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

Thread: Vivax VLOC

  1. #1
    Member Utilitrack's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    91
    Rep Power
    13

    Default Vivax VLOC

    Is anyone out there in contract locating using this as their primary locate unit? We are demo'ing one at this time and have been very impressed with it so far. It appears to be literally bullet-proof with its kevlar skin. But durability is always key and contract locators test durability like no one else. any feed back would be appreciated. They have been recently bought out by Metrotech, as much as I like this Vivax, I hate the Metrotech 9800 series due to their lack of durability.

    http://www.vivax-metrotech.com/index.asp

  2. #2
    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    387
    Years of Experience
    31
    Rep Power
    28

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by Utilitrack View Post
    Is anyone out there in contract locating using this as their primary locate unit? We are demo'ing one at this time and have been very impressed with it so far. It appears to be literally bullet-proof with its kevlar skin. But durability is always key and contract locators test durability like no one else. any feed back would be appreciated. They have been recently bought out by Metrotech, as much as I like this Vivax, I hate the Metrotech 9800 series due to their lack of durability.

    http://www.vivax-metrotech.com/index.asp
    The Vloc is a great unit and a few of my guys use it in the field everyday, but take my "opinion" with a grain of salt as not only am I a contract locating company owner, I am also a Vivax-Metrotech Rep.

    The Vloc is not kevlar, portions of the unit are made from Carbon Fiber, specifically the antenna tube. There are two Vloc Pro versions available, a 10 watt and a 5 watt system. We have a few of each and all new locators hired on with my firm will be issued a Vloc Pro 5 watt system as their primary "weapon". Most of the rest of my guys use the Metrotech i5000 10 watt GPS enabled systems and we have a slew of 9890 DXLT's as backup weapons along with Subsite's, RD's and Pipehorns. The Vloc Pro with the latest software version, incorporates Signal Direction in the form of an on-screen compass and more than seventy (70) avaialble frequencies including; all currently used fiber tone frequencies used in North America as well as all other manufacturer's locator frequencies (so you can use anybody's transmitter with a particular frequency you like). This does not apply to locators for UQ, as their Vloc's are limited to a specific software version mandated by UQ.

    The Vloc Pro ML is the marker locator version of the system. It loses the Signal Direction Compass as it is replaced by the Marker Information Ball and is about 3.5" longer overall. It is also avaialble in either 5 watt or 10 watt.

    Both systems are capable of doing fault detection with the proper A-Frame accessory and the Vloc has a specific selection for cathodic protection.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,309
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    The new Vivax has a lot of strengths but also many weak points, some which can be overcome by simple modifications.

    One weak point is the leads. They tend to fray at the connector that connects to the transmitter and unlike the metrotech 810 are not readily soldered in the filed. I solder my metrotech leads using a 70 watt soldering iron connected to the laptops inverter, works great and only set the truck on fire one time.

    The clips on the Vivax leads are soldered on rather than held by a set screw. So instead of a quick fix with a screwdriver and pliers they have to be re-soldered. The metrotech 810 leads have clips that have a cone shaped insulating cover over them so they do not get snagged on things easily. The vivax leads are the clothespin type and they catch on everything so ripping them off is a problem. Plus the shape of the vivax leads lends to the problem of tangling leads and makes untangling them more difficult. The vivax clips are also rather small and are difficult to clip onto a large utility. Cut the factory clips off the leads off the vivax and put on metrotech 810 type clips.

    The ring clamp is a healthy 5" and can clamp around most any cable you run into.


    I have to check and see of the vivax I used was 5 or 10 watts but it's ability to induce a signal is so poor as to useless in this mode, you need to carry a metrotech 810 or other comparable locator in the event you need to induce to find a utility.

    On the plus side is the vivax is great on not being susceptible to much bleed off. Sure you get it but you get a lot less. Many a times I have locked onto a deep utility while catv was a foot away, something difficult for the 810 to do.

    On the down side the vivax does not like connecting to multiple lines at one time. It functions best when connected to a single leg of utility or one service at a time. When connected to multiple legs directly with leads and clips it tend to locate only one of them. So with the 810 you can reliably and accurately mark a bunch of TV or phone house drops with one connection. With the vivax it is only reliable if you connect to each one individually. For the locator doing production work this takes up a lot of time and having an 810 or comparable machine to use in such situations is desirable.

    The vivax has a higher power output than the 810, it can even you a perceptible shock if you touch a bare clip. This puts demands on the batteries which are 8 D cells. The battery indicator reads "full" on fresh batteries, then "good" and when it says "ok" it means it will soon run out of power. There is no graph indicator on the reaming battery power so you absolutely must carry spares. When the batteries go they go suddenly, crash bang and nothing is working.

