Product Categories

Locator Selection Guide

This Locator Selection Guide offers an introduction to the type of locators available based on the type of Underground Cable, Metal, Plastic or Reinforced steel Concrete Pipes, Markers or Steel material you commonly need to locate.

Using the Correct Locating Tool helps you significantly decrease the risk of damage and personal injury 

Man wondering which Locator to use

    Selection Guide best viewed in Landscape View
Scroll Down for the complete Locator Selection Guide

Feel free to Call Us on 1800 680 680 or Ask a Question so we can provide answers to your specific locating needs.

Locator Types

Magnetic Locators

Picture of a Magnetic Locator

Magnetic Locating Senses and reacts to Ferrous Metals (iron or steel) ONLY 

Radiodetection Magnetic Locator range will locate ferrous metals as small as nails and survey pins in the ground at depth up to 5.48m (soil and object dependant).


High accuracy Magnetic Locator at a lower cost.
The SPOT model provides an audio response only (no visual bar graph).  


The Maggie is a pistol-grip magnetic locator that combines sensitivity and precision with single-handed operation and a visual display. 
The professional's choice for utilities, surveying, water & sewer, and construction


You’re a highly trained, experienced professional but carrying heavy tools is still part of the job. 
When you have your hands full on the job site, carry the GA-92XTd on your hip or with one hand.

Electromagnetic Locator

Picture of a Pipe & Cable Locator

Commonly referred as "Pipe and Cable Locators", this electromagnetic method of locating buried pipes, cables and sewers has become almost universal.   Its main shortcoming however is that it will not locate non-metallic lines such as plastic pipes (unless the utlities have installed a tracer wire with the plastic pipe). 

The wide variety of Electromagnetic Locating functions and applications requires just three basic building blocks;

  • a signal generator or transmitter to apply a signal to a buried line.
  • a small self-contained transmitter suitable for inserting in drains, ducts or pipes.
  • a handheld receiver to locate the signals from the transmitters or to locate signals occurring ‘naturally’ on buried lines (such as live AC power, a 50Hz "signal").

Advanced Features/Options

Depth on Power Detection

All Radiodetection Eletromagnetic Pipe & Cable locators will locate buried Power Cables.

To establish an estimated Power Cable Buried Depth, some locators can perform this function with the Receiver only (Radiodetection RD8xxx and RD7xxx "PL" models in Power or Radio mode), otherwise using the Transmitter and Receiver depth can also be established

Signal Clamps

Transmitter Clamps

The signal clamp safely applies a signal from the locators transmitter to any metal cable or pipe without interrupting the supply. It applies a very discriminating signal at a set frequency to a target line with reduced coupling enabling the locators receiver to detect the induced signal

Note: A signal applied with a signal clamp may not travel as far as a direct connected signal.

Transmitter Signal Clamps are available in 50mm, 100mm & 215mm diameters. The most popular clamp size purchased is the 100mm

Receiver Clamps

This is used with a locator to help identify target utilities in congested areas by sensing the signals from individual utilities.

Receiver Signal Clamps are available in 50mm or 100mm diameters, and used with the Radiodetection RD7x and RD8x Receivers

Locator Frequencies

Choosing the frequency that will give the locator the clearest signal depends on many variables. Different frequencies may behave differently depending on the line conductivity or differing ground conditions.

The most common, almost "standard", frequencies utlised on the Pipe & Cable Locators throughout the world are 8kHz and 33kHz.   These frequencies predominately cover most locating requirements.   

The High Frequency, 131kHz is ideal for the Telecommunication industry to induce the signal on small copper pairs.

Very Low to Low (<1 kHz)
Frequencies in the range of 1 kHz and under need a good circuit. If the line being located is traceable, these lower range frequencies will travel very long distances and will not jump onto other pipes or cables unless they are a part of the same good circuit.

The low range frequency does not perform well where there are breaks, gaskets, poor connections and dry soil resistance to current flow. These deterrents will stop low frequency flow immediately as it does not flow easily into the ground and around these breaks.

