Bosch GLM80

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Bosch GLM80

Postby Hunabku » Feb 12, 2014 4:33 pm

I have searched the forum and not found much information on this device.

If any of you own or have used one I would like your opinion on its usefulness in cave survey. I am very close to making the purchase but it would be nice to hear some input from a surveyor that has actually used one.


http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005 ... PDKIKX0DER
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby driggs » Feb 12, 2014 9:36 pm

Interesting new device.

Image

It is rated IP58, "dust and splashwater" protected, like the older Bosch DLR165, a device that many of us have been haphazardly using in cave for many years now. I'm amazed how my DLR165 still holds up despite how badly I've abused it.

In addition the new GLM80 has built-in inclinometer; specs say that it can level to plus/minus 0.2°. It appears that it does have a built-in routine for calibrating the inclination sensors. It'd be fantastic if this unit could replace a tape and clino underground.

A potential downside is that the GLM80 has a built-in Lithium-ion battery which must be charged with a charger. That means, as far as I can tell, no swapping it out in cave. Of course, the biggest weakness of the DLR165 underground seems to be corrosion of its AAA battery terminals, so perhaps this is actually a benefit.

The GLM80 also has a max range of 265 feet, where the DLR165's max range is 165 feet, and the even cheaper DLR130K has only a 130 foot range.

It has a light sensor and its backlit display can be configured to automatically turn on in dark environments (like a cave), but this can be turned off.

And, for what it's worth, and for now at least, the GLM80 appears to come directly from Bosch Germany where it's older and cheaper siblings are being imported from China or Malaysia.

The best price ($168) appears to be at Amazon, and its reviews are outstanding.

I'd say that, on paper at least, this looks like an excellent instrument. We'll see how cave-worthy it is in practice!

Link: Bosch GLM80 User Manual
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby Martin Sluka » Feb 13, 2014 7:23 am

Sorry, but isn't better to buy Leica DISTO™ E7400x + replace board from http://paperless.bheeb.ch and LiPol battery PGEB-NM053040 (not PGEB-NM053040-PCB) from http://www.powerstream.com/non-magnetic-lipo.htm ?
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby Hunabku » Feb 13, 2014 8:27 am

Good info DRiggs. I had seen most of the specs, but hadn't found the manual yet, after looking for it quite a bit. I may wait to see if anyone who has one chimes in, but I'm leaning pretty heavy to it.

Martin, I supppose it could be better depending on the needs of the buyer. Cost is a pretty big factor for me. $168 may be better for my situation.
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby GroundquestMSA » Feb 13, 2014 9:13 am

I don't own one, but I saw a GLM80 take its first shots in a cave survey. The inclinometer was tested repeatedly against a Suunto and worked perfectly. I'm interested in getting one eventually. My connection can't handle that pdf, do the specs say how many shots you can get on a charge? This probably shouldn't be a factor for me, since I mostly survey tiny caves, but I'm also bad at remembering to charge batteries. Does the battery come out and go in a charger or does the charger plug into the device?
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby Hunabku » Feb 13, 2014 9:39 am

That is great news!

The specs claim 25,000 measurements on a charge. Yes, 25,000.

The battery stays in to charge, but if the specs are right who cares? I bet it can be adapted to charge with a portable recharger if needed.
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby GroundquestMSA » Feb 13, 2014 10:25 am

Hunabku wrote:The battery stays in to charge, but if the specs are right who cares?


Exactly. That might also make it easier to somehow "waterproof" the device, no big loose door on the back. Now I need to wait around for a cheap one. Paying full price for stuff causes me great pain. I've been using a Bosch GLM50 and a DLR130. I got a clearanced 130 for $9 (with batteries) at Lowes, and the GLM50 for free from a guy who thought it was broken and bought a new one. It needed batteries.
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby driggs » Feb 13, 2014 4:58 pm

Martin Sluka wrote:Sorry, but isn't better to buy Leica DISTO™ E7400x + replace board from http://paperless.bheeb.ch and LiPol battery PGEB-NM053040 (not PGEB-NM053040-PCB) from http://www.powerstream.com/non-magnetic-lipo.htm ?


I really try not to feed the trolls, but sometimes I can't help it...

No Martin, it isn't "better".

* You could buy three Bosch GLM80s for the price of a DistoX2.

* Corollary: If you destroy a Bosch GLM80 in cave, you've only lost 1/3 the money you'd lose destroying a DistoX2.

* You can buy a Bosch GLM80 at the hardware store or have one shipped to your door; but you must purchase all the parts for a DistoX2 separately, dismantle the Disto, then solder and reassemble the parts.

* The Bosch GLM80 has a warranty, the DistoX2 voids a warranty.

* The Bosch GLM80 doesn't require 56 calibration shots plus a PDA to calibrate the damned thing before you use it.

* The DistoX2 is considerably more influenced by magnetic interference than a traditional compass.

The Bosch GLM80 and the DistoX2 are two totally different devices. The DistoX2 certainly has use cases where it excels (I am a DistoX user myself!), but for users considering this Bosch device, the two may not be in the same class.
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby Martin Sluka » Feb 13, 2014 6:56 pm

driggs wrote: No Martin, it isn't "better".


Dear driggs, I made first tool from laser rangefinder and digital clino somewhere in 1995, I think. So I very well know, what is to survey clino and length in one step and compass in second step, you may believe me.

I know that there is price difference. But there is the difference between sketching the cave and surveiyng the cave with help of splay shots too. What is not possible with separate compass. This was the reason of my reply.

