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ansan12001
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We are using drones on a regular basis, in "perfect conditions" I can repeatably post process to a tenth xyz .  However here in southern California the airspace is like Swiss cheese, lots of military and commercial airports.  This is the biggest motivation to get into scanning.

I have looked at alot of options, including the hybrid total stations from Trimble and Lieca ( I use Lieca and Carslon).   The SX10 is expensive and I personally believe it suits someone that isn't doing alot of conventional survey production work.  I used the sx10 for about a month when I helped out on a project with another surveyor, not so good at fast paced topo work.

Due to costs and ease of use I want to buy a stand alone scanner.   I am open to pre-owned and tend to buy technology that is already a few years old for support purposes.  When I get rich that may change. 🙂   I understand the science of TOF and Phase scanning.  I dont think the BLK from Lieca or another small scanner will be suitable, would like to get best accuracy at 75-100 meters.   Traversing and registration features are important.  

To be helpful in giving advice, I would use the scanner for topo of urban hardscapes, as built, and semi-interior work for commercial buildings such as lobbies and overhangs.  My workflow goal is to establish GPS network control and limit total station work for check shots and traversing, although I do use assumed coordinates often.

I can't afford to get anything expensive.  I realize accuracy costs money but I am willing to sacrifice field time for lower cost of entry to scanning.  I dont usually use TopCon but I had a particular occasion that a older TopCon backup GPS unit saved my bacon on a big job and it worked without a hiccup.

Anyways that all leads me to this TopCon scanner:

https://geoshack.com/topcon-gls-2000/

 

I am looking for advice on the quality of this instrument or if I should be considering something else?   Price and accuracy are most important factors.  I would be godsmacked if I could find something at 100 meter range for under 10k.

Additionally, we are using older AutoCad but trying to catch up.  As mentioned, I use Carlson software.

Thanks to all those that have gone before me, I am still early in my career.  Feel free to pass along advertisements or opportunities to buy pre owned scanner.  

 

12 Replies
cf.67
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StLSurveyor
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Never used Topcon Scanners. I have used Leica C10 and the P30. They are both very nice scanners and quick.

I would recommend this one, hell of a lot of scanner for the $$:

https://www.allenprecision.com/used-equipment/leica-scanstation-c10/

 

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beuckie
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Scanning is something else to drones. You can buy a drone for 5000$ and start delivering services. Scanning requires much more investment. I would say it starts at 50000$ if you want decent gear. 

You could buy secondhand but you'll feel the downsides to this fast in terms of speed of scanning, ease of use,...

If you're in business go to a bank and finance this. Otherwise let it be. My 2cents.

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Steven Metelski
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Scanning (LiDAR and Laser) -- Drones (LiDAR and Photo) all require post processing which is the big time-sink.

I can fly a site in a day that would take my crew three days to complete, but I'm going to be spending that extra time paying for software and paying someone to sift through the data. Not to mention the time to set up, shoot and adjust ground control. Drones require a lot of overlap and a lot of ground control.

It's not as easy as opening the box, flying the site and downloading a deliverable map that very same day.

I think in either case, the costs in the office add up. I've researched the cost of doing a projects "on the ground" and with remote sensing. Your remote sensing guys will be on to the next job, but the office will have to be able to compliment that workload.

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Frank Willis
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Very well said, Steven.  That stuff can waste one's valuable time at additional cost in many cases.  Sometimes it's better to hit the ground running and survey it and stick to the established well-oiled assembly line, while at same time keeping eyes open for COST-EFFECTIVE innovation.  Seems particularly relevant to drones and scanners when one tries to use them for the total solution.

 

This is not to say that innovation is enjoyable and practical in many cases.

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Andy J
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Yes, and what about then still sending a conventional crew out to pick up things that were missed or unable to scan/fly??  

Seems to me you need the perfect project to make the money to cover the investment and profit. 

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Frank Willis
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Yep, and I find myself lying to myself about the usefulness of some of it sometimes.  Then I think about and say that at least it is enjoyable to do something innovative.  But as you have clearly said, it can come at a cost if not applied optimally.

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Steven Metelski
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It is a another tool in the truck. I'd fly a drone to get an accurate 3D surface after a site was cleared so that an accurate fill quantity can be calculated. Nothing is worse than topo'ing 300 acres of wooded property and having to re-topo the site to establish a new surface for design purposes even though your engineering department already designed a major complex around your existing topo.

That makes me wonder. Has anyone done any kind of "takeoff" on how much vertical you lose when you deforest an area for construction?

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eddycreek
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One of the projects I'm working on is a double crossover diamond intersection off an interstate onto the busiest 4-lane in west Ky.  We got the job a couple of months ago, got the notice to proceed a couple of weeks ago, and started some field work last week.  Part of the job is widening the existing 4-lane, but only overlaying the existing pavement and widening 0-10' to a new curb and gutter on a 2% slope.  Looking at the 3d model of the existing road provided with the plans, the surface seemed to be pretty lumpy.  Since the curb grades depend on the existing EP grade, we thought it prudent to do some checking, especially since this is a rush job that is supposed to start next week.  We found the elevations varied from the plan elevation up to +or- 3".  Contacted the engineering firm and they said they had to do some "smoothing" to get the surface they used.  Turns out they had used another company to do the topo, so we sent our shots for them to check.  They found the same thing we did.  Turns out they had used a Topcon as a scanner by just setting up by the road and scanning the surface.  They spent last week out there with a rod reshooting everything, so I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting on a good set of plans to work with.  9 million dollar job designed on crap. 

 

I know this has more to do with method than equipment, just be careful what you use it for.

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John Hamilton
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Not wise to be cheap. 

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