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Thread: identify particular cable

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    Default identify particular cable

    Hi, i wonder if anyone has any good tips for how to identify a particular cable in a cable tray ?

    i use the vLocPro locator, and i am considering buying the remote antenna they have, but im not certain how good it can actually work

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    Mke
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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    what kind of cable are you looking for? Do you have access to a conductor in that cable?

    mke

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    it is between 2 electric stations, so it is power on the cables, its about 15 different cables between the stations and i need to identify which cable i am sending on ( preferable with the clamp ) is it possible ? now when i go to the other station with the receiver, it shows high ( on the locator screen ) when i put it close to any of thoose 15 cables , it is about 2 inch between each of the cables where they are coming in to the station

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    I'm not sure about the vloc, but on the older metrotechs you could plug a clamp into the reciever and test each cable individually by clamping it. The highest number is your cable. In theory at least. Always seemed to work fine for me. Obviously, you have to clamp each cable individually at your cable tray.
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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    i also have a older metrotech 9860 which have been working fine, but i did not know its possible to put a clamp in the receiver, do you mean that you have the transmitter sending with a clamp, and then also put a clamp in the receiver, and then test each cable in the receiving station ?

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    Finder, Yep. There is a receiving jack on the reciever. The horrible thing is trying to get enough speration on the cables to get the ring clamp around it. You will still have some bleed off on the other cables but you should have a peak on the cable that you are looking for.

    I havn't tried this one, but i'm curious.... Aqua-Tronics, Inc. | Buried Utility Locating Equipment | Cable Locators | Fault Locators | Primary & Secondary Fault Locators | Leak Detectors

    mke

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    I have emailed aqua-tronics about that product, it looks nice. do anyone have any idea how good the metrotech remote antenna will work ? is it any idea to purchase it ?

    in which mode should the receiver be when i attach the clamp to it ?

    i suppose i will minimize the bleed off if i use as low output as possible on the transmitter ?

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    what is the distance between stations and can you de-engerize your cable?

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    with that many cables and if not able to de-energize I would work from out-to-in. If possible get a hold of someone who can get you into the other electric station. Since they will be sharing a common ground or neutral I would use a ring clap and have their personnel clamp each cable for you and locate it that way. Using the lowest freq your clamp will work at and keep the gain as low as you can.

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    the distance is about 200 - 300 feet, i have access to both stations, i can not de-energize the cables

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    Quote Originally Posted by finder View Post
    the distance is about 200 - 300 feet, i have access to both stations, i can not de-energize the cables
    Use a clamp type amp meter where you measure the current by clamping around the cable. At the source for your cable find the amperage and note it, then note the amperage of each other cable going into the cable tray. If your cable is the only one with that amperage/load then you got it.

    I take it you are doing this for the people whose electric you are identifying. If the supply is critical and cannot be completely turned off to identify the cable see if they can switch loads around so the target cable has a unique load. It may be possible for them to upon the end of that circuit for a short period and have the load carried by the other cables, so the one that shows no load, no amperage, is the one you are looking for.

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    It's really difficult sometimes to get on the right cable. What everyone suggested before me is accurate; just know that sometimes no matter what you do, a pothole might be needed to get the proper location.

    Case in point: years ago, the telco was installing new cable & replacing a crossbox. We had critical electric cable mapped as right through the dig area, so my sup set it up so that the electric co. would get us in the electric substation w/ the feeder cable de-energized on a Saturday. The electric co. employees then hooked up a higher-wattage transmitter with my supervisor directly to the de-lugged conductor, while another locator (about 2 1/2 miles out) had the electric co. do the same at the other end of the cable at a switchgear. Long story short, the signal that we barely picked up matched the marks we'd put down before - that is, based on a really poor signal. Due to the length of cable, no matter what we did / no matter how strong our transmitters, it was a poor marking job.

    What finally came of this whole mess was, the electric company - though they'd potholed before - stopped when they came across the telco's 1500-pr cables at a crossbox. They hand-dug and discovered their electric feeder cables deeper beneath the telco, about 4 more feet down. So our marks were correct - there was just a lot of factors adding up to unreliable / spotty marks. In addition, it was discovered that the electric co. had spliced their cables in exactly that spot about 5 or 6 times prior. The splices were stopping the signal's continuity, even with a DC to the conductor itself.
    "Aye, verily hath I spoken." - Thor, god of thunder

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    Quote Originally Posted by wet_boots101 View Post
    It's really difficult sometimes to get on the right cable. What everyone suggested before me is accurate; just know that sometimes no matter what you do, a pothole might be needed to get the proper location.

    Case in point: years ago, the telco was installing new cable & replacing a crossbox. We had critical electric cable mapped as right through the dig area, so my sup set it up so that the electric co. would get us in the electric substation w/ the feeder cable de-energized on a Saturday. The electric co. employees then hooked up a higher-wattage transmitter with my supervisor directly to the de-lugged conductor, while another locator (about 2 1/2 miles out) had the electric co. do the same at the other end of the cable at a switchgear. Long story short, the signal that we barely picked up matched the marks we'd put down before - that is, based on a really poor signal. Due to the length of cable, no matter what we did / no matter how strong our transmitters, it was a poor marking job.

    What finally came of this whole mess was, the electric company - though they'd potholed before - stopped when they came across the telco's 1500-pr cables at a crossbox. They hand-dug and discovered their electric feeder cables deeper beneath the telco, about 4 more feet down. So our marks were correct - there was just a lot of factors adding up to unreliable / spotty marks. In addition, it was discovered that the electric co. had spliced their cables in exactly that spot about 5 or 6 times prior. The splices were stopping the signal's continuity, even with a DC to the conductor itself.
    For what you describe above try this.

    You are most likly dealing with a three phase circut, A, B and C phases. At the transmitter connection end, in your example a substation, connect the positive lead to A phase and the ground lead to B phase. At the far end, in your example switch gear, connect a jumper connecting A and B phases. You now have a closed loop of very good conductors and you current output will be much higher. This will give you one very strong signal.

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    Default Re: identify particular cable

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    For what you describe above try this.

    You are most likly dealing with a three phase circut, A, B and C phases. At the transmitter connection end, in your example a substation, connect the positive lead to A phase and the ground lead to B phase. At the far end, in your example switch gear, connect a jumper connecting A and B phases. You now have a closed loop of very good conductors and you current output will be much higher. This will give you one very strong signal.
    Well, if I were still a locator - and didn't know about phases (like I do now), that is definitely something worth mention. Honestly, not 100% sure but I think we DID check the phasing back then (it was in 2006). Plus, the area operator that did the hookup to the feeder in the substation for me probably would have mentioned it.
    "Aye, verily hath I spoken." - Thor, god of thunder

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