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Another new GPS system thread- Geomax, Trimble, Igage,etc  

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SWAG
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 SWAG
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My CPA is telling me to spend money before the end of the year. I absolutely hate spending money. However I believe it is time that I upgrade from my Trimble R8-2 base/rover receivers. I have my eye on the Geomax Zenith 40 base rover system with a carlson collector and the mindset of buying a geomax robot next year . I havent personally looked at the Zenith 40 and only know what the sales people tell me, which isnt much. Unless they dont sell Leica or Trimble then its awesome. If they do sell Leica or Trimble its horrible and nothing but trouble?

I am also looking at used Trimble R10's. which the Mod 1's can be had for around $10500 each (no warranty). If I go Trimble GPS I would also need to upgrade next year to a S5, all of which cost as much or more used as the Geomax does new with warranty.

For those of you that know. Will I see a significant increase in accuracy/precision/production by upgrading to these systems over the R8-2 currently in place? I do work around some canopy i.e. oaks, pecans and mesquite in central TX and want a receiver that will be better for those environments.

If you have a Geomax Zenith 40 what are your thoughts? or should I be looking at the Igage receivers or another brand? 

 

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Norman Oklahoma
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I think that you will see a significant performance upgrade over your R8-2's no matter what new thing you buy.  And face it, those things are long in the tooth and due to crap out on you at the least convenient time.  

To reiterate the advise I always give - figure out what you want your field to office to finished product work flow to look like- shop for the data collection software that fits that best, and take the hardware that it runs.   

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Plumb Bill
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Posted by: @norman-oklahoma

I think that you will see a significant performance upgrade over your R8-2's no matter what new thing you buy. 

Yep

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lukenz
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With the usual caveat being is the dealer going to have good support read on. I-gage comes to mind especially if your wanting to use Carlson.

 

I've just started up solo over in New Zealand and bought a pair of zenith40s and zoom90 after two demo's and six months of research (agonising) and confirming dealer can support. I'm running x-pad ultimate on Panasonic tablet. I've used Trimble access in past and most familiar with Leica gear.  Have used Javad ls's too recently. Find the geomax hardware to be not to manufactured exactly Swiss standard (finishing is not as pretty) but better than other Chinese gear I demo'd and testing shows the same results as I'd expect from Leica ts15/fully optioned gs14 I was regularly using till now.

 

In terms of software functionality x-pad is a little more limited than Leica/Trimble but similar to surv-ce and I find way easier to navigate/use than Carlson. X-pad software still having features added all the time like Javad.

 

Here in NZ zoom90/zenith40 set is low 60k whereas Leica ts15/gs16 set more like mid 100k. I feel I get 90-95% performance of Leica for much less dollars.

 

Suggest investing in time to demo and working out how good the support will be should make decision for you?

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Richard Imrie
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@lukenz

Who is the dealer/support for Zoom90 in NZ?

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lukenz
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@richard-imrie

Buildmax, sister company to global survey, the one they try to keep away from surveyor s so you'll stick buying Leica. Same owners, use same service centres just different sales and support channels.

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hpalmer
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@lukenz

I think some business model's are outdated.  I hate it that my manufacturer's sales rep has to compete with a same/similar product made by their parent company.  I hate it that much of our Leica equipment will not talk to non-Leica data collectors. We paid lots (and contributed technology) for Leica's product development with little reciprocation other than the initial sale.  I hate it that those on-board programs we paid for cannot be used on other Leica instruments.

I like that much of the Geomax line is built by and has same quality control as many of the Leica instruments.  I like it that our Geomax equipment will talk with many of the non-Leica data collectors.  I like it that our Geomax came fully loaded.

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Luke7574
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@lukenz I was wondering if you stiil feel the same way about x-pad being "limited" I have been using for the last few months and I find it has many advantages over trimble access in that it has a cad program that is very robust and allows for OSNAP functions for creating points from imported dwg/dxf files as well it lets you snap on points of your base map and translate /rotate to collected points.In my opinion Trimble is very limited in map functions which in my opinion is essential to a comprehensive Survey program.I am going to go out on a limb here and say that besides field-2-finish functions XPAD has them all beat.

