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Thread: tips and tricks

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    Default tips and tricks

    I searched but couldn't find the old tips and tricks thread. I thought I could start a new one.

    1. When trying to locate an electric service that comes down a pole with a u-gaurd and no ground wire and goes directly into a basement I have found that hooking up to an air conditioning unit will usually light up the electric.

    I have also used an outdoor electric outlet as a hookup point as well. I NEVER recommend this but it has worked for me on more than one occassion. I have stuck a flag in the ground prong of an electric outlet and used that as a hookup. Again, not recommended. This will not only fry a tranmitter but could get you killed.

    2. Payphones. I have found that you cant get access to a hookup point on many payphones. Many of these run directly from a building or unknown location. Fortunately most are so old that they still have the headsets that you can unscrew the mouthpiece and get access to the pairs.

    3. When coming across a phone drop that wont locate from the ped and the SNI is hidden in an unaccessible location you can get it to locate by the pairs in the phone jack in the building or house. I know this isn't a common problem but I once had a SNI inside of a wall and a broken sheath in the yard from a poor splice job. Simply take a spare indoor phone cord and plug it into the jack. Then cut the cord appx 4-6" from the jack and expose the pairs. You now have place to direct connect to.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by noOT4me View Post
    I searched but couldn't find the old tips and tricks thread. I thought I could start a new one.

    1. When trying to locate an electric service that comes down a pole with a u-gaurd and no ground wire and goes directly into a basement I have found that hooking up to an air conditioning unit will usually light up the electric.

    I have also used an outdoor electric outlet as a hookup point as well. I NEVER recommend this but it has worked for me on more than one occassion. I have stuck a flag in the ground prong of an electric outlet and used that as a hookup. Again, not recommended. This will not only fry a tranmitter but could get you killed.

    2. Payphones. I have found that you cant get access to a hookup point on many payphones. Many of these run directly from a building or unknown location. Fortunately most are so old that they still have the headsets that you can unscrew the mouthpiece and get access to the pairs.

    3. When coming across a phone drop that wont locate from the ped and the SNI is hidden in an unaccessible location you can get it to locate by the pairs in the phone jack in the building or house. I know this isn't a common problem but I once had a SNI inside of a wall and a broken sheath in the yard from a poor splice job. Simply take a spare indoor phone cord and plug it into the jack. Then cut the cord appx 4-6" from the jack and expose the pairs. You now have place to direct connect to.
    I had a retirement community with a master meter and no meters to the houses. Plus all the transformers were subsurface.
    I clamped the induction clamp onto the wire to the central AC compressor at the side of the house. Not ideal but all there was and it worked.

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    Junior Member Frank's Avatar
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    If an AT&T manhole is full of water, drop your red lead in the water. See what ya get!

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    i have heard that will not work as one would think it would???? is this true????
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    If an AT&T manhole is full of water, drop your red lead in the water. See what ya get!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by noOT4me View Post
    3. When coming across a phone drop that wont locate from the ped and the SNI is hidden in an unaccessible location you can get it to locate by the pairs in the phone jack in the building or house. I know this isn't a common problem but I once had a SNI inside of a wall and a broken sheath in the yard from a poor splice job. Simply take a spare indoor phone cord and plug it into the jack. Then cut the cord appx 4-6" from the jack and expose the pairs. You now have place to direct connect to.
    In my area Time Warner has taken over a big market on the telephone service or the homeowners don't use the copper and just use cell phones. Alot of times these unused drops don't seem to tone. Most of the time for drops I just use the spare pairs(cold-pairing) of the drop. This will normally give a perfect signal with no bleed off.

    "Hot Pairing" is also a necessary tool for the experienced locator. Alot of the old 1960's telephone cables have so many splices and sheath faults on them they won't tone under any conventional methods and hot pairing will give a perfect signal. As much as this is a useful tool this also can be a damage waiting to happen when you have paralleling cables.

    When you have an electric meter on an industrial/apartment building and there is absolutely nowhere to ground is to look for a place to couple the electric after the meter. This normally works perfectly with no bleed off.

    Another thing that alot of us old timers seem to forget from time to time is that "the deeper the ground the better the sound". It still amazes me how much better your signal is when you have a good ground.

    Disconnecting a CATV drop is always a last resort but sometimes a CATV drop is so shallow and parallels the trunk or feeder that you can't locate the mainline. As much as it is not suggested it is sometimes necessary.

