Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

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Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby WVCaver2011 » Dec 26, 2010 3:58 pm

I've been doing a lot of research on different units used for digital underground surveying and out of that group I found out that the DistoX would be the best option (if it was still available). I would more or less prefer to have the bluetooth capability but it's not really needed right now. I figure the bluetooth capability was the issue Bert had when he stopped making the DistoX. He said that there are many "key parts" that he needs to make the DistoX but they are currently not being manufactured. If this is the case, I can deal with the bluetooth being gone and just limit myself to the memory capacity and pen and paper for writting down measurements. Besides, having the inclinometer, compass, and laser range meter all in one instrument still is A LOT faster than using Suunto's and a fiberglass measuring tape. So, my question to you guys is: Does anyone know where I can purchase a circuit board with the appropriate add-ons to allow all 3 measurements to be taken accurately?

Keep in mind i'm not an electronics expert and really have know idea how to rig a circuit board so if you give me the name of the circuit board I need, i'll probably go looking online for a solution. I'm sure this circuit board exists but does it exist with the proper size to fit into the back of a Leica Disto A3? :shrug:
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby John Lovaas » Dec 26, 2010 6:01 pm

Beat posted a .zip file containing all the data you need on Dec. 16-

http://paperless.bheeb.ch/download/DistoXHardware.zip

It includes:

BoardData.txt The technical data of the extension board
Layout.pdf The component diagram of the extension board
Schematic.pdf The circuit diagram of the extension board
Partlist.xls The part list of the extension board
Gerber.zip The Gerber files used to manufacture the board
PicCode.zip The firmware to be programmed into the PIC

You can go through the parts list, see what's discontinued, find a suitable replacement, and- well, I guess I'd have to pay someone to build one.
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby WVCaver2011 » Dec 26, 2010 7:00 pm

John,

Thanks a lot for this link! Hopefully it proves worthwhile. However, i'm so electricity uneducated that I probably wouldnt even know what part to put in place of what. :laughing: I would also need someone to build mine as well. It's too complex for me to even think about doing. Well, at least there's potential to find a workable route here anyway.
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby WVCaver2011 » Dec 27, 2010 12:26 am

Has anyone actually had any luck rebuilding the circuit board after Beat stopped producing them? I dont see why it would be too difficult to do considering we have a parts list right in front of our faces and everything else that we need to build it with. The only unfortunate thing is that we need to find new parts in place of the older parts that are now obsolete. I havent done enough research to figure out which parts are truely obsolete and which arent but I shall get to that. Hopefully, if it doesnt snow a lot tonight i'll be able to go to radioshack and purchase the items that they have from this list and ask questions about the rest.
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby Martin Sluka » Dec 27, 2010 2:33 am

Don't forget Stabila LE50 - mostly identical laser tool as Disto A3, modifiable in the same way.
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby WVCaver2011 » Dec 27, 2010 6:57 pm

Yep, I saw that but i've already bought a Leica A3 to speed things up a bit in the survey world. :big grin: However, I will still revise.

Has anyone had any luck making a circuit board with either one of these systems listed in the above posts not including what Beat has published to the web?
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby Footleg » Jan 12, 2011 5:08 am

Not an answer to the main question posted on this thread unfortunately. But as a regular user of a DistoX using one of the boards which Beat made a couple of years ago I just wanted to comment on the value of bluetooth. While the DistoX on it's own is a highly useful instrument, it is only so when calibrated. This is not difficult, but does require a PDA and bluetooth link to process the calibration readings and calculate the calibration data to upload back into the DistoX.

Also the electronic drawing up as you survey using the PDA has totally changed my world with surveying, and I was very sceptical at first. But once I tried it I find it so much better than paper and pencil. I would recommend anyone who has not tried it and has the chance to give it a go.
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby WVCaver2011 » Jan 12, 2011 3:05 pm

Footleg wrote:Not an answer to the main question posted on this thread unfortunately. But as a regular user of a DistoX using one of the boards which Beat made a couple of years ago I just wanted to comment on the value of bluetooth. While the DistoX on it's own is a highly useful instrument, it is only so when calibrated. This is not difficult, but does require a PDA and bluetooth link to process the calibration readings and calculate the calibration data to upload back into the DistoX.

Also the electronic drawing up as you survey using the PDA has totally changed my world with surveying, and I was very sceptical at first. But once I tried it I find it so much better than paper and pencil. I would recommend anyone who has not tried it and has the chance to give it a go.


Hey, excellent information! Please post this to the forum "Need 50 persons or more for purchase DistoX circuit board". Thanks!
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Re: Changing a Leica Disto A3 to closely relate a DistoX

Postby Footleg » Jan 25, 2011 10:46 am

WVCaver2011 wrote:Hey, excellent information! Please post this to the forum "Need 50 persons or more for purchase DistoX circuit board". Thanks!


Sorry, not been keeping up. Now posted to that thread too. Good luck on getting together those 50 orders. When people start seeing the DistoX in action they will be kicking themselves that they missed out on the order to get one for themselves.
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