The Pipehorn Steps to an Accurate Locate
Following these steps in order will provide good information about the reliability of your locate:
Pinpoint – Adjust receiver gain to a steady tone (No Sound: turn it up; Beeping: turning it down). Keeping receiver upright, scan left and right to determine location of strongest signal.
Determine Direction – At the pinpoint spot, slowly twist the receiver in your hand. At strongest signal, the handle is IN LINE with the conductor.
Determine Signal Source – Raise the receiver and point it at the transmitter and toward any other potential nearby sources (overhead lines, fences). If the signal from your underground target is the strongest, proceed to the next step.
Balance – Place your foot at the pinpoint spot. Keeping your receiver upright and in line with the conductor, slowly move to the side of the pinpoint spot until the receiver tone stops. Note the distance from the spot. Without adjusting the gain slowly move it from the pinpoint spot to the other side. Note the distance from the spot. If the distance from the pinpoint spot is equal on both sides then your pinpoint is directly on top of the conductor (a symmetrical magnetic field) and you can proceed to the next step. If the distances are not equal then your pinpoint is not on top of the conductor (an asymmetrical field) and you must change the way you are putting signal on the conductor (do something different with the transmitter).