New microprocessors will allow bring added functionality to locators and allow them to operate longer


Subsurface Instruments announced two updated models of their All Materials Locator (AML), which uses ultrahigh radio frequencies to pinpoint buried plastic, metal, wood, cable and pipe in any soils at depths of more than 20 feet.

The AML Pro and AML+ models build on the technology provided by the original hand-held AML, adding digital microprocessor technology and a lithium rechargeable battery pack. The Pro model also offers GPS reporting to mark locations on existing maps. The advances improve performance and job site efficiency, and support convenient reporting of coordinates and quick and easy firmware updates.

The AML product line utilizes technology developed by NASA engineers to detect changes in density bringing newfound accuracy to underground locating work.

“The upgrades are a result of feedback from customers, particularly in the oil and gas industry, who suggest ways to add new functionality to an already highly effective tool,’’ says Joe Weiland, SubSurface Instruments president and CEO. “The AML has been a game-changing product in underground locating for many years and we will continue to look for ways to bring improvements for a current customer base of over 5,100 and utilized within 59 countries worldwide.’’

A major change cannot be seen beneath the unit’s ergonomic, durable engineered grade plastic (EGP) exterior. That’s the upgrade from analog to digital microprocessor, which allows for anytime firmware updates and builds on the rock-solid reliability of the AML. Users may now recalibrate the unit and perform software updates through a USB computer connection rather than sending it back to the company for periodic routine service.

While both devices share the new microprocessor platform, the AML+ retains the simple dial multi-position sensitivity switch and lighted target indicators preferred by many users, while the AML Pro employs a sharp digital backlit display. The AML Pro further offers GPS technology, eliminating the need for an auxiliary piece of tracking equipment to accompany the locator on the jobsite.

“This convenience will be a boon to users who need to precisely track pipes, and then easily share that information to their municipal or oilfield customers,’’ Weiland says. “Many users, particularly in the oil and gas industry and as well as municipalities who want to be able to download coordinates into their own mapping system, now can.’’

With the new rechargeable lithium-ion battery kit, users will stay on the job site longer and have a choice between using this external power supply or three 9-volt batteries located in the unit’s handle. The standard 9-volt alkaline batteries power the AML for a minimum of four to seven hours, while the corded lithium-ion pack — plugged into a mini-USB port and carried in the pocket — provides 20-plus hours of continuous use. The lithium battery pack can also be used to charge mobile phones while powering the AML.

Both units also have new headphone jacks and come with headphones to listen to audio signals. The headphones, battery pack and AML unit are protected by a durable and waterproof carry case and custom fitted in a shock absorbing foam housing. The AML line is manufactured in the United States and backed by a three-year warranty.

The AML technology works in any type of soil, locates through concrete, snow or water and doesn’t have the limitations contractors have found using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology, Weiland says.

“The majority of customers use it to find objects at depths of 20 feet or less,’’ Weiland says. “We don’t really know how deep it will go, but users have been amazed by its performance.’’

To learn more about the AML line of locators or find a local distributor go to www.ssilocators.com or call Weiland at 855/422-6346.


Related Stories