TS16 vs TS13 vs S5 vs Geomax/Carlson zoom 90
My boss needs to purchase another robot for one of our crews and he's indecisive and looking for some input from me. I've definitely done more research on the subject than he has but I'd like some opinions from guys who have used them.
We use Microsurvey CAD in the office and the crews currently used Microsurvey Fieldgenius on the total stations and Trimble access on the GPS. The total station being replaced was an old slow Sokkia SRX and the Bluetooth seems to have died after 10 years. It can probably still be used as a backup with my Parani's if the Bluetooth is the issue. He uses it manually most of the time but probably 50%+ of his work is with GPS so he's not using it as heavily as I do with the construction layout.
So our options that I see are as follows:
Trimble S5 and he transitions to using Trimble access for everything on the tsc7 he already has.
Leica TS16 or TS13 running Fieldgenius (not captivate). We already have enough Fieldgenius licenses. I'm curious how those 2 compare with each other and how they compare to the 11 year old TCRP1203+ that I'm using heavily every day. I haven't used any other Leica robots or a Trimble robot but the old Leica seems to work really good compared to the old Sokkia SRX and even the newer Sokkia iX.
Geomax zoom 90/Carlson also running Fieldgenius. I've been dealing with Microsurvey trying to fix a bunch of glitches in their software used on my windows 10 tablet and I asked them about which brands work better with their software (the Sokkia ix was a complete fail for robotic work with Fieldgenius - had to switch to Magnet Field) and they said that Leica is more friendly towards their software than Geomax. I'm not sure why that is since they're all owned by the same company but that may be a reason to pay more for Leica. Especially since we typically run these things 7-10 years.
I noticed the ts13 looks a lot more similar to my 1200 series than the ts16. I'm also not sure what improvements there are to ATR PLUS vs the old ATR. They say ATR plus is faster to regain lock when line of sight is regained but my experience with the 1200 is that it's basically instant. If a vehicle blocks my line of sight and I stop and don't move right before...as soon as the vehicle is gone it's locked immediately. I don't think there is any improvement to be had there.
Occasionally it misses me when searching or fails to shoot, especially when Sun is bright and low in the sky. I'm curious if that is improved in the newer ones. Also if I climb up onto a foundation to tie it in and then try to get lock it sometimes can't find my because of the vertical difference. Other than those downfalls it's pretty well a perfect robot.
So what do you guys think? Team yellow or team Green?
The Geomax Zoom90 (Carlson also sell it rebadged) is the same as a TS15 which the TS13 appears a replacement for. See the TS13 is often spec'd pretty low on features (no keyboard etc) which I guess to to make the TS16 look better. I've used a Trimble robot a little but prefer the Leica/Geomax machines, only a personal preference.
Like any gear purchase the most important thing is which local dealer supports the gear well! Also for your boss having lots of different brands of gear must be a real hassle, much easier on one brand. Being able to start the job with GNSS and then hook up total station to finish job so much better than having to swap between two data collectors. Probably a bigger difference than if an S5 is better than a Zoom90/TS13 or not, either of them be better than the Sokkia!
If your not going to use Leica data collector and software (which I personally think is the best available), and you can live without the slightly better atr the TS16 has (I would happily given the price premium) I've no idea why you'd buy the Leica TS 13 given the Zoom90 price. I run my Zoom90 with XPAD ultimate which is great just can't control every minute detail like in Captivate, XPAD far easier than SurvCE from my use.
I also run geomax Zenith40 GNSS. I would have bought Leica when I started but for the 60k I got Geomax set for vs the 110k the Leica set would have been I decided I could make do without a couple of feature Captivate had that XPAD doesn't have.
The old Geomax Zoom80 which is no longer sold is same as 1200 series Leica your currently using.
Depending on what it's going to be used for I'd be aiming for the 1 or 2 second options in a Zoom90, worth moving up from a 5 second just for "odd job" piece of mind. If lots of construction/control work probably worth going right up to 1", for mainly boundary topo the 2" be ok.
worth moving up from a 5 second just for "odd job" piece of mind. If lots of construction/control work probably worth going right up to 1", for mainly boundary topo the 2" be ok.
My current robot since 1998 is a one second gun. I have decided her replacement will be five seconds. Change my mind.
I can't give you a direct answer but maybe I can give you and your boss some things to consider:
- I always say that you should shop for field and office software and then buy the hardware that it works with best
- It is desirable to settle on a brand and stick with it long term. Mixing and matching is for the birds. Really look into your preferred workflow and how the field software you propose to buy fits that.
- When it comes to locking onto a prism and staying locked the active tracking with the diodes, on the Trimble really cannot be beat. Trimble GPS are very good for point positioning, also. Trimble Access is fine field software, and TBC is good, too. On the negative side the TSC7 is a load to carry around and eats batteries. You already know that.
- IMO, Lieca is a step ahead of Trimble in the emerging technology department. The scanning capability of the MS-60 and the spatial imaging if the TS-18I are hard to ignore. Trimble has some comparable setups but I'm not sure that they are working as well in the real world. If you want to be on the cutting edge of technology I think that Lieca is where you want to be. Buying Geomax would be sort of a back door baby step in that direction.
- I'm sure that Microsurvey being a Canadian company is part of the attraction to that field software. But they really aren't so Canadian, being owned by Hexagon. So I'm not so sure that your loyalty is well placed. Bugs have crept into the latest versions of StarNet and Microsurvey's response to them has been disappointing. I just don't think that they have the resources.
- Dealer support is super important. Which dealer will respond to breakdowns and interruptions most effectively? Which will keep you abreast of technology developments?
Mark Silver at iGage has good info on the Zoom 90, and there's also some excellent through the scope videos of it tracking.