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Another Javad convert  

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Tom Bushelman
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Whoooo  boys and girls!  I have arrived!  I am getting used to my new Javad LS and 1M base and am getting things done in a new workflow pattern that is blowing my socks off.  Like most surveyors, I have always been very meticulous about field procedures, and resisted using GNSS because of the endless horror stories I kept stumbling across with pins being 5' off or more.  Whenever I needed some points tied to the center of the spinning earth and a solid reference frame, I would subcontract some points from another company.  My S6 occasionally disproved those control points presumably set with care.

     After years of research and learning everything I could, I made the leap.  My Javad rep, Matt Sibole has provided the finest support I could imagine which greatly reduced the learning curve.  When I call with a question, I could enable "Support" on my unit and he could take control of it from wherever he happened to be, answer my questions and show me what to do by actually doing it with the exception of walking the ground.  What a great concept.

     Most importantly, Matt is a boundary survey like myself and set the parameters high enough that bad shots are nearly impossible.  The unit ticks audibly when it gets a good fix from at least two computing engines simultaneously and with upsampling, can get 5 shots a second to compare.  There is a lot of data to look at and give you the warm and fuzzy feeling or not while it is cooking.  I have tested lots of points and verified with conventional shooting and the Javad system has never let me down.  In my area, VRS is available for free nearly everywhere which is what most surveyors are using, but with what I know, I believe using the base is getting me better and safer results.  For those that haven't seen one, the Javad receiver head is its own data collector with a touch screen and buttons.  There is no unwieldy data collector on the side to get in the way of shots close to a fence or to get hooked on every branch and vine when going through the woods.  It also comes with a non-magnetic collapsible rod.  My "Eureka!" moment came on a recent job that was in thick brush that would have taken a day and a half to chop through to find and shoot a dozen pins.  I carried a metal detector and a shovel in a bag on my back and this lightweight short rod and receiver in one hand and followed rabbit runs and deer trails hunched over because it was way too thick to stand upright.  In about an hour, I had found and shot every pin.  They each checked with the record plat by at most a tenth and a half which is probably as good as they were set.  I set up the receiver in serious bush country and that happy little clicking noise would start that tells me all is well and good with the signals coming in.  What an awesome way to survey.  I need to make sure that my billing reflects my new productivity.  So far, I am the only guy with this product in my area, but I believe it will be on the rise soon.  Javad has also pledged to support the surveying program at our local college with some equipment as well.  Without a bricks and mortar shop nearby, I wasn't sure how customer support would be, but it is better and quicker than anything I could have expected.  I have even helped out some surveying friends getting shots  that just wouldn't take with their equipment.  I couldn't be happier.

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Andy J
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That sounds great!   You had me until...  " I need to make sure that my billing reflects my new productivity. "   

 

PLEASE tell me that you mean it will increase your billing.  

Only surveyors would invest tens of thousands of dollars (and up) on good efficient equipment then GIVE IT AWAY when they should be charging more.  If I misunderstood your point, I apologize, but lord knows that's the norm in surveying economics.     

 

Andy 

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JERRY ATTRICK
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So, Andy, are you saying that existing clients won't be concerned when you can complete a new project in 4 hours, similar to the ones you have done for them that used to take two days, but want to charge him more because you brought new technology?

Unfortunately, I have never met that client.

I have always sought new technology that helped me deliver what clients needed more efficiently or more accurately than I had been able to historically, but I have failed to be able to turn that into higher fees for an existing client. New clients are another story. 

Anyway, I want to welcome Tom to the Javad family. Andy, are you among us?

 

JA, PLS SoCal

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linebender
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Does a physician charge for professional services by the hour or by the operation?  

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JERRY ATTRICK
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Not sure about doctors. I know a few surveyors that do.

JA, PLS SoCal

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LA Stevens
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Attorneys and accountants charge by the hour.

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Andy J
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Absolutely that's what I'm saying.    If I can dig a ditch for you with a $10 shovel, but it takes a week, shouldn't I charge more if I go out and buy a 20K backhoe and do it in an afternoon??   If all you do is bill for your time and not the investment you make in your equipment, you're shortchanging yourself.   If I can go out and finish a project in an afternoon, the VALUE is even higher because most projects are time sensitive.

What you're saying is old clients always get the rate they started out at?  That seems pretty silly.   People understand that prices go up and expect it when you are delivering your services faster. 

I've never used a Javad system, but have been following along for years. 

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Norman Oklahoma
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The charge for digging the ditch should be equal regardless of method employed. If I hire you to dig me a ditch I don't really care if you use a teaspoon, as long as my ditch is dug.  If you dig it in 2 hours using a backhoe the hourly rate will be much higher, but my bill will be the same as it would have been with teaspoon guy. Then you can spend the rest of the week digging ditches elsewhere and making more money. But a ditch is a ditch.

