Single-Conductor Technology: Proven Performance for Utility Inspections

Today, there are two main technologies available in camera inspection systems. One is called multiconductor technology. The other is the same proven technology that delivers 450-plus channels of TV, high-speed internet and telephone service to your home. Yes, the choice of today’s cutting-edge communications companies is also available in your next camera inspection system. It’s called single-conductor technology, and it’s the foundation of all Subsite Electronics mainline inspection systems.

Single-conductor technology delivers significant cost and performance advantages over the alternative through interchangeability of components, backward and forward compatibility, and reduced downtime. A key component of this technology’s superior performance is the single-conductor, or SinCon, cable used to connect the inspection camera and transporter to the control system. This cable supplies power to the camera, tractor and lights, and it controls equipment functions like pan-and-tilt, tractor speed selection, stop, freewheel and others, all while transmitting multiple video signals to the control unit.

The central core of SinCon cable is constructed by wrapping copper strands around a single-stranded insulated wire. A plastic jacket is then extruded over this coaxial cable, and two layers of galvanized steel wire are contra-helically wrapped for strength and protection of the coaxial cable. These galvanized wires are also used as a safety ground for the system.

The result is a cable that is smaller (typically 1/4-inch diameter) and much stronger than other reinforced multiconductor options. In fact, while multiconductor cable has a breaking strength of just 500 to 2,000 pounds, the SinCon cable on Subsite mainline inspection systems has a breaking strength of 5,400 pounds.

Strength isn’t the only advantage the SinCon cable delivers. The cost savings are significant. SinCon is less expensive than multiconductor cable, plus it has a longer life expectancy, which can save you substantial amounts of money over the life of the equipment. In fact, SinCon cable is so durable, it’s been shown to last three times longer than multiconductor cable.

In addition to durability, SinCon cable is simple to maintain. End connectors can easily be replaced in the field in a matter of minutes. By contrast, multiconductor cable typically requires several hours of labor and advanced technical skills to splice or troubleshoot multiple wires. In the event catastrophic damage does occur to the SinCon cable, the system’s controller circuits automatically detect an issue and shut down instantaneously. This prevents damage to the camera, tractor or controller — saving money. 

For clarity of inspection images, single-conductor technology is ideal. Multiconductor technology loses video signal quality along the length of the cable, but video signal quality is not affected by the length of a SinCon cable. The video signal is modulated at the camera and sent to the controller. Then the controller demodulates the signal and reproduces the original high-quality image that is seen on the monitor and recorded. You get pristine picture quality without the added noise or loss of signal that multiconductor users experience.

For more information about the benefits of single-conductor technology, including significant safety benefits, ask your nearest Subsite Utility Inspection dealer.

Subsite Electronics is committed to providing underground construction professionals the most comprehensive suite of electronic products in the industry, including utility locators, horizontal directional drilling guidance equipment, utility inspection systems and equipment machine controls. By utilizing innovative technologies, extensive market feedback and outstanding customer support, Subsite has established itself as the premier source of electronic technology to support the installation, maintenance and inspection of underground pipe and cable.

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