Long story short, I did a bunch of volunteer work for the Bethel Foundation here in OKC. Their street sign didn't work, and there was no power getting to it. I suspected that there was a break in the underground wire feeding it. I had dug up the wire near the sign, and to locate the cable, I came up with the idea of hooking a T coil to the wire, having my girlfriend tap it on and off, and listening to to it with a cheap radio, listening to where it sounded strongest over the ground.
I didn't actually think it would work, but it worked better than I could have possibly imagined. Right where I lost the sound of the noise from the T, I dug up a bad splice in the wire, fixed it, and that was it!
That's using the old noggin!
... and she didn't tap it once more just to see the tingle in yer eyes while you spliced it? Muss be true love!
A MacGyver award to be sure!
(A cultural reference a little out of my norm.)
As a high-tech field technician, that sort of underground fault locating is something I did for 35 years. I still have most of my now very old equipment for doing that (don't know if it could be fired up easily or not after sitting for ten years?). You did good!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
A fitting end for my locator would have been a nice deep hole ... nothing but stress worrying over hits when daylighting, and luckily my locates were always bang-on. Had to babysit a national Comco's cable across the nation thru my particular stretch of railroad territory. No summer invites to barbecues, no Christmas cards, no pat on the back, no nothing - but it was my bacon in the pan if anything ever did happen. Crap did happen (thankfully on others guys' territories).
Next you'll be using it to witch for water!
Ah yes,......the ole TDR, used one a lot to find opens in Aircraft wiring. Wish I had one today, just to have it.
Water witching is easy. I use a coathanger bent to an "L" and let it balance in my cupped hand. Works great
Donald V, I still have TWO TDRs. The newer one is about 25 years old (it still works). I actually always preferred the older one. When the TDR was in early development (for those not familiar with them, they operate similar to radar, only confined inside a cable), one of the very first commercially manufactured portable units had its first manufacturing run by Tektronix (a few thousand units) purchased by the USA military. Ours was one of the early units in the second run. That was about 1980, and the unit sold new for $5000! If I decide I need or want to use it, I will have to replace or rebuild the battery pack unit. I looked on eBad awhile back, did not find any available battery packs for it, but found several similar but newer units for sale under a couple hundred dollars.
I much preferred using the older unit than the newer one. The older unit was not automated, and had to be adjusted and read manually on a small CRT. I found that it was far more sensitive and could find smaller defects than the newer unit could. When we got the newer one, I rarely used it.
Cameron, how exactly did you connect the T coil to the cable?
FWIW, when I worked in the Arctic in the '60s the company had a unit for locating underground cables, we used it to find breaks in underground cables. Dunno what it was called, The main unit was plugged in to 120 VAC and a lead was connected to one end of the cable being worked on and there was a metal detector type of hand held unit w/earphones connected to it that the operator carried.