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lukenz
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@luke7574

Still of the same opinion that for a boundary/geodetic surveyor X-pad Ultimate software is more limited than access/captivate (if Leica wasn't close to twice the price I'd have got that as I like all the technical functionality they make available to the user on the controller). Also manual doesn't explain all of behind the scenes calculations as well as Leica/Trimble do. That said none of the missing Cogo or other functionality in x-pad is a deal breaker and due to the price differential still an excellent option (wouldn't have shelled out personally for it otherwise). Hardware performance just as good as the Leica gear.

 

I'm not doing much topo/stakeout on simple grid/site coordinates nor does my topo workflow require creating DWG in field (I use feature codes in field and desktop software applies map file) but I can see it has additional functions compared with other software in that area. As you mention x-pad has a heap of CAD functionality that is solid just not much use to me. You can also use background maps from web map services too which would be very useful for some users.

 

Where I think it is superior is the user interface, so easy to pick up how to use it and find what you are looking for and feels like a smartphone which everyone is familiar with; be easy to train people to use it. I like having it on a tablet too as 7inch not heavier than standard controller but much better for viewing plans on it. I just bring all the boundary plans on a memory stick and plug it in if I need to add to my pre-calculations.

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Luke7574
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@lukenz yeah,Im not doing much work with site coordinates either.Im working with state plane coordinates if that makes any difference to you and how x-pad is functioning as a "geodetic surveying" data collector. Im just curious what exactly do you feel like is missing in x-pad ultimate to where is doesn't stack up to trimble access or captivate as a "survey/geodetic" collector,what cogo functions are you missing?

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lukenz
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@luke7574

Here in NZ we use transverse Mercator projections; a national one which I think is similar to your state ones and local circuit which sounds similar to LDPs I hear about on here. Our cadastral system is vector based plans with grid bearings and ellipsoidal distances. We use grid coordinates on local TM circuit. Ground distances are only for construction work here.

 

With xpad ultimate there are no fully functioning inverse or traverse functions which are the ones I want most doing boundary work.  It's not totally non existent just not well executed.  Xpad makes a point of saying they built it from a new angle but for these functions I wish they'd stuck to tradition.

 

In the COGO/CAD menus the distance function is as close to inverse and does return grid bearings but for distance Trimble/Leica/Javad all provide drop down options to select grid/ground/ellipsoidal for distance output whereas xpad will return grid and maybe ground or ellipsoidal depending on options you use in the co-ordinate system menu; ie if I set base up on new point, survey a control point with rover and do a single point gnss site calibration (scale factor at 1, just n,E,z translation) the distance function stops displaying ellipsoidal distances which is a PIA. Also in COGO the default is to measure to current position which means software won't let you start distance function without being connected to gear so if you want to turn off gear while you do calcs you can't use that function.  Need this function to create vectors between old marks GNSS'd to check against old plans for bearing swings and to confirm marks still reliable.

 

Also in COGO menu there is no traverse function which the other three above provide and even sdr33 had! In the CAD menu there is the layout function but again you can not user select the distance type to input.  Also a PIA as all our survey plans have ellipsoidal distances which I want to input and have software calc the grid coordinates not have to work out the required scale factor, and apply to distance with calculator and then input into software. Need this function to extend office pre-calculations in field to look for extra marks etc.

 

Also the GNSS site calibration doesn't work as well as Javads m-local or Trimble's site calibration (mostly because they don't publish the maths/process behind it so hard to know what it is doing, don't like using functions without knowing exactly what they are doing), Leica two-step transformation is more painful however.

 

The offset from 2 points for GNSS, reference line and offset left/right/back from prism functions are awesome and well coded so I know they can do it.  Still of opinion it's good value and easy to use just not as comprehensive as Trimble/Leica offerings but their packages are close to twice the price so for shops not wedded to a brand it's great value and very simple to learn/operate. Plus hardware performance just as good as Leica.

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Andrew Clark
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We recently got the "Carlson" (it's the Hemisphere re-brand for the US market) branded GPS units. They work great (even in some tree cover and near buildings too) and reasonably priced. I think a new GPS head was around 12k per head. Unsurprisingly enough, they pair quite well with the Carlson DC.

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Jim Frame
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Posted by: @lukenz

In terms of software functionality x-pad is a little more limited than Leica/Trimble but similar to surv-ce and I find way easier to navigate/use than Carlson.

??

SurvCE *is* Carlson.

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lukenz
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@jim-frame

Sorry, made the assumption that was obvious. Strictly should have stuck to survCE throughout post.

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