tempo progressive 521

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Scott's, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Scott's

    Scott's LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I am new to using a valve locator, I made my own test site by running wire on top of the ground and wiring in some valves along the path. When I insert my grounding stake and place the hot wire over the wire to be traced I keep getting a tone over the wire instead of a null. I might be reading the directions wrong, but according to the directions I should get a null. When I get on top of the valve the receiver goes crazy which I think it is supposed to. Can anyone please give me some pointers on this thing. I am a new Irrigator (very new) and could use a little help with this. I have called the company (tempo) and all I get is another name and and number to call and I've yet to find anyone to help me. As far as getting a good ground I have even wet the ground with water to try and make a good ground. Should I get a tone or null over the wire, I am sure it is a operator error. Thanks Scotty.
     
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    I did the same thing of using above ground wires for learning and it didn't work very well. I then changed to a section of main line with known wiring and used that as my testing grounds. I found an area that had 3-4 valves in a straight line and then disconnected the common wire at the two valves on the end of the run. Now I had a wire that was both burried and disconnected from the controller. It worked much better.

    The locator will go "crazy" near a valve and this is one way of locating lost valves. I trace the common wire's null path and mark it with paint dots. Then turn the sensitivity down and slowly go along the null path with the tip of the locator just above ground level until the locator goes crazy. If the valve is offset from the main line then you need to move the locator along the null path on the side of the main you suspect the valve might be located.

    You should always get a null over the wire and then chatter as you move away from the wire. The chatter will always be strongest near the wire and then fade as you get farther from the wire. If you're getting a good ground then use the controls to make sure you're within the 4-8 range setting.

    The locator will not do everything for you. When there is a change of direction with a valve near that change you will often get ghosts. If wire is nicked then signals can be sent into the ground giving false directions and the signal fades out. The more you use the 521 the better you will get and it takes a lot of patience.
     
  3. ShepDog

    ShepDog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I agree with Purp...practice. Also, power lines will disrupt signal. If the ground is really wet, you will not get a good ground either. I usually will track from valve boxes to controller, and a toner ( i forget the progressive model#) is a really helpful tool. A tracker will also tell you approx. depth too, with practice. But it is an indispensible tool worth all time and effort learning...
     
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    I have tried the triangulation depth method of the 521 several times and I'm actually amazed at how fairly accurate it is.
     
  5. Scott's

    Scott's LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I am going to go to a location that I am familiar with and try using it on buried wire. I couldn't figure out why I was getting chatter when I was directly over the wire and then null when I would get away from it. I feel like this locator was money well spent, I was using the old ditch line method and trying to second guess where the valve was located and I got to where I was getting pretty good at it, but as my business is growing I have been getting some calls on older systems where the installer has no rhyme or reason for putting a valve in the backyard that feeds a front yard zone resulting in more time spent on one location. I think I can save 15 to 30 minutes per call if I can master this locator, I have been averaging 2 to 4 valve calls per day along with other service calls and if I can save 30 minutes on locating a valve, that would give me an extra one to two hours a day to schedule two more service calls per day which makes for happier customers and a increase my budget. Thanks for the help. Scotty Roberts
     
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Nothing like passing over a high power line when locating. I can't seem to get the headphones off fast enough. :cry:
     
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I am partial to the extra "noise" an approaching thunderstorm causes as well :) I admit to being a bit paranoid about lightning. I learned on golf courses and I've seen a few strikes. That "crackling" of a thunderhead who isn't quite here yet always helped speed me along my way.
     
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Anything like, "Gee Toto, I think we'd better get to the basement?" :p
     
  9. ShepDog

    ShepDog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Also, right around the Tracker will always give interference. Place your ground as far away as possible from your connection to the irrg,system.
     
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Yep... Been there, done that. :)
     

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