    The receiver has built in rechargeable batteries and a production locator can go two days on one charge. You can recharge the thing in the cab of your truck by hooking it to the laptop inverter. Best yet the receiver has AA size batteries as back up so if you forget to charge the thing you can run on AA batteries. (AA is the size, Alcoholics Anonymous does not sell their own brand of batteries)

    The EMS, Electronic Marker System, locator works well and it can select any utility you wish.

    The 60 cycle sweep works well but has no depth indicator, I believe the RD 400 does.

    The receiver weighs a hefty 6.6 pounds and the weight takes getting used to and makes it awkward to carry when you are carrying a number of different items.

    The transmitter get's it's weight from those 8 D cell batteries. It is not too heavy but when in it's bag you are also carrying an extra can of paint, pliers, hammer, screwdriver and all the other things we need and then the darn thing is heavy.

    It has a nice carry bag just for the transmitter with a good shoulder strap. But their bag is too small to carry the other things we need so for the production locator this is left in the truck. A larger thing is really needed to carry the transmitter.

    The 810 uses tones to indicate if you are left or right of the signal you are tracing. A beep beep beep to go left and a steady tone to go to the right. This allows you to follow the signal without having to keep your eyes glued to the vane and digital indicators. The vivax is a monotone and requires more attention to be paid to the visual indicators. This means more time with your eyes down and less time looking about for hazards like walking your head into a deck, stack of roof trusses, tree branch, etc. Also less time keeping an eye out for trip hazards or traffic.

    The vivax needs improvement in it's audio output, ability to locate while connected to multiple lengths of utility, drastically needs improvement in it's near nonexistent ability to induce (Maybe the 10 watt does okay and if that is the case the 5 watt should be discontinued or at least not purchased) leads and clips need to be made so to be more easily repairable in the field with simple hand tools, the clips need to be changed to be more snag and tangle resistant, better remaining battery life indicator for it's transmitter, if at all possible the transmitter and reciver need to shed some weight.

    The vivax is a good machine but would benefit from redesign with input from the people who actually use them in a production work environment.

  4. #4
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    3,909
    Years of Experience
    15
    Rep Power
    167

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    I do not like the vivax because of it's sweeping technology and the clamps are something you would get from 1.00 store if they sold clamps! as far as other ideas it has....really nice. the tranmitters do not last long ....we have had about 10 or so go down.....something with the digital face.....?????? It has its good points and bad points! this is my opinion
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  5. #5
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,309
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    I do not like the vivax because of it's sweeping technology and the clamps are something you would get from 1.00 store if they sold clamps! as far as other ideas it has....really nice. the tranmitters do not last long ....we have had about 10 or so go down.....something with the digital face.....?????? It has its good points and bad points! this is my opinion
    Oh yes, I forgot. The faceplate of the transmitter is vulnerable to water. Just a little bit gets on it and the thing stops transmitting until it drys out. I kept a plastic bag over it when I used it in very light rain. But still a little water will get through and seeped into the transmitter through the face plate and shut it down. This is another matter that needs correction.

  6. #6
    Junior Member The Subtle Locator's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Catskills, NY
    Posts
    12
    Years of Experience
    18
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Hey Pro..., I got a demo unit with the 10 watt transmitter. I was impressed when I located inductively an 18-inch Ductile iron wastewater line up to where it entered underneath a building with my 810. The plans suggested that the pipe ran halfway into the building then bent 90 degrees and ran underneath the building approximately 200+feet to where it exited underneath the front of the building and continued up the street. There were NO access points. My 810 could not push enough signal inductively to make it out the other side of the building. So, I dropped the Vivax transmitter and tried three of its stock frequencies: 8.1KHz, 65KHz and a high one that I don't remember the number of. I cranked the power on high and was able to get a trace with all three with the 8.1, surprisingly, being the best. I was able to use it well with some water lines as well. So, I don't know why you had problems inductively, unless the 10 watt really does make that big of difference. Something to think about.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,309
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by The Subtle Locator View Post
    Hey Pro..., I got a demo unit with the 10 watt transmitter. I was impressed when I located inductively an 18-inch Ductile iron wastewater line up to where it entered underneath a building with my 810. The plans suggested that the pipe ran halfway into the building then bent 90 degrees and ran underneath the building approximately 200+feet to where it exited underneath the front of the building and continued up the street. There were NO access points. My 810 could not push enough signal inductively to make it out the other side of the building. So, I dropped the Vivax transmitter and tried three of its stock frequencies: 8.1KHz, 65KHz and a high one that I don't remember the number of. I cranked the power on high and was able to get a trace with all three with the 8.1, surprisingly, being the best. I was able to use it well with some water lines as well. So, I don't know why you had problems inductively, unless the 10 watt really does make that big of difference. Something to think about.
    That may be the problem, I may have used a 5 watt, still checking that out. I tired it on several things and got poor results and yes the batteries were fresh. I once put it over a five pair phone line that was no more than a foot deep and did not get a reliable signal.

