Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

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Tamales
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Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Tamales » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:59 pm

It looks pretty interesting.
Website: https://walabot.com/diy
Video demo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3gDX75a_b4

LifeIsGood
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by LifeIsGood » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:02 am

Android only - too bad. Looks like an interesting gadget.

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indexfundfan
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by indexfundfan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:57 am

Very interesting. Any user experience to share?
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm

A quick pass through the website did not reveal any explanation of mechanism. Unless there is one that passes the giggle test, avoid.

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Ged
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Ged » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:06 pm

Reviews on Amazon are very bimodal. Either gushing or negative. That can be a sign of fake reviews.

If I was going to purchase it I'd be sure I could return it. Note that it's not sold by Amazon, only fulfilled by Amazon.

Also check out the comments on this review:

https://www.askthebuilder.com/walabotdi ... ol-review/

quantAndHold
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:07 pm

A stud sensor with a bluetooth interface?

Tamales
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Tamales » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:23 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm
A quick pass through the website did not reveal any explanation of mechanism. Unless there is one that passes the giggle test, avoid.
It's using UWB (Ultra WideBand) which is pretty well-establish for things like ground-penetrating radar imaging applications. And there are existing FCC Part 15 rules for UWB in the US:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47 ... /subpart-F

So I think it passes the giggle test, but I'm not sure it passes the truth-in-advertising test. After reading a bit more, they have 3 models, and only the most expensive professional model with 18 sensors could even approach what they show in the videos. In one of the independent 3rd party tests, let's just say they still have some issues to work out. It's apparently not quite ready for prime time, and may never reach consumer price points for the type of capability they show in their videos.

edit: I note this in the FCC rules, 15.510(e):
"Through-wall imaging systems operating under the provisions of this section shall bear the following or similar statement in a conspicuous location on the device: “Operation of this device is restricted to law enforcement, emergency rescue and firefighter personnel. Operation by any other party is a violation of 47 U.S.C. 301 and could subject the operator to serious legal penalties.”"

I guess they get around this because it's not being sold as "through the wall"

quantAndHold
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:30 pm

So then it's a *really fancy* stud sensor with a bluetooth interface.

Tamales
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Tamales » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:51 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:30 pm
So then it's a *really fancy* stud sensor with a bluetooth interface.
I don't know about you, but I've tried several different ultrasonic stud sensors over the years, and none of them are very dependable. So they just collect dust and I usually go with the tried-and-true manual approach of using magnets to find the general line of the nails in the drywall, then I pound in pin nails on either side of that line to get the exact edges of the stud(s) so I can be sure the screw is going in the center.

This gadget would have definite advantages over those types of stud sensors, if it worked as advertised and reached a reasonable price point for the 18 sensor model.

Also I think the real-time imaging bandwidth to the smartphone is too high to use bluetooth, so they use (wired) USB if the 3rd part video I saw is correct.

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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by brennok » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:48 pm

Ged wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:06 pm
Reviews on Amazon are very bimodal. Either gushing or negative. That can be a sign of fake reviews.

If I was going to purchase it I'd be sure I could return it. Note that it's not sold by Amazon, only fulfilled by Amazon.

Also check out the comments on this review:

https://www.askthebuilder.com/walabotdi ... ol-review/
Fakespot gives it an F.
https://www.fakespot.com/product/walabo ... ls-android

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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:09 am


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lthenderson
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 am

I've been remodeling houses for years and really don't understand why anyone would need to spend money on these sorts of things. I can use my knuckle on my hand to locate any stud. For water lines and electrical lines, there are codes for people installing them to prevent people from accidentally putting a nail or screw in them by putting them at certain depths in the wall cavity or installing plates to prevent punctures when they are shallow. Most accidental punctures I have seen have been caused by someone using three inch screws to hang a small picture, i.e. wrong fastener choice for the job.

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Ged
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Ged » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:42 am

brennok wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:48 pm
Fakespot gives it an F.
https://www.fakespot.com/product/walabo ... ls-android
Oh nice. Fakespot is now in my shortcut list. Thanks.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:52 am

Ged wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:06 pm
Reviews on Amazon are very bimodal. Either gushing or negative. That can be a sign of fake reviews.

If I was going to purchase it I'd be sure I could return it. Note that it's not sold by Amazon, only fulfilled by Amazon.