Medium (4 – 40 kHz)
Frequencies in the medium range are a bit stronger and less susceptible to ambient noise (e.g. other frequency sources like power lines) compared to lower frequencies. In the medium frequency mode the effects of signal bleed into the surrounding earth and onto adjacent utilities is limited. If the soil and circuit properties are conductive, and the distance is reasonable, the medium frequency is usually a good frequency range to start with in most circumstances.

High Frequencies (40 - 300 kHz)
In the high frequencies range the properties of the utility system such as stubs, dead-ends, and poorly grounded laterals can more likely be energized and detected compared to using lower frequencies. This frequency range can also help the operator trace the signal through high-resistant rubber coated pipe joints and insulated cable. The signal is more likely to penetrate the gap of broken trace wire and other discontinuities and still impose signal on the downstream side of the conductor.

The drawback to this current range is that it bleeds heavily into the ground surrounding the conductor. This significantly reduces its range and compromises the accuracy of the signal. Higher frequency signals may “jump” and couple more readily onto nearby conductors. As a general rule, using higher frequencies in congested areas increases signal distortion, causing greater confusion for the locate operator. This unreliable signal can result in incorrect marking of the target utility.

Very-high Frequencies (>300 kHz)
Care should always be taken to minimise distortion. This is especially true in the higher frequency ranges. Frequencies in the very high range are most often used as a last resort on highly resistant circuits that cannot be located with a lower frequency. These frequencies penetrate the soil easily, energizing all nearby conductors. Very-high frequencies also bleed heavily into the ground, which significantly limits the distance they can travel.

Another application for very-high frequencies is to use them as a final site investigation check of an area before excavation is to occur. These higher frequencies tend to couple onto all metallic lines in the area, making very-high frequencies a good choice when trying to avoid unknown metallic lines in an area.

Information on Actual Locator Frequencies available

GPS Mapping

Add positional data with the integrated GPS option. Save up to 1,000 survey measurements, capturing utility depth, and send to a mobile device using Bluetooth®

You can then see the save location points overlayed on a Google Map

Radiodetection Pipe & Cable units with GPS option can automatically capture key locate parameters each second, providing a comprehensive picture of individual underground locates and allowing for assessment of usage patterns over long periods of time.
This data can be used for training or compliance purposes, and to develop the besst working practices, or even shared with clients to evidence task completion and show stakeholders the information they require.

All Radiodetecion "G" models (DLG, PLG and TLG) are equipped with GPS.

Survey Measurement Data and Usage Logging

Survey Measurement Data
Pipe and Cable Locator Survey Measurement Data

Radiodetection RD7100 DLG, PLG & TLG models and RD8100 Series locators have the ability to store up to 1000 Survey Measurements into their internal, non-removable, storage.

This Measurement and Usage Logging data can be downloaded to your PC and reviewed using the Radiodetection RD Manager software

Usage Logging
Pipe and Cable Locator Usage Logging Data

Locators featuring usage-logging are equipped with an internal usage-logging system which records critical locate parameters once per second. 

Models with built-in GPS models also include positional data when the internal GPS module is active and locked.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Two main features:
i) Transfer Saved Location, and Locator Usage information to your PC or Phone wirelessly.
ii) iLoc (RD8100 Series Locators only) - Use your Pipe & Cable Locator's Receiver to Remotely adjust the Transmitter Power Levels and Frequency without needing to walk up to 450m to the Transmitter* to manually adjust it.
Spend less time walking and more time locating!

* Radiodetection Tx-5B and Tx-10B Transmitter models only

Cathodic Protection System (CPS) Locating

Cathodic Protection Systems (CPS) are used to protect buried or submerged pipelines, bridges, and large steel structures from corrosion, breakdown, and rust.

Locators with the CPS Locating Option can locate the rectified signal without attaching an additional transmitter and without disconnecting rectifiers

The following Radiodetection Locators include the CPS Locating Option
    Radiodetection SuperCAT+ with CPS Option
    Radiodetection RD7100 Series - DL and DLG models
    Radiodetection RD8100 Series - PDL, PDLG, PTL and PTLG Models

Marker Location

RF markers are used to identify buried utilities and are generally located, at regular intervals, directly on top of the utility they are marking.

The markers are passive devices which resonate at a specific frequency when energized by the marker locator. Each utility is identified by a specific frequency and colour.