    P.S. Newbies remember that alot of the methods brought up in these type threads are not things you would like to use as a new locator. It takes a long time to have the courage and knowledge to do some of these things.
    Last edited by Goldenboy; April 29th, 2010 at 11:03 PM.
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    i have heard that will not work as one would think it would???? is this true????

    dont get the rooks fired lol
    "What Are You Doin!?!? GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!"
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by FiosKing View Post
    dont get the rooks fired lol
    It's OK if they get a llitle shock trying to emulate some of you , but don't get them fired!
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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    Senior Member FiosKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    shock and probably a great way to fry the machine
    "What Are You Doin!?!? GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!"
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    i have heard that will not work as one would think it would???? is this true????
    It doesn't work everytime just as with anything else but yes it does work if the circumstances are right. No it will not fry your machine or shock you. You ground out properly and then drop the lead in the water, all it's doing is grabbing onto a cable by induction transmitted from the lead through the water. It gives you a comparable signal to being ring clamped, once again that is when it works. It wouldn't recommend doing this as a regular habit, but if you have a single duct that you've located previously and know where it's at, this can save you a considerable amount of time.
    Life's a garden, dig it! - Joe Dirt

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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    This is dangerous technique. It does not work well as a method of induction, and its only a matter of time before you end up with a big fat damage because you were to lazy to do it the right way. There is a reason why it only works sometimes. Assuming that you are putting out a strong enough signal and induction is occurring, you are not only dispersing your signal in a wide area and simultaneously diluting it, but you would be generating a lot of distortion in the electromagnetic field and would be even more likely to bleed off on another utility. The whole idea of the induction clamp it to apply the signal in a smaller area, not to generate a wide area broadcast. For your own sakes 6feet and NoOT, I hope you guys change this practice an do it the right way.
    Last edited by GPGrasshopper; May 1st, 2010 at 01:56 PM.
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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    I found it really only works reliably when there is a splice case underwater and then I only use this on remarks where I have a good idea where the cable runs.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    Quote Originally Posted by 6feetunder View Post
    It doesn't work everytime just as with anything else but yes it does work if the circumstances are right. No it will not fry your machine or shock you. You ground out properly and then drop the lead in the water, all it's doing is grabbing onto a cable by induction transmitted from the lead through the water. It gives you a comparable signal to being ring clamped, once again that is when it works. It wouldn't recommend doing this as a regular habit, but if you have a single duct that you've located previously and know where it's at, this can save you a considerable amount of time.
    i have used this method a few times to successfully locate pvc pipe lines, fill the pipe with water, drop the red lead in the water and locate........only works under the right conditions
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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    my thinking, and i could very well be wrong is this...

    if manhole 1 is full of water and manhole 2 is full of water and water is flowing thru the conduit run as well, aren't you actually locating the water and not the cables? btw, i've done this sort of thing and i've noticed that if my peak and my null response are right on with each other that its always been accurate (based on doing the same locate with direct connection) because null goes blank at the intersection of all signals right? so if peak and null are ontop of each other you should be pretty accurate i would think?
    "You can never trust AT&T to do the intelligent thing..." - SM&P Lead Tech

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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    "Hot Pairing" is also a necessary tool for the experienced locator. Alot of the old 1960's telephone cables have so many splices and sheath faults on them they won't tone under any conventional methods and hot pairing will give a perfect signal. As much as this is a useful tool this also can be a damage waiting to happen when you have paralleling cables.

    Another thing that alot of us old timers seem to forget from time to time is that "the deeper the ground the better the sound". It still amazes me how much better your signal is when you have a good ground.

    The tip on most domestic copper tel technically should locate back to the C.O. without affecting call, but I agree with Goldenboy, locating ring if possible works best.

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    Default Re: tips and tricks

    i had an old 11 pair that i could only locate via hot pair because the line had been hit and the tech used unshielded 2 pair drops to splice the hot wires back together and left the unused pairs severed and didn't run any kind of ground between the pieces of severed cable to connect the sheaths. i wouldn't have known what happened except for the fact when i was locating i came across a couple of elbow splices laying in a hole in the path of my signal. hot pairing saved my butt that time. on a side note though, my supervisor told me one time he hotpaired a drop without talking to the homeowner and he told me that she came out and got on to him because he disconnected her from her son in the middle east calling her at home. so needless to say i try and talk to homeowners now before interrupting their calls...
    "You can never trust AT&T to do the intelligent thing..." - SM&P Lead Tech

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