Teleinspection systems and locators

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How to locate and inspect a pipe from the inside? What are the instruments for internal examination of the surfaces of pipelines, cavities and crevices? How much do individual parts and systems cost? How are they categorized by professional level? Our article will answer these and other questions..

Progress has enabled us a lot. A man learned to see in the dark with thermal imagers, look through walls with X-rays and penetrate hidden channels and cavities with a glance using miniature video cameras. How to find underground utilities and see what clogged pipes hide, we will tell in our article.

Excavation works for laying all types of communications pose a risk of “blind” detection of existing pipeline routes or power grids. For obvious reasons, location plans can only be examined on rare occasions and it always takes a lot of time..

Manual locators

Designed for active and passive track search. The device operates in two modes – a receiver and an echo sounder. The first mode helps to detect objects emitting a magnetic field – live wires, transmitters of low-current and radio signals. When working in the second mode, the device generates a radio signal and itself picks it up with the receiver. The signal is reflected from the underground object and returned to the receiver. Typically, the device is equipped with a 3.5-4.5-inch map display and must have a depth gauge.

RIDGID SeekTech SR-60 RIDGID SeekTech SR-60

Passive Locators:

Model Manufacturer country Price, rub.
“Success KBI-309” China-Russia 18200
“ABRIS TM5” Russia 27800
PT-02M Russia 37400
“Oersted TI-05-3” Byelorussia 58500
“Abris 12 Pro” Russia 76 400
RIDGID SeekTech SR-20 USA 124,800
GenEye GL Great Britain 126,700
RIDGID SeekTech SR-60 USA 176,500

Signal generators

Designed for active search of traces using additional voltage. These completely independent devices serve as an addition to locators in cases where the route does not emit a signal – for example, if it is a pipeline or a de-energized electrical route. The generator is connected to a pipe or channel, and it creates quite powerful electromagnetic oscillations that are clearly captured by the receiver. The device allows you to reconstruct projections of long tracks (up to 1000 m).

RIDGID SeekTech ST-510 RIDGID SeekTech ST-510

Signal generators:

Name Manufacturer country Price, rub.
AlterNat 3000 Netherlands 26200
“POISK-12/45” China-Russia 32100
AG-114 Russia-China 44800
RIDGID SeekTech ST-305 USA 60,700
RIDGID SeekTech ST-510 USA 110 400
RIDGID SeekTech ST-33Q USA 146,700

This is a combination of an oscillator and a receiver, which allows for a full active and passive search. System elements can be used separately.

Radiodetection RD4000 Radiodetection RD4000

Route search systems:

Name Manufacturer country Price, rub.
Fluke 2042 China 32770
“Stalker 75-04” Russia 92,000
Easyloc SEBA KMT Germany 121,500
Radiodetection RD4000 Great Britain 123,200
Radiodetection RD5000W Great Britain 189,600
SebaKMT FM810Dx Germany 244,500
SebaKMT FL 10/50/200 Germany 275,400

Floating and remote probes

Floating probe

These small “drones” are designed to provide the most accurate picture of an active sewer pipeline and to locate sewers. It is enough to find a place where it can be introduced into the channel. The probe is a radio wave transmitter enclosed in a plastic ball. It constantly keeps afloat, moves with the flow and transmits a signal that the locator receives and “remembers”.

Remote probe

The transmitter is located on the hose of the cleaning or teleinspection system and is pushed along the channel. Has a steel waterproof capsule and shockproof design. Power supply – from batteries.

RIDGID NaviTrack RIDGID NaviTrack

Name Manufacturer country Price, rub.
RIDGID NaviTrack Floating Probe USA 9,500
RIDGID NaviTrack Remote Transmitter USA 18 600

After detecting the pipeline, diagnostics of its condition follows. To assess damage and wear, we need to see with our own eyes the condition of the pipe.

The idea of ​​mounting a camcorder on a flexible shaft to penetrate tight spaces is not new. As soon as waterproof housings and rather small video cameras appeared, a new product saw the light – television inspection systems. The operation of this device is simple – the camera transmits the image from the tube or cavity to the monitor. Like all modern instruments, the teleinspection system (TS) has overcome its evolutionary path from a portable hand-held device to an arsenal of electronic devices with the ability to communicate with each other..

Manual endoscope camera

This battery powered device consists of the following parts:

  • elastic shaft O 6.8 mm up to 1 m long in a plastic sheath with a cable laid inside;
  • a video camera in a plastic or metal capsule at the end of the shaft;
  • 3.5-4 inch display connected to the camera;
  • Control block.

An optional LED head can be fitted. Typically, the display, control unit and power supply are enclosed in a waterproof handle-like housing. Most devices have the ability to connect an additional section of wire up to 90 cm.

Gen-Eye Micro-Scope Gen-Eye Micro-Scope

Manual cameras:

Name Manufacturer country Price, rub.
RIDGID micro CA-25 USA 15,500
RIDGID micro CA-100 USA 13,700
RIDGID micro CA-300 USA 23200
REMS Orcus 3000 Germany-Russia 48,700
Gen-Eye Micro-Scope Great Britain 40,200
Virax Visio Val France 35,500

All subsequent models grew out of this handheld endoscope like trees from grain. The development was reflected in the length of the track to be investigated, the size of the screen and the set of functions.

Prefabricated stationary vehicles

Such teleinspection systems are called stationary only conditionally – they stand still during operation, have an average size, but are carried manually. They can be assembled from separate parts, which in most cases are interchangeable.

