Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: needing a locator

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    charlotte,nc
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    7

    Default needing a locator

    Our company installs landfill gas systems across the U.S. and with these systems we have sites with generators producing electricity which we sell back to the power companies. At these sites we have a lot of underground utilities consisting of electric, phone, water, sewer, and gas. We are always expanding these sites as the landfill grows and have to do digging for needed support for the new components. We need a locator to help find the utilities to either cross them, install something beside them or remove and replace. We are looking for a used locator that is durable, easy to operate and accurate. I just happened to run across this web site while starting my search and thought I would see what you people that do this for a living would recommend. I am sure you guys have different opinions and differ when it comes to what you would recommend but I thought I would see if a particular brand or model comes up more than once. Can you help?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,525
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    113

    Default Re: needing a locator

    The Holy Grail of locating, Monty Pythons forgive me, is one locator that does everything well. Still looking for it.

    Have used the VLocPro from Vivax and technically it is a great machine. It's only problem is it's construction is outsourced to China and failure rate would exclude it as a choice. Just one example the receiver has a main rechargeable battery and backup batteries. Half of our chargers have failed and half the batteries quit charging after a year or less of use. Now we just pay for the 6 AA batteries needed to keep the receiver working. The design thecnical dsign is good but the quaily is awful.

    ViVax was purchased by Metrotech and they made one of the old workhorses of the industry, the Metrotech 810. The 810 receiver in the hands of a skilled locator offers pinpoint accuracy, I say skilled because the higher frequency has more bleed off and lights everything around up. The transmitter in induction mode works very well. The only problem is that it was discontinued becasue it is more labor intensive to make than Metrotech wanted to pay for and you get what you pay for, read above paragraph. These can be found used and many still in good condition.

    Based upon the poor quality I have seen from the new Metrotech / Vivax equipment I would not purchase any of their new line.

    There is DitchWitch which made their locators based on their directional bore sonde reader. More expensive due to being built like a tank. We tested one and hit it with a pressure washer, did not even cause a hiccup.

    If not part of the features of the receiver of the product you buy than a separate Electronic Marker System finder should be bought. The EMS system has small markers buried with some utilities, especially at splice points. The finder sends out a radio signal, it hits the EMS device and the finder reads the bounced back signal.Get one that is selectable becasue each utility has it's own frequency.


    I have used a few different locators by RadioDetection and they all worked fine.

    On the receiver look for a manual gain control where the operator can select to directly raise or lower the gain. Used an old Dynatel where you pushed one button and it cycled down and then up the gain levels, you had to stop at the exact right place or keep cycling until you got lucky. Was a real time waster.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    121
    Years of Experience
    20+
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: needing a locator

    The Pipehorn 800HL has 2 freqs,9khz and 480khz.It is easy to use and is accurate.If you already have experience using utilitiy locators and you want something thats still kinda easy to use try the radiodetection line of locators.The Rd 4000,7000,or 8000.Those models have more freqs than the pipehorn 800hl,and the also have sonde mode for use on non metallic pipes using a sewer cam or duct rodder.811 locators usually carry one of these brands as their main locator, radiodetection,metrotech,subsite,rycom,dynatel.Tha t can also help you decide on what to try.If you are new to locating try the pipehorn 800hl,if you need a little more than that i would probally go with radiodetection.If you need something to trace marker balls get the dynatel,or metrotech vivax.All those locators are accurate,it just depends on if you have experience using a locator,and what u need the locator for.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    charlotte,nc
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: needing a locator

    About 7-8 years ago I had a Metrotech - I don't remember if it was an 810 but even with my lack of skills with a locator it worked good for me. What do you know about a "subsite" or "radio detection " locator? Someone mentioned those to me but I've never heard of them. Do locators require periodic service or calibration? If so I would need one that I wouldn't have to send half way around the world for service or wait for someone locally to take 2 months to get it done.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    121
    Years of Experience
    20+
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: needing a locator

    Radiodetection models 7000,and 8000 can be calibrated online.I haven't used the new subsites so i don't know if the can be calibrated online.If you take care of your locator you probally won't have a problem with any locator needing calibration for a long time.I have a pipehorn 800h that is 7 years old never been calibrated and its still on the money.So it depends on how you take care of your stuff,if your gonna be dropping it all the time and throwing it in your truck allday then get radiodetecion and make sure you get a good warranty

