Disto

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Disto

Postby ohiocaver » Dec 18, 2017 5:46 pm

We are looking to buy two Distos for the Grotto survey bag. Cost is somewhat a concern (we're looking for something in the area of $150 each). But function and waterproof are more important (I am guilty of drowning the Grotto's previous Disto...or, maybe it just died of age - it was 10 years old).
Any recommendations in the Disto lineup?
Has anyone experience with the Asian laser measurement devices? It looks like they offer twice the functionality of the Disto brand at half the price or less. Any experience with any particular model? Any recommendations?
:cave softly:
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: Disto

Postby GroundquestMSA » Dec 19, 2017 12:16 am

Bosch makes a bunch of things in your price range. I have used my oldest one for about four years. Have had a bit of corrosion on the contacts but no other issues. Many of their newer models include a digital inclinometer, which is surprisingly accurate. If you want something cheaper, I have found Lowe's Kobalt lasers to be excellent too. They run on 2 aaas instead of 4, and are smaller. The range may be slightly less, but they have worked well for me so far.
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Re: Disto

Postby ohiocaver » Dec 19, 2017 3:15 pm

Thanks.
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: Disto

Postby trogman » Dec 23, 2017 7:46 am

I have been using a Bosch GLM 80 for a few years; I got it off of Ebay for about $140, although it was new. It served me well, but I recently dunked it in a wet cave, and it is severely crippled. But the built-in clino was a really useful feature, as it saved a step in the survey process, and also is much more accurate than using a sighting clino. I put it in rice for a few days, but it has some issues that go beyond just water infiltration- namely, mud and sand got into the device, and some of the buttons are non-functional.
After this incident, I did a little more research on IP ratings. Here is a nice website that explains them:
IP Ratings

Turned out my Bosch was only an IP 54, which just means that it resists dust and splashing. Basically, the higher the numbers the better. It's a wonder it survived as long as it did!
Now I am looking at a Disto X310, which is rated at IP 65. That means it is more resistant to mud and water than my Bosch. Ideally, it would be nice to have one that is submersible, but if they even make such a unit, the cost would be prohibitive. Anyway, I am hoping to find one under the Christmas tree in a couple of days. :xmas tree: If not, I will be heading to Ebay to see what kind of options are available there.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Re: Disto

Postby ohiocaver » Dec 26, 2017 5:28 pm

Agree that "resists splashing" is not sufficient. I drowned ours on a survey trip two months ago -- that's what happens in chest-deep water!
Have heard good things about the Bosch. Might go that route. I'm not married to the Disto brand and would love the clino feature (it gets harder every year for these eyes to count those little lines accurately).
Thanks. :clap:
[url=http://postimg.org/image/lex35gcbv/][img]http://s9.postimg.org/lex35gcbv/curt_Bryants_Cave_Indiana.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=http://postimg.org/image/eta4ctvar/][img]http://s21.postimg.org/eta4ctvar/cn_oh_isl_coils_cave_curt_sketch.jpg[/img][/url]
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Re: Disto

Postby trogman » Dec 27, 2017 8:08 am

Turns out I did get a Disto for Christmas; I haven't used it yet, but hope to do so soon!

While browsing on Amazon the other day, I noticed this laser:
Amazon

If I were looking to save some serious $, this one would probably be a good option. It is rated at IP 67, and has the built-in clino. Also it has very good customer reviews. That being said, I doubt any of those customers were using it the way we use them.

One thing to be aware of about the clino function, at least on the Bosch unit. It only reads up to 60 degrees tilt with the laser on. It does have a function that allows it to go all the way up to 90, but for some reason this particular function turns the laser off :down: I'm not sure yet if my Disto has this same issue or not, but it is rather frustrating. I can't quite figure out why they built it this way. I even contacted Bosch and complained about it; I got the usual "You're the only one one that's ever complained about this" response. (This response always drives me nuts!)

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Re: Disto

Postby trogman » Dec 31, 2017 8:08 am

After playing with my new Disto E7400x a little, I must say the differences between it and the Bosch are striking. I haven't taken it caving yet, but I can hardly wait! Here are a few things I noticed right away:
1. When I use the tilt measurement function, the laser stays on! (Unlike my Bosch)
2. The tilt measurement goes all the way up to 90 degrees, instead of stopping at 60.
3. The laser actually has some functionality in daylight. With my Bosch, I had tried measuring some cliffs where I practice rappelling. I always got an error message, even though the bottom I was shooting at was well within the range of the instrument. With the Disto, my only problem was that I was unable to see the laser dot at a long distance. Other than that, I got what appeared to be correct readings.
4. While my Bosch has a max range of 80 meters, my Disto goes up to 120 m.(390 ft.) Now I just need to find a 390' pit to try it out on!
5. The "smart horizontal" function give me the shot length, the tilt, the projected length, and the height difference, all in one shot. As far as I know, my Bosch didn't have any such function. In order to calculate the projected length, I had to carry a laminated sheet with a sampling of projected lengths at various angles. I used this to draw my line plot on my survey sheet with a somewhat correct length. (Cave Compass also has some projected lengths printed on it)

While the price difference is rather large, the features I listed above make the Disto a much better buy for cave survey purposes. Many of the differences are not clearly described in product brochures, and you don't find out until you buy one.

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