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Thread: Accurate depth or lack their of

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Default Accurate depth or lack their of

    With all the advances in technology over the years why can't they make a locator that provides an accuate depth consistantly? It seems like it's 50/50 with the accuracy of the depth on modern locators. It is either right on or way off. It just seems like we've gone 5 years without seeing any real advances in the locating machines.

    Why can't they add the ability to find the ELMK markers with your normal locator. I know RD had this years ago but shouldn't all locators have this feature. The utility companies spend the time and money to drop markers in every handhole and on most stubs but we have to hunt down an ELMK locator to find them.

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    Senior Member Dave72's Avatar
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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Ive never gone back on routine to check my depths (we dont give em out as a rule anyhow), but when Im doin in-house locates for our own guys.. Ill try to get em a depth.
    As long as peak and null both agree (important), then your depth reading should be bang on.
    If peak and null dont agree, then something else is affecting the field and you cant get a depth on it.

    Im not sure what a ELMK marker is, but Id think it would be poor biz practice to use some marker ball/etc that doesnt resonate at an industry standard freq (8, 33 etc)
    (May you live in interesting times)

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave72 View Post
    Ive never gone back on routine to check my depths (we dont give em out as a rule anyhow), but when Im doin in-house locates for our own guys.. Ill try to get em a depth.
    As long as peak and null both agree (important), then your depth reading should be bang on.
    If peak and null dont agree, then something else is affecting the field and you cant get a depth on it.

    Im not sure what a ELMK marker is, but Id think it would be poor biz practice to use some marker ball/etc that doesnt resonate at an industry standard freq (8, 33 etc)

    It sounds like you guys are lacking knowledge about electronic markers and how they work. With electronic markers, the marker locator sends a signal to the passive marker that energizes it, this signal is reflected back to the locator. with a signal peak directly above the marker for precise location within inches. Electronic markers are immune to congestion and usually reliable as electronic markers are typically installed during construction when the facility is visible to the eye, making it a trusted method for positive identification of buried facilities.

    Typical Marker Dimensions
    Size 4.5 inch diameter (11.4 cm) Max.
    Range 5 feet typical (1.5 meters)
    Field Type Spherical
    Package Material High-density polyethylene

    Standardized Frequencies for Electronic Markers
    Electrical Power Red 169.8 kHz
    Water Blue 145.7 kHz
    Sanitary Green 121.6 kHz
    Telephone Orange 101.4 kHz
    Natural Gas Yellow 83.0 kHz
    Cable TV Black/Orange 77 kHz
    Non-Potable/Gen1 Purple 66.35 kHz

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    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    There are 3 of the newer locators that can locate EMS markers. Vivax VlocMl, Metrotech i5000 metromark, and a new dynatel(forgot the model).

    Hope that helps.

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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    sorry to change the subject.........found out today that my vivax reciever does not have the radio feature....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Hey Gregg, The marker balls are great if installed properly and they are limited to their "effective" range wich is, if memory serves me correctly 0'-5' they can be burried deeper but that shrinks the "zone" of detectability. I am looking into purchasing a locator to locate these, since the local city agency has fallen in love with them. They however are using them on a storm line that is 9' down. In the instruction to the balls, they state to strap them onto the utility, but to make sure they are no deeper then 5' or they have a "reduced" signature. Not too sure what all that means till I get a Locator in my hands and see for my self.

    How is your experience with the Locator balls at depths past 5?

    just curious.

    mke

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    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Past 5' it is rare to find a marker ball. The old mine sweeper style 3m units could because the gain went so high, but the newer ones are more limited by the FCC. Now if they use the big flat markers, or toilet seats as our company calls them, they can be located at a much greater depth. Of course the flat ones have to be installed in a more careful manner in order to work.

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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    Hey Gregg, The marker balls are great if installed properly and they are limited to their "effective" range wich is, if memory serves me correctly 0'-5' they can be burried deeper but that shrinks the "zone" of detectability. I am looking into purchasing a locator to locate these, since the local city agency has fallen in love with them. They however are using them on a storm line that is 9' down. In the instruction to the balls, they state to strap them onto the utility, but to make sure they are no deeper then 5' or they have a "reduced" signature. Not too sure what all that means till I get a Locator in my hands and see for my self.

    How is your experience with the Locator balls at depths past 5?

    just curious.

    mke
    Actually locating markers installed at depths greater than 5' is a hit & miss thing. sometimes you may get lucky and be directly over the marker and get a signal return, but at 9' depth the chances are slim to none. As Cipher points out, the "toilet Seat" markers are more effective for deeper installs, BUT, if they are not installed completely level, they will return bad location info.

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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    Hey Gregg, The marker balls are great if installed properly and they are limited to their "effective" range wich is, if memory serves me correctly 0'-5' they can be burried deeper but that shrinks the "zone" of detectability. I am looking into purchasing a locator to locate these, since the local city agency has fallen in love with them. They however are using them on a storm line that is 9' down. In the instruction to the balls, they state to strap them onto the utility, but to make sure they are no deeper then 5' or they have a "reduced" signature. Not too sure what all that means till I get a Locator in my hands and see for my self.

    How is your experience with the Locator balls at depths past 5?

    just curious.

    mke
    Actually locating markers installed at depths greater than 5' is a hit & miss thing. sometimes you may get lucky and be directly over the marker and get a signal return, but at 9' depth the chances are slim to none. As Cipher points out, the "toilet Seat" markers are more effective for deeper installs, BUT, if they are not installed completely level, they will return bad location info.

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    Default Re: Accurate depth or lack their of

    Hi There,

    3M(TM) has introduced the 7000 series locators which add increased range on passive marker detection. Take a look at the bury specifications for the markers you are installing and the max detection depth should be provided. Here is a link to the 3M website with the instructions and specifications for 3M EMS Markers and 3M iD Markers.

    Manuals & Documentation*: Locating & Marking : 3M United States

    Gary M
    1-800-200-0265 Opt 2

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