Survey Instrument assistance needed!

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Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby sideshow » Dec 29, 2011 12:15 pm

Hey - so I've been looking around the site for a bit, and everything pertaining to my question is from 2005 at the latest, and I was wondering if anyone out there had any new information on the subject

Finally looking into getting my own set of instruments, looking to get a separate compass and clino. Used the Silva 80 plastic housing compass and loved it, but it seems like that is gone. Someone on the boards here in 2005 said that Brunton bought Silva out and changed it to their mark, but I can't find anything here on on the webs about it.

other compass related questions:
Suunto: the standard KB-14 vs. the "floating" (waterproof?) KB-20. Thoughts on usefullness, accuracy, durability?
And how does Brunton's compass compare to those two.

Cool! Hope this isn't too much of a repost, and I hope someone out there has some current/updated info for me!
Thanks
Alex
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Chads93GT » Dec 29, 2011 12:25 pm

We always use the suunto tandem or the single units that make up the tandem. I personally like the tandem as I see others wearing the singles around their neck, tied together, clanking together (broken units eventually). Now I dont know the model numbers, but look up the tandem, then find the single aluminum housing units that suunto makes that are identical. I hope this helps.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 29, 2011 1:46 pm

Hi Alex,

The Suunto (Tandem and individual models) are used almost exclusively for cave survey for cave survey—because they work. They aren't perfect, but they are best option. Well, best analog option. Digital options are growing and getting better.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby rchrds » Dec 31, 2011 2:32 pm

Crossing fingers on the digital stuff- My first DistoX never really did work right, right up until I killed the disto in mud. Waiting to hear from that crew about the new board for the next Disto version, which last I heard wasn't going very well...
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby LWB » Dec 31, 2011 5:39 pm

Do you still have the remains of your Disto X? How did you "kill it"? And in what way did it not work quite right? Depending on what is wrong, I would be interesting in purchasing the parts. We've had some success in repairing A3 Distos. Or combining parts to get a working one.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby John Lovaas » Dec 31, 2011 8:14 pm

The only weak link I've found with the A3/DistoX in terms of waterproofness is the keyboard membrane- water can get in between the housing and the edge of the keypad. I rendered mine useless in a river cave in PR(that's how I learned about the keypad!); I disassembled it, dried it out in the sun, and it works just fine two years later.

If it was really muddy water that got in there, perhaps a few alternating distilled water/ isopropyl alcohol baths might revive it.

Or- the magic pixie dust got washed away for good ;-)
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Scott McCrea » Dec 31, 2011 8:21 pm

Put some packing tape on those things. It's not waterproof, but it is a pretty good extra layer of protection.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby rchrds » Dec 31, 2011 8:51 pm

I do still have all the parts- the issue with mine is the battery contacts are so corroded that the batteries no longer make good contact with the Disto, so it never turns on unless you spend a good 10 minutes trying to sandpaper the contacts way in the inside of the machine. I suppose I could try to take it all apart and get to those parts, I just haven't had the time or the inclination. The DistoX always threw up some code and never properly calibrated. I suspect I soldered something incorrectly, or am a complete retard with the directions. I'm not exactly ready to give it all up, if I have time this year, I may give it another try, and some folks seem to be having very good luck with theirs.

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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby LWB » Dec 31, 2011 10:02 pm

You might see if Tom will fix it. He did fix someone's A3 with corroded battery contacts. He also has installed multiple Disto X boards.

The usual failure I see is one or more keys on the keyboard quit working. One of mine has a "rewired" keyboard - 3 off keys now to replace the non-working off button.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby KD5NRH » Jan 1, 2012 11:16 pm

So, who's going to hack together a modified David scanner with a gyro compass/clinometer and some panorama stitching software to make the 3D cave scanning equivalent of the Google Streetview car on a caving helmet? The accuracy on most passages should be acceptable simply by having the laser in a fixed location relative to the camera. Not sure how well it could be made to hold calibration without the calibration marks, but there are other methods out there that don't use them.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Bob Thrun » Jan 6, 2012 1:18 pm

sideshow wrote:Finally looking into getting my own set of instruments, looking to get a separate compass and clino. Used the Silva 80 plastic housing compass and loved it, but it seems like that is gone. Someone on the boards here in 2005 said that Brunton bought Silva out and changed it to their mark, but I can't find anything here on on the webs about it.

My article on compass brands is available in two places:
Compass & Tape No. 49 http://www.caves.org/section/sacs/back/v15i1_49.pdf
Compass Points No. 27 http://www.chaos.org.uk/survex/cp/CP27/CP27.pdf
There is a history section somewhere on the silva.se website that gives dates when companies were purchased.

The Silva 80, like most prismatic compasses, has problems reading downslope if you read one-eyed like you should.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Rick Brinkman » Jan 7, 2012 12:26 am

Chads93GT wrote:We always use the suunto tandem or the single units that make up the tandem. I personally like the tandem as I see others wearing the singles around their neck, tied together, clanking together (broken units eventually).


A simple way to protect your instruments is to get a couple of neoprene mouse pads and build cases for them. Duct tape works well. Just be sure to leave a hole in one corner for the cords. Slide the case up when in use. Slide it back down for traveling.

I'm trying to do one sewing project a week and posting it on G+. Compass/Clino cases are on my "to do" list.
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 7, 2012 8:27 am

Rick Brinkman wrote:I'm trying to do one sewing project a week and posting it on G+.

:kewl: :clap: :woohoo: You could post your progress her, too. Or Facebook. I don't do G+. :shhh:

:popcorn:
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 7, 2012 9:19 am

Rick Brinkman wrote:
Chads93GT wrote:We always use the suunto tandem or the single units that make up the tandem. I personally like the tandem as I see others wearing the singles around their neck, tied together, clanking together (broken units eventually).


A simple way to protect your instruments is to get a couple of neoprene mouse pads and build cases for them. Duct tape works well. Just be sure to leave a hole in one corner for the cords. Slide the case up when in use. Slide it back down for traveling.

I'm trying to do one sewing project a week and posting it on G+. Compass/Clino cases are on my "to do" list.

I'm a big fan of this technique recommended by Marc Ohms. I've done this to all of my instruments.

http://www.caves.org/section/sacs/rr/suuntos.pdf
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Re: Survey Instrument assistance needed!

Postby Rick Brinkman » Jan 9, 2012 11:59 am

Extremeophile wrote:I'm a big fan of this technique recommended by Marc Ohms. I've done this to all of my instruments.

http://www.caves.org/section/sacs/rr/suuntos.pdf



I'd like to see pictures of the final result.
Caves are rare and precious things. Cavers...even more so. Treat each accordingly.
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