Wire Tracking w 521

Discussion in 'Professional Discussions' started by ArTurf, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 5,240

    When tracking wires with a 521 and other wires are interfering what are some tricks of the trade to cancel out them? If the other wires are not live will that help?
     
  2. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,761

    The 521 is not very good at tracing wire paths, it's good for finding valves.
     
    Love the Green Biz likes this.
  3. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,761

    The 501 will pinpoint exact path of wiring. The 521 will scream over a valve.
     
  4. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 5,240

    I've done a lot of tracing with the 521 over the years and I don't doubt you that the 501 is better if you say so but my question is how to cancel out the other wires if that's possible
     
  5. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,761

    Fresh batteries and knowledge of system. Sometimes it helps to locate the 'other' wires first so you don't get confused.
     
  6. magna111

    magna111 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 329

    The 521 can trace wire paths just fine, it just sucks if you get near electric or cable. It is really great for locating valves though, turn the volume up and you can just do a 20’ grid pattern and blindly locate all the boxes on a typical residential property here.
     
    benhargreaves and 1idejim like this.
  7. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,222

    I had a 521 for years. I was always looking forward to getting a 521A as one of my coworkers had one.

    After switching to the Pro 700... NIGHT AND DAY DIFFERENCE and then upgrading to the 800 ( Then the whole battery issue happened so that got returned and I dropped back down to a 700) I broke it once, which I was given a BRAND NEW 521A.. It was so different I thought it was defective!! I immediately switched back to the 700. I've tried the 900 ( One of our guys has it) and it's very cool , at the same time I'm so use to the 700 I'm not sure if I need to switch just yet to the super fancy 900 as it's really a different mind set on how you go about locating. 521's just pale in comparison to Armada's Pro brand. We had a utility locator ( Metrotech) but eventually got rid of it.

    Anyways the best thing to due is to have a very good ground connection, sometimes you need to run the ground connection a good distance away ( Ie run a wire 25' away) Turn on your receiver with the sender off to hear what you pick up to help you distinquish what is what . When you have major interference you should utilize your needle guage more so then sound.
     
  8. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,222

    I tell the other guys this all the time and they don't seem to get it.. I show them and they always come back saying they can't find it! :hammerhead:
     
    benhargreaves and 1idejim like this.
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,356

    I personally own more than a few locators. Each is different in certain aspects all the while each performs similarly.

    1) If you’re having issues with inductive coupling (signal bleeding to other wires) you may;

    A) Adjust your power output.
    B) adjust your grounding.
    C) Locate from the field, not towards the field.
    D) All of or none of the above will work.

    2) Outside interference from transmission lines, transformers or buried power lines a problem?

    A) Skip around them, move away from the interference and see if you can re-establish your trace.
    B) Improve or move your ground return.
    C) Ground or lift the end of the wire path, this helps a lot.
    D) Turn the power down, get used to tracing on low power output.

    3) Prelocate outside paths. Power, catv and gas especially. Here’s something for everyone to remember, your irrigation lines are usually the shallowest bury and utility locators find more valves and wires on accident than most irrigators will on purpose.

    The 521 is good at tracing wire paths and the signal (less than 2 kHz) travels a long, long way out but not so deep.


    The 521 will pinpoint wire paths and the 501 will scream over valves if you know how to locate them with a 501.

    My TR4110 at 84 kHz will locate tit for tat with your 501. Pinpoint accuracy, screams over valves and locates broken wires easily. Actually it will locate greater distance and couple less than your 501 due to its lower frequency, the operating frequency of the 501 is upwards of 500 kHz.

    The TR4110 also has a clamp but I use a dynatel clamp rather than that cheesy looking but very well functioning Tempo clamp.
     
  10. magna111

    magna111 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 329

    One of our 521s got legs over the winter and disappeared out of the van so we replaced it with an armada 900. I’m still learning the 900 but so far there’s a lot I like about it. One thing I don’t like is that I need to trace the path before I search for valves. So far at least, I generally only get maybe a 3-5’ hotspot near a valve, beyond 5’ it’s dead quiet. There’s also minimal bleed over to other valves, sometimes that’s good, but when I want to locate all the valves that means more trips to the clock switching to the next wire ...
     

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