Third Generation Disto-X Progress

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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby snoboy » Aug 27, 2013 2:04 pm

I am considering jumping in to the deep end and going straight to the Disto/Auriga method. I can justify the purchase of the Disto for work as well, so that's all good.

My queries are:

1) I understand the new board will work with the E7400x as well as the X310, correct?
2) How do I get on the preorder list?
3) Still on track for production this Fall?
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby thmar19 » Sep 29, 2013 9:27 am

Hello,
What are the latest news about the third generation DistoX ?
Thank you in advance
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby kdxn » Oct 2, 2013 11:58 am

Please be patient.

The next generation DistoX board for the X310 is more complex than the old design because it completely replaces the Disto X310 motherboard and includes a rechargeable non-magnetic LiPo battery.

This involves a lot of testing of the board and build process before boards can be released.
Best not to email Beat with questions about availability as it takes him away from board testing !!

I am sure that when boards are available for purchase, they will be announced on the website.
http://paperless.bheeb.ch/
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 3, 2014 11:18 pm

It's finally here!
The board was waiting in the mailbox when I got home. Ordered on Christmas Eve.
Also got the Leica Disto E7400x, non-magnetic Li-polymer battery (with PCB), micro-USB connector.

Make sure you have all the necessary tools before beginning:

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Taking apart the Disto - 2 boards - one for the laser, and the other gets replaced.

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Desoldering and getting the old board off was a little tricky, as was removing the flip-out end piece.

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I ordered the Li-Po battery with the PCB thinking it would be a safer option. Beat's website has a FAQ saying to buy the non-PCB version. I'm going to give this one a try since the PCB should also be non-magnetic. Getting the keyboard ribbon cable back onto the new board was also tricky.

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The finished product:

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I soldered on the micro-usb charge connector and charged it for 30 minutes. Connecting it to a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 via bluetooth went relatively smoothly (by Microsoft standards).
I took the tablet computer, running Pocket Topo, to a nearby field and ran through the calibration in 10 minutes. A validation of the calibration showed all orientations of the device giving readings within 0.1 deg of each other. FS/BS agreement between two plastic posts was within 0.4 degrees. I think taking my time and being more careful with my shots would improve this even a little more.

Survey records ... prepare to be decimated! All your survey are belong to us!
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Martin Sluka » Jan 4, 2014 10:10 am

Extremeophile wrote:Survey records ... prepare to be decimated! All your survey are belong to us!


Surveying with splay shots is the surveying. Not a painting!
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 4, 2014 11:26 am

Martin Sluka wrote:
Extremeophile wrote:Survey records ... prepare to be decimated! All your survey are belong to us!


Surveying with splay shots is the surveying. Not a painting!

My thoughts exactly!

Survey trip to Huccacove was cancelled today due to snow. :down:
I might try some survey in Breezeway tomorrow.
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby caver.adam » Jan 13, 2014 11:12 am

Are these things ready for public order? And if so, how? Looking forward to pulling out the old soldering iron.
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 13, 2014 12:28 pm

caver.adam wrote:Are these things ready for public order? And if so, how? Looking forward to pulling out the old soldering iron.

Mine was a "public order", so I think the answer to your question is "yes". You can email Beat for ordering instructions.

We surveyed this weekend in Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, using the new DistoX2 and Pocket Topo running on a Dell Pocket PC. I collected raw data on the PDA but also recorded it on paper in a traditional book. While the team set stations and took survey readings I sketched on paper as well as on the PDA. This is double the work, but it allows some direct comparison of the new and traditional way of surveying. In the future I expect to only sketch electronically. I calibrated the DistoX2 in the cave during a rest stop on the way out to our survey objective, which took about 10 minutes. The Pocket PC was housed in an Otterbox 1900, which is a bit bulky, but provides excellent protection. The DistoX2 was transported in a Pelican 1015 micro case, which almost seems custom built for the purpose. On Sunday I collected data and sketched on a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 housed in a Griffin Survivor case. This also worked very well and has a much larger 10 in screen to work with. In the future I will probably use the PDA for more rugged survey objectives, and the tablet for easier to reach or larger passage.
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 13, 2014 1:45 pm

Here's a comparison of a traditional sketch and digital sketch of the same area. Of course sketching digitally is much faster, more easily edited in the cave, and much more easily incorporated into the cartography later (e.g. Illustrator). As survey and splay shots are made they simply appear on the screen, so no need for protractors and drawing line plots, and everything is automatically drawn to scale.


