DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby LWB » Mar 25, 2012 6:41 pm

Martin,

Good idea, but those two display ribbon cables seem only to be available in short lengths. The other connections would be doable. If there were just the 4 wires like the A3 board...

Maybe Tom will have some ideas there.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby driggs » Mar 28, 2012 10:34 am

LWB wrote:One was that I now know the cause of occasional calibration failures on the 4 A3 Disto Xs that I calibration regularly.


Lynn, it wasn't clear to me from reading your above posts -- are you referring to the old compass course causing calibration failures with your A3 DistoX units, or did you discover something else?
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby LWB » Mar 28, 2012 11:37 am

On occasion an A3 would come up with an unacceptable delta in the calibration. So I would start the cal process over. Last time that happened with two of the 4 Disto Xs I calibrated. And one of them also failed on the second attempt. I looked at the data later (I did save 2 of the 3 failed cals) and the problem was a single reading. I could have just reshot that one cal point. (this assumes you are using PocketTopo's calibration routine and can see and edit the data. If you use the more user friendly Auriga calibration routine, you don't get to see the data. I think Luc is going to make a change so it can be saved at least)

But more importantly, Beat diagnosed my problem. During calibration you need to wait a couple of seconds after turning on the laser before taking a reading - it is a field strength issue. When the fixture alignment was good, I can take shots too quickly. He said this is not an issue during normal operations, just during calibration.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby kdxn » Mar 28, 2012 2:11 pm

Heads up.

Leica have just launched two new Disto, the D210 which replaces the D2 and the X310 which replaces the DXT. The message has been passed to Beat.

Leica's new Disto Family lineup according to updated brochure is
D210, X310, D3a BT (D330i in N.America), D5, D8

Here in UK,
D210 retails for £129
X310 retails for £209
although no-one has stock yet, apparently some delays in delivery.
Hope to get a look at them on Friday at an industry exhibition.

D210 has 80m range
X310 has 80m range, 360 tilt sensor and ruggedised IP65 case.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby akroes » Apr 4, 2012 6:17 pm

I see that it has been nearly a year since a post here about the DistoDXT. Was there ever a solution/board available? Was this moved to a different thread/forum? I am interested in picking one of these up and am wondering if they are available now or if the project has been shelved.

Thanks!

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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 5, 2012 8:54 am

akroes wrote:I see that it has been nearly a year since a post here about the DistoDXT. Was there ever a solution/board available? Was this moved to a different thread/forum? I am interested in picking one of these up and am wondering if they are available now or if the project has been shelved.

Thanks!

Tony Kroes
Wisconsin Speleological Society
Pulaski, Wisconsin, USA


I believe you need to look a little closer.... The last post was just several days ago. LWB and several others are still working on the DXT boards but havent successfully come up with a solution to date. However, they have figured out that the batteries werent causing the calibration problems so, they are resorting to other methods. kxdx has a line of 100 boards that he has produced but you need an A3 which is hard to come by in the US. I'm waiting on the DXT version because the A3's are seriously too hard to find nowadays not to mention if one broke, it would be hard to find a replacement.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby Martin Sluka » Apr 5, 2012 9:47 am

WVCaver2011 wrote: but you need an A3 which is hard to come by in the US.


Check for Stabila LE50 too it is identical tool as A3
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby Crockett » Apr 5, 2012 9:54 am

It has been almost a year since the first post in this thread and it was moved from an even earlier thread so this new board has been in development for over a year. A couple of post up from this one is a claim that Leica has already ended production of the DXT and it will be replaced with a different model so if you don't already have a DXT then they may become as hard to find as the A3. I am not trying to be divisive just pointing out that while difficult it is at least possible today to buy a board and an A3 then have a functioning DistoX based on a Leica A3, not so yet with the DXT and nobody knows when.

