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Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

Hi Everyone-

I want to pick up a used Theodolite or Total Station for my personal use.  Is the difference between the two that the Total Station can measure distances? My use would be to shoot around land development sites that are about 20 acres, and to lay our a building lot ot two. I've never used any of the equiplent before, so ease of use woukd be a huge factor.

Can someone take a few minutes to explain the benefit of either. Or get me a link to read about the advantages or disadvantages of both.

Thanks !

RE: Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

It would be easier to learn how to work with theodolite, but for using total station you need a lot of time to learn.  You can check your local survey equipment store.  Sometime they offer courses on total station.

RE: Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

What field are you in?

By the ? I assume you are starting out. The use of a theodolite is fairly rare in the development industry these days. A total station allows a lot more variation in use (re: distance measure hieght variation measure, angle change as opposed to a direct bearing, uplink, downlink, etc).

A theodlite requires a means of measuring and unfortunately not many survey supply firms carry steel chains anymore (steel badns with the measurements notched in).

The theodolite is effectively a very dumb total station, you should be able to pickup a second hand total station (recalibrated and verified as accurate) for the same price as a new theodolite.



RE: Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

Thanks for the replies. I am going to pick up a used total station for myself. I've been reading up on the subject and a theodolite will not fit my needs. So, before I buy, I'll be reading a lot to educate myself and make a good choice of tools. Thanks again.

RE: Theodolite or Total Station ? Best Option

Hello fellow professionals and others in similar field of interest.The question whether a theodolite is better than a total station is to the best of my knowledge answered this way.However each have their advantages as well as disadvantages from one another.It all depends on what factor is considered here at the moment.The advantages and disadvantages are however drawn from the factors as I go to highlight them as follows:
Factor1.The theodolite would be better if the cost of hiring the equipment is considered,therefore I call this the economic factor.Hence it would be by far cheaper for you to hire and use a theodolite.But you must bear in mind that if you have not used a theodolite before,then you run the risk of having some technical problems,not only that you would have to make a few mathematical deduction that is called a survey computation for you to have your bearings and distances well in place.It might be rigorous because distances have to be measured with a linear tape(steel tape).
Factor2.This has to do with personnel.You would have to need some few hands,depending on the scale or scope of the job at hand.Therefore,you have to bear in mind the cost of hiring laboures.
Using the Total Station would be by far the best,because it is easy to use and the instances of having to measure distances has to be eliminated.Then your distances are digitally deduced and the accuracy is more precise than having to use manually a linear steel tape.
You don´t need any rigorous mathematical numerical and angular deduction since there would not be any need to under go a rigorous survey computation.
Data acquired are just have to be downloaded and with some special software the data are processed and your desired result in most cases,your map or plan is ready for print.
As you have not used a theodolite before or bearing in mind you don´t have the required professional skill to use it,better for you to use a total station.That is easier for you to operate.But it is very costly.
I hope I have answered this question to satisfaction.I apologise where any form of professional bluders or totology may arise,knowing full well no one is really perfect.It has been a long time I have not touched anything that has to do with this topic.Thank you very much.


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