When it comes to construction layout, one of the most common questions we receive is “Do I really need a telescope?” And that’s a valid question to be sure. Several of Trimble’s position solutions, specifically the RTS873 and RPT600 have no traditional optics included. Instead these solutions rely on high-visibility green beam lasers that allow for true single person operation on job sites of all different shapes and sizes. But traditional optical total stations certainly continue to remain a common fixture on the modern job site. So which one should you choose?
As with most answers in this business, the one sentence answer is: It depends. But a closer inspection of the advantages of each of these sighting methods reveals a very clear distinction that can help you make the choice between traditional optical and green beam (visual) layout.
Traditional Optical Layout Benefits
With an optical telescope, users can easily sight and locate a point or position in nearly any condition, or at any distance within the instrument’s range. This capability becomes more important where long shots are taken during the setup process. Long backsights are becoming ever more common on building projects. In these setups, traditional optics provide easier acquisition over these expanded distances.
Additionally, traditional optics provide the ability to more easily shoot to an existing point or feature, using the eyepiece for targeting. This measurement capability is also not limited by the illumination levels present on the project, where even high-visibility green laser output cannot easily be viewed or perceived.
Note: Some traditional optical total stations, such as the RTS773, boast red laser pointers for visual layout. Although not as focused or visible in direct sunlight, the RTS773 offers laser (visual) and optical layout in one singular package.
Green Beam (Visual) Layout Benefits
The Trimble Visual layout represents a significant leap forward in productivity and efficiency in compatible environments. For work underneath exposed decks and direct sunlight this workflow allows for significant advantages. With Visual Layout using high visibility green beam lasers, contractors can simply visually locate their points, without using prisms or additional accessories. Furthermore, the Trimble RTS873 provides a focusing laser beam effectively reducing beam spread or “splat” thereby increasing accuracy.
Visual Layout is perfectly suited and designed around single person layout tasks, and thrives within interior or under deck environments where beam visibility is assured.
The answer to whether or not you require an optical telescope is subjective. But with the right information and criteria, BuildingPoint can help you select the solution that fits your needs and your workflow.
To learn more, or to compare these options on your next project, simply contact your BuildingPoint representative today, or click the link below.