Passive Power Warning

Last week we looked at the 2 ways that locators can receive the signal (for want of a better word) from the utility, we looked at passive signals and active signals.

This week I want to delve a little deeper into the dangers of just locating in “Power Mode”. After almost 18 years in this industry, with many of them in the field locating and more recently the last 10 or so years teaching, I only learnt this from one of the excellent webinars presented by Peter Ashcroft from Sygma Solution, the UK based locator training organisations, during the Covid lockdown.

As many would know the receiver is made up of several receiving Antennae’s as can be seen in this photo of the internals of a RD8100.

For this article we are interested in the 2 Peak receiving antennae. For those who have completed my Locator Training courses you would know that the Peak Antennae are an indication of signal strength, that is how much of the signal is being received by each Peak Antennae.

The manufactures of this equipment (and other top end locating machines) have built in a safety feature that stops the machine from registering a signal IF whilst in Power Mode the Upper Peak Receiving Antennae is receiving more of the signal (more energy) than the Lower Receiving Antennae.

So how does this effect you, this situation can occur when trying to locate underground electricity (in Power Mode) whilst under overhead electricity. In this situation the Upper Peak Antennae is likely to receive more of the signal than the Lower one.

To the inexperienced operator this could mean that mean that no underground electricity would be marked – potentially a deadly situation.

In the attached short video, I have produced a simulation of what occurs when a higher signal (energy source) is placed in the vicinity of the upper Peak Antennae.

Locating Unlimited Pty Ltd (RTO ID 45518), Australasia’s leading provider of Underground Damage Prevention Training is committed to providing training and information to help maintain safe work practices around buried utilities and prevent damage to this infrastructure.

Contact Jeff at Locating Unlimited – 0419 44 66 27 or jeff.moore@locatingunlimited.com.au



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