Surveying Equipment: Southern Photo Presents A Comparative Analysis of Prisms

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The first step to conducting a proper land survey is gathering the right equipment for the job. No matter whether you're measuring a property line for a fence, vertical lines for a skyscraper or mapping a riverbed prior to a dredging operation, it is vital to have the right equipment for the job. An important piece of equipment is the prism set. Southern Photo presents a comparative analysis of the prism sets available on the market today.

The first step to conducting a proper land survey is gathering the right equipment for the job. No matter whether you're measuring a property line for a fence, vertical lines for a skyscraper or mapping a riverbed prior to a dredging operation, it is vital to have the right equipment for the job. Here is a comparative analysis of the various prism sets available through SouthernPhoto.com.

The primary tool a land surveyor uses is a total station. This device sits atop a tripod and emits an infrared beam that is intercepted by a prism fixed on top of a pole. Proper land surveys usually require two people to operate the equipment: one to hold the pole carrying the prism, and one to operate the total station and collect data from Global Positioning Systems. When the data is collected and entered into a computer, a specialized program can calculate the area of survey to within a few millimeters.

Surveyors have several options when choosing a prism set to compliment their total station.

The CST single prism assembly comes encased in a lightweight but rugged polycarbonate container, so it won't break easily in the field. The CST model is used with a brightly painted red and white sighting pole to allow for quick sighting in long-distance surveys.

The Seco Tilting Triple Prism assembly can hold one, two or three prisms at once, allowing for even more accurate measurements than a single prism device. It is encased in orange polycarbonate with metal inserts and an aluminum yoke, which make this a very sturdy device that can stand up to the elements and will last for years with proper care. The prism assembly is compatible with most screw-in prisms, and it comes equipped with a peep sight that allows the surveyor to accurately point the holder toward the infrared beam.

Topcon makes many surveying products including data collectors and total stations, so it's no surprise that this company offers several different options for prisms as well. The Topcon prism assembly comes encased in heavy-duty plastic to offset damage if dropped or jostled. The zero-constant prism features precision-ground glass with a 60 millimeter effective diameter. It also comes equipped with a prism holder for long-distance horizontal measurements. The Topcon prism features a striped sighting pole for easy spotting by the data collector. This model does not tilt, but it can be inverted to house a 30 millimeter prism.

The Sokkia Deluxe Pentaprism offers a view of 90 degrees off the surveyor's line of sight. This hand-held device is housed in a black anodized shell with a satin finish and comes with a carrying case that clips onto a belt. The palm grip barrel is 3 inches long with a 1.4 inch diameter, and extends to 4 inches to enable sighting.

You can find a wide variety of prism sets and other surveyors' equipment at http://www.SouthernPhoto.com.

About SouthernPhoto.com:
Southern Photo Inc. is a supplier of surveying equipment. We also offer repair and maintenance at our full service repair shop specializing in Topcon service and repair. In addition to surveying equipment and supplies, SouthernPhoto.com also offers drafting supplies and furniture and art supplies. For more information, visit http://www.SouthernPhoto.com.

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MIKE DERMATAS
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