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Need a new site Laser

Discussion in 'Lasers' started by Squizzy246B, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

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    Occupation:
    Digger Driver
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    I have a basic model David White site Laser that has been a terriffic piece of kit. I'm looking to get another so I can keep the DW in my truck for quoting and estimating while the guys are working on site.

    The usual suspects emerge, Topcon, Rugby Leica etc. Whats the thoughts on a 300 yard basic self levelling site laser. I only use the gradients settings a few time s a year. Being somewhat weather resistant is a necessity.

    I might add that the accuracy of the unit has to be spot on...we work to tolerance of an 1/8th of an inch and less at times, although this is not usually at major distances.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. Kgmz

    Kgmz Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
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    308
    Occupation:
    General Contractor
    Location:
    Portland, OR & Eatonville, WA
    We have 3 rotary lasers now. And I have rented or been loaned Topcons, Leicas, and newer than what we have Spectra Precisions.

    We own:

    Spectra Precision L600, basic rotary laser with 2000' range, 1/16th at 100'

    CST Berger LM800, dual slope laser with 2000' range, 1/16th at 100'

    CST Berger ALGR, dual slope laser with 2800' range, 1/16th at 100'


    I bought the CST LM800 a year or two ago when I needed a laser while we had to wait for parts for our Spectra L600, The repair shop loaned me a Leica Rugby 100LR for a couple of weeks.


    Here is where I bought the CST LM800
    http://www.engineersupply.com/cst-berger-lasermark-electronic-self-leveling-dual-slope-rotary-laser-complete-package-57-lm800pkg.aspx


    I bought this since the specs were good and equal to a Leica, Topcon, etc. for less than half the price of the others. And came with all the extras, tripod, rod, and othe things. This laser has been great and has been run side by side with the Leica, and a couple of other lasers, and is just as accurate.


    Last year I bought the CST ALGR. I needed another laser with a slope and stepped up a few more dollars for this one. Came in a kit with all the goodies like the LM800, tripod, rod, and other things.

    We bought at the same company here.
    http://www.engineersupply.com/cst-berger-electronic-lcd-dial-in-horizontal-vertical-self-leveling-interior-exterior-rotary-laser-57-algrpkg.aspx


    Now the reason I stepped up to this laser over another LM800 is that this laser has the LCD readout so you can adjust the slope and other things. The LM800 does not have a digital readout and you have to measure it and use the remote control to tilt the head. Not a big problem, just set a hub at 100' and then tilt with the remote and measure it.


    Over all I have been very happy with the CST lasers. They are just as accurate and less than half the price.

    Also the CST's are made by the same company that makes the David White, and Stanley lasers. But for some reason you pay a little more for a David White that is basically the same model.
     
  3. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

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    Thank you very much. Not a brand I am familiar with so I'll go have a look.
     
  4. Orchard Ex

    Orchard Ex Super Moderator

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    Location:
    Southern MD
    Glad to hear you like the CST's. I was looking at those 2 models. Was the dial in slope feature worth the extra cost in your opinion?
    I bought the basic CST years ago and it has given great service. I would like to get a new self leveling/slope laser soon though.
     
  5. Kgmz

    Kgmz Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    General Contractor
    Location:
    Portland, OR & Eatonville, WA
    The slope feature is definitely worth it if you have a use for it. And the CST's with dual slope are still less than half the price of some of the other guys single slope models.

    We have a Apache Bullseye laser receiver that we use for our equipment, with magnetic mounts. I have cut roads with our dozers, slap on the bullseye, set the laser for the slope and go. Most roads will have some slope so the water will drain in a certain direction to the basins.

    Another time our pipe laser decide to not work one day while we were setting some ductile pipe for the catch basins. Got out the CST and set it behind the first basin, set the slope for the pipe, and finished the day. Not as easy as a pipe laser, but we were able to finish the section.
     
  6. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho

    I have two Topcons 1 a dual plane laser and the other a flat plane. I just bought this year a Spectra Precision single slope laser. The Spectra has some nice features. After running Topcon for 15 years I am still a little partial to them, but after getting sideways with the Topcon dealer over BS repair charges I went to CAT and bought the Spectra. So far so good. Hopefully it holds up like the Topcons have.


    I have have two Bullseye Plus 5 receivers. Great piece of gear. More than pays for itself in a month by not having to have some shoot grade or getting in and out of the machine and having to shoot it yourself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  7. DigDug

    DigDug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
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    577
    Location:
    Maine
    I've had 4-5 Topcons and they always charge bigtime to repair them . The last five years I have had Spectra precision with good luck and inexpensive maintenance.
     
