Buying Survey Insterments

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Buying Survey Insterments

Postby hardcorecaver » Nov 8, 2006 4:34 pm

What are the best insterments to buy to survey?
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Postby cob » Nov 8, 2006 7:34 pm

most down here use Suuntos (tandems) but if you are in the "wet" (full immersion water), you probably want something waterproof (Brunton???)

tom

Ps: there is an order for instruments being put together down here(Suunto Tandem-$140?) if you are interested contact me via PM and I will put you in touch with the appropriate people.

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Postby Spike » Nov 9, 2006 9:39 am

We've been using Suunto's for years and they are more robust than Brunton version of the sight through compass/clino. Ask any of the Carroll Cave surveyors about the Brunton's the CCC purchased. They all junked out pretty fast and we all use our own personal Suunto's. Brunton did make a plastic water proof compass that some folks swear by. I don't recommend the Tandems however. If the compass fails you have to send in the whole instument for repair. If you have several sets of instruments used for a big project you will often have a spare clino or compass that you can replace the broken unstrument with still have a full set while you send the broken instrument in for repairs. This is a minor point, just gives you a little more flexibility.

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Postby mabercrombie » Nov 9, 2006 10:00 am

I have been using a Brunton Compass and Clinometer for the last year, and so far i prefer them over Suunto's because it seems easier to read the Brunons.
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Postby Adam Byrd » Nov 9, 2006 11:33 am

Check ebay if you are considering a Suunto Tandem. Satellite installers use them, and you can usually snag one (slighty used) for ~$80.
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Postby George Dasher » Nov 9, 2006 12:23 pm

Suunto: They're easy to learn on and easy to use, and you're surveys will go a lot faster.
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Postby DeWayne » Nov 9, 2006 1:22 pm

Any reccomendations regarding the tandem (both units in a single device) versus separate instruments? I have heard a lot of negative comments regarding the tandem units, but nothing that offers any relevant information. It would seem to me the tandem would be more convenient, but most of the complaints I have heard reference their being harder to read. Anyone care to offer some details?
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Postby Marlatt » Nov 9, 2006 2:09 pm

DeWayne wrote:Any reccomendations regarding the tandem (both units in a single device) versus separate instruments? I have heard a lot of negative comments regarding the tandem units, but nothing that offers any relevant information. It would seem to me the tandem would be more convenient, but most of the complaints I have heard reference their being harder to read. Anyone care to offer some details?


I may be in the minority, but I am very fond of the Suunto Twin (both units in a single block, but includes the prismatic sights). I was finding the standard Suuntos very difficult to read, and have been really happy with the Twin. Its a bit more compact than the Tandem as well.

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Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 9, 2006 2:26 pm

DeWayne wrote:Any reccomendations regarding the tandem...

I mostly use the tandem. I prefer it to the seperate instruments. Performance wise, I find either one works fine. Equally readable. The thing I like most about the tandem is it's only one thing. When I'm using seperate instruments, they end up around my neck and I always seem to end up in a wet crawl. Which ever instrument I am not using then hangs in a puddle or mud or just gets slimmed. I know there are survey 'bras' and special pockets that will help, but why? The tandem eliminates the problem. I also like that when I'm in an akward position taking a shot, I don't have to juggle two instruments when switching. I can just turn the tandem around/over.

BTW, there are other threads about this topic that may shed some more light on your questions. Try searching for Suunto or Tandem. :-)
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Postby cob » Nov 9, 2006 3:09 pm

DeWayne wrote:Any reccomendations regarding the tandem (both units in a single device) versus separate instruments? I have heard a lot of negative comments regarding the tandem units, but nothing that offers any relevant information. It would seem to me the tandem would be more convenient, but most of the complaints I have heard reference their being harder to read. Anyone care to offer some details?



Harder to read? I have to say I don't understand that one at all since the sight picture is exactly the same. Like Scott, I appreciate the single package. Makes for a whole lot less fumbling around when one is hanging by the fingernails when 15' up in the air.

As to Spikes comments concerning "seperate" instruments, I used to feel the same way... but have changed my opinion of late... This is probably due more to the fact that everyone I survey with now has their own instruments, and I tend to sketch, so my own insts. generally are the "backups".

As to the Brunton waterproof insts... I recently had my first experience with them in a 140' ear dip... for my ownself, I did not like the sight picture, not at all like the Suuntos... hence the probable source of my discomfort. But it DID get us thru the wet without fogging up.

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Postby George Dasher » Nov 9, 2006 3:21 pm

Try both kinds and make up your own mind. It is really a half dozen of one or six of the other, so it just comes down to personal preference.

I like the two instrument seperate because I sometimes like to hang them around my neck, or stick one in each shirt pocket. Not all surveying is hard core requiring a cave suit, etc.
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Postby driggs » Nov 9, 2006 4:06 pm

One advantage of the Suunto Tandem is that they apparently are sold to people putting up satellite dishes on their homes... having used them once, these people very frequently sell them on eBay for much less than retail price.

http://search.ebay.com/suunto-tandem
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Postby cavemanjonny » Nov 9, 2006 5:49 pm

This may very well be just bad luck, but I'm not impressed with Brunton Sightmasters or Clinomasters. Soon after I got the compass, a piece of glue or something like that broke free and began floating around inside the housing. It is a pain to read, because the disc catches on that and wont rotate. You have to jiggle it to get it to go.

Then, just this last weekend, my clino fell out of the back of my jeep and the glass face broke. I would have thought it would have been tougher. I guess not. I'm going to get a set of Suuntos when it's time to replace what I've got.
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Postby rchrds » Nov 10, 2006 8:31 am

Being on my sixth set of instruments (we're pretty hard on them) I've come to the conclusion that the Suunto twin (no prismatic sights) is the best answer. Most of our survey is muddy water crawls, the worst of the worst, and we've given up on all of the others. The Brunton block types do not hold up, the Brunton transit, while easiest to deal with, is too slow to get a reading, the Suuntos with prismatic sights get mud UNDER the prismatic sight and become completely worthless. The individual instruments end up dragging one or the other in the mud eventially. We put pieces of velcro on the side of the helmet and on the back of the instrument, and when you are ready to move, just stick the instrument to the side of your head. Works good.

Jason

(off to go survey some wet crawl right now.)
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Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 10, 2006 8:42 am

rchrds wrote:We put pieces of velcro on the side of the helmet and on the back of the instrument, and when you are ready to move, just stick the instrument to the side of your head. Works good.

Nice idea! I'm going to try that.
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