The iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad have a built in Magnetometer, which is utilized in the compass app. But a magnetometer can be used for other purposes too. A magnetometer is detecting magnetic fields, and changes in magnetic fields.
In other words, the iPhones magnetometer can be used to detect any magnetic field. Like the magnetic field that is radiated by power lines.As you may know, every electrical current is emitting a magnetic field. With a few changes the magnetometer that is built in the iPhone can be used to detect this magnetic field. The Power Line Detector app has everything in it you need to detect power lines hidden in walls. Well, you can detect any hidden power line as long as it is not shielded (like a compass that doesn’t work when it is in a shielded box).To make the best use of the Power Line Detector app follow the guide lines below:
- Metallic parts are disturbing any measurement. Therefore remove any cover, frame or bumper from your device.
- Many cases and protectors use magnets to keep them shut. Remove cases and frames that have magnets for what reason ever. After all you are looking to detect the magnetic field of a power line, you don’t want to detect the magnets that are part of your iPhone ouch or case.
- Now that you removed everything that could disturb the measurement you can start the app.
- Calibrating the internal magnetometer by moving the device in a „8-Figure“ is never a bad idea.
- Slowly move your iPhone close to the area where you suspect a power line carrying voltage.
- If the app detects a power line (that must actually be powered) the display will flash and the mG readings grow accordingly (mG stands for milliGauss, a unit to measure magnetic induction). Also the message „Voltage detected“ appears on the screen.
- You may want to get familiar with the Power Line Detection app before using it. Just use it on an active power line that you can see (like the power cord from your room light or an extension cable running from the wall outlet) to get a feel for the apps function and handling.
- Computer and other electronic devices may not work well with this app, since they are often heavily shielded to ensure their proper function. As outlined above, shielding prevents proper reading of magnetic fields.
Have fun with this handy tool!