It could possibly be said that a boundary survey done with a Javad (or any other modern GNSS receiver) is a better, more accurate survey. And it could easily be on a reproducible grid datum, which may have value to me. Then you might justify higher top line costs. But no way am I paying more for a survey, or anything else, solely because you've got new hot shot technology - if you use it to produce exactly the same result.  

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Andy J
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So many things to say, but I guess it comes down to individual business models and how you value the service you provide.   

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BStrand
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I might value my service at a million dollars an hour but that doesn't mean anyone will pay for it.

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Cameron Watson PLS
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It's not how fast you mow, it's how well you mow fast.  If I need a ditch it's usually for a purpose. 

If I'm like 90% of people, I've waited until I actually need the ditch to start looking for someone who can dig it.  I would pay more to the ditch digger that could get me my ditch the soonest. 

If I'm like the remaining 10% of people, I've used foresight, realized I will need the ditch ahead of time and lined up someone to dig it in enough time to hit my deadline for needing it.  I would hinge my hiring decision more on cost than speed or method in this scenario. 

My fees and equipment choices are geared towards going after the 90% crowd and as such my rates go up when I make technology jumps that allow me to deliver faster. 

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Norman Oklahoma
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As I said, their may be reasons that your survey with upgraded equipment has greater value. I mentioned increased accuracy/precision and ties to grid systems. Quicker delivery is another reason. But the simple act of possessing fancy equipment is not reason enough to charge more. You have to actually do something different with it.

 

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Skeeter1996
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Jerry, my Company slogan is "Faster but not Cheaper". Most clients don't care what it costs as long as they can get it now.

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CSHarmon
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My realtor/attorney clients don't really care if they get charged more an hour for the new equipment as long as the job gets done on time. I've had to sit some of my landowner clients down and work the numbers out for them showing them how my being more productive benefits them. Even with my cost per hour going up when I buy new equipment it takes me less time in the field. You can't take the cost of new equipment/software out of the equation or we might as we'll be working with a transit and chain. People don't care how the work gets done just the final cost and time.

In 2006 I added GPS to the tool box and started using 4 wheelers. Per hour it added $25 an hour to my cost of doing business. It cut my field time by at least a third. I was able to increase my charges per hour by $50/hr, get the jobs done quicker and do more jobs in a year.  No one really ever bitched by I don't do a lot of work where people are standing over my should watching either.

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Nate The Surveyor
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Well, Tom, it sort of spells the end of an era.

I have fantastic traversing skills. I've run countless miles of tie line. Chopped out many a preliminary tie line.

Set thousands of traverse nails.

And now, a one man crew, armed with a few tools, just rendered most of my childhood skills obsolete.

Yes, it's effective. 

If it's an important shot. Shoot it 2x or 3x, and average it.

 

 

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Norman Oklahoma
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If it's an important shot ... circle back a couple hours later and "shoot" it again, and average that. Repeating a mistake 3 times in quick succession doesn't prove much, even with a Javad. Consistency is only a virtue if you aren't screwing up.

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Bill93
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Posted by: Norman Oklahoma

If it's an important shot ... circle back a couple hours later and "shoot" it again, and average that. Repeating a mistake 3 times in quick succession doesn't prove much, even with a Javad. Consistency is only a virtue if you aren't screwing up.

And the multipath, if significant, will be a different combination so that its effect becomes more apparent.

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gschrock
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Not wanting to get into the "my Chevy beats your Ford" type debates... the idea that traversing and/or total stations are obsolete is a bit of a stretch.

Now I'm as big a fan of GNSS as anyone, and have used many (many) models (and have found none have some magical physics-defying advantage over an other, but that is a different story). But even if as you say: "I have yet to find a place I cannot get the shot." then why would someone need to develop something like the J-Mate (which I thinks is a nifty idea, like an update on the old offset lasers we used for years with rovers, but that is a different story). Really? Is there no place one cannot get a shot and would not need a total station or other tool? Gee, I'd like to work in place like that.

More total stations are being sold than ever before, for all of the myriad of uses for which they are the best (and often only viable) option.  I doubt that all of the people buying those are somehow foolish or just-not-getting-it. Innovation did not die on total station development; they are a far cry from decades ago, with imaging and even scanning, and of course if everything was viewed through a narrow lens (no pun intended) of a certain segment of boundary survey in certain areas under certain conditions, then perhaps someone might view them as obsolete. Folks have had GNSS and TS together now as part of the same toolboxes for decades (along with a lot of other great new innovative gear), have found the strengths and weaknesses of each, and found amazing and effective ways to integrate them all to yield much greater efficiencies and by choosing the right tool (or combinations thereof) for every situation.... not just going with one by-heck-and-high-water.

Maybe the thinking that some new (or not so new) magic instruments or class of instruments is a panacea (i.e. singular solution to everything) is what is really obsolete - especially in this age of the integration of many great solutions. Just food for thought.

 

 

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Nate The Surveyor
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"Things are only impossible until they're not!"   -  Jean-Luc Picard

Good quote.