The main element of a stationary vehicle is a rigid cable with a fiber-optic core, through which the signal from the camera passes. Its length can vary from 20 to 100 m, and the coating is also varied – from ordinary plastic to expensive Teflon casing. The cable itself can be wound on an open reel or enclosed in a closed drum. The second option is convenient when working in residential premises – the workplace is always clean and there is no smell from the cable. The drum weighs about 20 kg and has transport wheels and flushing holes. Distance counter is installed as an option.

Teleinspection systems without monitor (RIDGID, USA):

Position Price, rub.
SeeSnake color video system, 61 m 450,000
SeeSnake color video system, 99m 550,000
SeeSnake 61m color video system with auto-leveling 420,000
99m SeeSnake color video system with auto-leveling 470,000
SeeSnake black and white video system, 61 m 240,000
SeeSnake black and white video system, 99m 280,000

The second, but no less important element is the display (monitor). It can be purchased separately or located in the state of the device. The screen diagonal from 5.5 to 8 inches allows you to qualitatively inspect cavities and pipes. There are black and white and color monitors, which vary greatly in price. All individual models are equipped with video input and video output for image recording. More expensive and advanced video systems have a microphone and an audio recording function for operator comments. Models of the TOP segment are distinguished by a large color or b / w display up to 10 inches, a built-in voice recorder and video recorder.


Monitors and video systems (RIDGID, USA):

Option Price, rub.
5 “black and white monitor 40,700
5 “color LCD monitor 81,200
5.5 “black and white monitor in a plastic case 47,500
5 “color video system in a plastic case 155 400
9 “black and white video system on a rack 106 300
10 “color video system on a rack 182,300
10 “color video system in a plastic case 211,600

Of particular interest is the third element of the system, the chamber tip. Its diameter is only 30 mm and it freely passes the 900 bend in pipes with Ø 50 mm. These cameras are equipped with sapphire lenses and LED-backlighting from 6 to 15 bulbs. They also have the function of inspecting the pipe wall and withstand water pressure up to a depth of 100 m (10 bar). Image stabilization function automatically straightens the picture.

Vehicle cameras (RIDGID, USA):

Option Price, rub.
Black and white camera (CCIR) 94200
Color camera (PAL) 141,500
Color Self-Leveling Camera (PAL) 180 400

According to the method of power supply, all the devices described are both mains and battery. Batteries and chargers are available as options and cost from 5,000 to 15,000 rubles, you can also purchase additional system components for more comfortable, accurate and fast operation – petal and ball cable guides, connecting cables, additional drum handles and much more.

Stationary vehicles of a professional level with a factory layout

Such a system can be purchased as a whole, having previously clarified the goals, objectives and working conditions to the smallest detail. Like other professional tools, they are designed to perform repetitive operations continuously. If a prefabricated structure can be adapted to perform a dozen different tasks “once”, then a factory layout system is designed for two or three tasks, but hundreds of times in a row. These are high-tech devices using the most modern means of communication – Wi-Fi, GSM, and Bluetooth..

Rothenberger Modul Pipe 25/22 Rothenberger Modul Pipe 25/22

A distinctive feature of the factory layout is a tubular frame on which a closed drum made of anti-corrosion material and a removable monitor are installed. All major components and devices can be purchased separately. The system is powered by mains or battery.

Teleinspection systems:

Name Manufacturer country Price, rub.
Rothenberger Modul Pipe 25/22 Germany 58,900
Mini 3000-S Color China 72,000
Rothenberger ROSCOPE 1000 Germany 84,500
BestCam 2188 China-USA 101 300
Gen-Eye Mini POD (up to Ф190mm) Great Britain 190,500
Gen-Eye SD (up to Ø 400 mm) Great Britain 380,000
Gen-Eye SD SuperColour Great Britain 458,600
Laval Underground Surveys R-CAM 1000 (for wells up to 1000 m) USA 797,600

RIDGID products (USA):

Description Price, rub.
Compact model (for street highways)
SeeSnake Compact Black & White Video System 162,300
Battery Powered Black & White SeeSnake Compact Video System 175,000
SeeSnake Compact color video system 227,500
Battery-powered SeeSnake Compact Color Video System 240,000
Flatpack model (for home trunk lines)
SeeSnake Flatpack Black & White Video System 133,200
Battery Powered Black & White SeeSnake Flatpack Video System 146,000
SeeSnake Flatpack Color Video System 196,500
Battery-powered SeeSnake Flatpack Color Video System 210200

The most recent advances in pipe teleinspection are computerized instruments with the ability to edit video clips, create 3D images, reports and archive files for sending by e-mail. There is only one such system today – RIDGID® SeeSnake® Compact2 with Reel camera and CS6Pak monitor with digital recording function. It is equipped with a full-fledged waterproof keyboard for working with files. Sales in Russia are planned to begin in 2015, the price will be approximately 550,000 rubles.

RIDGID® SeeSnake® Compact2 RIDGID® SeeSnake® Compact2

Communication device

Of particular interest from the point of view of reaching a new level are communication devices that allow you to use a regular laptop as a system monitor. This facilitates and speeds up image processing and makes it possible to quickly exchange photo and video images from the camera via the Internet.

Name Manufacturer country Price, rub.
RIDGID SeeSnake LT1000 USA 106,400
RIDGID SeeSnake LT1000M USA 111,500

In the next article we will talk about all kinds of modern methods for cleaning pipes and removing blockages..

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