Also check out the comments on this review:

https://www.askthebuilder.com/walabotdi ... ol-review/
The commments told me everything I needed to know. Especially the attempted return comments regarding no phone number or info on how to send back.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

Luke Duke
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by Luke Duke » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:13 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 am
I've been remodeling houses for years and really don't understand why anyone would need to spend money on these sorts of things. I can use my knuckle on my hand to locate any stud.
So you can bang on a wall and find the exact center of every stud with a degree of accuracy where you would be comfortable hanging an expensive TV, cabinets or heavy shelves?
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 am
For water lines and electrical lines, there are codes for people installing them to prevent people from accidentally putting a nail or screw in them by putting them at certain depths in the wall cavity or installing plates to prevent punctures when they are shallow.
I highly recommend randomly putting a bunch of nails in your wall since every single person knows and follows the codes 100%.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:21 am

I have plaster in my house. Stud finders don’t find squat. Lots of false readings. It’s now a toy for my kids :D
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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lthenderson
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:08 am

Luke Duke wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:13 am
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 am
I've been remodeling houses for years and really don't understand why anyone would need to spend money on these sorts of things. I can use my knuckle on my hand to locate any stud.
So you can bang on a wall and find the exact center of every stud with a degree of accuracy where you would be comfortable hanging an expensive TV, cabinets or heavy shelves?
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 am
For water lines and electrical lines, there are codes for people installing them to prevent people from accidentally putting a nail or screw in them by putting them at certain depths in the wall cavity or installing plates to prevent punctures when they are shallow.
I highly recommend randomly putting a bunch of nails in your wall since every single person knows and follows the codes 100%.
Using a knuckle I can repeatedly put a nail in a stud. It doesn't have to be in the "exact center". No I would not be comfortable hanging and expensive tv, cabinets or heavy shelves with a nail pounded into a stud. However, with the correct fasteners and brackets, I have hung all those many times over without incident. It is extremely easy to tell when a fastener misses a stud by the resistance or lack there of it offers when driving it in.

With your second statement you are missing the point. I don't know anyone who randomly puts nails in a wall. I only randomly put nails in studs and even then not totally random. Most things hung on the wall are up four to six feet in the air while most electrical and plumbing items are run along the lower portions of the wall or vertically in stud bays. I also specify that I use the appropriate sized fastener. A one and a half inch nail is plenty strong enough to hold the average picture frame up on a wall and only penetrates a stud maybe three quarters of an inch. Most plumbing or wiring is centers in a stud which is 2-1/4 inches from the wall surface. If one must drill in a stud bay where plumbing and electrical could possibly be, I gently drill a small hole and use a feeler gauge, my finger, to assure there isn't anything nearby before continuing.

leftcoaster
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by leftcoaster » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:53 am

I agree about rapping with a knuckle. Also, if you ever open a wall, take pictures!

Studs are spaced 16" on center. If you see an electric outlet, it's nailed to the side of a stud. rap into until you figure out which side it's on, then measure 16" and rap again. I'm not a pro and it works every time, even on insulated walls.

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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by sjn001tvh » Fri May 18, 2018 4:02 am

Several months ago I purchased a Walabot. The idea excited me at first to think that I could simply connect a device to my phone and images of where studs are located in the wall would appear. I'm a general contractor, and I work with an interior designer who designs model units for condominiums. As such I it is very important for me to NOT to use nails to determine where studs are located, and I have to have a more reliable approach than just tapping my knuckles on the wall. I have been using a standard beeping style stud finder, but found that it was somewhat of a hassle. So I felt it was worth the effort and funds to invest in a more reliable and more efficient method to locate studs within a wall. Thus, I purchased a Walabot.

Here's my experience. Straight out of the box it took a little time to get it going, and at the first attempt it found a stud and to my surprise, it was a great image and the stud was exactly where it said it was suppose to be. However, as I have needed to use on several jobs for my clients, it has never worked consistently, and I tend to spend more time recalibrating the device and even then, it may show one stud, but fails on additional attempts and even sometimes even after recalibrating, it doesn't show the stud again that I located with the device. I know the device fails because, studs are usually 16" to 24" apart. So after 5 to 10 minutes trying to get the device to be consistent, I revert back to the beeper style that I thought was a hassle. It's still a hassle, but tends to be more reliable.

That's been my beef with the Walabot. I've tried on 3 occasions and 3 different job sites to find studs with the Walabot. I have contacted the company several times and each time they respond with the same advice... re-calibrate. I have spent far more time re-calibrating, than I would have using my beeper style of stud finder. Which by the way I am continuing to use because the Walabot has been so unreliable and their support is not very supportive. I have suggested that my device might be faulty and that I would be willing to replace the device with a more reliable one. There has been no positive response to that request.

As far as I'm concerned the Walabot is and has been a waste of my money and time.

As a separate note to comments about finding studs by using tapping nails into the walls makes me cringe. I developed a method that has proven successful in locating studs. It takes a little bit more time, but you don't end up with a line of nail holes in a wall that end up needing to be filled. I use a long straight pin, or a needle. I use a small tapper hammer and once the straight pin passes through the drywall material, you'll know right a way if there's a stud because it will stop and you'll hear a deep sound. If the stud's not there, the additional tap of the hammer will send the pin further into the wall and it will be easy to extract. Thus, when removing the pin, all you have is a small pin hole, easy to patch if necessary but usually not because it's not very noticable.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by GAAP » Fri May 18, 2018 9:48 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 am
there are codes for people installing them to prevent people from accidentally putting a nail or screw in them by putting them at certain depths in the wall cavity or installing plates to prevent punctures when they are shallow.
And then there are the idiots (prior owners) that worked on my house... There are so many things wrong that I'm still doing triage -- electrical, natural gas, plumbing, septic, water, vents (directly into the attic space), etc. That guy was a licensed general contractor...

