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Best starter data collector and software for Nikon DTS 520 total station  


Karamia38
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I have been helping a friend for the last year who has done survey technician work for 30 years and I am trying to help him upgrade to make better use of our time and learn more advanced techniques. He uses a Nikon DTS 520 total station.  He would like me to find the data collector for this station.  I want to make sure I pick one that has some computing capabilities as my interest is in being accurate, professional and proactive- finding issues and avoiding unnecessary complications.  I'm also interested in having a more modern set up with software we can use to improve productivity. So what's an inexpensive starter solution that includes a data collector and software?  Also is there a software that you can use on a pc that the data collector could download into to show us a mapped out visual of what we are surveying (he has no experience with CAD etc. so something fairly simple to start off with)?  I am looking into Trimble tsc2 or trimble tds recon (since they partner with Nikon) with Surveypro or something similar.  Any ideas?

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party chef
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Just use the on-board soft, the answer is already with you.

If you are the helper and the head of the operation has 30 years in without exposure to CAD, but apparently not enough field experience to know what kind of hardware to use I suspect you may have bigger problems to tackle.

I want to believe that there are people out there doing the cogo on a calculator and then drawing it up by hand, is that what you guys are up to?

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Karamia38
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Yes. He takes the shots and sends the shots to the engineer if he needs angles etc and then the engineer asks for more shots if needed. And yes he draws out everything by hand takes the shots and drawings to the engineer and the engineer oversees the completion of everything.  I guess its mainly me wanting to find more computerised options.   Thank you for the advice.

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pencerules
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I would suggest a data collector running Carlson SurvCE, and Carlson Survey office software.  The goal could be to simplify the process and learning curve between the data collector and office software.

Survey Pro would also be a good choice on the data collector.

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Dave Lindell
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I started using Surv CE with  my Nikon 520, but when I dropped the data collector one day it never worked again, and couldn't be fixed!

I then went to a Ranger data collector with Survey Pro, the same as the program in my HP-48CX.

I download to "Sight Survey", an old Simplicity Survey CAD program on my XP machine, but I still have to connect the dots.

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