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Thread: Cable Fault Locators

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    Bronze Member ACEsterhuizen's Avatar
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    Cable Fault Locators

    Good Day all, Can anyone shed some local south african user experience on any affordable Cable Fault Locators that actually works? I have literally watched 100's of videos and demos and besides the pricing being ridiculous, they mostly seems like a hit and miss depending on how good your hearing is or how many t's and L's your cable is routed (TDR's) :-)
    Last edited by ACEsterhuizen; 03-Feb-17 at 08:54 AM. Reason: More Info

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    What types of faults and what types of cables? There's not really a 'one size fits all' solution to cable fault location.
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    Bronze Member ACEsterhuizen's Avatar
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    Hi Andy it will be swa pvc 3 core 4 core 1.5mm up to 95mm.

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    The only cable fault locator I have is an old school balanced loop impedance type and I mean old school...it comes with a rotary slide ruler. It would score pretty low on accuracy compared to some of the newer technology units available nowadays but it scores very high when it comes to price range, I think I paid around R250 for it in the early 1990's.

    It has several good points such as it doesn't stress the cable insulation like some of the arc reflection devices that throw over a thousand joules of 25kv DC at the cable but as far as accuracy goes, it's best performance was within 1 meter for an earth fault on a 60 meter 16mm SWA cable but I can also remember an occasion where it was about 3 meters out for an open circuit wire on 20 meters of 2.5mm SWA. In all fairness I've not had it officially calibrated since 1996 because I can't find anywhere that will do it so that could be contributing to its inaccuracies.

    My employees hate it with a passion because it doesn't have wifi and integrate with mobile devices and even after several one-on-one demos and extra tutorials on how to use a slide ruler the only person who seemed to grasp it was my book keeper and she was just evesdropping on the sessions. I eventually admitted defeat and gave up educating them on how to use it as a bad job.

    I'm a bit confused with your link to the Nemtec fence energiser and that Syscompact unit is an absolute monster with 2100 joules at 32kv, I'd imagine the price would be high. I don't do enough cable fault work to warrant spending thousands or tens of thousands on a TDR tester, I use this one once a year if I'm lucky, maybe when I win the lottery I'll treat myself.

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    Bronze Member ACEsterhuizen's Avatar
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    Thanks Andy, well even i do not know what that tester is or a rotating slidey thingy ruler but with my GMI (grey matter impairment) i am used to it, oh and yes :-) the Fence Energiser, and actually this one, puts a low 14 Joules, but if you have a good ear or have one of these, you can actually hear the spark as it pulse on the fault. It very crude, and I have used it successfully in the past on 120m, the fault was at 40m, 6mm cable. admittedly it was in a cable tray but the spark on the cable fault was so loud you could not miss it.

    If you can get hold off a 100J energiser i think you will be able to trace a fault with a decent parabolic microphone even if its buried deep. (600mm or so)
    Last edited by ACEsterhuizen; 09-Feb-17 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Spelling, More info.

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