I would never trust that something was built to code -- especially residential construction.

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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by barnaclebob » Fri May 18, 2018 10:09 am

sjn001tvh wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:02 am
Several months ago I purchased a Walabot. The idea excited me at first to think that I could simply connect a device to my phone and images of where studs are located in the wall would appear. I'm a general contractor, and I work with an interior designer who designs model units for condominiums. As such I it is very important for me to NOT to use nails to determine where studs are located, and I have to have a more reliable approach than just tapping my knuckles on the wall. I have been using a standard beeping style stud finder, but found that it was somewhat of a hassle. So I felt it was worth the effort and funds to invest in a more reliable and more efficient method to locate studs within a wall. Thus, I purchased a Walabot.

Here's my experience. Straight out of the box it took a little time to get it going, and at the first attempt it found a stud and to my surprise, it was a great image and the stud was exactly where it said it was suppose to be. However, as I have needed to use on several jobs for my clients, it has never worked consistently, and I tend to spend more time recalibrating the device and even then, it may show one stud, but fails on additional attempts and even sometimes even after recalibrating, it doesn't show the stud again that I located with the device. I know the device fails because, studs are usually 16" to 24" apart. So after 5 to 10 minutes trying to get the device to be consistent, I revert back to the beeper style that I thought was a hassle. It's still a hassle, but tends to be more reliable.

That's been my beef with the Walabot. I've tried on 3 occasions and 3 different job sites to find studs with the Walabot. I have contacted the company several times and each time they respond with the same advice... re-calibrate. I have spent far more time re-calibrating, than I would have using my beeper style of stud finder. Which by the way I am continuing to use because the Walabot has been so unreliable and their support is not very supportive. I have suggested that my device might be faulty and that I would be willing to replace the device with a more reliable one. There has been no positive response to that request.

As far as I'm concerned the Walabot is and has been a waste of my money and time.

As a separate note to comments about finding studs by using tapping nails into the walls makes me cringe. I developed a method that has proven successful in locating studs. It takes a little bit more time, but you don't end up with a line of nail holes in a wall that end up needing to be filled. I use a long straight pin, or a needle. I use a small tapper hammer and once the straight pin passes through the drywall material, you'll know right a way if there's a stud because it will stop and you'll hear a deep sound. If the stud's not there, the additional tap of the hammer will send the pin further into the wall and it will be easy to extract. Thus, when removing the pin, all you have is a small pin hole, easy to patch if necessary but usually not because it's not very noticable.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the review. What do you calibrate against? Do you have to find a section of wall you know is blank and then tell it when it goes over a stud? Sounds like the company wont be around too long...

I have a lower end beeper stud finder (tells me when i hit an edge of a stud along with electrical) that was accurate in my old (newer) house but my new (older) house it is nearly useless. Long 10" stretches of "stud" followed by nothing for 24 inches when I know for sure there is a stud in the area. Its not plaster and lathe either, normal drywall.

fittan
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by fittan » Fri May 18, 2018 10:26 am

BEST.....STUD.....FINDER....EVER.....

https://smile.amazon.com/CH-Hanson-0304 ... tud+finder

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lthenderson
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by lthenderson » Fri May 18, 2018 7:46 pm

This has been my go to stud finder for over a decade. No calibration, no waiting, no fail. It simply lights up the lights on the array with a stud underneath.

https://www.amazon.com/ProSensor-710-Fr ... B0064EICKG

whomever
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by whomever » Fri May 18, 2018 8:26 pm

That's a bummer to hear the Walabot doesn't work well.

FWIW, I've used 3 different electronic ones with indifferent success.

My usual practice now is to use a collection of rare earth magnets to find the drywall screws. I start with one that's maybe 3/4 inch in diameter by 3/16 thick. I just rub it over the wall until it finds a screw, then replace it with a 3/8 in diameter one (which locates the screw head more precisely then the big one, but would be slow to use for the search). I have several of the small ones, and locate several screws in the desired stud. That lets you notice if one screw is off to the edge of the stud.

It sure would be nice, though, to see the wires and pipes.

wilked
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Re: Anyone have a Walabot (imaging sensor for wires, pipes, studs in walls)?

Post by wilked » Fri May 18, 2018 9:27 pm

fittan wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:26 am
BEST.....STUD.....FINDER....EVER.....

https://smile.amazon.com/CH-Hanson-0304 ... tud+finder
This is the correct answer.
We have an 1890s era fully plastered house. This finds the stud every time

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