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Thread: Low end locate tools - RV Park

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    Default Low end locate tools - RV Park

    I'm new to locate and have been looking at low end equipment.

    I've got a 19 Acre RV park built in the 1970s so have been mapping out septic and water lines for the last month with the Arde AR-1 from Prototek. Recently, I have moved on to electrical, telephone and cable. The private locate quotes were enormous on the water/sewer which prompted me to buy my own stuff and learn enough to get by.

    I picked up the Greenlee 501 Tracker II unit and have been thinking about sending it back in favor of the Armadatech 871C pro unit.

    TRACKER 11-CABLE LOCATOR (501) - Greenlee - Made for the Trade? 783310086628

    Pro871 Dual Frequency Underground Cable Locator | Armada Technologies

    Can someone here help give me a breakdown of why I might want one over the other?

    It looks like the 871 pro is capable of 2 frequencies and null reception. It also has passive locate ability with 50/60hz. What it does not have is the ability to adjust the transmitter strength.

    I've been playing around with the Greenlee quite a bit and like it. The manual explains to adjust the transmitter signal down as low as possible to reduce EMI bleed over to adjacent wires. Would the Armadatech 871 pro be more useful to me with the multiple frequencies? Or is the Greenlee just fine if I properly tune the transmitter output. I also like that the Greenlee unit is compatible with all sorts of other Greenlee equipment.

    Also, does anyone else here recommend any low end equipment, price wise? Both of these unit run about 700-750 bucks. Any help is appreciated. I would love to have passive locate but anyone here who has worked in a MH or RV park, will tell you there is so much crap in the ground, it probably does not matter. Opinions?

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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    Quote Originally Posted by locatenoob View Post
    I'm new to locate and have been looking at low end equipment.

    I've got a 19 Acre RV park built in the 1970s so have been mapping out septic and water lines for the last month with the Arde AR-1 from Prototek. Recently, I have moved on to electrical, telephone and cable. The private locate quotes were enormous on the water/sewer which prompted me to buy my own stuff and learn enough to get by.

    I picked up the Greenlee 501 Tracker II unit and have been thinking about sending it back in favor of the Armadatech 871C pro unit.

    TRACKER 11-CABLE LOCATOR (501) - Greenlee - Made for the Trade? 783310086628

    Pro871 Dual Frequency Underground Cable Locator | Armada Technologies

    Can someone here help give me a breakdown of why I might want one over the other?

    It looks like the 871 pro is capable of 2 frequencies and null reception. It also has passive locate ability with 50/60hz. What it does not have is the ability to adjust the transmitter strength.

    I've been playing around with the Greenlee quite a bit and like it. The manual explains to adjust the transmitter signal down as low as possible to reduce EMI bleed over to adjacent wires. Would the Armadatech 871 pro be more useful to me with the multiple frequencies? Or is the Greenlee just fine if I properly tune the transmitter output. I also like that the Greenlee unit is compatible with all sorts of other Greenlee equipment.

    Also, does anyone else here recommend any low end equipment, price wise? Both of these unit run about 700-750 bucks. Any help is appreciated. I would love to have passive locate but anyone here who has worked in a MH or RV park, will tell you there is so much crap in the ground, it probably does not matter. Opinions?
    The Tracker has only one very high frequency. This will bleed over onto shallower lines and anything with better grounding or less corrosion. I've never seen either machine in action. But from the websites, I would say the Armada would be your better bet. It has 2 frequencies the most useful is the 33khz.

    If you are looking for a cheap locator with real chops, I would look at ebay. If you're interested in only new, the pipehorn with both high and low frequency may work for you since your only experience is with the Tracker, which is a similar self adjusted receiver and similar high frequency. Of course, I'm partial to Metrotech/Vivax 810's and the newer RD's.

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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    Metro tech 850VM. Love it.

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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    Quote Originally Posted by headcipher View Post
    The Tracker has only one very high frequency. This will bleed over onto shallower lines and anything with better grounding or less corrosion. I've never seen either machine in action. But from the websites, I would say the Armada would be your better bet. It has 2 frequencies the most useful is the 33khz.

    If you are looking for a cheap locator with real chops, I would look at ebay. If you're interested in only new, the pipehorn with both high and low frequency may work for you since your only experience is with the Tracker, which is a similar self adjusted receiver and similar high frequency. Of course, I'm partial to Metrotech/Vivax 810's and the newer RD's.
    I'm fine with used equip but did not know what was worth looking at. So you would recommend a used Metrotech/Vivax 810? Does the 810 also support passive detection?

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    I know you are looking for a cheaper piece of equipment. Depending on your situation, you should really get something that is going to be able to get you more of what you need.

    If we have to pick between the two you have listed, I agree with Cipher.

    I however, think you should shop around and try to get a little better piece of equipment by either looking on Ebay, Craigslist, or calling a couple of the bigger companies that are in the process of selling off some of their older equipment.

    I am sorely biased, but I would pick a Metrotech 810 as a primary unit. I know that it is a single, high frequency, low watt locator but if properly used you can get most of what you are looking for....and then some.

    Are you up near seattle? There is a repair shop up there and they sell used 810's. you probably won't get it for 750, but they will be cheaper then the new units. I'd also give Utiliquest's main office a call and see if they have any old 810 they are willing to part with if the Ebay thing doesn't work out.

    mke

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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    Thanks Mke,

    I've been reading up on everything I can. So the 850 is AF based vs the 810 RF. It looks like AF is better tech when separating cables and avoid the bleed. Is that right? Most of the work I've been doing lately involves tracing out copper lines. I'm also clamping onto PVC water pipes and tracing out the water when I can. So even with a single frequency (810), I can still adequately trace out lines despite the signal bleed over? Most of the wires are bundled in the same ditches with water/sewer but do spoke out to individual RV sites. So I'm dealing with a lot of that signal bleed. Will the 850 put tone on the water within PVC pipes just like the 810 puts a charge?

    Yea, I'm pretty close to Seattle. What is the name of the repair shop?

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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    I ended up picking up a used Dynatel 2273. I'm happy with the tool.

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    Default Re: Low end locate tools - RV Park

    If your coupling water pipes with that greenlee you arent locating water. you mot likely are bleeding over to other facilities. Go on e-bay and look for a used RD 400 trans and receiver. These are older pieces of equipment that are still very serviceable for your application. The trans has 3 freq and is a low watt output so it helps to prevent bleedoff for novices. I carried one in my truck for years as my primary piece and was able to locate things that guys with newer models couldnt get to run.

    If the plant is not bonded or grounded on the far end tho...it does have issues forcing a signal. But if you are trying to force a signal then you may not be picking up your desired target anyways.

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