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View Full Version : armada pro-800 issues


1idejim
08-14-2011, 05:43 PM
i got a new armada pro-800 this year and after what, a couple of months i have run into a few issues that i have talked to the company about.

the other day, a week after a 1 hour use the battery was dead, charged it and it was dead off the charger. they are sending a new battery and charger to replace the problem.

i live about 100 mile turnaround from a batteries plus so bruce asked me to have the rig tested when i was able to get by bp.

i would suggest that if you are having issues with the batteries, have them tested before calling armada, it always helps to know exactly what is going on when you call.

enough said

mitchgo
11-01-2011, 11:55 PM
So after buying two of them we are going to return mine and keep the other


Mine was great for about 2 months.

Basically mine doesn't work in the regular locate mode ( only in broadcast) . In the regular mode it states I have a low battery ( Even though I don't and after switching to a new battery it still says the same thing) and doesn't work. Switching to broadcast mode it works fine... but the broadcast mode for 1- I have a hard time working with even after trying jim's tips and 2 it seems to attach to any nearby wire. Maybe jim can help out? In anycase I don't want to use the wireless mode everytime.

So far my experience with them compared to the 521

800
*Locates metal, copper and galvi pipes better
*Locates deeper wires with more accuracy
*locates extremely well for for irrigation wire

Although the 800 claims it filters out other frequencies.. All I hear is ' crackle crackle crackle crackle. With the 521 it gets very fuzzy but you can still follow the wire.
Additionally. I'm having trouble understanding the 'volume' knob on the wand and how it plays a part in its ability to locate the wire accurately. Basically having the 'volume' down very low will get you you an extremely low reading ( Needle movement) and the opposite for fully turned up.. Which this is not the case for the 521

521
*Easier to find valves
*Dead on accuracy for irrigation wire with a good ground

DanaMac
11-02-2011, 09:16 AM
Jim and Mitch - just out of curiosity, how many days a month do you use a device like this? We used our 521 three times this year, which is a lot for us. I was considering getting another locator, but it would sit and collect dust just like the others.

mitchgo
11-02-2011, 04:24 PM
Not so much during winterizing. Maybe once every 2 weeks. But any other time proly 1 to 3 times a week
Posted via Mobile Device

AI Inc
11-02-2011, 05:48 PM
Im about once a week. A lot for add ons rebuilds to track wire and main as we always pull them together at the same time.

Hitting the main is not a big deal , its the wire Im trying to avoid.

Mike Leary
11-02-2011, 05:50 PM
Once I let the septic guys know we had a 521, plenty of work came our way.

txirrigation
11-02-2011, 08:34 PM
I think the importance of a 521 is regonal. I would never send a tech to a repair with out one where I am. Reason being, we locate our valves in the middle of each zone. After a few months grass grows over the valves and they are impossible to find without the 521.

I could see where manifolds are used the 521 is less of a usefull tool.

Stuttering Stan
11-02-2011, 10:00 PM
I agree with the above. Mostly manifolded systems and I used the 521 four times over the summer. So it's not one of my daily tools.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-02-2011, 11:27 PM
I think the importance of a 521 is regonal. I would never send a tech to a repair with out one where I am. Reason being, we locate our valves in the middle of each zone. After a few months grass grows over the valves and they are impossible to find without the 521.

I could see where manifolds are used the 521 is less of a usefull tool.

Ditto and since every red blooded Texan did it the same way the 521 for a service guy was like a Colt 45 for a cowboy in the old west.

Have 521 Will Travel

1idejim
11-06-2011, 01:54 PM
So after buying two of them we are going to return mine and keep the other


Mine was great for about 2 months.

Basically mine doesn't work in the regular locate mode ( only in broadcast) . In the regular mode it states I have a low battery ( Even though I don't and after switching to a new battery it still says the same thing) and doesn't work. Switching to broadcast mode it works fine... but the broadcast mode for 1- I have a hard time working with even after trying jim's tips and 2 it seems to attach to any nearby wire. Maybe jim can help out? In anycase I don't want to use the wireless mode everytime.

So far my experience with them compared to the 521

800
*Locates metal, copper and galvi pipes better
*Locates deeper wires with more accuracy
*locates extremely well for for irrigation wire

Although the 800 claims it filters out other frequencies.. All I hear is ' crackle crackle crackle crackle. With the 521 it gets very fuzzy but you can still follow the wire.
Additionally. I'm having trouble understanding the 'volume' knob on the wand and how it plays a part in its ability to locate the wire accurately. Basically having the 'volume' down very low will get you you an extremely low reading ( Needle movement) and the opposite for fully turned up.. Which this is not the case for the 521

521
*Easier to find valves
*Dead on accuracy for irrigation wire with a good ground

i have had a few issues myself but i have handled them myself and communicated with armada, the battery was the only thing i have not been able to work around. i look at locators the way i look at cars, trucks and tractors, the first run has bugs in it, the second and third runs usually have those bugs ironed out. :)

Jim and Mitch - just out of curiosity, how many days a month do you use a device like this? We used our 521 three times this year, which is a lot for us. I was considering getting another locator, but it would sit and collect dust just like the others.

a bunch dana, a lot more than a guy would think. if i look at a site for excavation i do a sweep, i re-locate USA and pre-locate private prior to excavation and keep track of my position while digging.

i am doing some private work for a farmer/rancher on properties developed in the early 1900's. that will take 2-3 weeks of 8-10 hour days.

i also received a call from a company that broke an 18" mainline last week (6k of damage) and will look at the site after thanksgiving.

i guess as a rule i use some sort of locator almost daily. :)

jcr4au
11-08-2011, 09:24 PM
Same thing happened to me. Called armada and he told me to get it tested and if it failed then he would buy me a new battery. So I went to a battery store, it failed the test, I walked up to the register with a new battery, called armada, handed the phone to the clerk and he took the guy from armadas credit card and I walked out with a new battery. Not a problem since.

