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With the Pulser, don't you have to know where the path of the wire is first? I looked at something like that when I purchased the 521, but found out I had to first locate and mark the path of the wire run before I could go down the line with the fault locator. With the 521, I just go down the line and test voltage once I have a suspicion of where the cut is. Actually, once I tone the path I can usually figure out where the cut is just by using logical thinking. In other words, if your toning the wire and see that it's path runs across what looks like a freshly planted shrub or flower, that is usually the first place to look. I do have one question though for anyone that knows: Do you have to turn the power off at the transformer in order to use the 521? Sometimes it's easier to hook the machine up at the end of the run and work your way back to the trans. I always disconnect the trans, but it would be nice if I could just leave the juice flowing so I could check the voltage without have to go back to the trans to turn it back on.
pardon me if i just jump right in;

when using a fault locator/ A-frame, you do have to know the wire path, that can first be located by a wire tracer 521/pro-700, 508s, 501, pro-290, pro-871 ect. or you can, with some practice, use the pulser/gfl-3000 to locate the the wire path. in order to locate the wire path with a pulser/gfl-3000 you connect the transmitter, walk about 20' away from the transmitter and place the a-frame at about a 45 degree angle towards the suspected location of the wire path, follow the kick until it reverses. by zig-zaging you can get close enough to mark the path. it's not as difficult as it sounds and after doing it a few times it's fairly fast.

without the fault finder you can be pretty accurate with the 521/pro-700 by using the 6" offset method suggested in the 521 section of the pei link below.

yes you have to turn the transformer off, here is a link for the tempo 521 manual, it includes the 501, 508, 528, 521 and pulser operating instructions;

http://www.lashen.com/vendors/tempo/Manuals/trblsht.pdf

these instructions and tips also work for the pro-700 and so on.

in regards to your statement about the ease of voltage testing with the transformer on, we are using the 521/pro-700 transmitter to test voltage drop on 2-wire irrigation systems.

i'm assuming that you use a leakage clamp meter, i just bought a pro-92 which i have really gotten to like.

another tool that i have been using to troubleshoot with is the TDR, with a TDR i am able to diagnose the condition of the wire path and as a plus it will give me the distance to a compromise. TDRs however cannot be connected to a live system but it will see the distance to a broken wire or compromise. i have found the TDR to be one of the most important tools i have ever used.
 

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This is where those of us with irrigation backgrounds, especially in areas that spread valves out, have a real advantage. I use my 521 to find a wire path and my A-Frame ground fault locater to locate a nick or other ground fault. It's something that an irrigator will need ot do pretty frequently and the skills are a natural transition into LVL troubleshooting. After all, a wire is a wire is a wire.
good for you :waving:
 

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I bought a wire tracer made by Armada for around $200 and it has worked like a charm everytime I've used it. I'm not sure which model it is though.

A little trick I've used the wire tracer for that I haven't seen posted yet. When you have to get your wires under a driveway or sidewalk. Find an irrigation valve on the opposite side of the irrigation controller, connect your tracer to one of the leads on the solenoid, and trace it back to where it goes under the driveway/sidewalk. Then just dig down and there is your conduit.

This has saved us lots of time and money.

I'm sure that idea has been posted before and I know I'm not the first one to think of it, but just wanted to help out where possible.
Joel that is a good trick. I cant remememeber if its been posted but its a regular practice for us. You have the Armada where you just swing the probe back and forth ? Does it have any kind of visual indicators or just the beep ?
 

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You guys listen to 1idejim, he's forgotten more about troubleshooting wire problems than I'll probably ever know. He's a great guy to boot, he's helped us out over the phone a couple of times on tricky problems and saved us a lot of time and head scratching.
 

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I agree with what bcd said.

I have used my 521 to locate lighting wire that was broken. I just forgot to put locator wire on BOTH wires..lol that was a learning experience.

Jim I'm going to get that TDR one day. This forum is not as good/funny as the irrigation forum.
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You guys listen to 1idejim, he's forgotten more about troubleshooting wire problems than I'll probably ever know. He's a great guy to boot, he's helped us out over the phone a couple of times on tricky problems and saved us a lot of time and head scratching.
thanks for the compliment bcg, means a lot to me.

you are the only person that i have talked to that i didn't have to drive the importance of the wire is a wire concept into, it really simplifies troubleshooting. i look forward to another conversation.

I agree with what bcd said.

I have used my 521 to locate lighting wire that was broken. I just forgot to put locator wire on BOTH wires..lol that was a learning experience.

Jim I'm going to get that TDR one day. This forum is not as good/funny as the irrigation forum.
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i stole the TDR from the telecommunications industry and adapted its use in irrigation, other guys are using them in lvl with great success. the TDR can almost replace the dmm for most issues and read distance to fault to boot.

buying a TDR will be the best $200 you ever spent, it was for me. my next purchase will be a graphical model, i'm hoping it will read all events at once, now that would be a time saver.

i don't rep but i will suggest the model i have, it's the only one i have tried so i know that it does work and it's cheaper than others that i have seen. pm me before you buy and i'll tell you what i know.
 

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Lets bring this back up.

My 521a is no where to be found. Funny I know. I cant locate my locator. I am trying to decide between the Armada 700 pro and a new 521a. I cant use the cheaper ones that just beep. I need something with an meter on it. Also does anyone know of an induction one that is reasonable where you can just clamp on to the wires vs clipping on to them?
Joel that is a good trick. I cant remememeber if its been posted but its a regular practice for us. You have the Armada where you just swing the probe back and forth ? Does it have any kind of visual indicators or just the beep ?
armada has the 871-c http://armadatech.com/temp_proditem.php?prodid=re9lm

i'm thinking that the 521/pro-700 could be adapted to a LED dot or bar readout with out much trouble, i was actually thinking that an adapter could be made that would just plug into the headphone jack to read the signal strength. it might be worth contacting armada.

http://www.national.com/mpf/LM/LM3915.html#Overview
 
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