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    charlotte,nc
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: needing a locator

    At our sites we have power going out in the range of 24,000 volts - Does this interfere with the signal? The local power company came and tried to locate their lines running into our site to the shop and the transformer to their pole. He had a hard time with it and admitted he wasn't good with the locator - a ditch witch. When I started digging I found some of his marks were off. Would the high voltage lines in conduit interfere with locating say a phone line crossing or running beside the electric?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    121
    Years of Experience
    20+
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: needing a locator

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrooks View Post
    At our sites we have power going out in the range of 24,000 volts - Does this interfere with the signal? The local power company came and tried to locate their lines running into our site to the shop and the transformer to their pole. He had a hard time with it and admitted he wasn't good with the locator - a ditch witch. When I started digging I found some of his marks were off. Would the high voltage lines in conduit interfere with locating say a phone line crossing or running beside the electric?
    Yes that could be a problem especially if you don't know how to elimanate utilities when locating.If i was you i would try radiodetection its a pretty balanced locator with direct connection and passive locating modes.Get that and a pipehorn as a secondary locator and i think you will be in good shape.The rest will depend on your locating skills.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Under Heaven's Skies
    Posts
    182
    Years of Experience
    10
    Rep Power
    16

    Default Re: needing a locator

    I have worked using both the RD (radio detection) and subsite. I find that using the RD was easier to use for cable, phone, and power, though the subsite had a better frequency range, which helped to reduce bleed over when using 512. For some reason, the new rd 8000 with 512 is on a delay system, which throws the signal off by a bit.
    If you have no experience with using the equipment, and you need something you can calibrate or modify on your own, I would say try the rd, and ask your distributor for a demonstration on how the equipment is used. Also, the handbook they give you with your new equipment is full off great information.
    Good luck, and ask questions, you never know what you may find out.

  9. #9
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,960
    Years of Experience
    16
    Rep Power
    137

    Default Re: needing a locator

    ProfessionalLocator mentioned the "Ditch Witch" as a locator and others mentioned the "Subsite". DitchWitch makes the subsite locator. Didn't want you to think they were two different things.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  10. #10
    Senior Member locatethis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    238
    Years of Experience
    10
    Rep Power
    20

    Default Re: needing a locator

    Heard your looking for a used locator? Well I'm about 61,been used rough and bounced around a bit. Still have energy to get the job done. Just need to to be paid fairly and treated with respect!!!
    Oh, did you mean equipment like an RD 8000 or something like that?

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    charlotte,nc
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: needing a locator

    Thanks for the info. I have to admit I don't know much about locators but it looks like there are 2 kinds of locators - subsite and radio detection. The radio detection type would be the better choice for what we need.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    ProfessionalLocator mentioned the "Ditch Witch" as a locator and others mentioned the "Subsite". DitchWitch makes the subsite locator. Didn't want you to think they were two different things.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    charlotte,nc
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    7

    Default Re: needing a locator

    It looks like there have been 3 locators popping up as candidates to look for. The RD 8000, Metrotech 810 and Pipehorn 800HL. The RD 8000 mentioned the most. I take it they are all radio detection type locators. Given my limited experience and what our needs are would you say any one of the three will work?

  13. #13
    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    1,809
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    95

    Default Re: needing a locator

    Go with the 810, it is cheap, user friendly, light and proven. The Pipehorn is probably better suited in a more experienced persons hands. The RD8000 is probably a good tool, but might be far more complicated than what you are looking for.
    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


  14. #14
    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    454
    Years of Experience
    15
    Rep Power
    28

    Default Re: needing a locator

    Radiodetection RD8000. It only looks complicated. It's quite simple to use, durable, and service is usually not a problem. Works very well around RFI and congested areas.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Under Heaven's Skies
    Posts
    182
    Years of Experience
    10
    Rep Power
    16

    Default Re: needing a locator

    You may not find too many used rd8000's out there, as they really are a very reliable machine. In my opinion, I would say try for one if you can get one. You might be a bit astonished at the price, though. They do get pricey. I would say make the investment for a used one that has some sort of warranty or buy new. You wouldn't want to spend good money on a bad piece of equipment.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
A 'Rook Media' Website