Frequently Asked Questions
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Surveyor's Assistant 2.2 Frequently Asked Questions
How do I output the coordinates from my SA job to an ASCII file?
How come not all points in my SA job got transferred in Lietz format?
How can I configure SA to use I: as default data drive?
|Q1 What are the main differences between SA 2.2 and SA 2.05?|
| In general, the user interface has been enhanced in SA 2.2.
In addition, SA 2.2 has these new features:
|Q2 How can I upgrade my SA 1.x/2.0x to SA 2.05 or SA 2.2?|
|Surveyor's Assistant version B2.00 is the current version for the
SA-BASIC program. The current version of SA-1 is SA 1.40.
The current version of SA-2 is SA2.05 for the MC5 handheld unit and SA 2.2 for the MC5GT handheld unit.
To upgrade your MC5 SA to the current SA 2.05, please call CMT to request the upgrade. We will ask you to send in your current MC5 SA modules along with a payment of $285 plus shipping and handling. When you receive the 3 EPROM modules programmed with SA 2.05, install them in the designated ports in your MC5.
If your MC5 is over 7 years old, it may be a good idea to trade it in for the new MC5GT system.
SA 2.2 runs on the MC5GT machine. It does not run on the earlier models such as MC-II, MC5Q, MC5N, MC5T, MC5E or MC5H. If you have an MC5GT machine with SA 2.05, please see A3 below.
If you have an MC-II, MC5Q, MC5N, MC5T, MC5E or MC5H with SA or any other surveying software modules, you may trade it in for a new MC5GT with SA 2.2. Trade in price is $985 per unit.
|Q3 How can I update my MC5GT with the latest SA 2.2?|
No special hardware is required for updating the files in the MC5GT EEPROMS. The latest SA 2.2 program images and the update utility are available on the CMT web site. You can do it yourself to save time and money.
|Q4 Can I transfer my old SA 1.x/2.0x jobs to MC5GT with SA 2.2?|
Definitely. Get your free copy of the CMT COGOCAD 2.3 BETA from our web site.
Then take these 3 steps:
Transfer the SA 1.x/2.0x .HVD jobs to COGOCAD 2.3 BETA.
Save the jobs as .FLD files.
Transfer the .FLD jobs to SA 2.2
Larger files will take a longer time to transfer. An "Overwrite All" option is available for file transfer between SA 2.2 and COGOCAD
|Q5 How do I output the coordinates from my SA job to an ASCII file?|
Following are two methods you can use to get just the ASCII coordinates from Surveyor's Assistant:
I. USER format output from SA 1.x, SA2.0x and SA 2.2.
Select the SA job of interest.
From the SA Main Menu, select Transfer.
Port: FILE CHK HOLD (your choice)
FILENAME (job name will be displayed here)
Press F2-USER and enter the following information:
N&E-PREC: 2 Z-PREC: 2 (or higher precision)
END LINE: ^M^J
Leave the header and tail blank. (Do not press F3-HEAD and F4-TAIL.)
Press F1-SAVE to save this U1 format.
Press F1-GO. When the transfer is done, press F1-CONTINUE and then press ESC until you are out in the operating system.
Arrow down to the file that has the jobname without any filename extension. You may press F4-View to look at the contents of this file. It should include all the coordinates of the points in this job. If you have entered any codes or descriptions for the points, they will also be included in this file. (Specify the PZNED sequence to omit the codes from the transfer.) You may transfer this file to your PC by using KERMIT or the Windows Hyperterminal.
II. Using COGOCAD ASCII Transfer
A copy is available on the CMT web site, free of charge.
Transfer the SA job to COGOCAD as described in Q4 above.
Open the SA job in COGOCAD.
Select COGOCAD Utility/ASCII/Setup and add a format name. Enter "txt" as file extension. Use the default delimiters (Comma and CR LF). Select Point ID, Northing, Easting, Elevation and, optionally, Code Number and Description as items to transfer.
Click ExportPreview. If it looks OK, click on Export. Save the ASCII file in the appropriate subdirectory in your PC.
|Q6 How do I move ASCII coordinates into SA?|
Following are two ways to get ASCII coordinates into Surveyor's Assistant.
I. Transfer from CMT COGOCAD
Suppose you have a an ASCII coordinate file named c1.txt on your PC.
Select COGOCAD Utility/ASCII/Setup and add a format name.
Enter "txt" as file extension.
Accept the default delimiters (Comma and CR LF).
Select Point ID, Northing, Easting, Elevation, Code Number and Description as items to transfer.
Uncheck any item that is not included in your ASCII data file.
