New Total StationPosted by mike-evans on January 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm
We are planning to buy a new Total Station. We are looking at a Topcon 3200W or Topcon 3000LW with a FC-2500 running TopSURV or a Spectra Precision and Survey Pro. If you use any of this equipment I would like to here your review of the equipment. Thanks in advance. We have used our old instrument for 15 years and need to know any problems with new stuff.
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- 10 Replies
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm
I’ve got a 3000W series instrument and an FC-2000 (TopSURV). Looks like it would be the generation before you are looking at.
I am very pleased with the equipment. The reflectorless capabilities can, in certain situations, be a huge time savings. I get very good closures of traverses with the instrument. I really like the laser plummet – although it can be a bit tricky to adjust if you ever need to. I periodically run the instrument through all of the checks and adjustments in the manual and have never found any issue with it. Overall, I am very pleased with the total station.
The collector works well. I like the ability to select the screen appearance to what I like best. It has all of the functionality that I need. I do have occasional lock-ups with it. These usually seem to happen if an auto-backup occurs during the middle of certain screen processes. That would be my only complaint on the collector.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm
We had been using a Range 200 C and TDS Survey Pro. After the big buy-out of smaller companys by Trimble we have wanted to try a FC-2500 with TopSURV.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm
I made the switch from a Husky FS/2 with TDS and a GTS-235w to a FC2500 w/ TopSurv and a GPT-9003 robot about 18 months ago. Generally I’m happy with the FC2500/TopSurv combo, but there are a few quirks, and I feel that the programmers have relied to heavily on the touchscreen. The result is an inability to efficiently control the DC without using the touchscreen. Call me at eight six five six nine zero zero one zero four if you want more details.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm
I demo’d the FC-2500, I instead upgraded the Ranger X I have to TDS 5.0
I didn’t care for the software on the FC-2500, I like TDS much better.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm
running a 3003LW with SurveyPro here and encounter zero problems. it is an awesome setup.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm
I use the FC-250 that I bought last year. However, I opted to go with the TopSurv 7 instead of TopSurv 8 due to the inability to input your own descriptions. We had it loaded up but you have to use the description file that Topcon came up with for TopSurv 8. Yes, you could probably develop your own description file, but you never know what you’ll encounter out in the field.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm
Actually you can enter descriptions/codes on the fly in the field. TopSurv just prompts you for the layer, color, point style, line type, etc. The biggest pain is that spaces and certain other characters are not allowed.
- MemberJanuary 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm
We have a 3000 and we use recon’s and nomads with survey pro.
As far as the gun is concerned, it’s not as well built as the GTS300 series or the later GTS600 series. It is built on the GTS200 series frame and ours, just like our 211D, needs constant collimation about once a month to keep it acting right.
Other than that, it’s a rock solid gun.
I’ve never used the FC DC’s so I can’t speak to that.
- MemberJanuary 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm
I use Survey Pro. I have two comments about it that you might consider: 1) Survey Pro plays nice with Spectra Precision, Nikon, and Trimble. If you’re using a different brand of total station, you may be able to use Survey Pro, but you’re probably not going to get much attention from Spectra. That’s been my experience anyway. 2) As for a data collector, I have used both a touchscreen input and a keyboard input, and would generally advise the use of the latter. I’m currently using Survey Pro on a Nomad, and while it works, I don’t like the touchscreen input too much.
- MemberJanuary 19, 2012 at 12:42 am
In my personal opinion I have seen too many problems with the GPT’s, starting with the EDM’s. About half of the people love them and probably never have problems with them, the other half would probably never buy one again. Half isn’t good enough for me.
The other thing to consider with that manufacturer is that they are a hardware company. While their software may work I believe that third party software from someone like TDS (now Spectra) or Carlson will work better and do more for you.
That being said (as as you see I am not a Topcon fan), the Sokkia total stations are great reflectorless instruments and so are the Nikons and the Leicas. All of them run with Carlson or TDS.
The most important thing though is make sure that you have a service center that is nearby, that you have a relationship with that has all of the tooling for repairs on that model, has gone to training and has a replacement available if the instrument goes down. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR. If you use it – it will break at some point.
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