Our utility has both the dish ultrasonic (hand held dish) and the one for up
close use on the hot stick (both by radar engineers). Both work well for what
they're designed to do and both have the same limitations with line of site
required to the source. However, only linemen can use a hot stick, but that's
a safety issue, not a union issue. Nearly all utilities follow the same safety
standards today when it comes to line work. Only qualified workers are allowed
to do line work.
Ultrasonic dishes can be used to narrow the search to the exact pole once you
are that close. And in some cases down to what hardware is the RFI source.
Sometimes a hot stick ultrasonic is needed, but not very often. It's been used
rarely at our utility. Simply walking around the pole/structure 360 degrees
can lead to the needed resolution over 99% of the time without the hot stick
73, de ed -K0iL
From: RFI <email@example.com> On Behalf Of Wes Stewart via RFI
I'm friendly with the RFI sleuth with our local electric coop (also a ham).
He tells me that ground level ultrasonic sniffers are pretty worthless. Any
physical obstruction attenuates the signal, according to him. They do use one
but on a hot stick where it can sniff up close. Unfortunately, it's a union
shop so he can't do it and has to have a line crewman do it. The logistics of
this are really detrimental to efficiency. (Unspoken opinion of unions goes
RFI mailing list