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TOTAL STATION PRODUCTS & BUYER'S GUIDE
Total Stations are the ultimate surveying powerhouse for fast and accurate measurements of distances, vertical angles, and horizontal angles. Total Stations can measure up to 8 miles depending on the model, making it a great choice for small to large surveying, construction, and GIS mapping projects. With our diverse selection of Total Stations, you can find the right one for your project’s needs.
OUR BEST SELLER
The Northwest Instrument NTS03 2 Second Reflectorless Total Station is a powerful instrument that can measure distances as far as 1,970 feet in reflectorless mode or up to 16,400 feet with a prism. It has 30x magnification and 2-second accuracy - more than enough for most surveying applications. Up to 20,000 points can be saved in its internal memory or in an SD card. Designed for ease of use, the NTS03 has a laser plummet, Bluetooth, a brightly lit dual-side LCD, and automatic detection and correction for atmospheric refraction and earth curvature.
TOTAL STATION BUYER’S GUIDE
A Total Station is a precision optical instrument that combines an electronic theodolite with an electronic distance meter (EDM), enabling it to measure not only vertical and horizontal angles (a theodolite’s job) but distance as well. It is essentially two surveying instruments in one with exceptional accuracy and ease of use.
Total Station Vs. Theodolite
While a Total Station has similarities with a Theodolite, there are key differences between the two. Like a Theodolite, a Total Station has a telescope mounted on a base which is then mounted on a stable tripod. However, a Theodolite measures horizontal and vertical angles only while a Total Station measures the horizontal angle, vertical angle, and distance.
Parts of a Total Station | How Do Total Stations Work
A Total Station has 3 main components: an EDM, theodolite, and a built-in microprocessor. The EDM measures distance, the theodolite measures the horizontal and vertical angle, and the microprocessor automatically calculates and processes the gathered data.
With these components, a Total Station obtains the coordinates (X, Y, and Z or northing, easting, and elevation) of a point and stores it in the built-in memory, eliminating the need for manual calculations and note-taking. The measurements are displayed on the LCD screen and/or a connected data collector.
Total Station Applications
A Total Station can measure the heights of points, slope angle between two points on the ground, distances and angles between lines, surface area, and more. Its multi-use makes it a top choice for surveying and construction applications.
In surveying, Total Stations are used to measure and record points for applications like topographic and geodetic surveying. In construction, civil engineers use Total Stations to set out features such as roads, boundaries, or buildings. Total Stations are also used by archaeologists to record excavation sites, as well as by police, crime scene investigators, and insurance companies to take measurements of crime or accident scenes.
Types of Total Station
Prism vs. Reflectorless Total Station
Total Stations measure points in two ways: using the traditional prism and reflectorless. With the prism method, the Total Station emits invisible infrared waves that the prism (usually attached to a pole) reflects. There are two kinds of prisms: a 360-degree prism that can face any direction and a standard round prism that has only one face and must always face the total station. A 360-degree prism can be detected as far as 5,000 feet (1500 meters) while a standard prism can reach as far as 9,800 feet (3,000 meters).
The reflectorless mode does not use a prism. Instead, the Total Station sends out a visible red laser beam that lets the user lay out points from any reflective surface. The laser beam can reach as far as 1,300 feet to 6,500 feet (400 to 2,000 meters) depending on the instrument.
Mechanical vs. Robotic Total Station
Mechanical and Robotic Total Stations are available in both prism and reflectorless models. Mechanical or Manual Total Stations are the most basic type of total stations. They can’t be operated using a remote control and must be manually turned to face the prism or the target. It usually requires two operators.
Robotic Total Stations are modern Total Stations that can be remotely operated, making one-man operation possible. Robotic Total Stations allow for easier and faster operation, boosting surveyors’ productivity compared with Mechanical Total Stations.
Which one is better for your project?
It depends on your priority. If you prioritize efficiency, a Robotic Total Station is the logical choice. A Robotic Total Station cuts down manpower costs, can layout roughly 25 percent more points per day compared to a Manual Total Station, and measures around 600 points a day versus the 200 points of the traditional tape measure and plumb bob method. On the other hand, if the priority is saving on upfront costs, Manual Total Stations are your best option.
Shop Worry-Free for the Best Total Station
If you’re looking to buy your own total station, whether you’re a new or seasoned surveyor, and for whatever purposes, Tiger Supplies is here to help. We have a diverse selection of Total Stations ranging from Manual to Robotic Total Stations, with or without reflectorless capability, from top brands like Adirpro, Spectra Geospatial, Nikon, Geomax, and Northwest Instrument. With years of selling Total Stations under our belt, we can help you find the right one for your project needs.