I'm beginning to shop GPS units. I've been using Trimble, but have found them to just be too expensive. While I like the equipment, there comes a point at which I have to ask myself if I have been using an Infinity when I could've been using a Nissan (same car, just different name.....But infinity costs 50-70% more).
I've begun looking at the Spectras, Sokkia GSX2, and even a Carlson model due to the fact that I run a Carlson Surveyor data collector and like it.
I'd to hear from those who have experience with these units. I'm not interested in hearing from any sales people. You tend to only care about the products you sell. I want to hear from people who have actually had hands on experience. I do a lot of work in East Texas and west Louisiana so piney woods experience with any of these units is even better.

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i have been wanting feed back as well, i hope some people with experience answer you, i will be watching closely. i own a leica GS14 that i thought was great until i saw the trimble r8-3 under canopy much better....  

I've used The Sokkia gps unit, but honestly the Trimble units are much more user friendly and I've had great success in using them in forest conditions. Not so much in or under pine trees. I'm in PA and use GPS for almost everything.
I, myself, have had good luck with Trimble. I'm not knocking their products at all. I am knocking their, what I believe to be as, price gouging. I've been finding most of the other GNSS units to be running around $12k while Trimble is at $25k. Not only that, Trimble's post processing program runs between $8k and $11k with annual update costs of close to $1k.
Now, I definitely understand the concept of you get what you pay for, but is Trimble two times as good as all of the others? If so, so be it. But I find it hard to believe that companies such as sokkia/topcon, Javad, etc have units half as good as Trimble.


Might be worth taking a look at the Altus Positioning Systems APS3G receiver from Septentrio. I am not sure where your closest dealer would be but this receiver has the latest GNSS board technology and excellent Firmware providing excellent results in the harshest conditions. We find it is out performing the BIG three manufactures at around two thirds the price.

First port of call...www.septentrio.com/

Hope this helps....


For a quick link to the specs take a look on our website... http://carlson.smiley.ph.

We sell them here in the Philippines and the great part is they don't break, they have a 2 year warranty, "if you don't break it (physically), Septentrio fix it"...

I am the Support person here at Elliott Enterprises and have not had a problem that could not be fixed with a later build of Carlson SurvCE in 4 years....Firmware updates FREE for life of the product and Free Support...real people not a knowledge base....definitely worth a look.

TCO around 50% of the BIG THREE and spare parts are 20-30% cheaper also.

 Neil Vancans,

Septentrio Inc

Suite 200
23848 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505, USA
+1 310 541 8139 give Neil a ring as a starting point.....

What does a gnss network base/rover run? Will it connect to a carlson surveyor 2?

Jarrod Yes! We use the Juniper Allegro 2

Very interesting

I have been using a Topcon GB500/Hiper+ base/rover system for years.  It has been a workhorse.  Used systems can be found relatively cheap.  I recently purchased a Topcon GR-5 as an upgrade and 2nd GPS.  While the range is not as good, it does fix and avoid multipath much better.  We use these primarily for boundaries and topo.  The base/rover RTK setup lets us avoid subscriptions to commercial networks.  Using the UHF radios cuts out cell phone bills.  So there are no recurring costs for either of these systems.  We also use a Spectra Precision Nomad with Survey Pro for a data collector.  The Topcon Hiper V system is also a very good midrange system that I have used.  As you may be able to tell, I like Topcon.

I have a good history with topcon myself. I have used an older topcon GPS unit, but haven't used any of the newer versions.
I'm just looking for the best fit for my purposes.
A Trimble rep boasted about Trimble's seamless attributes with their other equipment. While I understand that and definitely can appreciate that, I run a sokkia CX series total station and a Carlson Data collector. So basically, that doesn't help my purposes.
Now, I'm not apposed to buying used, but I'd rather have a warranty if possible.
Check out Geomax Zenith 35 Pro. Geomax is made by Leica. Low cost but has all the capabilities of the higher end units. Anyone who sells Leica should carry them. Very happy with mine. Also, has tilt and go technology. I run them with a Carlson "Surveyor II" handheld. Spend time and effort on research and speaking with other surveyors, especially about dealers, (customer service, training and help after the sale, can vary big time).

I am looking at the 35 not the 35 pro. Do you know the difference between the two?

This one comes with 

  • Getac PS336 Data Collector
  • Micro Survey Field Genius 7

Is that similar to what you have and use?


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