HomeA Complete Guide to Sonde Transmitters

A Complete Guide to Sonde Transmitters

There’s a reason why over half a million people work in the utility industry. Utilities are one of those things that we take for granted every day, but can’t function without when they go away. To keep our utility infrastructure up and running, professionals must use proper utility locating technology.

And when it comes to tracking and locating purposes you can’t do much better than a sonde transmitter. But what exactly is a sonde transmitter? And what types of applications can you use it for?

If you want to learn the answer to these questions and more, then you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about sonde transmitters and how they work. Let’s get started!

What is a Sonde Transmitter?

Before we begin it’s important to first understand what a sonde transmitter is and how it works. A sonde is a device that is typically fitted inside a drill head. However, it can also be placed in things like a plumber’s snake, duct rudder, fish tape, or similar insertion types.

This device sends a magnetic field to your locator device. This, in turn, helps you pinpoint the exact location of where you’re drilling or entering. Radio signals are also used to help you pinpoint things like temperature, depth, and pitch.

Sonde transmitters are invaluable for utility work because it’s extremely costly and time-consuming to excavate areas with pipes or similar infrastructure. As such, if you miscalculate, then you can add days or even weeks to your job.

If you’re drilling with your sonde transmitter, then it’s important to not let it overheat while using it. An internal thermometer will tell you the temperature, Just make sure that it doesn’t exceed ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit.

What Are the Different Applications of a Sonde Transmitter?

There are many different uses for a sonde transmitter within the various utility industries. For starters, sonder transmitters are great for sewer and water locators.

Specifically, they can help locate any defects or blockages found within the pipe system. Speaking of pipes, it’s also great for the plumbing industry. It can assist in finding the blockage point within a septic tank.

Or, it can simply be used to find transition or access points within the pipe system. In the industrial and gas sectors, sonde transmitters are also ideal for regular inspections of the pipes that carry material.

However, non-metallic pipes aren’t the only application base for the sonde transmitter. For example, the device can be used in the telecom sector to help chart the path of empty fiber-duct.

Or, it can be used in the electricity industry to chart the path of empty conduit ruins. As you can see, the sonde transmitters’ main application is for inspection and repair of utility infrastructure. However, it can still be used for a variety of different purposes across many different fields.

What Are the Best Types of Sonde Transmitters?

The right type of sonde transmitter for you depends on your needs. Certain types of jobs will require a sonde device that has a larger range of specific features. However, you’re likely wondering what brands that you can trust.

After all, this is a fairly expensive piece of equipment. There are two brands of sonde transmitters that we recommend: Digitrak and Ditch Witch. Let’s start with Digitrak.

Digitrak offers a variety of different products that come with different features, frequencies, and ranges. If you don’t mind older models, then you can go with models like the Mark 3, Mark 4, Mark 5, SE, LT, or Eclipse.

Or, if you want a more modern product, then you can go with F1, F2, or F5 systems. If you want a modern product, but you’re on a budget, then we recommend purchasing a model that’s been refurbished.

For example, this Digitrak F5 is only a fraction of its original price. You can also find a great product when browsing through Ditch Witch. We recommend either the Tracker 750 or the Tracker 752 if you need a suggestion.

Make Sure to Never Skip Calibration Before Using Your Sonder Transmitter

When you get your sonde transmitters there are some steps you should always take before using them. One of the most essential ones is calibrating your sonde or beacon before you use it on a job.

Why do you need to do this? Because, if you don’t then your device will likely give off an incorrect depth reading. It can also result in failed pilot hole drilling. The good news is that only depth estimation is affected by calibration.

As such, you don’t need to worry about the temperature, battery, roll, pitch, or left/right deviation being affected. However, it’s still important to calibrate nonetheless.

Prevent Sonde Transmitter Failure With Proper Maintenance

The most common cause of Sonde transmitter failure occurs when the battery becomes completely oxidized. When this happens the battery can no longer connect to the body of the sonde device.

The best way to prevent this is through regular maintenance of your sonde device. Monitor your device closely for oxidation. Then, when you start to notice it make sure that you clean and lubricate the product. This will ensure that you get the maximum lifespan out of your device.

Want More Content? Keep Reading

We hope this article helped you learn more about sonde transmitters and how they work. As you can see, this device is essential for finding blockages in pipe infrastructure. However, it’s also just as important for cursory inspections.

Not only does this device help reduce costs that are associated with excavations, but they also help reduce the amount of time spent on the product as well.

As such, we recommend it for any workers that are involved with utility infrastructure. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.

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