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Thread: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

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    Default New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Anyone tried this yet? What do you think?

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Just had a demo. I have always been a big fan of the 75, not so much the 900 series, and this system looks to be more like the former. Our Ditchwitch sales rep is letting us try it out for a week, so I'll have refined my opinion by then, but I and my colleagues haven't been this excited about a new piece of equipment for a long time.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Quote Originally Posted by redswingline View Post
    Just had a demo. I have always been a big fan of the 75, not so much the 900 series, and this system looks to be more like the former. Our Ditchwitch sales rep is letting us try it out for a week, so I'll have refined my opinion by then, but I and my colleagues haven't been this excited about a new piece of equipment for a long time.
    I forget which model we tested and rejected. Only two frequencies and one of them 60 hrtz passive power mode. Though as nails though, sprayed it with a power washer and did not phase it.

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    We bought the Utiliguard+ with the 5 watt transmitter. So far it's fantastic. 60, 120, and 180hz passive modes are great. The feel and performance is very familiar to this old Subsite 75 user, and it is very rugged. There are, I think, 70 different frequencies but we'll only use a handful regularly. The display and sound are easy to interpret. A couple of mostly gimmicky features like the ambient noise detection, but all in all a really great machine, so far. We've only had it for a week, so I'll revisit this thread with any new info as we become more familiar with the nuances.
    yahoo likes this.

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Ok; first chink in the armor. When locating a fairly deep 12" steel pipe the on-screen directional display, and signal tone and meter, disagree by about a foot and a half. This is while using the peak antenna(which is all I ever use). Not sure why this happens or what to do about it, but I'll keep testing it out and figure out which one is right. My guess is that the tone is right, but since we get to pothole almost all of our locates, we'll see.

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Redswingline stick with the tone and peak numbers in any situations like this. I have seen a couple locates like this also and found that other units that offer arrows do the same thing on same lines. This is an outside interference issue and the only way I have been able to straighten it up is to do a loop ground back to ground stake from other end of line. (probably not real easy on 12" steel line).

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    We had a week long demo. When locating 2 side by side h2o mains signal drifted off by 10 feet(850 and vivax located it just fine). They need to refine their algorithms to compensate. Kicked butt in inductive, sat on a gas main and turned all mains and services right on the mark. Over all a good solid new machine, just needs a bit of software refinement. They are also working on a slide on boot for locating electronic markers.
    The manual still shows their engineers lack of understanding of what makes the old Metrotech so good: They stated that dual peak mode was the most accurate locate mode, using only 2 antennas, instead of the joint dual peak and null, using all the antennas. This was why their 810 clone couldn't do what my 20 year old 810 could.

    Over all, a good new machine. It could be on par with the RD8000 and Vivax/Metrotech with a little refinement.

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Just received my new utiliguard. Way better than my 950s. Cut onsite time in half. I'll post more soon.

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    Update
    The Utiliguard doesn't like cold weather. This morning at 7am EST I had my first of 8 emergency locates. It was approximately -23F without the windchill factor. The receiver seemed to drain power fast and auto shutdown. I could power it back up and get a few more minutes off it. Also, one of the things I was locating was a 6" ductile water main and the marks were off roughly 6' from locating off the customers house vs the nearest fire hydrant. The hydrant was the correct one. 8'-6" deep.
    CWVines likes this.

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    Member jabajo's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    ANOTHER UPDATE

    I had to swap out my 'new' locator for another new one. Rep accidentally gave me a +12, we ordered the +5. I noticed on this one (manufactured 3/4/14) that it does not have a total field antenna selection. I called the support line in Oklahoma and they said the engineer didn't like that configuration, or algorhythm as some have stated. He said that when they release the next version of software, number 7 which you download from the computer to the R/T, it will have more goodies that they are bringing back like the arrows and clicks.

    Apparently I was also informed it has a 'Direction Enabled' setup to inform you if your signal has jumped to another line by using dual freq's on send and receive, but only works under 10kHz. He also recommended that when locating deep utilities to try the 44kHz channel. He said they have had great success with that as compared to the 29.4kHz.

    I was glad I called, sometimes you learn sometime but just asking a few simple questions. I'll repost after I have try the techniques in the field. It's supposed to snow today and they are talking +18"......
    Last edited by jabajo; March 31st, 2014 at 01:10 PM. Reason: grammar

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    Default Re: New Ditchwitch Utiliguard Locator

    I can only imagine. Here in NE Texas with lows usually in high 20's to mid 30's my Utiliguard+ rx wouldn't stay on more than a few minutes. Going through expensive ass d cell batteries like pez candy. I would put in my truck with screen in floor using heat to try and help driving between locates. Why can't they offer a rechargeable battery pack for it. For my 5+ transmitter it came with a d cell tray requiring I think 10 or 12 d cell batteries. As well as a pullout rechargeable

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