Transits, Theodolites, Total Stations, and Levels - EngineerSupply

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Transits, Theodolites, Total Stations, and Levels

This article is to help explain the differences in Transits, Theodolites, Total Stations, and Levels.

Transits
A transit is type of theodolite that features a telescope that can "flip over" which would allow easy back-sighting and doubling of angles for error reduction. Some transit instruments were capable of reading angles directly to thirty arc-seconds. In the last 50 years, transits have been known as a simple form of theodolite with less precision, lacking features such as scale magnification and mechanical meters. The importance of transits has been decreasing since more compact, accurate electronic theodolites have become widespread tools, but transits still find use as a lightweight tool for construction sites. Please note that some transits do not measure vertical angles.

Theodolites
A Theodolite is a instrument for measuring both horizontal and vertical angles, as used in triangulation networks. It is a tool used in the surveying and engineering industry, but theodolites have been adapted for other specialized purposes as well. A theodolite consists of a telescope mounted movably within two perpendicular axes, the horizontal or trunnion axis, and the vertical axis. When the telescope is pointed at a desired object, the angle of each of these axes can be measured with great precision, typically on the scale of arcseconds. The measurements are typically recorded by hand as they are not recorded by a computer or data collector.

Total Stations
A total station is an optical instrument used in modern surveying. It is a combination of an electronic theodolite (transit), an electronic distance measuring device (EDM) and software running on an external computer, such as a laptop or data collector.

Levels
The builder's level is often mistaken for a transit, but is actually a type of inclinometer. It measures neither horizontal nor vertical angles. It simply combines a bubble level and telescope which allows the user to visually establish a level line of sight along a plane.



Copyright 2006 EngineerSupply



Best Theodolites

#1: Topcon Theodolite DT-307L with Laser Pointer

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This theodolite integrates the same advanced circle reading technology found in Topcon’s high-performance total stations, so you can do more accurate calculations while you’re out on the field. Topcon continues to include high-quality optics and electronics in all their theodolites, and this particular model can endure any kind of wet or dust condition that you may find while you’re out in the field. This will keep you productive regardless of the surrounding weather. This theodolite also comes with the following accessories:

  • Plumb bob.
  • Tool kit.
  • Lint-free lens cloth.
  • Waterproof protective cover.
  • Hard carrying case.
Be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply today!

#2: Leica Digital Electronic Theodolite

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This digital theodolite is an economical but sophisticated tool for measuring angles and slopes with a five-second accuracy. It also has a laser plummet for quick and easy setup, a reticle illuminator for a brighter view, as well as many other attractive features.

It’s a great tool for even the most demanding job requirements, and the automatic vertical angle compensator (which can be turned on or off) will make sure you get an accurate reading if the instrument moves out of balance. If the theodolite moves out of the compensation range, it will display a tilt warning in the vertical angle reading space (which can help you to avoid any costly errors).

Both sides of the instrument have back-lit LCD display panels, which will allow you to access functions from either side. And both of them are easy to read, even in low-light conditions. This digital theodolite has a number of other features, which can include:

  • Horizontal angle indicator that can help with faster orientation.
  • Numerous customization options.
  • IP54 Rating for water and dust resistance.
  • NiMH rechargeable battery pack with a charger.
  • AA alkaline battery holder for an additional power option.
If you’re ready to purchase this theodolite, be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply.

#3: Futtura 5-Second Digital Theodolite

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This theodolite can give you more accuracy at a lower cost than most of the standard models. It comes with a NiCad battery and charger, as well as an alkaline battery pack. It also has two LCD displays that can be used with a large push-button system. It has flexible mounting options with its removable tribrach, and it will fit any standard 5/8” x 11” flat or dome-head tripod.

#4: GeoMax ZIPP02 2-Second Digital Theodolite

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With a vertical compensator and a 2-second accuracy, this theodolite will give you the precision you need for even the most demanding jobs. It has a variety of display modes and measurement units. It’s also easy to operate with only six keys, and it comes with a laser plummet so you can make sure it’s set up correctly. When you purchase this digital theodolite, it will come with the following accessories:

  • Hard carrying case.
  • Tribrach.
  • Rechargeable battery.
  • Charger
  • Alkaline battery cassette.
It also has an IP54 Rating for dust and water resistance as well as a 36-hour battery life.

