Using the Triplett FOX & HOUND HOTWIRE™ improves your hunting skills!
There are many Tone and Probe Circuit Tracers out there to choose from these days. Technology in general has advanced but when it comes to locating and tracing down wires, the methods used to trace still remain much of the same as they were many years ago. It always has been and still is tough to find a tracer that can “truly” point you to the actual wire you are looking to track down. This has a lot to do with “noise” or “crosstalk” on a line, sensitivity not being good enough or just the opposite – too sensitive, the different wall and insulation materials being used and the distance or open air gap between the wall and the wires. The Triplett 3388 Fox and Hound HotWire™ Live Wire Tone and Probe Kit was designed years ago and during the design process the engineers made sure to get it right the first time in order to tackle of these problems and then some!
In this article we will look at all of the features that make the Fox and Hound unique and superior to all other tracers available on the market today what still makes it the #1 choice for electrical professionals and the common homeowners out there.
Working Principal of Fox and Hound HotWire™
First, most tone and probe kits only work for tracing “non-energized” wires and circuitry. This is OK for some however can be an inconvenience to have to shut down power every time in order to locate and trace, plus it doesn’t give you the true operating conditions of the circuit when un-energized. The engineers at Triplett thought, “How can we make it so that a user can safely and accurately trace both energized (live wires) and un-energized conditions?” Thus, the Triplett HotWire™ was born making it one of the first to tone and probes to the market able to achieve this task and at an affordable price. This is still holds true today too as there are not many that can work with “live” circuits and especially at its price point.
The Triplett HotWire™ is a wire tracer for 120VAC and 220VAC circuits energized or un-energized. It consists of the HotWire™ Fox Transmitter and the HotWire™ Hound Receiver. The HotWire™ Fox applies a Radio Frequency (RF) tracing signal to the wire to be traced, and this RF signal propagates down the wire radiating the signal along the length of the wire. The HotWire™ Hound senses the location and strength of this RF signal, and in doing so, identifies the path of the wire to the user. The HotWire™ can also trace other common wires, whether powered or unpowered. For example, it can trace telephone and cable TV wires, LAN cables, security system wires, and many others. The HotWire™ Fox, in addition to generating RF signals, also generates Audio Frequency (AF) signals which can be sensed with the Triplett Hound, Hound 2, Hound 3, or Hound Jr. In some cases, tracing a wire using the AF signal is advantageous. The HotWire™ Fox also includes a very useful feature called TrueTrace. In situations where it can be used, it provides positive identification of the wire being traced. This is especially useful in instances where ‘crosstalk’ makes identifying the wire being traced, called the ‘target’ wire, difficult. The HotWire™‘s RF signal can be sensed through most building materials (wood, plaster, drywall, concrete, brick, etc) and can often be sensed through metal conduit (because the conduit is often poorly grounded, as far as RF is concerned). The HotWire™ can even trace shallowly buried underground wires, like those commonly used for ‘Invisible Fences’, cable television, telephone, or low voltage landscape lighting. The HotWire™ also includes many other useful features that make it a valuable test tool for many wire tracing applications.
Features of Fox and Hound HotWire™
The HotWire™ Toner can generate a signal up to 1000 feet, , has adjustable sensitivity, built in LED work-lights which really help in low light conditions, a loud audible toner with selectable “Pulse” or “Warble” tones to make sure you can hear it in noisy environments, a standard headphone jack, and adjustable sensitivity thumbwheel. It also comes complete with test leads (24" and 60"), flat blades, pointed probes, alligator clips, hard carrying case and batteries (2-9V). For complete feature and specification information you can download the User Manual at www.triplett.com
The featured packed and rugged The Triplett Fox and Hound HotWire™ Live Wire Tone and Probe Kit was designed by professionals for professionals and has a lot history. It’s been on the market for many years and has proven to be the best choice out there to get the job done and still is the #1 choice for a tone and probe kit.
For me personally, I was able to use this kit to help my step-father track down an electrical problem at his cabin in Maine. He had an outlet that wasn’t working and we determined it was not the breaker or the outlet itself. We simply traced the wires in the wall to where the signal stopped. Upon investigation we found that he had a rodent problem which mice chewed through one wire completely. I guess that wire was the mice’s” main course” but there were several other wires that appeared to be nibbled on maybe as “appetizers”?? Anyways, the Fox and Hound saved a tremendous amount of time isolating the problem and I recommended he get some mouse traps once he replaced the cables. 😀