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Hi Guys, I recently purchased this GPS system to replace a Topcon Hyper Pro system that failed completely (4 years- :-( ). I am very impressed with the system. It is well priced and it is quite easy to set up. I have not used the system with an NTRIP caster since our cell networks are a little dodgy and you can not really rely on continuous error corrections from the NTRIP base - but that a discussion for another time. My current issue is that the field surveyor software that sprectra sells with the Epoch is not so friendly. I can understand that it is a young system and that there is still a lot that needs to be done; I think one of Trimble's earlier slogans for the survey controller was - adding value to GPS. That’s exactly it - if the software is inferior, the receiver will be judged under the same umbrella. Now, my main points of concern are that the DTM and roading formats completely proprietary and need to be input on the controller. Now we’ve created a company policy some time ago that no data input would be done on a controller – we identified this as a major source of blunders. Now I have this extremely expensive topo and point placing device. I’ve had a whine at Spectra to supply me the data formats (a *.DTM for the dtm’s) and (a *.RD5 for the roads), but this has fallen on deaf ears. Is there anyone out there that has found a way of getting design formats (XML) into a format that this controller can work with?

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  • Hi, I seem to have resolved the issue of 'seemingly' propriatary file formats for roading and DTM's in Spectra's new field surveyor software that is sold with the Epoch GPS's. The RD5 and DTM formats are both TDS formats that were used by the 5600 robots. Trimble Geomatics Office can export both these formats, so it seems like I'm sorted. Thanks for all the good comments.
    Jim, I see you're enjoying the R8. If you have an oppertunity, take the Spectra Epoch 35 for a spin. Once you get your head around the software, it is an absolute pleasure to work with. I've used the R6 and the 5600's and also dipped into the Topcon Hyper series for a while. I must admit that the little Epoch is the best receiver I've worked with so far and the best part is that it is extremely well priced.
  • No sorry I have no help I would go past your sales people to the manufacturer. Look at the the web for the company you are working with. here you will find support that at times can be slow but be sure that you continue research aswell with the software manufacturers. here you could possibly get a tutorial for usage and application of your sepcific needs.
  • You are way over my head with much of your nomenclature, however I may understand main point. I got my first personal GPS from Magellan Pro with the ProMark3 RTK and with the help of the dealer and my old survey buddy, Phil Stephenson, I got good use of it as a solitary survey for the low price and all that comes with it. At one time I was going to send it back but I worked out the bugs with the help of the dealer and Phil and kept on experimenting till I could max out the use of it. It might be nice to have a more expensive system, but as an individual, it works out great. Everyone who gets a GPS should get personal with it and take it home and play with it for however long it takes to be so familiar with it that it works as good as the previous generation of equipment. Can you send it back and try a different system?
    • Hi Gary, yes i can BUT I think it is more a matter of loyalty to the brand. My first robot was a Geodometer and from there a 5600 robot. Spectra is a brilliant brand and I appreciate the engineering commitment these guys put into their products. I'll stick with my GPS and annoy the suppliers until I can do with it what I need to do. I'm a hobby programmer and will do my own converters if only I can get the file formats. Its is not documented yet.
      And yes, youre right - I'll have to take it home and get personal with it....oh and I like the color (spectra blue).
    • Cool - someday, when I get rich, LOL, I want one.
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