It is free choice. It is difference between young caver, without money and good equipment but with plenty of time, energy and enthusismus and old caver with good equipment and long experience but without time, without to much energy, …

Understand?
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby trogman » Feb 14, 2014 7:59 am

Just saw this post, and hope you haven't bought one yet-at least not until you read my review. I purchased one of these a while back, and at first I thought it was great. That is, until I started discovering its shortcomings. The good points: 1) It appears to be very accurate. 2) It seems to hold up fairly well under cave conditions,although I would recommend carrying it in a Pelican box. 3) It is small, light, and thus easy to carry; I carry mine ridgewalking all the time. 4) The battery does indeed last for many, many shots. I've had mine probably 8 or 10 months and have only charged it maybe twice. Now the bad points: The main reason I forked out a little extra for this device was that it also claims to measure angles,and according to the manual the range is 360 degrees. But when I switched to the angle function, I found much to my chagrin, that the laser switched off! I soon discovered that the angle does measure and display dynamically when taking a distance measurement, but the only way to lock it in is to use one of the triangle functions. So I thought I had found a work-around, and felt like it would perhaps work for my purposes. Then I discovered another limitation: the angle maxes out at 60 degrees! WTF??? I have no idea why the manufacturer designed it this way, and I recently wrote to them and complained about what seemed to me like a misrepresentation of their product. They did reply, but have yet to give me a valid reason why they designed it this way. They did promise to get back with me on it, but I am certainly not holding out much hope that they'll do anything to fix it. I did learn from their response that the range will go up to 90 degrees, but only when it is turned on its' side, and only when it is in the angle mode (which means the laser is turned off).
One more issue that I encountered a couple of weeks ago was the fold-out pin on the rear of the device. On other models it was metal, but this one is a very thin and fragile plastic. As you might have guessed, it broke on me. Since I haven't really used it, this wasn't a major issue from my perspective, but it just added to my frustration with the product.
I hope my review is not confusing, as it is hard to describe these issues to those who are unfamiliar with the device. Let me sum it up by saying that, while the device has its usefulness, the 60 degree angle limitation is annoying and makes it much less useful for our purposes. I will post here if I find out any other workarounds or fixes.

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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby trogman » Feb 14, 2014 8:06 am

One more quick note: If you watch Ebay, you might pick one up for a little less. I got mine for about $142, brand new, from a U.S. seller. Of course there is probably no warranty coverage from the manufacturer when purchased this way.


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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby GroundquestMSA » Feb 14, 2014 4:50 pm

Thanks for the information Trogman. The laser I saw in action must have been a different one, but I was sure it was a Bosch?? Do Bosch make another laser+clino?
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby Extremeophile » Feb 14, 2014 4:55 pm

driggs wrote:No Martin, it isn't "better".

But mostly it is better. I've heard it argued that the cost is nearly the same as a Disto + Tandem. It may not be that affordable for some, but how much more expensive is a Disto than a tape? Is a Disto not better than a tape? In most cases it is.

You can buy a Bosch GLM80 at the hardware store or have one shipped to your door; but you must purchase all the parts for a DistoX2 separately, dismantle the Disto, then solder and reassemble the parts.

This is a good point. Although the techniques for assembling a DistoX2 are within reach for most, there are clearly some who aren't comfortable with doing things like changing their own oil. Most of the cavers I know have pretty developed technical skills and you could probably find someone to help. I've heard Dave Riggs is always willing to help.

The Bosch GLM80 doesn't require 56 calibration shots plus a PDA to calibrate the damned thing before you use it.

I had heard stories of difficult and time consuming calibrations, but I think this was mostly regarding the SAP. The DistoX takes 10 minutes to calibrate and is fairly painless. Those using Suuntos would also benefit from checking their accuracy.

The DistoX2 is considerably more influenced by magnetic interference than a traditional compass.

Is this a fact?

The Bosch GLM80 and the DistoX2 are two totally different devices. The DistoX2 certainly has use cases where it excels (I am a DistoX user myself!), but for users considering this Bosch device, the two may not be in the same class.

Since it sounds like the clinometer in the Bosch may have limitations, it's worth considering an unmodified Leica 7400x. It has a tilt (vertical angle) sensor that goes all the way from +90 to -90. The rangefinder will measure distances over 300', and the unit has a better dust/waterproof rating. You can also decide later if you want to spend the additional $250-300 to modify it to a DistoX.
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby Extremeophile » Feb 14, 2014 5:19 pm

Extremeophile wrote:The rangefinder will measure distances over 300'

Quoting myself ...
I see the specs for the Leica E7400x say a range of 265', or up to 325' with a relective target. I played around in the Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern and easily got readings of 250' off the ceiling at Spirit World, and readings of up to 318' shooting across the passage. This was all just hand-held without any stabilizing, so I think their ratings are conservative. In Europe they have 80m and 120m models. Perhaps the one I have is in fact the 120m model???
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Re: Bosch GLM80

Postby trogman » Feb 15, 2014 6:59 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:Thanks for the information Trogman. The laser I saw in action must have been a different one, but I was sure it was a Bosch?? Do Bosch make another laser+clino?


The only other Bosch laser that has an angle finder is the 100C, which has Bluetooth capability and a range of 300'. It allows the transfer of your data to another device such as a PDA or smartphone. It retails for $300, and I suspect it probably has the same angle finder issues that the 80 does.


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