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Earth Ear Underground Listening System

Function of the System
Designed for use with outdoor trenchless horizontal boring equipment, the Earth Ear 200 Underground Listening System's function is to alert the “locator” and “driller”

(drilling machine operator) when the drill head is hitting an unknown object other than normal soil. The alert signal is the audible change in sound which occurs when the drill head hits a hard object such as a pipe, conduit, concrete, rock bed, etc. as compared to the normal sounds heard when drilling through soil or the strata expected for the work location.

Description of the System
The Earth Ear 200 is a custom built, portable battery-powered wireless broadcast system which transmits the sounds created underground by the process of Directional Boring. The basic components of the system are an FM band base station transmitter, a cell phone sized mobile personal receiver and a microphone. All equipment is contained within a rugged 25" x 20" x 12" weatherproof case. The

system works by dropping the microphone down into a nearby sewer pipe, accessed by a street level manhole. The microphone, which is connected to the transmitter via a microphone cable, hangs inches above the waterline and the local sewer system acts as a collector of underground sound, including sound caused by the drilling work. The sounds picked up by the microphone are then broadcast by the transmitter inside the Earth Ear case, which is located next to, or near the manhole at street level. The wireless transmitter then broadcasts the signal picked up by the microphone via the transmitting antenna which is mounted on top of the Earth Ear case. The system has a range of 2-3 city blocks, line-of-sight to the transmitting antenna.

The number of potential individual listeners is limited only to the number of personal receivers worn within the system’s operating range. When utilizing the Earth Ear system, the directional boring crew member known as the “locator” can add his sense of hearing to assist the visual sensory tools provided by the Drill Head Monitor equipment in detecting the unseen activities of the drilling work. Being a wireless broadcast system, the Earth Ear also allows any other member of the drilling crew, supervisors or other visitors to the work site to listen in on the activities of the drilling work being performed.

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