Back when I was cutting my teeth doing this kind of work I was turned on to a method that just worked slicker than, y'know. What we'd do is cut a 4-6" diameter tree off at about 3-4' and sink a 16 penny nail in the center after wrapping it in flagging, alternating between orange and pink so as not to mistakenly back sight the one behind it by accident. Took a few seconds longer to set up over it because of how close it was to the optical plummet but then when moving forward, presto, instant back sight and no need to go back. I do miss those days spent traversing through in the woods like that, except maybe when it rained all day.
I'm some what proud to say I was helping a friend just get a rough idea of where his lines were and wouldn't you know it, some one had cut several trees in places that would have been online and bam! Rough lines just for getting the lay of land in check.
It's fun to see things that normal people just don't want to see sometimes.
@dave-o For traversing we'd use a peanut prism on a hand mount or attached to a plumb bob string over the nail and standard range pole for doing cross section side shots and the like. Use to use a peanut on a plumb bob string for just about all of my traversing back then.
@dave-o No. We don't pound them flush but leave them sticking up a few inches so they can be backsighted from the next setup and move on. I can't ever recall going back and pulling our traverse points. Might need to reoccupy them at some point if there was additional work or something got goobered up.
@williwaw Cool, and honestly good to know that these peanuts are relied on for traversing. I was just originally asking about your statement in the original post that you'd put a nail in a fresh stump so you wouldn't have to go back and collect anything as you move ahead (being lazy, errr, efficient myself I thought I'd like to do just that sometimes). So I wondered about how you'd get a distance measurement on a sighted nail. Jedi says he hits them with DR at 400', but wondered if you do the same thing or have some sure magic to accomplish that.
BTW, tangent ?; can you rely on DR on a nail for traverse level precision?
He doesn't get a distance check. He sights the nail and sets angle. Another way of doing it is to shoot your foresight, then reverse the flip the gun to reverse face without altering the horizontal angle and set a nail in a stake or something else inline with the occupied point and foresight. Kiln dried wood warps when it absorbs water, so use a green stake. My favorite is moose maple.
I've done lots of angle only backsights since I started as an instrument man 10 years ago. My party chief would have me set the Pilon with a sharpie mark or a wood stake under the laser plummet before moving ahead and backsight it from the next setup.
It used to freak me out not being able to see that the distance was good, but that was last of experience and fear of messing up. Most of the time we're checking to something else anyway. When traversing through the woods with no checks until the end it would be nice to see distance error but you could still have a bad angle.
Sometimes now if I'm going to be on a setup a while I'll set up my backsight without the prism and backsight it angle only (or reflectorless if it's close enough (distance will be short by like 7mm) then I don't have to worry about my Leica robot locking onto the backsight prism and having to use the joystick to turn it back to me. I'm just doing construction layout by myself these days.
@dave-o No BS distance check, just double all the angles and distances moving ahead and average. I usually book it all. If the horizontal and vertical angles don't agree within 10-15" and .02', horizontal and slope, rinse and repeat until they are tight. I wouldn't rely on reflectorless in the woods. Nearly always closing into a GPS point in a clearing at the end of the trav for a closure check.
Have run many miles in the woods that way. In the city, too easy to run backsights around. But in the woods, going back for the sight adds a LOT of climbing over stuff I never want to see again.
I am not sure if most crews could even do that now. They pretty much traverse by hitting a button.
@dmyhill I was just telling my new helper how it is that so many young party chiefs don't even know how to run a traverse through the woods using a conventional gun. If they can't GNSS it, they just vapor lock. Nobody up and coming is learning the conventional ways of the past and as a result are completely dependent on technology that just barely existed when I got started.
I've wondered if a robot would be an advantage with the kind of work I do, I used a Leica robot doing construction for a long time and I always hated when I'd do a backsite check and it would read zeros but looking through the glass it would be a couple hundreds off.
I don't know how you do what you do without a robot. It would be a worthwhile investment, even an old one like I'm using.
I've found out that all the modern robots (including my Leica and the Sokkia iX I was using and Trimble robots using active prism ) all sight slightly off the center and calculate the offsets to the center. It's supposed to be easier on the motor I guess. It's scary the first time you look through, when you don't realize that it's normal behavior.
So I would set a back site on a corner, set up the robot at my furthest line of site, take the rover to my next furthest line of site and hit search, do the same for sideshots, get a lock on the prism take the shot. I would then have to go back and manually flop and sight a backsight nail. And many times I'm sighting through a ton of brush just spotting a small section of rod or nail. Plus robots are heavy. I'm still trying to think of an advantage over a total station in timber surveying.
Robots are slightly heavier (my Leica 1203 doesn't feel that heavy to me, and the newer garbage Sokkia iX was really light) but unless you have a second guy with you the only reason not to have a robot is cost.
You're going to be doing the exact same thing as now basically except that you don't have to go back to the instrument just to take the foresight if you have other things to shoot in the meantime (I guess if you're just traversing nail to nail it's not such a big deal because you have to go back to the instrument as soon as you foresight anyway). For me besides that I'm doing construction layout and most setups have like 6-104 points to be staked out, I don't have enough tribrachs and prisms to traverse by myself with a conventional instrument. The bipod and prism pole isn't steady enough in the wind to trust it while walking back to the instrument.
All our crews have either 2 people and 2 tripods (often only using one with the instrument and one with the GPS) or 1 person with a robot (usually just me).
Would have to have one, two and 3 man events.
Closed loop traverses, bull pricking in an 8"hub into compacted rock, lath throwing😉
When I did construction the rookie ran the gun and the guy who knew what he was doing drove the hubs, way faster, then we got a robot and and could do it about the same speed but with one guy
@350rocketmike GPS has come such a long way over the last decade, I use the robot less and less but there are times when there's just no substitute for breaking out the gun. Can save a lot of time standing around waiting for a good GPS fix. I recently upgraded our Trimble R83/R10 base rover receivers to pick up Galileo satellites in addition to Glonass and GPS. At one point yesterday I was picking up 33 satellites and getting decent precision in places I never imagined possible.
Yeah, i realize GPS is getting better but the thick bush we have around here, and rocky hills means that usually when I have to break out the GPS because I have no line of sight for the robot, I also have lack of line of sight for satellites.
I carry around an old Sokkia grx2 base/rover, for the odd time I need GPS. It works great when I'm in a subdivision open to the sky, but in the woods it's always a battle. The last couple times I knew I was going to be fighting for a lock I borrowed the r10 and r12i. It was still a stressful fight for a lock.
So my experience with GPS is always standing there praying for a decent lock. I much prefer having line of sight and using the robot.
@jed You might be surprised. If you have access to a GPS unit, even an older static only, I'd set it up on a point and let it cook overnight. Even in the hell hole, a 12 hour observation will yield some decent positions probably within tolerances for marking timber lines.
Posted by: @jed
I watched a couple more, and am still amazed at what you can get done solo in that environment. Even at your age I couldn't have lasted all day on those hills, and my eyes were never good enough to pick out an old paint spot or bare t-post at long distances.
I think a guy has to grow up in these hills to have the want and courage to work in them day in and day out. The bails creek job is less than 2 miles as a crow flies from the house I was born in and less than 4 miles from where I grew up. Thanks for watching and for the kind words👍