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Leica 1205 accuracy issues

Discussion in 'General Land Surveying' started by hillsidesurveyor, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. hillsidesurveyor

    hillsidesurveyor 2-Year Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    MN, IA, WI
    Hello,

    We are having problems with the horizontal angle accuracy of our Leica TCRP 1205. This problem has persisted ever since I began using this gun about 2 years ago and no one can seem to figure out where it is coming from. The gun has recently been calibrated and last week I went through all of the self calibration procedures (compensator, H and V axis collimation, etc.) and everything looks fine with the gun as far as the error tolerances go.

    The instrument is used strictly in robotic mode paired with Carlson software with an Allegro CX controller. The vertical is always good and the horizontal distances are always spot on, but the horizontal angle will always vary.

    Last week I ran a 5 leg traverse totaling 3,000 feet just to check the closure of this gun. (tripod backsight with conventional 30mm prism and pole and bipod foresight with Leica 360° prism) I shot each foresight 4 separate times resetting 0 on the backsight each time (3 single face and 1 double face shot all robotically). On every leg the horizontal angle of each shot would vary, sometimes up to 20". My final closure using strictly the double face measurements ended up to be 1/50,000 which is reasonable, but I believe a instrument of this caliber should close much better than that.

    Has any one else had this issue? Is it something with the robotic prism tracking? Using a conventional 30mm backsight prism and not a Leica brand prism? (just calibrated and leveled the tri-brach and prism pole by the way so this shouldn't be an issue)

    Our Trimble S3 (2" gun) using Survey Pro Software closes much better than this an is consistently checking within .01 to .02 feet for all traverses.

    Our Leica rep simply says that he hasn't heard of this problem and that it may need to be calibrated, but this problem persists even after this has been done. Would just like some consistency with angle measurements.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
     
  2. cwlawley

    cwlawley 3-Year Member

    Joined:
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    Couple of things:

    1. In the field calibration did you also adjust the ATR? Did the repair center do it? If this was taken to a non-authorized Leica Repair Center I have seen time and time again them running strictly a field calibration and not adjusting out the ATR.

    2. How high/low are your verticals? If you are dealing with something out of the ordinary your height of standards could need adjusting. This is a manual adjustment that takes some time and can not be done in the field.

    3. How good/bad is the tripod? 90% of the time I see tripod feet lose, or the top hinges lose. It is the first thing people say is fine, and the first thing we find that is not fine.

    4. Can you run a traverse non-robotically and get the same thing? If you turn/aim the gun and it comes out right chances are that the ATR is the problem.

    There's a lot more that we can look at but 99.9% of the problems involve something from above.
     
  3. Bill93

    Bill93 5-Year Member

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    Is the inertia of the robot twisting the tripod? Do you have a tribrach with a little horizontal slop in the leveling screws?

    Sounds like you don't need a traverse to check things, if just repeating angles on one setup shows 20" variation.
     
  4. hillsidesurveyor

    hillsidesurveyor 2-Year Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    MN, IA, WI
    > Couple of things:
    >
    > 1. In the field calibration did you also adjust the ATR? Did the repair center do it? If this was taken to a non-authorized Leica Repair Center I have seen time and time again them running strictly a field calibration and not adjusting out the ATR.
    >
    > 2. How high/low are your verticals? If you are dealing with something out of the ordinary your height of standards could need adjusting. This is a manual adjustment that takes some time and can not be done in the field.
    >
    > 3. How good/bad is the tripod? 90% of the time I see tripod feet lose, or the top hinges lose. It is the first thing people say is fine, and the first thing we find that is not fine.
    >
    > 4. Can you run a traverse non-robotically and get the same thing? If you turn/aim the gun and it comes out right chances are that the ATR is the problem.
    >
    > There's a lot more that we can look at but 99.9% of the problems involve something from above.

    1) Did the combined adjustment of l,t,i,c and ATR (longitudinal and transversal index errors, vertical index error, HZ collimation error, ATR HZ, and ATR V)
    l comp = 00°00'00" (4-5-13)
    t comp = -00°00'04" (4-5-13)
    I V-index = -00°00'02" (4-5-13)
    c Hz col = -00°00'04" (4-5-13)
    a T-axis = 0°00'10" (done 2-27-12 when last calibrated, because didn't have anything high enough to site where I was at last week)
    ATR Hz = 00°00'08" (4-5-13)
    ATR V = 00°00'05" (4-5-13)

    Serviced by Maine Technical Source authorized Leica Dealer.

    2) Verticals are near the horizon (flat ground)

    3) Tripods are in excellent shape (almost brand new)

    4) Have not run non-robotically, but I am thinking it would do much better if manually sighted.

    I am led to believe that it something to do with the ATR. Is there something else that can be adjusted for this?