For example, if c1.txt does not have a "code number", then you should not mark the Code Number item for the transfer.
Save this format.
Click on "Import" and select the ASCII coordinate file (such as c1.txt) to import.
When the import function is completed, you should be able to see the points in the COGOCAD map area.
Click File/SaveAs. Select Save As Type: *.HVD if you intend to transfer the file to your MC5/SA 2.05.
Select Save As Type: *.FLD if you intend to transfer the file to your MC5GT/SA 2.2.
Enter a job name, then click "Save".
In COGOCAD, click on Utility and select File Transfer.
A. To transfer to SA 2.05, set the baud rate to 19200 on both sides.
In COGOCAD, select the SA 2.0 file type and switch to the directory in which you have saved the job to be transferred.
Click on "Recv/Serv". This puts your PC in server mode.
SA 2.05 will control which file to get from your PC.
From the SA 2.05 Main Menu, select Transfer.
Data: ALL DATA
FILENAME Enter the job name without the filename extension.
B. To transfer to SA 2.2, set the baud rate to 38400 on both sides.
From the SA 2.2 Main Menu, select Transfer.
Data: ALL DATA
Press F1 (GO).
In COGOCAD, select the SA 2.2 file type and select the directory in which you have saved c1.txt. Select c1.txt then click on "Send".
Select the new job in SA 2.05 or SA 2.2 and use View/Edit Coordinates to look at the newly transferred coordinates.
II. USER Format Input from an ASCII file using Kermit on your PC
|Q7 How come I cannot read the job files output in SA format?|
Outputs in SA format are not in readable ASCII text format. This format is for saving jobs to your PC for later downloading, for transferring to another MC5 data collector, or for transferring to the CMT COGOCAD.
|Q8 How can I view the average angle for my measurement set?|
SA will record all angles and distances in a set. To view the average angle, select "View/Edit" from the Main Menu.
Select "Filed data".
Go to a measurement set record.
Such a record will have data in the "Set" column, such as 1/1).
Press [ON] and then press F1-AVERAGE to see the average angle.
SA 2.2 will automatically compute the average coordinates based on the measurement set(s).
Q9 How come not all points in my SA job got transferred in Lietz format?
When SA outputs in the Lietz (SDR 2X) file transfer format, it checks the setting of the CHK HOLD field in the FILE TRANSFER screen. If this field shows YES, then only those points marked as HOLD points will be transferred. To transfer all coordinates, simply set this field to NO.
Use View/edit Coordinate to see which coordinates have been marked as HOLD points. SA automatically confers the HOLD status to the first Occupied Station and the first Backsight reference point. All adjusted points are automatically marked as HOLD points. You may manually change the HOLD status for any point.
Q10 How can I change my raw data records and have the coordinates recomputed?
In general, it is not a good idea to change your raw data directly, unless you know exactly what you are doing. In any case, you should make a backup of the original data files on your PC before attempting to change the raw data.
One legitimate reason for SA 2.05 users to edit the raw data is when you used the wrong units by mistake. In that case, you may edit the UNIT record in raw data so it shows the correct units. SA 2.2 users will not need to edit the raw data for this reason. They can simply change the units in the "sEtup" function and SA 2.2 will automatically update the data in the job to reflect the change.
After making a change to the raw data, SA 1.X and SA 2.0X users will need to run the "Adjust" function to re-compute the coordinates using the new raw data. SA 2.2 users may use the View/edit "cAlc coord" function to re-compute the coordinates.
The pre-requisite for making such a change is that the raw data be consistent. There likely will be cases where it is not possible to correct the data without redoing the job.
If all points created up to a certain point are correctly located and you have the correct measurement data to the remaining points, you could mask off the raw data records after the last good OS record, then re-enter the measurement data by hand. Again, it is not a good idea to alter your original data records.
If all the points have the correct relationship among them, but you just need to rotate or move the entire collection of points, you may use the COGO Scl/rot/tn function to do so. You may use the COGO iNverse function to find out the distance between any two points and the azimuth of the line joining the two points.
Q11 What's the correct procedure for using the "Adjust" function?
Certain rules must be followed when using the Surveyor's Assistant to do a closed-loop or an end-tie traverse on which adjustment will be performed later.
Last OS of closed loop traverse with internal BS must be the same as the internal BS.
Last OS of closed loop traverse with external BS must be the same as the first OS point.
End-ties traverse must have last OS at a control point.
Last FS of closed loop traverse with internal BS must be the same as the first OS point.
Last FS of closed loop traverse with external BS must be the same as the first BS.