Locator showing Marker Locator Antenna

In order to locate a marker, the locator must have a special marker antenna.
The Radiodetection RD7100M and RD8100M Locators have the Marker Locator functionality with antenna.

See the Radiodetection RD8100M Locator Image showing the fold down marker antenna in the active position ready to locate marker balls.

List of Markers by Utility / Colour
  Utility Frequency
Marker Ball for Electrical Power Electrical Power 169.8 kHz
Marker Ball for Water Water 145.7 kHz
Marker Ball for Sanitary Sanitary 121.6 kHz
Marker Ball for Telephone / Telecoms Telephone / Telecoms 101.4 kHz
Marker Ball for Gas Gas 83.0 kHz
Marker Ball for Cable TV Cable TV 77.0 kHz
Marker Ball for General / Non-drinkable water General / Non-drinkable water 66.35 kHz


Selection of Sondes

Sondes are used with Pipe & Cable Locators to locate buried plastic Water Pipes and any other non-magnetic utility.

Sondes are self-contained, battery powered transmitters that attach (screw on) to the end of a Rodder.
With the smaller sondes and using a screw-on eyelet, these can then be attached to a hauling rope and pulled (or 'blown') through ducts.

The position of the sonde can detected from above ground by the Pipe & Cable Locator Receiver allowing you to trace the paths of underground pipes, ducts, sewers and drains, and precise location of blockages or collapses (see images below)

Different Sonde Applications

The Radiodetection Sondes transmit a single frequency.  In order of most common, these frequencies are 8 kHZ, 33 kHz, 512Hz & 640 Hz. You will need to ensure the Sonde you intend to use is compatible to the available receive frequency of your Pipe & Cable Locator

Compatible Locators (Receivers)

8 kHz

All Radiodetection Pipe & Cable Receivers (except CAT4 Receiver)

33 kHz

All Radiodetection Pipe & Cable Receivers (CAT4, SuperCAT+, RD7100 Series, and RD8100 Series)

512 Hz &
640 Hz

Radiodetection RD7100 Series, RD8100 Series, and SuperCAT+ Receivers

Cable Break detection - A frame

A-Frame usage diagram

"A-frames" are used for locating sheath faults on cables, and coating defects on pipelines.

It provides direction and magnitude of fault information on the display of the locator.

The A-Frame locates sheath faults on direct buried cables in permanent contact with the soil.

The A-Frame can be used with the Radiodetection RD8100 Series, or RD7100 TL, PL or PDL Model locators.
NOTE: Either a Tx-3(B) or Tx-10(B) transmitter is also required to provide a Fault Find signal.

Trace Rodders

A-Frame usage diagram

A Trace Rodder is a flexible fibreglass composite rod containing conducting wires running the full length of the rod.

When the Trace Rodder conducting wires are energised with your Pipe & Cable locator's Transmitter, you can use your Trace Rodders for tracing the path of the pipe or for locating blockages within.

Sondes can also be attached to the end of Any Rodders (No need to have the conducting wires in the Rodder) with a screw tip to improve on the transmitted signal level. These sondes transmit a signal on their own and do not need to use the Locator Kit's Transmitter (see image).

Rodders are available in diameters starting from 4.5mm up to 11mm, and lengths from 50m to 300m


Very Popular Entry Level Locator Kit with Avoidance Mode, Power, Radio and Genny Locate (50Hz and 33kHz only)


Very Popular Entry Level Locator Kit with additional Receiver frequencies.

SuperCAT Transmitters are available in various mulitple frequencies
Most Popular Option is 8kHz, 33kHz & 131kHz


Mid Level Professional Locator Kit with up to 7 Locate Frequencies and up to 4 Sonde frequencies (model dependant)

Optional Configurations:

 Depth in Power Mode / Power Filters

 On-board GPS (GPS Mapping)

 Marker Locating

 Lithium-Ion Battery


Professional Locator Kit with up to 22 Locate Frequencies (model dependant), 4 Sonde frequencies, with Power Filters, Bluetooth and iLoc functions included as standard.

Optional Configurations:

 Depth in Power Mode

 On-board GPS (GPS Mapping)

 Marker Locating

 Lithium-Ion Battery

Marker Locators

If you need to locate markers, then the Radiodetection RD7100M or RD8100M series will be ideal.


