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Wire Tracker Progressive

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Rotor-Man, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Rotor-Man

    Rotor-Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Looking to purchase a used wire tracker. Anyone know any differences between the Progressive 521 and the Progressive 501 units. Thanks
  2. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    The 501 is a wire and pipe tracer. The 521 is an irrigation repair tool and much more suited for your use. I have used the same 521 for 15 years.

  3. Rotor-Man

    Rotor-Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Can you explain how the 521 does more irrigation things over the 501? Thanks
  4. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    The 501 is a wire tracer.

    The 521 is commonly called a valve locator. With the 521 you can trace wire paths, determine the depth of the wire and also locate valves without tracing the wires. You would need to thoroughly read the manual to operate the 521 to it's full potential.

    Here is an example of use of the 521,

    I was asked by a landscape contractor to locate a valve that another irrigation contractor had spent a day and a half looking for. The valve was at a downtown bank and all utilities were underground causing so much interference that the normal procedure of following the wire path was impossible. I told the landscape contractor that we could locate the valve in less than 5 minutes. I connected the 521 to the common wire instead of an earth ground, the positive to the valve wire, turned on the transmitter, put on the headphones, checked the transmitte for sound and proceeded to walk around the area the valve would have to be. In less than 3 minutes I found the valve because the sound from the solenoid was beeping louder than anything else in the area. I am positive that the previous company had not read their manual.

    Buy the 521 and study the manual!

  5. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Trick of the trade huh, Old Timer?

    Comes with experience and lots of use.

    The next purchases after the 521 should be a 200/77 Tone tester, A Station Master Valve Activator, and then a Fault Finder.

    Check EBay, they have them on quite often.

    I bought a used (in excellent shape) 521 for $220.00 and a Fault Finder (nearly new) for $295.00, and a Station Master for $45.00!! Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how much money I saved over buying new?

    And if it is at a cheap price, and it needs work, it can be sent back to Progressive and they will refurbish it for around $150.00.

  6. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    My 2 521's both came from supply houses that rent them out....SprinklerWorld actually......I got each of them for $200.00 and they work great.

    By fault finder, I assume you mean the A-frame and the unit that I call the Pulsar?

    521 new in my area approximately 700-800
    Pulsar new in my area approx 1200-1500

  7. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    we purchased a new 521 for about 700 bucks. it was money well spent. that piece of equipment has paid itself 10 times over this season.

    definitely pick one up if you have the chance.

    as for peeps who say buy used...i say 'new is cheaper'.

  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Let's see... Your 521 has a transmitter, a receiver and headphones, a grounding probe, a red lead and a black lead, two batteries and a case.

    Mine does too.

    So, since there are no moving parts to wear out, and the only thing that really needs changing is the batteries, you are going to have to explain to this ol' country boy how your $700.00 machine is cheaper than my $200.00 machine.

    I have had this one for nearly three years, it is a little scratched up and it ain't shiny anymore, but that damn thing does exactly what it was designed for - It give the little tone in my ear when I pass the wand over a solenoid.

    As I said earlier, Progressive (Greenlee) will refurbish the unit for around $150.00 and it is in new operating condition.

    Now, if I had not been able to find one this cheap, I would have made the new purchase. And to be honest with you, I keep watching for another one on EBay. Just hoping I can catch one when everyone else is asleep. I wouldn't mind having another one around. Not so much for a backup against breakage, but rather a backup against the night the bastards break into the truck, or the day I get in a hurry and forget it on the off side of the truck and drive off.

    Just be sure of what you are buying when you buy used.

  9. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 196

    i have a 521 only used a couple of times but easy to do.

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