    Thanks,
     
  5. fattiretom

    fattiretom 3-Year Member

    Joined:
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    311
    We have this same problem with our 1205, though our situation may be different. Last year our instrument was backed into. It never hit the ground (guy caught it out his window). We have had it checked numerous times since then and every time it comes back saying that everything is fine.

    The error is usually around 20 seconds +/-2 seconds. We have found it using both robotic and manual modes. We can turn off the backsight and turn back onto it and the angle will read off. It shows in the RAW file as well. I don't remember seeing it previous to the accident but we hadn't done much precision work with the instrument previous to that.

    I have been given three thoughts on the issue...both expensive.

    1) There is some sort of traction motor that spins on the plate to rotate the instrument, that could be loose.

    2) The plate itself is loose or damaged

    3) Central Axis Post (or something like that, I can't remember the name of the part) was damaged or needs re-building.

    We usually work around it because we look for the error now, but we just ordered a TS15 and will have the 1205 in for a full overhaul once we get it.

    Tom
     
  6. fattiretom

    fattiretom 3-Year Member

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    Another thing...there was an issue with Leica Tribrachs for the 1200's. They have now changed the design. I believe they would wear early.

    With the ATR, just know that it will not always be looking at the center of the prism when it sights it. There is a whole routine that it runs through it determined the center of the prism using it's camera and adjusts the angle inside the instrument. This is what the Leica guys told me at the NYSAPLS conference.

    Tom
     
  7. KLS

    KLS 3-Year Member

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    I have been running a 1200 with Carlson and an allegro mx for about 2 years, had an 1100 with an allegro ce prior to that. Prior to that have run different leica, sokkia, Topcon, trimble and Nikon guns for a long time. Have used dutch hill tripods for about 15 years now. Have noticed not so good horizontal closures with my 1200 since brand new. Have had it adjusted by Leica dealer, still no different.
    Wouldn’t be able to use this gun for a good angle closure that’s for sure. 1100 was much better. Funny thing around the office we joke that our vertical closure is always twice as good with the 1200 as the horizontal. Never had that with any other instrument before. Have some serious latency issues with the setup also that didn’t happen with 1100. Other things about the 1200 are disappointing also. Seems much less solid, kind of like a chunk of plastic. Handle doesn’t fit properly – scary picking the gun up with handle. One big advance was the power usage; it is truly amazing how long a battery lasts.
    Did Leica try and blame Carlson for the angle problem or are they going to just stick to things like tripods and prisms or anything that doesn’t have a Leica name on it?
     
  8. fattiretom

    fattiretom 3-Year Member

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    We have a CS15 Controller with no latency issues even at long range. Also our radio handle fits perfectly.

    Even with this issue (probably from the accident)...it is better than any Sokkia or Topcon I have used in the past.

    Tom
     
  9. hillsidesurveyor

    hillsidesurveyor 2-Year Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the replies, nice to know that we aren't the only ones with this problem.

    We always get better vertical closure than horizontal also with this gun.

    I was also going to add that when auto locking on the backsight sometimes the cross hairs will be offset of the target and sometimes they will be directly centered on the target. I know that what the robotic is reading is usually slightly different that what would be sighted manually (using other brands), but shouldn't it always be offset or always be centered and not varying?

    Leica rep didn't blame Carlson, but had the response that this problem is unheard of and couldn't possibly be this instrument.
     
  10. surveythemark

    surveythemark 3-Year Member

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    There is allot of misinformation in allot of the posts for this thread. So just to set the record straight on a few of these points:

    1. “Another thing...there was an issue with Leica Tribrachs for the 1200's” – there was a change in the construction of the base plate in the Pro tribrachs. There was never any problem with this change in design. However, Leica has gone back to the original design on current production and have also put back into place the reticule adjustment system that has one screw for vertical and one screw for horizontal adjustment. Again, there was never any issues with the models that had the design change.

    2. “Did Leica try and blame Carlson for the angle problem or are they going to just stick to things like tripods and prisms or anything that doesn’t have a Leica name on it?” – This one always makes me laugh. Yes Carlson is to blame. The biggest question is what version of Carlson are you running. Carlson has issues with their versions with working with the manufacturers. Yes Carlson has had issues within versions of SurvCE where they did not handle ATR offset values correctly. They would fix it in one version and then break it in another. The Carlson users always blame the hardware not the software. I will never understand this mentality. On the other issue about having the Leica name on accessories… Leica builds and specs all components to work together. Users will buy a $ 30,000 instrument and then refuse only to use a $ 20.00 prism because all prisms are the same … right? No… wrong. If a Leica Support person has every asked questions about what type of tripod are you using or what kind of prism did are you using it is because any surveyor and/or tech support person should know that you should not use a robotic instrument on a old, beat-up aluminum tripod. And yes there are tons of surveyors out there that do not know the difference.

