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“There are several features that make the 8500 more accurate and easier to use than any other guidance system out there. One is its offset locating and depth-reading ability. With this feature, the user can determine depth and horizontal offset alongside the beacon. So you can track along the side of a road while drilling next to it, and track around trees, brush, and other obstacles.”
Bieberdorf says the 8500 provides readings even on inclines of up to 20 degrees, so the operator can track up the sides of ditches and on other uneven terrain.
The 8500 is also ideal for situations in congested areas. With the system’s exclusive “drill-thru” mode, the tracker can be placed at a given point and the operator can drill not only to that point but also beyond it, on a planned path. When drilling under a multi-lane highway, for example, the tracker can be strategically placed in the middle of the road – shutting down one lane of traffic – and the drilling operator could drill all the way across without having to shut down lanes to take depth readings. In drill-thru mode, the 8500 provides both current and predicted depth.
On the clockface, the 8500 has 60 roll positions and a five-roll-per-second output. With 60 roll positions, the drill operator has access to more detailed information, resulting in a more accurate bore. The 8500 also has exceptional resolution on steep inclines to make it easier to match entry and exit plans and keep the bore on track.
Interference from metallic objects, electric lines and other radio signals can interrupt the progress of tracking a bore. This is why the 8500 has two frequencies built in: an ultra-low (ULF), 1.75-kHz frequency and a very low (VLF) frequency that can “see through” signals generated by objects in the vicinity, such as rebar, underground and overhead lines. “The choice of two distinctly different frequencies increases the operator’s ability to drill in high-noise areas, so they can be more productive,” says Bieberdorf. “In addition, the communication between the 8500T and 8500D gives you 15 channels to choose from, which maximizes communication capability and helps prevent cross-talk with other nearby drills and electronic devices.”