Monthly Archives: January 2016

SP60 vs. SP80

I made the comparison table (below) to compare the Spectra Precision SP60 and SP80 products.

Let me summarize the differences:

Price SP60 costs 11% less. SP60 does not have hot swapable battery. SP60 does not have nifty display. SP60 does have L-Band for Centerpoint (nifty but none of my customer will use.) SP60 has 1/8 the internal memory. SP60 does not have an internal cell phone. SP60 does not have internal Wi-Fi (which is kind of a deal breaker for me, I love the internal Wi-Fi!) SP60 does not appear to have tilt sensor.

SP60 SP80
Cost for L1L2 GNSS UHF Rover $12,400 $13,995
Display 5-LEDs PMOLED Display
Built in Wi-Fi NO 802.11 BGN
Internal Static Occupation Memory 256 MB 2 GB
Maximum Recording Rate 10 Hz 20Hz
L-Band (RTX Center Point Support) YES NO
Bluetooth 2.1 EDR Long Range 2.1 EDR
Bluetooth for Site Corrections YES NO
Internal GSM Cell Modem none 3.5 G QuadBand
Number of batteries 1 2
Battery Life (GNSS + UHF Rx) 8 hours 10 hours
Weight 930 g (2.1 lb) 1170 g (2.6 lb)
Memory Expansion none 32 GB SD Card
Warranty 2-years 2-years
UHF Radio (exact same for both receivers) XDL 2-Watt XDL 2-Watt
Anit-theft Lock to Location Lock to Location,
SMS, EMail Msgs
Tilt Sensor Nope Yes

So what is going on here? My guess is the SP80 is positioned to be the choice for most typical sales. And my guess is the SP60 is a price-point flexible offering. So you will see deals, trade-ins, promotions, discounts, specials, great quantity pricing and super-duper pricing in South America and Asia.

But I won’t know for sure until someone comes along and tries to purchase 20 of them at once!

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ProMark 3 -> SP60 Trade-In Program

Spectra Precision is offering a substantial trade-in program for converting ProMark 3 receivers to the latest SP-60 receivers. If you have ProMark 3 receivers and you are thinking about upgrading to state-of-the-art receivers, now may be the time.

Here is the redemtion table:

Part Number Description PM3 Trade-In Value
104234-00 SP60 L1 GPS Single Receiver Kit $600
104234-01 SP60 L1 GNSS Single Receiver Kit $900
104234-02 SP60 L1/L2 GPS Single Receiver Kit $900
104234-50 SP60 L1/L2 GNSS Single Receiver Kit
w/UHF 430-470 MHz 2W TRx

So a pair of ProMark 3 receivers would have a trade-in value of $2,800 towards a RTK pair of SP60s.

Additional information with list prices can be found here [ SP60 Information ].

If you are considering taking advantage of this program, please drop me a note or call so we can figure out which data collector you will need, I will get you an ‘official’ quotation.

Terms: There is a lot of factory fine print, here is the important stuff:

  1. Acceptable trade-in units include survey grade L1 or L1/L2 receivers with part numbers 800520-02 and 800488-03.
  2. Trade-in receivers have to be tendered to us before we will ship, however all we need is the receiver bodies. We don’t need cables, antennas, power supplies, batteries and other accessories.
  3. You can’t combine offers.
  4. USA and Canada delivery only.
  5. Offer ends March 31st

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Never Loose Data in SurvCE

There is, in fact, a risk of loosing valuable data that you collect in any field program. On most of the newer data collectors that we sell (Carlson Mini-2, Carlson Surveyor-2, Nautiz-X8, Ranger 3…) the operating system is loaded in the same space as the program and data files.

If anything goes wrong, you must reinstall the operating system from scratch. This wipes out your program installations and it will wipe out all of the data that is stored on the device.

Many customers choose to store data on the SD or micro-SD card that typically is loaded in the battery compartment. But there is a significant speed decrease in using SD memory on most data collectors (see [making-survce-fast-survey-store-points-faster].)  The SD memory access sometimes is 100 times slower than the main memory.

Luckily SurvCE has a simple mechanism that allows you to continuously back-up your work during the day.

First make sure that your data collector has a SD or micro-SD card installed. These usually are placed in the battery compartment.

When you start a new job put it in the main memory. The default location in SurvCE is “/Device/Program Files/ SurvCE/Data/”.