  8. #8
    Junior Member The Subtle Locator's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Catskills, NY
    Posts
    12
    Years of Experience
    18
    Rep Power
    9

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    What frequency did you use for the 5-pair?...BTW, my boss just informed me he's getting me a Vivax in October..., go figure! I'm going to try to get it with SD and add my own frequencies to it (Pipehorn and 810).

  9. #9
    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    328
    Years of Experience
    14
    Rep Power
    22

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by The Subtle Locator View Post
    What frequency did you use for the 5-pair?...BTW, my boss just informed me he's getting me a Vivax in October..., go figure! I'm going to try to get it with SD and add my own frequencies to it (Pipehorn and 810).
    Sorry to tell you that the Vivax won't work with the pipehorn's high freq. 480khz, I asked one of thier engineers.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    22
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    I use a VLOC Pro daily. I left it in the back of the truck accidentally during the last big rainstorm and had zero moisture issues. Maybe I'm just lucky?

    ProfessionalLocator, you need to get the firmware and hardware updates for yours! Mine now uses 10 D-cells for the transmitter (used to be 8) and the default power output level is now 50mA instead of the original 100mA! Battery life in the transmitter is now 3-4 times longer. I wish you could turn down the transmitter even more... 50mA is still a lot of juice for a single lot locate. The receiver has a color LCD display and emits modulated or monotone audio, whichever you choose.

    I've used RD's, Rycoms, and Subsites, and the VIVAX is the best of the bunch.

    Jared

    Oh, FYI - the AA batteries are not supposed to be used as a backup for the receiver. They are to be used in conjunction with the internal battery to extend the battery life between charges... meaning they should be replaced with every re-charge. I was told by VIVAX that using it with a dead internal battery and charged AA's can ruin the internal battery - which is what happened to me.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,309
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by The Subtle Locator View Post
    What frequency did you use for the 5-pair?...BTW, my boss just informed me he's getting me a Vivax in October..., go figure! I'm going to try to get it with SD and add my own frequencies to it (Pipehorn and 810).
    All of them. I tried a vivax today inducing on a 50 pair phone line and got a signal that did not last more than 60 feet. I got the info off the case of that machine and I will look it up later and see if it is a 5w or 10w.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,309
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared View Post
    I use a VLOC Pro daily. I left it in the back of the truck accidentally during the last big rainstorm and had zero moisture issues. Maybe I'm just lucky?

    ProfessionalLocator, you need to get the firmware and hardware updates for yours! Mine now uses 10 D-cells for the transmitter (used to be 8) and the default power output level is now 50mA instead of the original 100mA! Battery life in the transmitter is now 3-4 times longer. I wish you could turn down the transmitter even more... 50mA is still a lot of juice for a single lot locate. The receiver has a color LCD display and emits modulated or monotone audio, whichever you choose.

    I've used RD's, Rycoms, and Subsites, and the VIVAX is the best of the bunch.

    Jared

    Oh, FYI - the AA batteries are not supposed to be used as a backup for the receiver. They are to be used in conjunction with the internal battery to extend the battery life between charges... meaning they should be replaced with every re-charge. I was told by VIVAX that using it with a dead internal battery and charged AA's can ruin the internal battery - which is what happened to me.
    The vivax I was using had adjustable output. From a low of 5 milliamps to a high of100 milliamps. You can't directly dial in what the output is. You plug it in and the machine gets what it can. Then you can bump the power up or down.

    Did you leave both the transmitter and the receiver in the rain? I find the receiver well sealed and water resistant, the transmitter is what I found very vulnerable to water.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dave72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    353
    Rep Power
    24

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    I find the receiver well sealed and water resistant, the transmitter is what I found very vulnerable to water.
    The comments about the transmitter are worrying me (we're looking at Vivax for our next locators)..
    Might a possible fix be to silicone around the display panel or something ??
    (May you live in interesting times)

  14. #14
    Senior Member ctdon1952's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    146
    Rep Power
    15

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    I use a Vivax daily and ran a Fiber for 3.2 miles from the hookup point. Had a great signal at the end of the locate. I have had no issues so far with it. Been using it for about a month now.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,309
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: Vivax VLOC

    Quote Originally Posted by ctdon1952 View Post
    I use a Vivax daily and ran a Fiber for 3.2 miles from the hookup point. Had a great signal at the end of the locate. I have had no issues so far with it. Been using it for about a month now.
    The vivax is a very powerful and usefull machine but still could be improved by the manufacturer addressing some of it's shortcomings.

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
  •