#5: David White DT8-05LS 5-Second Laser Sight Digital Theodolite with Optical Plummet

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This theodolite has a laser beam built into the aperture, so it can be easily and accurately aligned. And the simple, push-button functions will give you precise digital readouts on an LCD display. It also has an incremental encoding system with two digital displays and an automatic power shut-off system. The coaxial tangent and clamp screws will make sighting and alignment easier, and it even has an optical plummet for better point centering.

#6: Futtura 10-Second Digital Theodolite

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This theodolite uses rechargeable NiCad batteries (charger is included) as well as an alkaline battery pack. The two LCD displays have large displays, which makes it easier to read. This design allows you to get an accurate reading from either side of the machine. The built-in crosshair, display illumination, and simple push-button operation makes it easy to use. And the removable optical plummet (with its ability to fit flat or dome-head tripods) will give you more flexibility.

#7: SitePro 5 Second Digital Theodolite

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The incremental encoding detection system and dual digital displays on this theodolite will allow you to get precise readouts that are easy to read, and the 30x telescope will give you a bright wide field. The built-in 3x optical plummet will allow you to set it up quickly and easily. It also has a 5-second vertical and horizontal accuracy, so you can get precise readings in even the most demanding situation. This digital theodolite comes with a variety of other features, including the following:

  • Automatic power shut-off.
  • Optical plummet for centering of point.
  • Coaxial tangent and clamp screws to make sighting and alignment functions easier.
Be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply today!

#8: Northwest Instrument 5-Second Digital Theodolite

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This theodolite has photoelectric incremental encoding that will make sure you get precise results. The horizontal and vertical measurements are displayed on dual-sided LCD displays. And it has a number of other features, which includes the following:

  • A telescope that features erect imaging.
  • An aperture of 45mm.
  • 30x magnification.
  • 4-second resolving power.
  • Stadia ratio of 1:100.
  • Angle measurement with a minimum accuracy of five seconds at 360 degrees.
If you’re ready to pick up one of the best theodolites for surveying, be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply.



Best Total Stations

#1: Leica iCON 5-Second iCB70 Manual Construction Total Station

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Featuring mobile data capability, this Leica total station will let you transfer construction data between the office and the instrument. This will always keep your project progress and plans up to date, which will make sure you don’t miss any changes in the design. The device is simple and easy to master, so you can finish your projects more efficiently and with minimal training. You can analyze layout points both quickly and accurately, even on complex structures. You can also make fast and accurate as-built measurements, do volume calculations on-site, and work with digital design data (including fully rendered models in IFC format).

#2: GeoMax Zoom90 Series Robotic Total Station Package

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With this total station, you can minimize the amount of time it takes to perform any survey task, while maximizing your performance and accuracy on the job site. This total station for surveying is the ultimate one-man system with the following features:

  • Up to 20% more automation performance.
  • Extended reflectorless measurement capability.
  • STReAM 360.
  • AccXess technologies.
  • Windows CE open connectivity.
It will scan the entire working area in seconds, so you can find your target quickly. Once it’s locked, the instrument will continue to aim at the target (even if it’s moving). It will also aim accurately at any prism without having to look through the telescope, and measurements are performed automatically with a great deal of dependability.

#3: Leica iCON 5-Second iCB50 Manual Construction Total Station

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This Leica total station will allow you to go digital, so it’s leading the way to the no-strings and no-tapes approach for a construction project. It’s easy to learn, so you can finish your projects more efficiently and with very little training. This total station will allow you to perform a variety of tasks, which include but may not be limited to:

  • Evaluating layout points and lines quickly and accurately.
  • Evaluating complex structures easily.
  • Quickly performing verticality checks on formwork and structures.
  • Completing fast and accurate as-built measurements.
  • Working with digital design data (including fully rendered models in IFC format).
If you’re looking for one of the best total stations for construction and surveying applications, be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply.
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