A Brief Guide To Underground Cable Locator

An underground cable locator is a device that serves for finding cables that are buried deep in the ground. Some 40 or more years ago, the underground cable locator served for finding buried water, gas or sewer lines.


Today, this technology has evolved into the more sophisticated underground cable locators, as electricity has taken over, and now an electric signal is being injected into the cable that should be located, making the entire process much easier.

Anatomy Of The Underground Cable Locator

This device has a very simple structure from the beginning : it is made of a receiver and a transmitter. The transmitter emits the electric signal put on the cable or pipe being traced and the transmitter picks it up. This is the simple process of tracing a buried cable or pipe. Noe the important feature of these locators is the frequency of the electromagnetic field created by the transmitter. This frequency can be set to be either very low, or very high. The range is generally from 1 kHz to 480 Khz, and according to specialists, the lower the frequency the better the tracking signal.

The Procedure

An underground cable locator is mainly set for tracing cables that are buried deep, some 2 or 3 meters in the ground. They come best in handy in outside-plant environment, where you need to know where the cable may be located before you rip up the earth. These locators are mainly simple, and so is the procedure. When talking about underground environments, a much more sophisticated equipment is needed, since the entire procedure is more complex.

How Does It Work?

There are three ways of sending the electric signal from the transmitter to the receiver: direct connect, general induction and inductive coupling. An underground cable locator that works on direct connecting, has the transmitter physically attached to the cable being located. The direct-induction method has the cable being grounded in order to be located. This is a less confident method of locating. And the inductive coupling method uses a donut – shaped coupling device for surrounding the cable and emit the signal.

Today, the underground cable locator is used a lot by the telecommunications industry for locating problem- stricken telecommunication cables. For this purpose, engineers are developing a locator that will be able to differentiate the target cable from other cables and underground utilities and also measure depth. Such devices for locating cables that are buried deep underground, are available from both online and offline retailers.


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