So a couple of questions. How long have you been waiting for this board? Has Leica discontinued the DXT?
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 5, 2012 2:27 pm

kdxn claims Leica has a replacement but I dont think they discontinued making the DXT yet. I already have a DXT and it's a beast of a disto as far as cave friendly goes. LWB and several others seem to have their stuff together. Beat has been working on trying to find a solution to the DXT problem and LWB and others came along and things have been speeding up a bit since then. The problem is the calibration apparently it doesnt hold calibration and it cant figure out its orientation in space. LWB and others supposedly have a good idea what's wrong but that's what I comprehended from it. So, the main reason why im not purchasing an A3 and a board is simply because I cant find an A3 and already have a DXT and like the DXT because it's more cave friendly and is also still on the market. We've been waiting on the DXT board since the start of this thread. We've been waiting on another A3 board set up for longer. A couple key parts for the DistoX A3 version are obsolete. Im guessing kdxn found a company with a stash somehow. Im glad he did!
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby LWB » Apr 5, 2012 5:57 pm

I did some testing last weekend with the DXT. Results were encouraging compared to the previous testing. But mysterious. Big change was that that turn screw that holds the battery cover on the DXT was removed. It had been checked with a magnet before, but then discovered it would deflect a Suunto 14 degrees.

The calibration deteriorated over 1.5 hours, but not as badly as before. Weird thing that when I tested after 4 hours and the results were between the immediately after cal test and the 30 minute test. And testing after ~ 23 hours gave similar results.
Image

That had me wondering about temperature affects - since the calibration was done immediately after entering the cave and the 4 and 23 hour test were done immediately after entering the cave. So on the 2nd calibration I let the DXT sit there while calibrating three A3 Disto Xs. The DXT was 1.5 hours in the cave before calibration - and the data was a little bit better (delta was 0.24 and the first cal was 0.26 - which is not so good for a A3 Disto X - all 3 of them were 0.19)
Image

I'm waiting to hear back from Beat on what he thinks of the results. I will miss the testing opportunity in 2 week, but Tom will have all the stuff and he has some ideas.
Last edited by LWB on Apr 7, 2012 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby WVCaver2011 » Apr 7, 2012 9:51 am

Looking better! Keep it up! Cant wait for these boards to come out!
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby Martin Sluka » Apr 7, 2012 11:43 am

I wrote this to Heeb too. There is 3D laser surveying tool named LaserAce from Trimble company. It has much simpler calibration routine as DistoX, but it looks on the similar principles. Check user guide.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby lleblanc » Apr 7, 2012 2:15 pm

Martin Sluka wrote:I wrote this to Heeb too. There is 3D laser surveying tool named LaserAce from Trimble company. It has much simpler calibration routine as DistoX, but it looks on the similar principles. Check user guide.


This LaserAce (http://www.trimble.com/mappingGIS/laser ... ical_specs) looks pretty much like Lasertech's 1600$ TruPulse 360. Alas, since it uses a "safe" invisible infrared laser, you cannot use the spot for targeting but must rely on the cross wires in the optical viewfinder. Probably good enough for spotting a tree outside, but insufficient for targeting the tip of a stalactite in low light conditions. I'll stick to my A3-based DistoX where I can spot the laser on the fingernail of my assistant pointing the survey station.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby Martin Sluka » Apr 7, 2012 5:12 pm

lleblanc wrote:This LaserAce (http://www.trimble.com/mappingGIS/laser ... ical_specs) looks pretty much like Lasertech's 1600$ TruPulse 360.


OK, Luc, but I wrote about calibration routine, not infrared or red laser. I worked with LaserAce in Venezuela and it is super on surface or in really huge passages.
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Re: DistoX boards for the DistoDXT models

Postby kdxn » Apr 9, 2012 6:53 am

The Trimble LaserAce is the LaserAce that was originally developed by MDL.

Both the LaserAce and TruPulse devices work very similarly.
A 905nm laser diode with 3mrad beam means that it is invisible and the spot size increases with distance.
Based on my knowledge of the internal components, factory calibration and manufacture process, the magnetic compass in these devices should not be considered more accurate than +/-2degrees and the laser range is 10cm accurate at best, worse on long ranges.

You have to be very careful when using either device for cave surveying because the range could be for any point within the cone beam. Sometimes this means a wall grazing ray or intermediate stal may give you a short distance instead of measuring what you wanted in the far distance. Advantage of both devices is the long range so can be useful in very big stuff such as Vietnam/China.

TruPulse devices have possibly better water protection for the battery but both devices are expensive and should be well protected.
There is now a cheaper device on the market made by Nikon (Forestry 550) for the same target market of GIS/Forestry. Laser accuracy is not as good as LaserAce/TruPulse and it does not include a compass but Nikon is more water-resistant.
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