Wire Tracer (Transmitter)


Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The circuit depicted here forms one half of a device that will prove extremely handy when tracing the path of electrical wiring in a building or to locate a break in a wire. The system is based on similar equipment that is used by technicians in telephone exchanges. The operation is straightforward. You require a generator that delivers an easily


Wire Tracer (Transmitter)
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recognizable signal which, using a short antenna, is inductively coupled to a simple, but high gain, receiver. To create a useful transmitter it would suffice to build a simple generator based on a 555. But as the adjacent diagram shows, a 556 was selected instead. The second timer (IC1a) is used to modulate the tone produced by IC1b. The output frequency alternates between about 2100 Hz and 2200 Hz. This is a very distinctive test signal that is easily distinguished from any other signals that may be present. Resistor R6 is connected to a piece of wire, about ten centimeters long, that functions as the antenna. The ground connection (junction C2-C3) is connected to ground. When the antenna is connected directly to a cable, it is possible to determine at the other end of the cable, with the aid of the receiver, which conductor is which (don`t do this with live conductors!). The schematic for the matching receiver may be found elsewhere in this website.




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