it is working though I can walk a line directly into a transformer and there is hardly ever any bleed off. I think there is a lot of old school training that goes on in alot of companies. Mine is one; we always preach to use low frequencies 246, 512, 640, and 8 but beyond that you need to make a call. Maybe these things were true with other equipment. I mean that for me it was the Dynatel 2210. I loved that machine and for basic locates it worked great, but as more and more is put in the ground the newer technology will prevail. I have intentionally done things to try to throw off my signal... improper ground rod placement, sandy soil conditions, higher frequencies, powering up, not unbonding, I have tried everything to intentionally "throw" the signal. Just testing the limits of the locate equipment. We use the rd 7000, and vivax as our main work horses and after much scrutiny and an unwillingness finally succumbed to these "new" locators. Finally realizing 10 watts carries a signal much further than 1-3 watts. Also that powering up is something that one should not be so fearful of when in those lower frequencies. I also hear alot about the big no-no about using ring clamps. I think that people are just putting limits on themselves and not using their equipment to the best of it's abilities. Maybe it is just the experience that inspires the confidence, but I find as long as you unbond, use low freqs, and walk out the line these pieces of equipment want to stay on the signal. (Pipehorn included) Even in congested areas, I will drop the box on an established mark with ctv to one side and phone and elec. on the other side and as long as you drop it directly on that line it will ring true, because lo and behold it meets up with my other marks and gets me on the services and lines right up with the measurements. This has been confirmed time and again by digging up the utility. If we can't find it electronically then we find it manually. If anyone actually made it all the way and find yourself reading this I commend you. I realize I am long "type-ed." (perhaps a new word.) Lastly I leave you with what I live by. It is far easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Watch out!
    You're over the target when you're getting the flak.

    "If it's funny, you're not in trouble." - Damon Wayans (referencing his kids.)

  15. #15
    Member Utilitrack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mythbusting a Pipehorn

    "Whats More I can locate the entire RFC pipe which I was told at Locating school would be impossible without a trace rod ."

    Hy GroundScope- Not sure what RFC pipe is, but sounds like it would be fiberglass or something like it, your Pipehorn was not locating the fiberglass or RFC pipe it must have been locating the water in it, or you were too close to the transmitter and was getting air coupling.
    Last edited by ifinditunderground; August 10th, 2011 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Opps, bad click.

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