    3. “I was also going to add that when auto locking on the backsight sometimes the cross hairs will be offset of the target and sometimes they will be directly centered on the target. I know that what the robotic is reading is usually slightly different that what would be sighted manually (using other brands), but shouldn't it always be offset or always be centered and not varying” The ATR system a Leica instrument will never point to the center of the prism. Again, the ATR system will never point at the center of the prism. The system determines the center of the return of the “picture” it is seeing from the prism’s return. The instruments have a Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (CMOS) two-dimensional (2-D) array from the TPS1200+ and above (older instruments had same technology by not with this fine of a resolution. These arrays (old and new) have rows and columns of pixels that have a “picture” of the return of the prism. So there is and X-Y coordinate system on the array. The physical relationship between this array and the line of sight is known. The instrument will point as close as it needs to and then computes the angular offset to the center of the return to measure the final value to the center of the prism. The crosshairs may be to the left of the center on one measurement and then off to the right on another. It does not matter.
    It always seems like users think that the software is perfect and that the hardware is to blame. I am not sure why the majority of users come to that conclusion. My suggestion would be to determine that you are doing the Leica Check and Adjust routine properly. That means go by the procedure described in the User Manual and do it only with a full-sized round prism only. You never do the Check and Adjust with a 360 prism. Tehn run a traverse using the Leica Traverse Application in Leica SmartWorx. Then see if you cannot see that best closures you have ever had with an instrument.
     
  11. KLS

    KLS 3-Year Member

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    I was wondering - what is your connection with Leica?
     
  12. hillsidesurveyor

    hillsidesurveyor 2-Year Member

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    @ Surveythemark

    We are running Carlson SurvCE Version 1.61.03 which was purchased with our instrument in 2006. Do you know if this is a faulty version? Do you know what versions to use?

    Our backsight prism is a 30mm offset CST/Berger prism ($160) that is like new so it isn't some old $20 prism. This is the prism I used when performing the check and adjust procedures. (followed the instructions right out of the book in the instrument case) Our foresight prism is the extremely expensive Leica 360 prism, both prisms get varying horizontal angles.

    I am not familiar with Leica SmartWorx. Is this the latest software offered by Leica? Can it be loaded onto an Allegro CX.

    Thanks,

    Hillside Surveyor
     
  13. A Harris

    A Harris 5-Year Member

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    To truly find if any other compensating error may be in the gun, you should setup on one of those legs and turn an oldschool set of 4 or a set of 6 on that setup (zero once only, sight, turn, sight, read, flop, sight, turn, sight, read......)

    Do it robotic and then manual if possible.

    That should will check any possible difference in sighting error, alignment, collation, loose parts, etc and give you more understanding of what is happening.

    When the instrument is turning robotic, lightly hold the tripod and feel for any jerks and vibration during the process. Could find looseness in setup.

    Tiny errors are hard to find with one process.

    Had a setup that would not double within 20sec for any operator or instrument combination. Both sights were over 1,000ft.

    Was in the middle of a rural road with a very tall 38in oak on the ditch bank about 20ft away. All I could come up with was that the tree was swaying in the breeze causing movement of the setup.

    good luck
    ;-)
     
  14. Matthew Loessin

    Matthew Loessin 4-Year Member

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    We have 15 Leica robots (1200 and TS12 models) and have never experienced these issues.

    HOWEVER, every tripod, prism, data collector (CS15 with Smartworx), PRETTY MUCH EVERY PIECE OF SURVEY EQUIPMENT, is Leica branded. You will always have issues until you switch to a total Leica solution.

    And yes, we have 6 Trimble robots and R8 combos and the same is true for the Trimble equipment as well.

    If accuracy and precision is what you want, third party software and equipment will never get you there. We do have 10 crews performing precision layout (1mm-3mm) on oil and gas plant sites and have tested every piece of equipment there is. Only the Leica and Trimble stand out, with the Leica having the better accuracy for the value from our testing.
     
  15. surveythemark

    surveythemark 3-Year Member

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    Bear Bait,

    I am a surveyor who came up through the ranks from a rodman and I used every brand out there during that 18 years. I then worked for Leica North America for 7 years in Atlanta, GA. I am now co-owner of a Leica dealership in Louisiana.

    I usually try to to just objectively answer questions that come up about tech support issues here on the board. I do try to step in from time to time when posts contain misinformation.

    Leica tried to offer a version of Carlson on their RX1250 data collector called Leica SurvCE and Leica Tech Support was involved in version 1.6x up until about version 2.0x. Leica just gave up on the offering because their were always issues.

    I am not trying to say that people should not use Carlson but to be aware that 9 times out of 10 the issues are with the software.

