PipeTech Sentinel Calibration

How to Calculate Compensation Values for the v4/5 PipeTech Inspection Interface (PII)

NOTE: This primer assumes the operator possesses a general knowledge of the use of PipeTech Scan, the Windows operating system, and the truck’s equipment (specifically the cable reels).

ADDITIONAL NOTE: The method of setting compensation values for reel encoders is quite different for the v5 USB-based Sentinel PII versus the older serial-based v4 PII. For the v5 Sentinel, the compensation value is stored in the device itself. For the legacy v4 PII, the compensation value is set using the PipeTech Scan software.

CAUTION: Footage compensation is used to deal with reel encoders with incrementation that is not what the PipeTech Inspection Interface would consider “normal”. Footage compensation *cannot* take into account reel encoders that are slipping or inaccurate by varying amounts.

1) Make sure you have the ability to pull 100 *physically measured* feet from the cable reel. A parking lot or other large, open area is useful for this purpose. Measure and tape off if necessary.

If using the USB-based v5 Sentinel:

2) Power on the truck equipment and load up the computer but do *not* load PipeTech Scan. You will need to use the Sentinel Interface Utility to access and update the footage compensation value in the Sentinel overlay. It is found here:

[System Drive] > Program Files (x86) > Peninsular Technologies > PipeTech Diagnostics > Sentinel Interface Utility.exe

NOTE: The above path assumes a 64-bit operating system.

3) Run the Interface Utility and click on the Compensation tab. Verify that the Sentinel overlay unit is on and that Manual Mode is off; click “Test for Overlay” in the Utility to connect to the Sentinel. Once connected (the Utility will mention that it found the device on a COM port in the status bar) click “Check Compensation” to acquire the current compensation value from the overlay. (Use the “Lateral” checkbox to toggle whether you want to check and manipulate the lateral footage compensation versus the mainline compensation.) If the current compensation value is anything besides 1.0000000, double-click on the current value, change it to 1.0, and click the “Set” button.

4) Keep the Sentinel Interface Utility loaded on the PC. Cycle the power on the Sentinel overlay unit by turning the power off and then on again. Turn Manual Mode on; the front LCD screen should now show “FEET: 0000.0”. Verify that the counter on the unit increments while pulling cable (even without the PipeTech Scan software).

5) Starting at a marked distance of “zero”, pull out 100 feet of physically measured cable. Once complete, the PipeTech Inspection Interface should display 100.0 feet. If the value is something besides 100.0 feet, use the calculator in Windows to divide 100 by whatever distance the PII shows on its display. The resulting number is the needed correction factor. (For example, if the PII shows 103.8 feet after pulling 100 feet of cable, the correction factor would be 100 / 103.8 = 0.96339.)

6) Enter the needed correction factor into the compensation value in the Sentinel Utility on the PC by double-clicking on the current value, typing the new value, and clicking “Set”. You can verify that the value was saved by clicking “Check Compensation”.

7) Once again power down and power back up the Sentinel overlay using the power on/off switch. The current distance should yet again read “FEET: 0000.0”. Reel back in the 100′ of measured cable. The Sentinel overlay LCD screen should show a value very close to 100 feet (although this value may be negative).

8) This process can be used also for the lateral reel encoder input as well on a “Deluxe” Sentinel PII overlay. In this case the Mainline / Lateral button is toggled to access the lateral footage counter (which reads “LAT. FEET: 0000.0”). Also, on the Sentinel Interface Utility the “Lateral” checkbox should be checked in order to access and adjust the footage compensation value. (This can be done with Manual Mode set to “on”; the Utility will tell the Sentinel overlay to display whatever footage input is currently being adjusted.)

If using a serial-based PII (with a “Comm. Data” port on the back):

2) Power on the truck equipment and load PipeTech Scan on the computer. Start a new inspection without filling in the header information or hitting record. If the current footage shown on-screen is something besides zero, reset the distance to zero in the software using the “0.0” icon in the overlay toobar at the right-hand side of the software.

3) Go to Tools > Calibrate Distance Encoder. Click on the appropriate tab (Mainline / Lateral) and then check the box to Activate Compensation. If the Correction Factor is anything besides 1.00000, change it to 1.00000. Leave this box open for the moment.

4) Pull out 100 feet of physically measured cable. Once complete, the PipeTech Inspection Interface should display 100.0 feet. If it is something besides 100.0 feet, use the calculator in Windows to divide 100 by whatever distance the PII shows on its display. The resulting number is the needed correction factor. (For example, if the PII shows 103.8 feet after pulling 100 feet of cable, the correction factor would be 100 / 103.8 = 0.96339.)

5) Enter the needed correction factor into the Correction Factor box in PipeTech and click “OK”.

6) Now manually re-set the current distance to 100.0 feet in PipeTech Scan (this can be done with the “Preset Location” icon to the right of the “0.0” icon in the overlay toolbar). The PII should now show 100.0 feet. Reel in the cable to the zero mark. The PII and PipeTech Scan should show a distance very close to zero.

7) This process can be used to add a correction factor for the lateral input of a Deluxe PII as well. Use the Lateral tab in the Tools > Calibrate Distance Encoder dialog box and switch over to the lateral encoder input on the PII by clicking the “M/L” icon in the overlay toolbar (left-hand column near the bottom). The mainline and lateral values are stored independently.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the encoding correction factor is likely specific to the hardware in the truck. If the reel, reel encoder, or any other hardware is replaced, it would be wise to de-activate the correction factor and allow PipeTech to process reel encoding normally before continuing the use of this feature.