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COGO program for FS exam?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Mark Flora, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Mark Flora

    Mark Flora Member

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    I was wondering what people that have recently took the FS exam used for COGO programing to successfully pass?

    I was looking at EasyCogo, and Ted Madson's LSS Miracle Software. Thoughts on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. GMPLS

    GMPLS 3-Year Member

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    I used the Minnesota DOT programs 5 years ago. They were free and worked well.
     
  3. summerprophet

    summerprophet 2-Year Member

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    I acquired a few different programs, d'zign, something from eBay, and one a coworker had purchased, and rewrote the programming to best suit my needs.

    Plenty of folks say Congo programs are not needed, but in my mind it is all a matter of speed. Cogo makes a 5 minute question a 1 minute question, and that is invaluable.

    Really, the programs you need are a triangle solver, rect to polar, polar to rect, hms+, and hms-

    It isn't common for testing to question much in the way of curves, so I wouldnt bother with those programs.

    If you haven't selected a calculator yet, I would suggest the hp35, and definitely not the HP33.
     
  4. Jones

    Jones 1-Year Member

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    I used easy cogo and Melbards.
     
  5. party chef

    party chef 6-Year Member

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    I do not know that you will need cogo; basic math and polar to rectangular were enough to get me through it back in 09.

    Jason E. Foose, PS wrote a series of ten programs with accompanied articles in the American Surveyor, they are fun enough to enter and give you an idea of how to write your own.

    The HP 35s Calculator—A Field Surveyor's Companion: Part 1—Point Storage is the first from Wednesday, 10 September 2014

    http://www.amerisurv.com/content/category/18/388/153/
     
  6. Mark Flora

    Mark Flora Member

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    Can you explain why I shouldn't choose the HP 33s? I thought that some people liked the 33 better than the 35 and were disappointed when they discontinued them?
     
  7. summerprophet

    summerprophet 2-Year Member

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    The 33 had a multitude of problems, decimal point is to small, clearing the screen may accidentally clear ALL your programs, keys are not in a grid (makes entry slower), and keys had problems as well.
     
  8. Mark Flora

    Mark Flora Member

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    Good to know. Thanks.
     
  9. jpb

    jpb 2-Year Member

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    The need for a calculator with programs isn't really an issue. The key is being able to recognize the pieces of information you are given and what is used and not used. I'm not sure about the programs, but know the difference between arc and chord curve definitions. That's mostly what was on mine a couple years ago.

    The time you spend getting the programs would be just as beneficial sitting down with some practice problems and the equation sheet. They are mostly one or two step problems, not long and I'm depth.

    Sadly, buying the online practice test is a good idea. There will probably be a couple of questions that are word for word on the actual test. And it gives a good idea on how it's structured and if you are prepared or not.

    Just my thoughts, and good luck. Hopefully luck is not needed. It's not as bad as looking at the pass/fail rate would indicate.
     
  10. leegreen

    leegreen 5-Year Member

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    Mark,

    I programmed several HP41, HP33, and HP35 with EasyCogo, Dzign and other online programs. But I used Ted Madson's programmed HP35S in the exam. It is very powerful and works like a data collector as it can store 200 cogo points. But it can be challenging to learn. Ted still teaches a great class that will certainly get you well prepared for the exam.

    You are only a few hours from me. Feel free to contact me.
     
  11. StLSurveyor

    StLSurveyor 4-Year Member

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    http://melbard.com/

    Works great and free! This is the program I used for my hh33s. Used it for all my exams. But I do prefer the key configuration on the 35.
     
  12. Raybies

    Raybies 2-Year Member

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    COGO? What is this thing you speak of, COGO?

    Okay, that was just a joke. For all of my exams I used a non-programmable, solar, TI something. Would something more powerful haved worked? Sure. But I still didn't have trouble finishing the FS with plenty of time to check answers. I DID take the FS back '08 or '09, so maybe it's different now. Prior to that, I did the CST level III (which, IMO, is equal to the FS in difficulty) with the same calculator. But I think hitting the books, especially brushing up on geometry and algebra, helped me more than a program.

    Good luck!

    ~Raybies
     
    Wal1170 likes this.
  13. bruces

    bruces New Member

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    I was not allowed to have a graphing calculator or any programs for taking the FS or the PS. check the NCEES website and they will have a list of calculators that you can use during the exam.
     
  14. Wal1170

    Wal1170 1-Year Member

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    I took it with a TI-30x in 2012. I believe that you shouldn't be allowed to use programmable calculators for any of the exams. The FS is a fundamental exam, that should require the examiner to know the basic principles of functions that they perform on a daily basis.
     
  15. Mark Flora

    Mark Flora Member

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    The HP 33s, and the HP35s are both acceptable to use for the NCEES exams.

    More power to you if you can pass the FS Exam using a TI-30x calculator. I on the other hand need all the help I can get, and if it's allowed, then why not? I haven't had to use a single one of any of these "basic principles" in 18 years as being land surveyor, so every little bit helps me. I didn't have the benefit that most do to take the FS exam fresh out of college, and am in the process of re-learning all the things I used to know.
     
    Richard Imrie likes this.
  16. Wal1170

    Wal1170 1-Year Member

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    In 18 years you haven't applied the basic principles of geometry or trigonometry?
     
  17. Loyal

    Loyal 6-Year Member

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    I have no clue (again). I took the "fundamentals" Exam in April of 1978, and I'm pretty sure that I had an HP-45 at the time (the HP-41 didn't come out until 1979 I believe). HOWEVER, I'm pretty sure that the test has changed in the last 39 years.

    Loyal
     
  18. Mark Flora

    Mark Flora Member

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    Yes, but Rarely. And even then I would always have some type of data collector or CAD to verify my calculations. The older I get, the less I do things the long and slow way and use the technology to my advantage.

    Do you use a TI30x calculator in your daily practice?
     
  19. bruces

    bruces New Member

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    Cool, good luck. I used a ti-36x pro for the exam and use it to check my work in the office often. there were a couple of questions about basic areas but no biggie if you know the areas for basic shapes i.e. circle, rectangle, trapezoid shouldn't be a problem. know how to do triangles really well, grades, optimizing distance for things like shortest route for a utility line, truncated cone volumes, etc. If you can find someone who kept their course work from school to use as a study guide that would be good, and get the practice exam from the ncees website.
     
    Mark Flora likes this.
  20. A Harris

    A Harris 6-Year Member

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    Use of calculators was limited to a scientific calculator with rectangular to polar and no more than two values in memory.
    Knowledge of the law of sines and your way around solving curves covered a lot of the math needed and the rectangular to polar filled in most of the rest.
    Having a background with DMD sheets was the icing on the cake.
    Using a COGO program or a programed HP is all and good, I really hope that any candidate is able to sit down and do everything long handed if necessary.
    Without that knowledge, one can never really understand concepts that can really make you a better surveyor.
    0.02
     
    Wal1170 likes this.

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