The Wild T2 theodolitePosted by artie-kay on January 12, 2012 at 12:26 am
Anyone still using one regularly, or even occasionally? I cut my teeth surveying with the T2 back in the late 70’s and early 80’s; great optics and opto-mechanical precision, but haven’t used one since. They are popping up on ebay more and more and usually slow to sell. It would be nice to own this classic and put it to use, but what can it do that the modern total station can’t? I’ve had the odd oil and gas ‘hot’ job where it might have been useful and that’s about it. No batteries to run out of course. It’s sad to think that many will end up as ‘collectables’, or worse, stripped of their paint and polished as ornaments.
- 43 Replies
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 12:57 am
I never used a T2. I used a T16 in college, and would really like to get one when I get the extra funds.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:11 am
I used both the Wild T2 and the Kern DKM2. Both were excellent instruments with unmatched optics. I would like to own one, but not to use unless it were with a Roeloffs prism for sun shots.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:16 am
> It’s sad to think that many will end up as ‘collectables’, or worse, stripped of their paint and polished as ornaments.
I don’t imagine many will be stripped and polished. The T2 is mostly made of steel, not brass.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:24 am
I got few… They collect dust on top of old useless phone books. 🙂
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:27 am
I have one that we pull out every now and then when the crews have the new stuff.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:30 am
We have a T2 and a T16 in the office. I’ve played with the T2 enough to figure out how to use it but never for real work. It’s a beautiful instrument.
I used a T16 a few times back in the 1980s but mostly used total stations since they have been around for all of my career. My former employer had some of the huge total stations that ran on a car battery in storage. I think those date before 1980. I think they were AGA Geodometers or hp, not sure.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:35 am
The T2 is listed as having an angular accuracy of 0.6″ Yes, six tenths of a second. Most electronic total stations have an accuracy of 3″ or 5″. When I was in the private sector, we kept a T2 on inventory for measurment of angles in critical locations (deformation analysis, dam monitoring) Those instrument still turn TIGHT angles and there is still a place in surveying for a non-digital instrument that can do that.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:38 am
You’re right of course Jim. This is the inevitable result (pulled from ebay), looks like they gave up after exposing some of the steel:
Sold for £68 – around $100! What a waste, better if it had been left alone rather than half skinned!
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:53 am
> The T2 is listed as having an angular accuracy of 0.6″ Yes, six tenths of a second. Most electronic total stations have an accuracy of 3″ or 5″. When I was in the private sector, we kept a T2 on inventory for measurment of angles in critical locations (deformation analysis, dam monitoring) Those instrument still turn TIGHT angles and there is still a place in surveying for a non-digital instrument that can do that.
> Jim Stafa
> Columbus O
Absolutely, used them both and love em both. Both with the inverted and upright scopes, both in mils and DMS.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 2:00 am
Used to have one that measured in grads.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 2:02 am
You know, it’s been probably about 40 years and, to be honest, I can’t remember exactly how to do it, but I bet I could walk up to it, set it up and start turning angles just like riding a bicycle.;-)
Or riding a 20″ K&E.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:02 am
I came across a T1A a few years ago. It’s sitting on my mantle right now. It’s an impressive instrument – just the smoothness and feel of it is very different from any modern instruments. I don’t have any desire to use it on a daily basis, though.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 3:18 am
I used T-0s, T-1s, T-2s, T-16s, DKM-1s, DKM-2s, and a variety of K&E, Leitz, Zeiss, and other miscellaneous theodolites back in the post-transit days.
We were still using T-2s well into the mid-1980s, and I have a T-2 that I use from time to time when the mood strikes me (or the need arises), although that is maybe every 5 years or so. I bought my first [personal] Total Station (GTS-3b) in about 86 or so, and that is still my ONLY Total Station (and the only one I will ever need).
Not sure that I have a favorite, but it would be either the DKM-2 or T-2 with an AGA-78. Not much that you can’t do with that setup (I still have that 78 too).
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 4:34 am
I use T-16s exclusively for teaching Elementary Surveying. For the first course, I have no need or desire for an electronic instrument. Gotta learn the basics first. Thereafter, 20 minutes with the instruction book and they’re good to go with a Total Station.
That’s my philosophy, anyway …
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 6:49 am
The best tennis players, hockey players, baseball players,
and basketball players excel at the basics!!
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 6:53 am
Harley Watts, Columbus Leica dealer, said precision in the
Topcon and Wild theodolites depended on the amount of paint (lines)
on the circle. Multiple sets removed inconsistencies in
the circle graduations.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 11:47 am
For the basics
I always liked the idea of an open vernier transit. You can “see” the angles as they are turned. But maybe that’s because that’s the way I was taught.
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 11:54 am
Hi Ralph, I get nostalgic when I see these circle readings:
Must be comforting for the Swiss to know that after 500 years of democracy and peace they didn’t just produce the cuckoo clock!
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm
i was lucky enough to find a t2 in an auction. the owner didn’t truly know it’s value. as i recall, i got winning bid a five or six hundred dollars. had both cases, tripod, leather tool pouch with adjustment tools, all in mint condition. was owned by ryan aeronautical in los angeles, presumably for alignment and assembly. the tripod was in such good condition, the green paint was intact all the way down to the spikes on the legs. inverted image, old scale circles, and some kind of right angle dark eyepiece (for welding maybe? what you think?)
- MemberJanuary 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm
The best all-around instrument ever made, in my opinion. I started with a T-2 (old style) doing triangulation. A good I-man and a good notekeper could crank out some angles. I also ran many miles of traverse using the T-2 and an HP3800 (or was it 3805?) After using a T-2 for about a year or so, I had to learn a K & E transit-a bit of a transition, and I kept losing the magnifying glass. Finally I just started using the glass on my swiss army knife-harder to lose, easier to find.
I have a T-2 (new style), a T-3, and a Kern DKM-2. Rarely used. But, when that nuclear explosion goes off, and the EMP knocks out everything electronic, the T-2 will still work.
There is (was) a T-2 cut in half to see the inner workings at the Smithsonian.
Log in to reply.