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Theodolite vs. Total Station.

Theodolite vs. Total Station.

Theodolite vs. Total Station.

Good day.

I need to layout exact point locations for the foundations of a house that is to be built on a rock island.  Each piling/footing requires 4 holes to be drilled in the rock for the re-inforcing steel.

I am not a surveyor, but have experience surveying with various total stations.  To cut to the chase...

I don't have a total station and I was wondering whether a theodilite will do the job.  (i.e. does it measure distance, or only angle and asimuth).  The theodolite is cheaper to rent.

Alternatively, if someone has a suggestion as to how to accomplish this with other equipment, I am open to all suggestions.

All help is appreciated.


RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.

Most theodolites do not come with a distance measurement capability, but you could rent or buy a laser distance measurement unit.


RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.

Try the old 3-4-5 triangle method.

RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.

How about the time tested method of Stadia?  Nearly all levels, transits and theodolites come with Stadia cross hairs. Oooops, I may be showing my age!

RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.

You aare laying out a house foundation and are going to use a total station or theodalite?  Unless this thing is huge...all you need are a long tape measure (30 m or more) and some stakes/paint.  Since you are going to rent from an establishment supplying survey equipment, you can rent some dandy measuring devices.

To properly lay out your foundation, you reference from the property pins and establish/square one line.  From there you lay out and square (measuring the diagonals) each corner.  It should take no more than an hour or two, and you will not have to calculate any angles, bearings or azimuths.  

Besides, once you lay out your foundation, even with an instrument, you should always check that it is square by verifying the diagonals - it is square when the diagonals are equal).

KRS Services

RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.


The old ways are still the best.

RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.

For housing an accuracy of  +-20-40mm for piles should be plenty run with a theodolite and direct measurement (3,4,5 trinagle).

Don't get excited by claims that you need to be super accurate.



RE: Theodolite vs. Total Station.

Thanks for the replies.

Since I get a trickle of replies (all appreciated) I thought I would update.

The particular site posed a great challenge to me because the pilings ranged in height from 1.5' at the back to 17+' in the front , over a length of 50'.  the terrain was so varied, that I found using a tape or other distance device was difficult, even with a larger tolerance for error.  I ended up renting a low end total station and sited all the footing.  It added price was small compared to the level of comfort.

Thanks again.

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