Image


Image
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 13, 2014 11:37 pm

A few more photos and ideas ...
The flip out end-piece apparently has a magnet and so needs to be removed. There are two metal pins that act as the hinge and these penetrate the waterproof housing, and are secured by epoxy adhesive (a very strange design choice). The installation instructions suggest that if the adhesive is damaged during removal then these holes will need to be sealed. I can't imagine how it would be possible to remove the pins without damaging the adhesive, but I used Aquaseal to re-waterproof the unit. I also marked the laser axis as they recommend. This is somewhat important when you get underground and attempt to instruct people how to take measurements.

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Here's the DistoX2 in a Pelican 1015 micro case, and you can see how well it fits. They make a model with a clear lid, but this doesn't have the foam pad on top, so I'd recommend the models with an opaque lid. Most PDAs (Palms or Pocket PCs) will fit in the Otterbox 1900. You can sketch with this and it is very impact resistant and waterproof. I thought maybe I could just use the PDA without a case, but you'll want to be able to crawl and climb with the thing, so having a case like this is virtually a necessity. The caves out west are not as muddy as the east, but the case also helps keep the dust and sand out.

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Below is the Windows 8 tablet computer in a water and dust resistant case. I got a nylon sleeve for carrying this and inserted a polycarbonate sheet to protect the screen from impacts during travel.

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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Martin Sluka » Jan 14, 2014 5:36 am

Extremeophile wrote:The flip out end-piece apparently has a magnet and so needs to be removed.

Check pictures - it is not so big problem to remove both magnets. I used Olfa cutter:

Image
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And you may use the flip in this way:

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the tip is not exactly in axis of laser beam but the difference is less than 1 cm.
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 14, 2014 10:47 am

Martin Sluka wrote:
Extremeophile wrote:The flip out end-piece apparently has a magnet and so needs to be removed.

Check pictures - it is not so big problem to remove both magnets. I used Olfa cutter:

Image

So the item you've circled is a magnet? There's no mention of the need to remove this in the installation instructions.
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Martin Sluka » Jan 14, 2014 1:54 pm

Extremeophile wrote:So the item you've circled is a magnet? There's no mention of the need to remove this in the installation instructions.


I just removed everything looking as magnet. :wink:
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby caver.adam » Jan 14, 2014 2:19 pm

You are making me get more and more excited about upcoming tax refunds.
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Re: Third Generation Disto-X Progress

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 15, 2014 8:56 am

For those who may be considering the DistoX2 and following this thread ...
I emailed Beat about a couple of concerns regarding installation.
1. His FAQ recommends the Li-Po battery without PCB. I ordered the one with the PCB before reading this, as have others, and these seem to work fine since the PCB is also non-magnetic. Beat was simply recommending the version of the battery that he had installed and tested.
2. The metal disk on the inside corner of the Disto is not a magnet, but the sensor that detects the magnet located in the flip-out extension on the bottom. You can remove it if you like, but Beat did not remove it from his units and any affect it may have can be handled by the calibration.
3. Kevin Dixon has a thread on the UK caving forum suggesting that lead-free solder be used for the installation. There is no mention of this in the installation instructions. From what I gather, lead-free solder is mandated for commercial use in EU. Beat and I have both used traditional lead-tin solder for installation of the DistoX board and lead is non-magnetic. You might opt to use lead-free solder for health and environmental reasons, but it won't have an impact on the operation of the unit.
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