has anyone used a carlson data collector and rover.
Im currently using a leica cs 20 and gs15.
I think the Carlson would have to be pretty nice to convince me away from getting the gs18 when my equipment is up for replacement.
I have used a Carlson Surveyor Plus and a Carlson Surveyor2. I bought the Plus on ebay 5 years ago, haven't had any problems with it. Surveyor 2 Iv been using for 2 years now. I use them both today. Carlson software if very user friendly. I prefer it over Survey Pro. Our company now has 4 Carlson BRx6+ Base/Rover. They work great under trees. I haven't used any Leica equipment, but cant complain about Carlson devices.
In fact, Carlson devices are rebranded third party devices, like Carlson Surveyor2 = Juniper Systems Allegro II, BRx6 receiver is one of many incarnations of Chinese generation of receivers in shape of Trimble R10. Of course there is nothin wrong with it because at this point all the manufacturers do it more or less especially with data collectors. Carlson as a well know and respected brand adds extra layer of guarantee of quality to offered products.
The newest Calson receiver BRx7 belongs to the next generation of survey grade receivers built on powerful Hemisphere board with real support of 3 frequencies of 4 main satellite systems. Again, this is a clone but looks like Chinese manufacturers already caught up with main brands in terms of quality. I tested similar device in canopy environment and its performance is simply excellent compared to previosus generation devices. Also IMU works very well and its reliability is high.
In other hand Leica GS18 or Trimble R12 are overpriced in my opinion even though it is the highest line of equipment. Surveyor will not finish his job twice as fast using any of them for sure and I have doubts if those will last as many years as equipment produced in the past.
I have used both pretty extensively, the Carlson hardware I used was a base/rover pair of BRX5s (which I believe was a rebranded Hemisphere S320 GNSS receiver) a CR2+ robot (rebranded either Geomax Zoom90 or 80). Had a Surveyor2 DC with SurvCE.
Currently run a Leica GS16 base/rover pair,TS15 robot,CS20 DC with Captivate.
I personally prefer the Captivate software, each app is extra cost, but it has way more functions available for construction staking (which is my primary work) in the field while allowing to keep your office time down. Carlson does have enough staking functions to get you thru most projects however. If your work is primarily boundary/topo work you can save some money going with the Carlson setup and in my opinion you wouldn't see much of a difference in production.
As far as hardware, I don't know if they even sell the BRX5 anymore and have no experience with Carlson's new receivers so don't really have a opinion on comparisons with GNSS receivers (but the GS18i looks so cool). I run a TS15 with operationally is pretty close to being identical with the Geomax robot, they are a wash. Have experience with the TS16 which seems to keep lock a little better than the TS15 or Geomax, also with a MS60 (but that is definitely apples to oranges, and as far as cost so is the TS16).
I just started using the BRx7 and the RT4 tablet. I think they are fantastic. I'm still learning how to dance with the Geomax locking system, but hope to refine that a bit so at least I understand what the heck it's doing. There is always a learning curve.
We just got a BRx7 and it has been great. I'm getting quotes now for another BRx7 with a Carlson Surveyor2 data collector and the Carlson CR+ robotic total station (2"). Like stated by others, the cases will look very familiar to you (BRx7 and R10, the CR+ total station is the same as a Leica TS on the outside). I've used Leica and Trimble extensively in the past as well as Carlson. I think Carlson is doing a good job of providing quality hardware with good software. I really like SurvCE/PC and their equipment is made for it.
I'm not convinced that any of their CAD software is worth getting into. Civil3d is universally accepted and super easy for me. As far as post-processing goes, I have always been a TBC guy but I guess I will need to broaden my horizons there, no pun intended.
great! thank you all for the in depth reviews. This info will help alot.