I am living in a 1950s apartment house in Germany, with a TN-C installation (that is, a combined earth / neutral in every socket).

Now I need to drill some holes. Usually it's quite obvious where the lines are, and I try to follow them using a line locator. Now in this apartment there are whole walls and ceilings that are indicated. I can't even clearly locate known lines.

Any ideas?

  • 3
    Does your line detector have a sensitivity adjustment? It sounds like it is set too sensitive. Battery may also be weak. Maybe it is just broken. It should not show power lines everywhere. Something is wrong. Maybe you should dig out the user's manual for it. – JRE Mar 25 '17 at 12:45
  • It does, fyi here's the model. I did try to adjust sensitivity by either the calibration key, and by keeping some distance. – Dirk Mar 25 '17 at 13:05
  • Versuche es nach der Anleitung. Follow the directions in the manual you linked to. It says (among many other things) that you may have to switch to metal detector mode. Also, run your free hand along the wall beside the scanner to drain static charges that might interfere with the line voltage detector. – JRE Mar 25 '17 at 13:13
  • That locator is a garbage with LCD. If you want to locate the wire you will need transmitter and receiver. The cheapest is something like this: amazon.com/MASTECH-MS6818-Advanced-Tracker-Locator/dp/… . I had two similar kinds of locator you have, and it won't find anything except a big metal pipe at very vicinity. – Marko Buršič Mar 25 '17 at 13:23
  • Marco, trying to find unknown circuits a transmitter receiver pair is not very effective. In fact when I don't have my greenlee cs800 I use a simple cheap stud finder that has voltage detection , using a transmitter receiver pair you can easily miss circuits on a different leg or phase. – Ed Beal Dec 14 '17 at 2:01

I did a CW transmitter with a BJT and XTAL that I had on hand. I do connect this transmitter on wires and then I put a resistor to the end and use a AM/SSB receiver. I can find a circuit if you are interested and if you own a small long wave radio with SSB receiver.

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  • A simple 555 astable works just as well as an injection transmitter due to the harmonics and can be picked up by any medium wave receiver - ssb not needed – JIm Dearden Mar 25 '17 at 12:53
  • But I had a SSB on hands, it was easier to get a clean audio signal by adjusting BFO and inputting the exact frequency on display. – Marko Buršič Mar 25 '17 at 13:07
  • Good for you! But you may have posted this on the wrong page :-D I could use the line locator for some dits and dahs on that wall :-) – Dirk Mar 25 '17 at 13:59
  • At this point I don't understand. I thought you were searching a method to find wires. In the question, you didn't mention about any device of your own. Latter, you added a link of the device, which it is not capable to find wires. Now what you're gonna do? Buy a true wire locator, make your own (that would make sense, since you posted the question in electronic SE) or hire a technician. – Marko Buršič Mar 25 '17 at 14:27

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