Immediately after you start a job from the main menu go to ‘Equip: 6: Data Transfer’:

Click on the ‘Set Storage’ button, navigate to the SD card (often called ‘Storage Card’) and configure the destination to be a new folder. I like to use ‘SurvCEJobBU’ because it makes sense:

Once the folder is configured, click on the ‘Copy Crt (current) Job to Storage’. It will take about 1/2 second to replicate all of the job files in the backup location.

Now, throughout the day when you have collected enough data that you think it would be a bad deal to loose the recent changes, return to this menu and just click the ‘Copy Crt…’ button again.



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CHC i80’s Shipping from iGage

Okay, this is a year late probably. But we (iGage) have actually shipped a couple of i80 pairs!


The ‘iGage i80 User Manual’ is complete (other than antenna calibrations) and the iGage Download Tool recognizes the i80 and successfully can pull data files from the i80.

There are a few gotchas:

  1. We don’t have antenna calibrations for the i80, however robotic calibrations are in progress and expected soon.
  2. We don’t have heavy duty power cables for the i80, however they are in progress and expected within a week or two.
  3. You have to run SurvCE 5.0 beta (which is called 4.90.31 currently.)
  4. The tilt compensation and calibration does not work in SurvCE (this must be a software issue because the CHC Landstar program appears to work well with the MEMs functions.

Other than that, you could conceivably place an order and have a pair shipped to you (the next shipment arrives at our office around the 27th of January.)

Call for pricing, it is not nearly as bad as you would expect…




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End of the Road for PM700, MM300

Spectra Precision has announced end of shipping of the ProMark 700 [and we could assume the MobileMapper 300 soon.] We (iGage) still have at least one more PM700 available.

The ProMark 700 was a BD930 based L1+L2+G1+G2 network rover (no UHF radio) in a simple package (small pole top antenna) with killer performance.

pm700RIP ProMark 700

The replacement is the SP60, which basically does everything the PM700 does and adds a replaceable battery.

sp60Long live the SP60!

Yes, there is a slight change in price: SP60 =$10,950; ProMark 700=$7,995 ($3,000).

But the SP60 has the possibility of having a UHF radio added to the bottom (same as the SP80.) If you are wondering, the list price on the SP60 with UHF is $12,450 and the list price of the SP80 with UHF is $13,995.

And yes, I agree that it is totally worth $1,545 extra to get the SP80.

sp80_1392084456291SP80 Rocks!

Because the SP80 has: Dual hot swappable batteries, Tilt Sensor, Display, Built-in Wi-Fi, nice button interface, built in Web Server… and more.

Both the SP80 and SP60 utilize the same GNSS Engine which is the best performing engine (in the open and under canopy) available today.


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SurveyPro: Configuring the SP80 as a Network Rover


Step by Step instructions for setting up a Spectra Precision SP80 in SurveyPro as a Network Rover [ SP80_SurveyPro_NetworkRover_Rev002 ]

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SurvCE: N-Point Localization

Here is another preliminary chapter from the presentation I am going to make next month at [GoWest]:

Show how to localize a complex lot. First with two known corner pins, then using the initial localization to find the remaining corner pins.

Make a new job with a reasonable base projection, this lot is near Huntsville Utah so Utah North NAD83 Survey Feet is reasonable. Here is a topographic map showing the parcel and its approximate alignment with roads… [ NPointLocalization]

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SurvCE: Low Distortion Projection Example

Another chapter from the presentation I am making next month at ‘GoWest‘:

You can configure a precise Low-Distortion-Projection in SurvCE quickly while in the field. This projection will have the advantage of being aligned to True / Geodetic North at the base point and will effectively have a scale factor of 1.0 at Ground …  Continue reading [ LDPExample ]

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Getting Local Coordinates into a Job

Another section from my ‘GoWest‘ presentation:

To Localize we need to get the local coordinates (the coordinates we want our instrument to read) for our affine points into SurvCE. We can type them directly (File: Points: Add); however, it will save us a lot of time and reduce the chance of error if we have them already loaded into our job… [ Continue reading [GettingLocalCoordinatesintoaJob] )

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SurvCE: How Do You Un-Localize a Job?

I am going to be speaking at the Carlson ‘GoWest’ conference in Las Vegas this February
( click [ Here ] for more information)
and I am preparing my topics and examples.

I don’t think that it will hurt to break them into pieces and pre-release them here on my blog.

“Even though this topic is SurvCE Localizations, let’s start out with what you need to do if you want to work with a Base / Rover pair in State Plane Grid coordinates; starting with your base at a point with a known State Plane Coordinate. In other words, the opposite of localization…  [continue reading:  UnlocalizingAJob ]”

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