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Posts: 54
50+ posts
Joined: 1 year ago

If you're doing concrete layout, get a Spectra Focus and Layout Pro. Nothing Topcon or any of the other brands offers is even close to the ease of use that setup offers. Where are you located? I might be able to help get you setup with a demo unit if you're in the states.

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Luke J. Crawford
Joined: 3 years ago

100+ posts
Posts: 238

We use SurvCE & Captivate but recently set control for a concrete contractor on a large university building who was running LayoutPro, my 1st encounter with it. It seemed incedibly easy and intuitive for his tasks. Usually I will give column lines/intersects or pre-planned axis lines for the concrete guys, this foreman says to me "I'm going to walk the site, mark 3 spots I want points then you're going to set rebar, locate them & I'll tell YOU how good you are @ your job" I was taken aback but went with the flow, set the #5x1.5' bars, capped them and spun 4 sets to each from a single point, then set up on each, checked A&D to each other, original station & to a 2nd point in my loop (SurvNet adjusted), everything dead on for all intents. 

He then says to me "ok, give me Up & Out from line A & 1, (sta & off i quickly figured out before asking a question to which he surely would've scoffed). Run what i though was a quick COGO on SurvCE for the Up & Outs, he enters them and checks twice as fast than I extracted and says "Stay here, my guys will be back in a few minutes". I wait with my instrument guy in the job trailer, his guys come in, grab equipment and run out to points and begin checking in a manner that would make Dr. Seuss proud. His guys come back, they chat quick and he says "they found a heavy 32nd of play, better than most of you guys (meaning surveyors)". 

I will say, out of over 150 bolt patterns he has set and I've checked, the worst I've found was .06' out, 90% are ±.02', make sure I always tell him "not bad for you guys".

David Livingstone
Posts: 911
500+ posts
Joined: 9 years ago

My experience is most are using Trimble stuff.  I have been setting up CAD files for one contractor then they do statekout with a Robot. I agree with Lee, learning the software and setting up the CAD file are the hard part.

Posts: 5
5+ posts
Joined: 11 months ago

Thanks everyone for your input. Thought it would be good to update this thread. I ended up renting a robotic total station for a while. I just couldn't decide which was going to be the right solution for us.

We've gotten a Sokkia IX-505 for a couple months to see how it works out. I just started using it today and it's pretty user friendly. This was my first time using a robot, so its going to take a bit of time to decide what features i like or dislike. 

I've prepared all the data for the foundation footings and will start layout of it tomorrow. I'll post a few updates later on how it works out. 

Posts: 351
250+ posts
Joined: 5 years ago

I would look into retro reflective targets also they are handy if your setting up a lot of times in one area. Also we have 3 IX’s watch your tilt and collimanation and backsight when there are temperature changes 

Posts: 15
5+ posts
Joined: 8 months ago

Me personally if all your GPS and data collectors are Top Con then I'd stick with Top Con. I am a Trimble user and would not care to have trimble Gps, Leica total station and a Top Con controller.

I think getting into the layout aspect I think there's more behind setting some building corners and calling it a day. If I supply you some control point coordinates and you lay out your building and then find out its 0.5' over the building minimum set back after you have a footing or more built, you will be taking on a lot of liability.  You would be surprised that kind of thing happens or a drawing has property lines drawn n-s, e-w and the property is a parallelogram. 

So I guess what I'm getting at is weigh your options. laying out a building isn't just stake some coordinates and be able to say that's where the auto cad had it, and is it worth paying a surveyor to set up the building then handing it over to you and putting that liability on the surveyor that he did his checks and balances. 


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