When I talked with armada initially it sounded like a common problem and they were sending the remaining batteries back to the manufacture.

i got a new armada pro-800 this year and after what, a couple of months i have run into a few issues that i have talked to the company about.

the other day, a week after a 1 hour use the battery was dead, charged it and it was dead off the charger. they are sending a new battery and charger to replace the problem.

i live about 100 mile turnaround from a batteries plus so bruce asked me to have the rig tested when i was able to get by bp.

i would suggest that if you are having issues with the batteries, have them tested before calling armada, it always helps to know exactly what is going on when you call.

enough said

Sprinkus
11-09-2011, 09:23 AM
I'd go to Wurstfest this year if I wasn't going to Germany.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-09-2011, 11:08 AM
Ahhhh Wurstfest. Had a major hangover from that party every year at college.

jcr4au
11-12-2011, 03:32 PM
At $17 for a pitcher of beer you would not have been drunk as a college student this year.

Wet_Boots
11-12-2011, 03:37 PM
I wouldn't pay $17 for a pitcher of beer if it came with a table dance :mad:

Mike Leary
11-12-2011, 07:39 PM
I wouldn't pay $17 for a pitcher of beer if it came with a table dance :mad:

ROTAR would.

1idejim
11-17-2011, 03:00 PM
I have been using the Pro-800 for near 6 months so I thought that I might tell you what I think about the locator.

First off, I had battery issues, seems a few other guys have also had some bum batteries. Since I usually call Armada between 4 and 5 am pst, they shipped me a battery that morning, was installed and charged that same week.

I personally don't like the clamps on the leads but that's just me, there isn't anything wrong with them.

My needle sticks if I turn the gain up too far too quick, this is easy to do since there is a dead spot until you hit 9 o'clock on the volume knob. This has not been a problem, I just tap it slightly with my hand and it frees up.

Any other issues that I have had, I have been able to deal with by learning to use the locator more effectively, transmitter orientation, improved grounding procedures, etc. mostly things I know how to do but rarely did with my 521 or 700 as a rule.

I have used the 800 quite a bit in the traditional direct connection mode, the peak response is great for me, a peak aerial is directional so laterals, slack coils and butt splices are easy to identify.

Peak is truer than null and I am able to verify the target by comparing the null and peak with the selector button instead of stopping and using triangulation for depth referance like I do with the 521 or 700.

I have more time using the broadcast mode, I really didn't think that I would like it as much as I do, I use the bejesus out of it. (I do wish however that an inductive coupler could be used with the Pro-800 as I use a coupler on both the dynatel and the 4110 all the time).

I haven't located any irrigation valves in he last few weeks and intentionally didn't use the 800 for three weeks (to see how long the battery would hold up) but I have found 21 valves using the broadcast mode. With practice I think that I could find valves on a regular basis wirelessly, but maybe not.

Locating gas and metallic water pipes is cake, as is locating a fishtape in a conduit.

The main issue with using broadcast is not totally being able to identify the target conductor. One thing that does help is grounding the far end of the target, the signal is extremely stronger on the grounded target than on the other conductors.

I am sure that Armada will work out any quirks or bugs the same way that they have in the past, quickly.

no locator out of the box will make you an expert, I know that operator error is 95% of most problems, I love the 800, it works well for me.

1idejim
11-17-2011, 03:02 PM
ROTAR would.

last time eddie called me, he passed out and his girlfriend finished the conversation:laugh:

AI Inc
11-17-2011, 03:27 PM
.


I personally don't like the clamps on the leads but that's just me, there isn't anything wrong with them.




.

Yes , not crazy about them either. One must strip more wire then usual and fold it over .

GreenAcresIrrigation
11-22-2011, 08:31 AM
I use a 508 daily, from marking out dog fence to locating out main lines. I have a 521 and its great, I love the thing. But I would like to get something else for my second truck, so from the price stand point and the capability of the armada I think I will go with it. Would you agree that the tech. service from armada is sufficent?

Wet_Boots
11-22-2011, 09:31 AM
I use a 508 daily, from marking out dog fence to locating out main lines. I have a 521 and its great, I love the thing. But I would like to get something else for my second truck, so from the price stand point and the capability of the armada I think I will go with it. Would you agree that the tech. service from armada is sufficent?Minus any mfr support, the best deal going is still that ebay seller of reconditioned Dynatel units that come with the A-frame

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-22-2011, 11:01 AM
Very true Boots

Nothing wrong with getting a reconditioned 521 for the second truck. At least if it shows up missing or gets stolen it won't be as painful.

1idejim
11-24-2011, 02:17 PM
Would you agree that the tech. service from armada is sufficent?



when you call armada, you are normally speaking to the owner. :)

mitchgo
11-24-2011, 04:36 PM
I think were going for the pro 700 now.

1idejim
11-24-2011, 04:45 PM
I think were going for the pro 700 now.

the pro-700 is a fine unit mitch, but so is the 521.

when you compare apples and apples, other things like price and support into really enter the equation.

something that i have to say about the 800 is that most people don't understand how really versatile it is.

Mike Leary
11-24-2011, 05:44 PM
when you call armada, you are normally speaking to the owner. :)

Which is the way it should all work. :)

mitchgo
11-26-2011, 04:15 AM
I left my 521 box open while locating in the heavy rain . Just spent the last 2 hours cleaning it, drying it and replacing the batteries. I added some foam along the bottom and ordered up a new $10 mono head set cause mine was beat up .

Wet_Boots
11-26-2011, 10:34 AM
next time add some dish soap to the case when you leave it open in the rain