End-ties traverse must end with FS to an azimuth mark.
Specify the beginning and ending traverse points.
Last point for end-tie must be a control point.
Select adjustment options, then press RAWCLOSE to see the raw closure data.
If errors are large, use GRPH to check the data, use BAD to find bad angle, and use EDIT to fix the data.
Press ADJUST when closure is good.
Q12 How can I obtain a raw data file in ASCII format?
Select Print from the SA Main Menu, choose Field Data, and then direct the output to a file rather than a COM port.
If you transfer your SA jobs to COGOCAD, you can easily print quick traverse data, field data, coordinates, stakeout data, figure data and notes to a printer or a file.
Q13 How do I use SA data with AUTOCAD?
SA users can output data in USER ASCII format then import it into AUTOCAD.
To use the SA data with AutoCad SoftDesk Land Development Desktop Auto Line Work function, enter the Auto Line Code (such as BEGIN or B) into SA NOTE field, then transfer raw data in Lietz (SDR 2X) format to SoftDesk. Auto Line Work will automatically convert the data to field book format and draw the "polylines" based on the "figure" (different from SA figure).
Q14 How can I configure SA to use I: as default data drive?
SA 2.2 will automatically use I:\DATA as the default data drive. The following instructions pertain to SA 2.05 and earlier versions.
Before you may use the RAM Disk (drive I:) for the first time, it must be formatted. To format I:, enter the following lines from the MC5 operating system:
Y (to confirm)
Note: Reformatting I: will erase its contents.
Do not reformat I: unless it has lost all data due to low power.
Prepare a text file named AUTOEXEC.S with the following contents:
Transfer the AUTOEXEC.S file to drive B: of your MC5 unit.
Q15 How do I output horizontal distances in the stakeout routine?
SA 2.2 will always use the Vertical Distance system for stakeout. The following instructions pertain to SA 2.05 and earlier versions.
From the Field Work Setup menu, select Units/sys, then select "Vertical Distance" for the Veritcal System field. Then go into the stakeout routine.
Q16 What Total Stations are compatible with SA?
Kern E1, E2, 500 (discontinued)
Lietz SET2,3,4, SET500
Sokkia Set 5
Nikon TOP GUN SNG
Nikon TOP GUN SNG TRK
Nikon TOP GUN RPT TRK
Nikon TOP GUN SNG TRK METRIC
Nikon TOP GUN RPT TRK METRIC
Nikon DTM-512 (See Note 1 below.)
Pentax PCS Series
Topcon GTS-3&4 FINE
Topcon GTS-3&4 COARSE
Topcon GTS-300/600/800 Sereis (See Note 2 below)
Topcon GPT-1000 (See Note 2 below)
Topcon APL1A (in non-robotic mode)
Wild T/TC 1010-1610, TC-500
Leica TCA1103 (in RS-232 mode, not PCMCIA mode)
Leica TCR303 (in RS-232 mode, not PCMCIA mode)
Leica TC1800 (in RS-232 mode, not PCMCIA mode)
Q17 How do I add an angle or a distance to a COGO field?
The following example illustrates how SA 2.2 lets you do this for the COGO INTERSECT function.
Open a Job that has a few points in it, such as Points 1, 2, 3.
In COGO INTERSECT, enter PNT: 1. At the AZIMUTH field, press [SH2][F10] to call up the COGO INVERSE screen. Enter the FROM and TO points, such as 2 and 3, respectively. Suppose the AZIMUTH field shows: 200.
Now, enter 30 into the ANGLE+: field. When you press ENTER, the AZIMUTH has changed to 230.
When you press F1-OK, 230 is returned to the AZIMUTH field for COGO INERSECT.
Now, enter 50 into the DIST+: field. When you press ENTER, the HORZ DIST has changed to 170.
When you press F1-OK, 170 is returned to the DISTANCE field for COGO INERSECT.
Q18 How come my angle values get changed by transferring in Lietz (SDR) format?
The Lietz system only accepts angle data in decimal degrees and in the Zenith angle system. If the data was collected when the Field work units
were set to degree-minutes-seconds, then the angle data will be converted to decimal degrees. Similarly, the data will be converted to the Zenith
system if it was not collected in the Zenith system. If you wish to see the same angle values before and after the Lietz SDR data transfer, then
select the Zenith angle system and decimal degrees angle unit before collecting data. If you do not use the Zenith angle system or choose not to collect data in decimal degrees, then you should transfer just the coordinates and not the raw data to make your field book.
Q19 Can I use an existing point as my backsight point?
Press F1 to save this setting then shoot your backsight point..