Discussion of FieldGenius related issues and questions.

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Richard Sands
Posts: 425
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:10 pm
Location: Tasmania


Post by Richard Sands » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:29 pm

I'm looking at Sokkia 530RK and a Nikon NPL 352.
Using FG I know the Sokkia will talk both ways to the data recorder (Tracker Extreme) Not sure just what the Nikon does?
I'm interested to know if FG can control the horizontal plate reading - set it ie.
Turn on the Lumi Guide, check plate bubble, set different prism types etc - all from the Tracker.

How have users found the Sokkia in leafy conditions? My experience with Nikon 821 is very good - it takes them in its stride and I am impressed.

Any comments on the reflecorless readings appreciated.
Nikon claim superiority, Sokkia bag them out.
Sokkia has some redeeming features over the Nikon - Bluetooth for one.
Its not straight forward to get ones hands on instruments here but I've tried the Sokkia. Not so the Nikon.
Some answers here may circumvent that.

Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:36 pm

Post by mlbrack » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:37 am

Richard and I have been exchanging emails on Nikon and Sokkia. I thought this may be useful for other users:

No problem, Richard. Exchanging info is what the board is about. My experience with sokkia is particularly gps-based, but I have rented a sokkia SRX robotic reflectorless a couple times, which is their premire gun.

My feelings on machine was good and bad. It is a super-tight gun (as you'd expect with a 1" machine). The interface is good, simple and worked bluetooth with FG perfectly. The IR reflectlorless worked great. I hadn't had much experience with IR but it worked great (but shooting short distnaces). Two negatives I saw with the SRX...I was not impressed with the optics, and I was not impressed with the standard EDM. In regards to both functions, the SRX could not compete with my 20-year old topcon GTS303. With the SRX, it seemed difficult to get a clear sight picture. The objective and reticle focus were not very forgiving and it always seemed hard to get a good sharp paralax free sight picture. My dealer told me that marginal optics are not uncommon with the robotics as they assume you'll be using a robotic from the prism and not the gun end. The other disappointment was the EDM. With my old topcon gun, if I'm out the the bush taking a sight on a nearly hidden prism, all I have to see is the smallest, most minmal, little glimer of my prism though the vegetation and my EDM with return a distance. If I can see any of my prim I'll get a distnace. It seemed with the Sokkia SRX, you had to have complete and totally unobstructed view of the prism to get an EDM return off the prism. The littlest leaves or veg or anything would error-out the EDM. A single twig in front of the prim would interrupt the beam. I never used the robotic function with the SRX so I can't given that a review.

So, if I were shopping for a new gun, those would be two things I'd try out. Set yourself up a prism at 200 m on a good hot day with a lot of heat shimmer coming up and see if you can't get a good sharp reticle and objective foucs. Second, check the EDM return. I tend to work in a fair bit of vegeation, and the SRX EDM simply wouldn't cut it. Shoot though some trees and see how you like it. Honestly, I thought both the optics and the EDM function were almost a joke for a $20K gun. Again my used 20 year old Top blows the sokkia out of the water in regard to optics and edm.

With that said, I rented the SRX for a specific job which was recovering about 1000 m of linear traverse that required about a dozen setups to shoot 6 gps control points in rugged terrain. With a least squares adjustment, the SRX brought that traverse in with a RMS of less than 5 mm. The actual error was 1:140000 on the horizontal. That's pretty tight. So, in regard to optical precision, that's awesome. My 20 year old Topcon could not have shot numbers like that! So, I guess if this thing brought in 1 km of traverse at 1:140K...I have no reason to complain about the "quality" of the sokkia optics, huh? It didn't look like it was working very well, but it must have been working just fine!

Best of luck,


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