  8. Rookie

    Rookie Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Western Canada
    How do you like the Spectra Laser? I was looking into buying one and wanted some real feedback from someone who has used one? Any tips are appreciated!
     
  9. Rookie

    Rookie Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
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    Location:
    Western Canada
    Did you notice big improvements in production and efficiency when you started using grade lasers? Are they easy to learn?

    thanks
     
  10. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

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    I think some people perceive that its difficult, but the operation of the laser is no more difficult than reading a ruler and doing some simple math. Its just a fast accurate way of measuring levels.

    The biggest gain with lasers is the speed and ease. At quotation time I can be dealing with real number in 5 minutes....not relying on a 10 year old topo survey.
     
  11. mouse

    mouse Well-Known Member

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    (wishfully) avoiding work as much as possible
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    so, what did you buy squizzy?
     
  12. mouse

    mouse Well-Known Member

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    kgmz, nowhere in the specs can i find what sort of grade the ALGR will achieve. do you know?
     
  13. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

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    A new tape measure mouse...can't afford anything else.
     
  14. Kgmz

    Kgmz Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    General Contractor
    Location:
    Portland, OR & Eatonville, WA
    Both of our CST's can only do up to a 10% slope on one or both axis while some of the lasers costing 3 times more can go up to a 25% slope on one axis and 15% on both axis.

    But for us up to 10% is fine as we mainly use them for road rough ins and grading, and sometimes as backup for pipe.
     
  15. Laser

    Laser Member

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    Jul 1, 2009
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    Location:
    Midwest
    The Topcon RL-H3C is a cheap reliable unit. $895 List
     
  16. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
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    1,232
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Having used a basic rotary laser leveler for a while now I am getting a bit tired of setting the thing up and getting it level.
    I am thinking about getting myself a self leveling one so I don't have to spend half the day making sure the laser is straight.
    Are the self levelers worth the extra money and how well do they work?
    There are some fancy ones out there with remote control:eek:
    http://www.survey-oz.com/rotary-fre202.html
    This one is not too pricey when you consider this is what I have at the moment
    http://www.justtools.com.au/prod3637.htm
     
  17. Colorado Digger

    Colorado Digger Senior Member

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    Location:
    Carbondale,co
    we have 2 topcons that were brand new and both came out of level. we kept having busts so we put one againte the other and vice versas and nither were doing very well. the egl is older but works well. after the last round of adjustments the topcons hace been fine but the dealer did try to charge for calibration within 1 year of purchase
     
  18. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

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    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Well I am going to bite the bullet soon and upgrade my laser level.
    I am going the whole hog and get a dial in grade one. Whilst most of the work I do is flat levels there is some grade work and the other consideration is to expand my knowledge and skills. Also I have just bought a machine receiver off ebay for 300 bucks and thus need a auto laser level. The basic manual level that I have at the moment is not up to the task, not much point having a receiver on the dipper arm but having to jump off the machine to make sure the laser is level.
    Now there are some cheapies on ebay such as this one for 1300 Oz beans
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/AUTO-SELF-LE...tion_Industrial_Equipment?hash=item5636c91804
    however the question is how well built are they, can they be repaired, can they be serviced or are they throw away junk?
    I would prefer to buy a brand name unit but obviously they are gonna cost more.
    Unfortunatley for some reason the prices are a bit higher in Oz and most US based suppliers won't ship outside the States.
    For instance
    http://www.engineersupply.com/cst-b...nterior-exterior-rotary-laser-57-algrpkg.aspx
    versus
    http://www.levellaser.com.au/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=18
    However I suppose buying laser level locally has the advantage of backup and support.
     
  19. Kgmz

    Kgmz Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    General Contractor
    Location:
    Portland, OR & Eatonville, WA
    Don't buy that one on Ebay. First they don't list the specs, and after a web search I could not find anything on that laser except a couple of Ebay pages.

    Who makes it? What are the specs? Where do you get service for it? And what is with that scope on top of it.
     
  20. jca57jd

    jca57jd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    NC
    The best laser that I have used to this day is AGL lasers. Not many people have hurd of them probably but they are defanetly worth looking into before purchasing. They are expensive units but well worth the money. I was luckey and picked a eagl 2000 up on sale for 799. I bought mine from a company called duncan parnels surveying supply located in charlotte nc. I bought it back in july but they had it on sale cause they wear over stocked. Look them up and give them a call! they sell all the mjor brands and i have yet to find any place to beat ther prices on the internet or else wear.
    AGL website
    http://www.agl-lasers.com/pdf/AGL EAGL 1-2-3 brochure 09.pdf
    http://www.agl-lasers.com/elt/elt.htm