    Customers running Carlson with Leica TPS or GPS would always called Leica Tech Support and ask questions about Carlson software. They would not call Carlson Tech Support. Most of the time we had only the resource but to politely tell the Carlson user to call Carlson Support. The would 9 times out of 10 get mad and say they would never use Leica again. Strange relationship that we at Leica could do little about.
     
  16. surveythemark

    surveythemark 3-Year Member

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    Hillside,

    Yes 1.6x is probably one of the bad versions. Anything from about 1.6x to 1.8x had issues. The early versions of ver 2.xx had issues on the TPS side and the GPS side. The only thing you can do is to get the latest/greatest version and be sure to read the bug fixes between versions that are posted on the Carlson site.

    Not trying to say you are using cheap prisms... but believe me when I see it everyday working with training crews and handling tech support issues. It happens all the time. Worked with a guy the other day that was still using a prism that was covered with mud and had at least 25% of the glass cracked and missing from his prism. Poor gut could not understand why he was getting bad results. It is absolutely crazy what some guys are doing. You just cannot assume anything anymore.
     
  17. Surveyor NW

    Surveyor NW 3-Year Member

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    Maybe... not just "check and adjust" issues.

    I've never used a 360 prism for traversing, especially not with a standard prism
    for a backsight. I believe that could generate some error for the ATR given how it corrects to the prism image.

    I don't use a 360 for much more than low precision topo work.

    Traversing, I am more likely to use matched prisms, and tripods.

    I've found this GREATLY reduces traverse error (except for what's off behind the gun, especially on one of my off days).

    Cheers!
     
  18. imaudigger

    imaudigger 2-Year Member

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    I agree, eliminate the data collection software. Check the horizontal measurements by reading the angles off the display of the gun and use a field book.

    Check it against a closed figure on level ground (equilateral triangle for best geometry). Keep your legs around 300'


    I believe your angular closure should not exceed the square root of the number of angles times the stated accuracy of the instrument.

    Are your single angle measurements in face 1 repeatable? I believe face 1 angles are compensated for the collumination errors. Is face 2 compensated as well?
     
  19. KLS

    KLS 3-Year Member

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    This is a perfect example of Leica arrogance that Leica customers pay good money to experience -
    There is allot of misinformation in allot of the posts for this thread. So just to set the record straight on a few of these points:


    Thank you for the reply; I thought you sounded just like a typical Leica dealer. Don’t get me wrong, I love Leica equipment, it used to be the mark of excellence. I strived to use Leica equipment exclusively since I opened my own business 15 years ago but I quickly experienced that although the equipment is excellent the support is terrible. Recently I have observed the equipment is going down hill as far as standing out in the market crowd.

    I was one of the lucky ones that got in on the Leica SurvCE versions as I was a Carlson user and to my surprise even though I purchased ”packaged”equipment all with the expensive Leica name on the package, it wouldn’t work the way it was advertised. I’m not going to spend more time going over all what I have tried to do to get my equipment to work the way it was advertised but I have talked with Leica tech, dealers and regional market people. All did finally admit a problem but none have come up with answers or fixes. The real problem I found was that everyone I talked with at Leica immediately tried to blame others for the problem, it is either the other software, the other equipment, bad procedure, low class surveyors, or something. It is never Leica. As a matter of fact it is so bad that on one problem I had with equipment, Leica finally after months of fighting admitted the hardware was the problem. I sent it in to get fixed and when it returned I called to find out what the problem was. Leica has a policy that they will not tell you what hardware they replace unless you broke it and are paying for it. They won’t admit fault even when it is obvious.
    That was a big red flag for me, why would Leica have to operate in such a shroud of mystery? We call that- “something fishy”

    I do have to ask if in Leica’s experience 9 out of 10 surveyors are so stupid they don’t know how to operate Leica equipment but they don’t seem to have a problem operating competitor’s equipment, than why doesn’t Leica institute some sort of training program or just limit Leica equipment to surveyors with a superior intellect. That would make the tech support’s job so much easier.
    Also that unfortunate 1 in 10 superior surveyor who is operating the equipment properly and it is just a problem with Leica, would be much more satisfied because he would actually get someone at Leica to maybe look internally for the problem.
    It does seem to me that Leica reps are on this site sticking up for Leica more than other manufactures. That should tell Leica something.
    Until then, as Leica puts it – it’s not our fault.
     
  20. hillsidesurveyor

    hillsidesurveyor 2-Year Member

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    Looks like I will have to burn up another half of a Saturday making more measurements to check if it is the instrument or the Carlson Software. And also learning how to use the internal software on the instrument, which I was always been meaning to do anyway.

    The face 1 measurements are not repeatable and all vary. They are supposed to be compensated for, but I was getting better luck using double face measurements that were averaged. Probably because it was averaging two angle measurements (direct and reverse) and getting closer to the true reading.
     

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