Anyone still using a robot with a Parani Bluetooth adapter?
This is my current setup that I magivered together with an 11 year old Leica TCRP1203+ (TPS1200+ series) robot and a Parani BT adaptor on the total station only. The radio handle seemed to be inoperative (range of like 10 meters) but has somehow disappeared so I couldn't play around to see if I could make it work. I got completely frustrated with my modern Sokkia iX robot and all the issues we've had the past couple years with it, so I ordered the Parani and set this thing up.
So far a week of doing busy construction layout and it's been working almost flawlessly. I'm waiting for a longer 8" antenna I ordered because the range is only 140-150 meters maximum. With the larger antenna it should go at least 200m I'm hoping. The Panasonic tablet has long range Bluetooth capable of over 100m.
I'm trying to think of better, more water resistant setups than what I have right now, though it seemed to hold up pretty well to a steady drizzle today. My range is likely a lot less when I stuff it inside the waterproof case, in better conditions when I need to push my range limit for a backsight I prop the antenna up in the yellow case pointed towards the backsight. The cable holds it up so it stays where it is of I do that. I'm just getting used to plugging this stuff in every setup, and it's a bit annoying but no too bad. Once I'm used to it it will be pretty quick to deal with, but I'm always open to suggestions.
The Parani is in the box that clips on the top of the Nomad DC, top right. It's powered by the battery and gubbins from one of those USB power sticks. It's rainproof. The trick to getting the battery to work was that it needs to be kept "awake" so I have a 1Hz LED in there. Similar setup at the other end, except the Parani is powered via 12V (stepped down) from the TS external car battery, so it doesn't need an "awakener".
How long have you been running the Parani? I'm very careful with it but I'm worried about long term dependability. I haven't heard of anyone having them fail, but considering how much downtime could cost the company, it's probably worth buying a backup Parani for $140. Still better than $1100-1600 for a radio handle that maybe won't even work.
I've been using the same Parani on my DC almost daily since 2011. Works every time, and I routinely use it at 400 meters or more from the instrument (GeoMax Zoom80 with radio handle since 2015, Leica TCRA1102+ with another Parani prior to that). I have a 7" (9dBi?) antenna on the DC radio.