Impulse Cable Tracer
Cat. No. 320101

  • Accurate
  • Easy to use
  • Connects directly to energized secondary cables
  • Distinct signal for easy tracing
  • Traces direct buried cables and cables in conduit
  • Rugged compact design
General: The WAYFIND'R Impulse Cable Tracer was originally designed for electric utility use to accurately identify the route of buried secondary cables. Because the WAYFIND'R imposes an audio frequency signal on the cable, the signal is not induced into adjacent cables or pipes, eliminating false signals. The WAYFIND'R may also be used fro tracing indoor wiring and buried shielded primary cables.

The instrument consists of two components, a signal generator and a hand-held receiver with a headset. The lineman simply connects one lead of the signal generator to ground and the other lead to one of the energized secondary conductors. Plug the headset into the receiver and begin to trace the cable from the service entrance to the transformer feeding the service.

Physical size: The WAYFIND'R is housed in a ruggedly designed steel carrying case to withstand the use normally associated with underground work. The signal generator is housed in a heavy wall PVC tube 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 5 inches long with two 6 foot leads connected to large alligator clips for easy connection to cable conductors. The receiver is a small hand-held unit contained in a metal case. The only adjustment required is with a control knob which increases or decreases ambient noise when tracing the cable signal.

Simple operating procedures: To trace energized secondary cables, always connect the signal generator at the house end, either at the meter or at any electrical receptacle When one signal generator lead is connected to any energized conductor and the other lead to ground, a red glowing lamp will be seen through the translucent end cap on the signal generator tube. This indicates that the signal is being impressed on the conductor. Plug the headset into the receiver, depress the switch button and adjust the receiver, volume. Hold the antenna rod of the receiver perpendicular to the earth's surface. When the antenna is pointing directly at the cable, no signal will be heard. To determine how deep the cable is buried, place the end of the antenna on the ground directly over the cable. No signal should be detected. Tilt the antenna to a 45 degree angle- a loud signal should be heard. Begin to move away from the cable at a right angle to the cable route until the signal disappears. The distance from the point where the signal disappeared is the approximate depth of the cable.

To trace de-energized secondary or primary cables, attach one lead of the signal generator to the cable to be traced and the other signal generator lead to a 120 volt source. Now the cable can be traced. This method can also be used to locate cable faults where the cable is severed and grounded.

The receiver and headset can be used to trace the 60 hertz current of energized secondary or primary cables. If the traced 60 hertz signal becomes questionable, the signal generator should be connected and the cable route positively identified.

Once the signal is on the cable, it can be traced even though the cable is buried, in steel pipe and under an asphalt or concrete surface.

High sensitivity: Because the signal being contained within the cable being traced, the signal can be traced on deeply buried cables. It can be used to trace cables that go from underground up a pole to overhead to the transformer. You can stand on the ground, point the antenna at the over head line and determine in which direction to walk to the transformer that feeds the service.

Fast, economical service: Some of these cable tracers have been in maintenance free use for over 12 years. Because the instrument was designed to be easy to use, requiring no special skills in signal interpretation, there are few parts on the WAYFIND'R to be cause for maintenance, except for the replacement of the 9 volt battery in the receiver. To reduce the downtime of the use of the instrument, TIMCO INSTRUMENTS will repair any unit returned to us as quickly as possible.

Technical Description:

The WAYFIND'R impulse cable tracer can be used to determine the location of buried cables using either of two methods.

  • Signal generator:

  • The WAYFIND'R single generator uses a 120 to 600 volt power frequency source to produce a distinct audible frequency signal in the cable which has a frequency greater than the source. One lead of the signal generator should be connected to a ground return path which is independent of the circuit being traced.
  • Power frequency load current:

  • Since the antenna detects the electromagnet field surrounding the cable, the power frequency load current can sometimes be used to trace the route of the cable.
When tracing the cables, the antenna of the WAYFIND'R receiver is held perpendicular to the surface under which the cable is routed and the signal volume nulls when the antenna is moved to a position directly over the cable. As the antenna moves toward or away from the cable, the signal volume increases to a maximum level, then decreases to a null as illustrated below.

The depth of the cable can be determined by holding the antenna at a 45 degree angle to the surface and moving perpendicularly away from the cable route until the signal null point is located. The distance between the location of the cable and the 45 degree null point is equal to the depth of the cable.
Wayfind'r Specifications Page

Timco Instrument's Home Page