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Advice for Purchasing Survey Equipment

Advice for Purchasing Survey Equipment

(OP)
Hey, gang.

I recently started my own civil engineering practice.  Based on the requests I've gotten for work, it seems like it would be a good idea to aquire survey equipment (although the budget right now is pretty tight!)

I haven't surveyed in over 7 years, and I'm completely out of touch with what's good out there any more.  The equipment I last used included a data storing, HP calculator that connected to the transit.  We downloaded our data to CAD with SMI plot.

Can anyone offer advice on aquiring decent, gently-used, survey equipment on the cheap? (transit, tripod, rod, etc.) I hear ebay is a good source, but I still have no idea of what to look for.  Is it best to get the whole package together?  What brands are the best to look for?

Thank you all for your help!

RE: Advice for Purchasing Survey Equipment

if you're going for data collectors, tds offers the best in my opinion. from what i remember, it's close to the smi cards that go in the hp48gx but the tds is a little better. you can get foresight which is another kind of autocad and they worth with each other. as far as levels, theodolites, etc, i prefer nikon and leica because the quality is so much better (if i'm going to put my job on the line, i'm going to put up a little extra money for better equipment).

try http://www.allenprecision.com/
www.tdsway.com

with all the gps stuff out there, getting "close" is a lot easier. the handheld garmin 60csx and 76csx are excellent to get you within 20-50 feet. you can also generate your own topo from usgs data with software that is free and download the topo to the unit. i wouldn't rely on the topo to report elevations but it'll get you on the right hilltop or in a swale. i even overlay the gps points and tracks on to the actual site plan with autocad so it works well. for less than $500, it's hard to beat. www.rei.com has the 60csx on sale for $300 right now so we just picked up another one.

hope this helps.

RE: Advice for Purchasing Survey Equipment

I work for a large civil engineering company that is also looking to start doing some in house surveying.  So I am also curious about getting the best equipment for as cheap as possible.  I agree that spending the extra dollar for better equipment is the way to go.  Ideas?

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