Need more information on range of Sondes available? 

Signal Clamps

Need more information on Transmitter & Receiver Clamps for your Pipe & Cable Locator?

Trace Rodders

Diameters:  4.5mm, 5.0mm, 7.4mm & 11mm

Lengths: 60m, 80m & 150m

Adapters to fit Sondes also in stock

Water Pipe Locator

Picture of a Water Pipe Locator

Water pipe locators can be used on non metallic pipes that are pressurised with water.  
 It works best on water pressures in the range of 3 to 7 bar, (44 to 100psi).

These locators use a transmitter connected to the water value to induce a signal into the liquid within the pipe.   The induced signal is carried through the pipe by the liquid and is detected using a receiver.
An audible tone along with a indicator is presented when the receiver picks up the frequency of the induced signal.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Water Pipe Locators do not detect buried electrical power lines, gas lines or other hazardous underground objects, so always dig carefully in the proximity of buried pipes or cables. 

Water Pipe Locators are suitable for metal, plastic and concrete pressurised water pipes

For pressurised and non-pressurised pipes, a transmitter sonde with an Electromagnetic Pipe & Cable Locator may be used. 
Speak to the team about your locating needs so we can assist in selecting the best tool for the job!

RD500 Plastic Water Pipe Locator Kit

The RD500 is a powerful device for locating underground plastic water pipes which can easily be destroyed by today’s heavy excavating equipment.

A TransOnde sends pulses through the water as it passes through the pipe and then across an internal spring system dispatching a very small sound wave back along the water pipe. This sound wave is then detected using the RD500 receiver hence locating the water pipe.

Ground Penetrating Radar

What is a GPR?

GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) is used by those who need to quickly and easily identify the presence of buried utility infrastructure, both metallic and non-metallic. 
They send a radio frequency using microwaves into the ground and are reflected back up from a structure in the ground. The results are then transferred to the LCD screen for viewing the results. 

Picture of 2 Ground Penerating Radars
Why are GPR’s used?

Due to the ever-increasing design and construction of buried utilities there has been an increase of non-metallic materials used. GPR Locator professionals know the difficulties associated with non-metallic utilities and that conventional Pipe and Cable locators leave the processes a bit short.

Scanning Methods

There are 2 different types of scanning methods used.

Grid Scan
Grid Scan Pattern

Travelling back and forth in a grid pattern, the GPR will gather several images

The “Map View” will then piece all the images together to create one complete image in a top down prospective.

Grid Scan Result
Roaming Grid Scan using an External GPS
External GPS for Ground Penetrating Radar

Using the External GPS (Global Positioning System) option (extra) with your Ground Penetrating Radar provides scan position accuracy of approximately 30cm. 

The main benefit of using the External GPS is that it is no longer necessary to mark the ground in a grid pattern and carry out the Grid Scanning process by walking from Point 1 to Point 2 . Then back up to Point 1 again and then start again from Point 3 to Point 4 and so on.

Given your location is known by the GPS, you are free to conduct a continuous grid type scan in any manageable pattern. The GPR will then piece your overall scan into one complete image.

Scan Result using a Ground Penetrating Radar with External GPS
Line Scan
Line Scan Pictorial

Traveling in a straight line and looking for responses on the screen

View of a Line Scan Result
What is the difference between a GPR and an Electromagnetic Pipe and Cable Locator?

GPRs uses microwaves to look for solid objects in the ground and can find almost anything regardless of the material the structure is composed of. Pipe and Cable locators uses radio frequencies to locate metallic structures. The locator is looking for a magnetic field that’s created by the locator to identify a metallic structure in the ground.

In some ground conditions GPR has certain advantages over alternative techniques because of its ability to ‘see’ non-metallic objects as well as metallic ones. 
GPR products tend to be bigger and more expensive and requires some additional training to get the most from the equipment, however the benefits of discovering metallic and non-metallic in a single locator the results are amazing.


Ground Penetrating Radar with Line Scan Only

View of a Line Scan Result


Ground Penetrating Radar with Line & Grid Scan with optional & highly recommended Mounted GPS Antenna

View of a Line Scan Result
Grid Scan Result