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Thread: 60 cycle/Power modes

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    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default 60 cycle/Power modes

    I noticed this was being discussed in another thread and would like to see what everyone has to say.

    Do you use power mode/60 cycle?

    Is this banned by your company?

    How good is your machine at this?

    Have you ever used a machine with a power 60 mode(a more specific/narrow 60 cycle)?

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    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    I personally use it ONLY for a safety sweep before and after a locate.

    My machine is pretty good at it but again, it's only used for my satisfaction.

    I've used a C.A.T. before and that is pretty much ALL that piece is good for. They are pretty much antiquated due to all of the other machines having a 60 cycle on them but if you own and use a metrotech 810 then you probably own a c.a.t.

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    I use it for CATV drops and some primaries.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Double/Triple checking elctric and insuring that I'm not bleeding off on the damn CATV :P

    RD4000 has an awsome 50/60, I'm really wanting to try the 7000/8000 to see if it compares.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Good to use after the locate is done. You hate to miss something that isn't on the prints.

    The Rycom doesn't have that good of a power mode. It picks up the CATV better than the electric. RD's and Subsites have owned the power mode capabilities for years.

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    Senior Member big boots mcghee's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    I look at power mode/60 cycle as just another tool to use when it's appropriate, much the same as any frequency I have available to me for direct connection and/or induction. I use power mode on almost every locate, primarily to double check what I've marked but also to help catch anything I may have missed. Plus there's the facilities that only locate on power mode for various reasons.

    Years ago when I first started, power mode was the preferred method to locate the only facility we did at the time - power. It's funny knowing now how many more facilities locate on power mode.

    The newer techs that come out of training nowadays are scared to death of power mode. "Direct connect on the lowest frequency available" is so ingrained in their brains by the time they reach the field that do to anything else is a big no no. However, it sure doesn't take them long to develop good (and bad) power mode habits.
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    Senior Member 6feetunder's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Power mode is a great tool for troubleshooting , double checking , finding CATV drops, stuff not on prints and all that. I've never, and won't ever use it as a primary means of locating because I have seen too many jobs mismarked for that reason. I've seen eletric duct runs mismarked because of power mode and what they actually had marked was a water main that was about 5 foot away from the duct package. I've seen primaries mismarked where they had CATV trunks marked and not the primary. The point is the bad things happen when dumba**es use only power mode and don't direct connect at all, pure laziness and stupidity. I'm definitely pro-power mode but I think rather than discouraging people from it and pretending it's a bad thing, we should rather educated new guys on how to use it properly. I don't believe it is banned at USIC but it's not encouraged, in fact it's discouraged. RD4000 seems to be great for this.
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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    what???????? is there any other mode to use????? just joking!!! i use it to double check myself and other times that i can not talk about in open forum.....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Power mode is over-rated. Its funny....all the guys I know that don't have the capability insist on telling me for 5-10min how much easier they're life would be if they had the ability to use "power mode." They could just hop out of they're truck and start locating power, cable tv etc.....and its true, an experienced locator with power mode can easily determine the different tone that is made while using power mode over cable TV and power (power is much more grungy) but its just asking for problems...anyone who tells me how much they want/need it puts off a red flag of lack of quality to me right off the bat.

    I use power mode/radio mode for some passive sweeps after I am done with all my locates, and just sweep a grid like motion over the excavation area. Not once has it ever found something I wasn't able to find with careful 810 sweeps. However it can be useful to determine electrical trenches as starting points to locate signals to they're sources, if you are in a situation where you don't have access to buildings and some vaults may not be accessible due to locks or being paved over it can be a useful tool. Or if your following a utility u know is by itself through area's of "fill" you can sometimes utilize these modes to have a good idea of where the target facility might be going while its really deep. Things here and there more or less...

    On several occasions, I have performed a full utility locate for design/survey or what have you, and now that I am done marking im curious on what will be picked up passively, and to what accuracy...so i bust out the RD-4000..... Some times power mode puts me directly on top of my marks, but Ive noticed a large percentage of the time it is actually off by about 6 inches to a foot....not sure why - maybe it has to do with multiple cables being in the ditch or different harmonics on the cable itself coming back down the line? I can only speculate...but I am an accuracy kidna guy...6 inches to a foot can make or break a dig for you contract locators... but anyways yes power mode does have some usefulness, but the way i look at it as follows: I am going to be marking power through dig scopes by either clamping the primary in a vault or another 'better' non passive hookup anyways, I am never going to 'solely' trust power mode with peoples lives and my reputation at stake, so when all is said and done, i might sweep with it passively when im done....but when you are dealing with multiple utilities i wonder what the point even is sometimes. One or two other situation its been extremely useful is on rural mountain roads with telco on one side of the road power on the other...stuff like that but not practical save me time on jobs left and right kinda tool. Just another way to "verify" what you should have already found out by other means.

    Anyone have any hard facts about why power mode tends to be ever so slightly "off" ? I am interested to find out if anyone has some insights that im not privy to on this just for curiosity sake.

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    Member nopaint4you's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    it is freakin excellent for utilities you have already "located" before and you know you got it to check and see if it power modes. It should be done by someone who knows when to use it and when not to. I think if your someone who has to keep remarking a stupid job 10,000 times for contractors blasting away marks the day after you mark it that power mode is a great thing to have simply #1 (you already know from actually marking it right and not just marking a power signal. It saves so much time not having to rehook to things you know. I simply could not revisit a job that took several hours to mark right and keep revisiting that site several hours every remark. I would go bonkers.

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    Senior Member GPGrasshopper's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Only for verification/ safety sweep. I would never use it to actively locate, and never a primary method to put paint on the ground. I put it in the same category as null mode.
    I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.

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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    i could see it being more actively useful on the contract side of locating since u put it like that actually....on the private side its all about quality assurance and i see so little repeats by comparison from contract days. good point! I would still have to re-iterate that it would be for more experienced locators only...i have seen feeder lines i couldn't tone on power, with no obvious extenuating circumstances.

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    Senior Member Paint'n & Flag'n's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    I have found the 8000 to be by far the best in performing power mode sweeps. I use it daily to double check locates, find troublesome cables, and at times to determine if a cable is dead or de-energized. Its great on joint trench areas also.

    I know for a fact that a primary power cable that a direct connected 4000 would not even get a blip on was found using an 8000 in power mode. I will never give up my 8000 and I will never quit using power mode.

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Quote Originally Posted by nopaint4you View Post
    it is freakin excellent for utilities you have already "located" before and you know you got it to check and see if it power modes. It should be done by someone who knows when to use it and when not to. I think if your someone who has to keep remarking a stupid job 10,000 times for contractors blasting away marks the day after you mark it that power mode is a great thing to have simply #1 (you already know from actually marking it right and not just marking a power signal. It saves so much time not having to rehook to things you know. I simply could not revisit a job that took several hours to mark right and keep revisiting that site several hours every remark. I would go bonkers.
    Yep. Last summer I had a road project that had a phone duct only on one side of the road, after the initial locate ticket that I double accessed to mark, I would do the remarks in power mode, it got to the point that I would go to that project at the end of the day everyday and remark the duct, till USIC started the GPS crap that killed a good thing for that contractor.

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    Senior Member Dave72's Avatar
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    Default Re: 60 cycle/Power modes

    Grasshopper hit it with the " I put it in the same category as null mode. " comment.
    Both null and powermode suffer from the same problem. Unable to hit the target within a complex field.
    The 60hz is flowing thru everything conductive.
    (May you live in interesting times)

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