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Worst Instrument

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Andy Bruner
(@andy-bruner)
1,000+ posts Member

In the discussion below about the Leica data collectors it was clear to me that some prefer one thing and some another. Almost all the instruments I've used over the years have had positives and negatives. I can only remember one instrument that was, as far as I was concerned, all bad. That was a K&E Microranger. That *&&%&#$# destroyed a perfectly good T1. It was a top mounted EDM. Instead of mounting to the standards like the Guppies etc. it mounted to the top of the barrel. The additional weight of the unit ruined the bearings of the vertical circle and we ended up scrapping the gun. Plus the battery and controls (heavy) were on a strap that hung off the operators shoulder and were a REAL pain to carry (with tripod, instrument, box for EDM, and bush axe). Luckily that thing didn't last long, evidently it wasn't field tested before hitting the market.

Andy

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Topic starter Posted : July 11, 2012 10:33 am
J. Penry
(@j-penry)
1,000+ posts Member

I once purchased a Nikon level online that looked like it was a Snap-Tite plastic model when it arrived and held together with a bit of model cement. I didn't even try to use it and was able to resell it.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 10:40 am
snoop
(@snoop)
1,000+ posts Member

I bought a South Total Station when they first hit the market. They looked like a Topcon so I figured it would perform like one just not have the Topcon name. WRONG! Those things are junk. Maybe they are better now, but I doubt it.

Close runner up would be a Nikon 420. I know they have loyal fans but the one I had was a dog.

Never shall I stray from Topcon again.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 10:48 am
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jud
 jud
(@jud)
1,000+ posts Member

Jena with a McHenry Beetle. Plate locking clamps would move the gun when used, did a lot of traversing for the guy who owned over a couple of years. He thought or told me often how much better than a T2 it was. Finally the bearings became so worn from the Beetle weight and no parts available it was retired. Could not flip the scope with the EDM, Used both plates to accumulate horizontal angles. But the boss said I was getting much better closures with it than I could with any 1" instrument. The Jena was a 20" gun and it still on the shelf it was placed, on 25 +/- years ago.
jud

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Posted : July 11, 2012 11:27 am
Brian Allen
(@brian-allen)
1,000+ posts Member

The worst instrument is any instrument (including GPS) in the hands of someone who doesn't have a clue what they're doing. Or worst yet, someone who knows just enough to be really dangerous.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 12:28 pm
Anonymous
 Anonymous
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> Jena with a McHenry Beetle.>

I don't know but you might of had two pieces of junk 🙂 No way on earth was a Jena even in the same league as a Wild T-2!

K&E Autorangers would sometimes give a bad distance, BUT for late 1970's it was a lot better than chaining!

Wild DI-1000 Distomats were pretty lame too, built be Sercel in France, you probably don't need to know more than that to know why they were lame (I think that France must be too close to the home of Lucas!). Prone to bad distances and real short range too boot.

Wild DI-5S Distomats were just the opposite, long range (27,0000 feet once), a couple of miles to a single prism was normal! For the size (scope mounted), those were real hot shooters! Especially compared to some of the K&E Laser Rangers, etc. that took three people and a car battery to get a distance. A T-2000 with a scope mounted DI-5S is still a fine setup for tight control if you can find a working one.

The EDM on my 1998 issue TCA1100 is pretty hot too and will return repeat measurements all day long to the mm, DI's have come a long way in my 30 year career.

SHG

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Posted : July 11, 2012 12:32 pm

Anonymous
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Posted : July 11, 2012 12:33 pm
jud
 jud
(@jud)
1,000+ posts Member

Yep, they made a balanced set, many times I considered having an accident, but I don't intentionally destroy others property. Liked the T16 and DI3 combo also liked the T2 and DKM2 with HP 3800, Cubic tape or the AGA 76 for EDMs, the 76 was my favorite EDM.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 12:40 pm
lanceboyle93101
(@lanceboyle93101)
100+ posts Member

Finally, someone who used a South Instrument!
The ads were so hokey, (obvious Photoshop mock ups) I had to question the product.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 12:59 pm

Thoth
(@thoth)
10+ posts Member

SOKKIA SRX-X

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Posted : July 11, 2012 1:43 pm
eddycreek
(@eddycreek)
500+ posts Member

The crew I worked in got a K&E Eagle 60 transit back in about 1980-81. I'm pretty sure that was the neame of it, though I can't find any reference to it on the net. Used it a couple of weeks and noticed things weren't checking. Turned out the optical plumb in it had come partly unglued and was just flopping around inside it.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 3:24 pm
Jim Frame
(@jim-frame)
5,000+ posts Member

Leitz made some theodolites in the late '70s that were a little on the cheap side. They worked okay, but didn't seem very robust. I also used a Lietz SET2C that had great optics, but would toss in a bad distance just often enough to make it untrustworthy. It was probably a comms problem between the gun and TDS, but we eventually relegated that gun to unreliable status.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 3:44 pm

Boundary Lines
(@boundary-lines)
1,000+ posts Member

Wild T1 and T2
.

..

just kidding....

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Posted : July 11, 2012 4:28 pm
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Guest

I was waiting for someone to mention the Lietz/Sokkisha set guns.
Of all the instruments that I ever groaned about it was a sokkia set 3 something or something like that.
It was a big heavy grey beast and the edm was so slow. It would click and tick forever it seemed.
The battery life was lousy but maybe it needed new batteries.
It did give bad distances at times.
Took forever for topo shots. Click click click click ticiktick tick click click………tick click
I did not trust it at all.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 4:39 pm
Supply Guy
(@supply-guy)
50+ posts Member

Eagle 60 Theodolite from 1979 K&E Catalog 10a

One minute scale reading theodolite like T16 in specification.

Telescope mounted add on EDM units added a lot of weight causing premature wear of the horizontal/telescope axis. Especially true on transits with small diameter bearing surfaces and some older optical theodolites.

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Posted : July 11, 2012 7:52 pm

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