J-mate will be faster. Especially under heavy canopy. And, for remote shots, to adjoining bldg corners, where access is hard, bad, fenced, etc. Also, where there are many corners, under canopy, in close proximity, it will be a time saver.

It has its place. But, the Javad will go and do impossible shots. You do have to be patient with it, but the confidence it generates is 2nd to none.

It's Cogo is more tedious than need be. I think TDS and Carlson are more user friendly.

 

Nate

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Bill93
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Posted by: Nate The Surveyor

J-mate ...

It's Cogo is more tedious than need be. I think TDS and Carlson are more user friendly.

May it be noted for posterity that upon this date Nate said something less than admiring about Javad's product.

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Nate The Surveyor
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@bill93

I call as I see em.

There is a lot that could be done with ALL the data collectors to simplify their cogo.

Really good Cogo requires few button pushes, allows additional complexity, and does not require reference to the manual, because it is very intuitive.

Javad is still modifying his, so there is hope there... But too many button presses, to do simple Cogo.

I'd like it to do a one button press, FROM inverse, to make a mid point.

To subdivide a standard section, uses between 4 and 8 mid points, and, sometimes it needs re done several times. Ie, make mid point for 1/4 cor, then search, find something, and use it. Now, we re do a bunch of mids.

Simple.

In fact, all field cogo should do this.

If you work in the PLSS, you would use it.

 

N

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gschrock
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Sounds good, that could be nifty in those situations. Those are exactly the types of situations where folks pull out their total station (that they also use for many other tasks anyhow), Yep, no single tool can do it all.

Just a fun side note (don't take this the wrong way) but about "second to none" comment:

In an evaluation of say a particular tool, say "A" to any other (B, C, D) it could be called a comparison. But in the absence of an actual process of head-to-head comparison of b, C, or D, etc,  then the comparison is to "none". Then second to "none" is a correct statement by default. 🙂  Easy to make the assumption that the grass is not greener on the other side of the hill if one never travels to the other side of the hill to find out.

Of course, comparing to some very old gear is not an apple-to-apple either. Just a note that when I read about the precision and performance you post about, it does not seem anything out of the ordinary in what we see with lots of different gear (nor have any of my own test drives). Pretty much all are subject to the same immutable laws of physics. Even some much ballyhooed head-to-heads were fairly inconclusive. That being said, there are lots of features and workflow accommodations on this or that or the other that folks find to be the meow of their own cat. 

Isn't it great there are so many options to choose from? And those options keep growing. 

Let me analogize: The "New Kids on the Block" (not really a fan, but anyhow) are now 30 years on and relegate to retro tours, and can't quite hit the high notes any more. No worries for fans, they can keep playing the same tapes or Cd's forever, but they should consider that there are new voices all the time, something for everyone.

For instance: this morning I've been taking some shots with a new type of rover that goes for under $3k and so far it has been nailing the same performance as 2 high end units in the same places (and, gasp, under canopy). Wow. We have a cornucopia of options... and multiple grassy sides of hills to explore...  boldy go...  

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Nate The Surveyor
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Well, "one shot" with Javad, means something more than it does with others.

It's the combination of 15 to 30 fixes, and resets, over 3 or more minutes. (This varies, depending on a number of variables).

When done the Javad way, it's not a single French fry. It's a whole double cheeseburger, large fries, and large drink. When done this way, it's a whole lot different that "one shot" the TDS way.

Typically, what is gained with Javad by multiple shots, on the same point, is a few hundredths accuracy. The greatest discrepancy I can recall, between 2 shots, on one point is 0.16'. (Using the boundary settings).

There is a learning curve.

Nate

 

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Norman Oklahoma
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It the movement of satellites- variation in the visible constellation - that you want. There is nothing Javad can do to hurry that along. All major brands (and most of the minor ones) are doing something to run parallel solutions and calc and recalc fixes.  

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JERRY ATTRICK
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"There is a learning curve."

Nate, that has to be the understatement of the decade, boss! That first version of J-Field was a huge obstacle for me. Over the last 5 years, I have learned what I need to perform the task at hand.

I can appreciate all of the settings that are available to the user but I wish that I could toggle a simpler, cleaner interface for certain projects that don't require that I see all of that data that fills many of those little boxes on the screen. Right?

Learning curve, my patootie.

JA, PLS SoCal

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Adam
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It's actually pretty easy to get up and going with collection and stakeout since Javad implemented the action profiles. My 11 year old daughter learned how to locate improvements and topo with about 5 minutes of instruction from me.

 

KIMG0558

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Nate The Surveyor
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Also, "one shot" includes the average of 120 to 700 epochs. Shooting 2x or 3x statisticaly, adds to the precision, mostly. 

 

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Allen Wrench
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One my favorite things with Javad J-Field is the nearly unlimited customization of shot presets.  Every aspect of precision thresholds, averaging shots, repeating shots, time on the point, re-initializing, etc. can be user-defined, and all automated.  You can have it automatically do any combination of button-pushing that gives you the results you are most comfortable with.  It can be set up to do everything short of physically leaving the point and coming back later.

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