What Does a Sonde Transmitter Do?

What Does a Sonde Transmitter Do?

Written by Deepak Bhagat, In Gadgets, Published On
September 2, 2021

When you’re drilling, the last thing you want is to smash through a pipe or get stuck along the way. That’s why it’s important to get yourself all the right tools and equipment, whether that’s safety equipment, excavators or locators such as a sonde transmitter.

What Does a Sonde Transmitter Do?

But what exactly is a sonde transmitter? Let’s have a closer look at sonde transmitters to get a better understanding of what they do.

What Is a Sonde Transmitter?

A sonde transmitter sends signals from the bottom of the hole up through the drill string to the surface. The more accurate these transmissions are, there’s less chance of hitting utilities underground! Here an operator or computer monitors them for accuracy.

Sondes come in many different sizes and shapes, depending on how deep you need to go. They also vary in price based on their size and features. Some even include built-in lights and other accessories like depth gauges.

How Can I Use Sonde Transmitters?

Sonde transmitters are useful when you’re drilling new holes or reworking old ones. You might want to use one while you’re setting casing strings or installing utility lines. It all depends on whether you’re doing horizontal or vertical drilling.

If you’re drilling across, then you’ll only need a small sonde transmitter. These have enough power to send data back to the surface.

Yet, if you’re drilling down, you may need a larger sonde transmitter. These are capable of sending data over longer distances. That will allow you to track the progress of your borehole as well as determine its exact location.

What Types of Sonde Transmitters are There?

The most common type of sonde transmitter used today is a “transponder.” These devices work by transmitting radio waves down into the ground. In turn, these bounce off objects such as rocks, or water pipes, before returning to the surface, measuring the time between transmission and reception results in the distance.

There are two main types of transponders: active and passive. Active transponders contain batteries that provide energy to operate the device.

Transponders usually consist of two parts: a receiver unit and a battery pack. A typical transceiver has three main components: antennae, electronics, and display screen. Antennae pick up the signal from the sonde transmitter.

It then converts it to electrical energy. Electronics process the information received and displays it on the screen.

Passive transponders don’t rely on battery power. But instead, they receive energy from the environment around them.

Why Should I Use a Sonde Transmitter?

There are several advantages to using a sonde transmitter rather than GPS technology. For example, GPS receivers can’t always pick up weak signals below the earth’s surface.

Besides, some areas lack cell phone coverage. So if you want to know what lies beneath your feet, a sonde transmitter such as the Digitrak F2 could help you find out.

Another advantage is the real-time feedback about the direction of travel. With a traditional compass, you’d have no way of knowing if you were heading north or south.

Not until after you’ve drilled a few hundred meters, anyway. But with a sonde transmitter, you get instant confirmation. Thus, you won’t waste precious hours trying to figure things out.

Finally, there are many situations where accurate measurement of depth is beneficial. For instance, when laying pipe in deep wells, you often need to set casing at specific depths. And these casings must fit snug against each other.

You need to measure their precise length. Using a sonde transmitter makes this task much simpler. That’s because you can see how far away you are from the next casing section.

What Drill Accessories are Available?

When purchasing a drill rig, one of the first items you should consider buying is a sonde transmitter. The reason is simple – without one, you wouldn’t be able to gauge your hole’s depth.

When choosing a model, keep in mind that not all models offer the same features. Some transmitters come equipped with a built-in depth meter. Others use external sensors like pressure gauges.

If you plan to drill many holes, you’ll also want to invest in a directional driller. This tool allows you to steer the bit toward any point within 360 degrees. It does this by rotating the entire rig through 90-degree increments.

You might think that this feature sounds complicated. But once you try it yourself, you’ll realize how easy it is!

What Other Pipe Locators Exist?

Pipe locator tools use a variety of technologies to help determine whether pipes lie above ground level or underground. They’re especially useful when digging new trenches as well as repairing existing ones.

These devices work like a sonde transmitter, except that they send out sound waves instead of radio frequencies. As such, the batteries last longer than those found inside a sonde transmitter.

The most common type of pipe locator uses ultrasonic pulses. These high-frequency vibrations cause objects to vibrate back and forth. If something moves along with them, then it will reflect the signal towards the source.

The second type of pipe locator sends out low-frequency waves. Unlike ultrasonics, LF waves don’t bounce off surfaces.

Thus, they penetrate deeper into the soil. Again, penetration depends upon the density of the material surrounding the object.

Use a Sonde Transmitter for Finding Pipes

So now you understand what a sonde transmitter is and how it works! With the right knowledge and equipment, you’re good to go! You’ll be able to have a stress-free digging experience.

Keep digging around and read our articles for more advice with grit!

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