Pipe Explorer

R.S. Technical’s RodSTAR inspection camera navigates hard-to-reach laterals.
Pipe Explorer
Fred Reynolds, left, of R.S. Technical Services shows a WWETT Show attendee how the new RodSTAR camera is able to maneuver through bends in a pipe. (Photo by Kyle Rogers)

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Sewer problems often lie in the laterals rather than the mainline, but adequately inspecting and assessing those lateral lines isn’t always easy. That’s a problem R.S. Technical Services wants to help customers solve with its latest inspection camera offering: the RodSTAR.

R.S. Technical brought a demo model of the RodSTAR to the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show as it continued to conduct field testing before going into full production. The RodSTAR is a 2-inch-diameter, 6-inch-long camera designed for use with R.S. Technical’s Mainline and Lateral Inspection System.

“The RodSTAR piggybacks on the mainline camera and transporter,” says Jed Dorough, Northeast sales manager for R.S. Technical. “You line it up with the lateral and activate a secondary motor on the transporter and that is what pushes the camera into the lateral.”

But two key features distinguish the RodSTAR from the other lateral cameras typically used with the system — pan-and-tilt capability and a small rod that can be used to improve maneuverability when jumping among different pipe sizes or T and Y junctions.

“That’s one of the nice features with this camera,” Dorough says. “If there’s a T or Y and you want to go up a line in the opposite direction, you can rotate the camera, grab with that rod, and pull yourself up into that line. Another use we’ve found is times when you may need to move from, say, 6-inch pipe to 4-inch. With the rod you’re able to climb into the 4-inch from the 6-inch. With a normal camera you would just head right into it and stop on a dime. You wouldn’t be able to get over the ledge. You would be at the mercy of the pushrod. With the RodSTAR you have a little more control over where you can go.”

The RodSTAR also has auto-uprighting picture and an integrated 512 Hz sonde for locating purposes.

“We’re targeting anyone in need of lateral launching. Anyone who has some offsets and Y’s or T’s that they’re trying to get into,” Dorough says. “This would be a good product for anyone who needs to camera that type of system. It can get into areas that other cameras cannot.”

Once in those hard-to-access areas, the RodSTAR can produce a quality, thorough inspection, he says.

“The other camera used with the system was kind of fixed. It didn’t move, so if it was riding along the side of the pipe all you saw was that side,” Dorough says. “With the RodSTAR you can bend and look around. If you come to a clean-out, you can look up at it to see if it’s broken or there are any problems. The other camera was just fixed straight ahead. You couldn’t rotate it at all.”

Only two RodSTAR units are being used out in the field currently, in municipalities in Kentucky and West Virginia. Dorough says those customers specifically requested the camera, so R.S. Technical built units for them even though the RodSTAR isn’t yet in full production.

“Since it’s a Generation 1 model, there are things we’re still working on to make it better before we go into full production on it,” he says. “There’s been a lot of testing on it out in California and we built units for those two customers because they asked for them early on. The only thing we’ve asked of them is that they give us a lot of feedback on it.”

There has already been one update from the demo model that appeared at the WWETT Show in February. On that unit, controlling both the mainline camera and the RodSTAR required two joystick boxes. Dorough says it has now been modified so everything can be operated from a single controller.

Even though only a demo model was available for WWETT Show attendees, Dorough says bringing the RodSTAR to the show was beneficial. One, it was able to start garnering a positive response. It’s the smallest of R.S. Technical’s inspection cameras and Dorough says people seemed to like its sleek appearance.

“It’s not as bulky as other cameras,” he says.

And two, it was a sign to customers that R.S. Technical continues to strive to build new and improved products.

“It was good to bring it to the show just so people could see that R.S. Technical is moving forward with a product like this and that we do have something that could be as good if not better than other cameras out there,” Dorough says. “The RodSTAR will be a part of future shows, and by that point it will be in production and attendees will be able to purchase one if they see it and like it.” 800/767-1974; www.rstechserv.com.


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