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I'm hoping my fellow surveyors have an answer for my question.


I'm trying to bring my Topcon GTS 203 total station out of "retirement".  I used to use my HP 48GX with SMI 48 DCE software for data collection.  However, when I fired it up again, the collector would trigger the instrument to take the shot, but the HP would not record the shot.  I then got out my older Pentax and hooked it up to the HP 48GX and it worked fine.  I realize that you need to choose the correct instrument in the settings on the HP 48GX but we tried every instrument ( even the Pentax ) but none would trigger the data collector to record the shot.


What am I missing?  Any help would be truly appreciated and thank you in advance.

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  • The blank post above....  I tried to edit my own post but it took more than 15 minutes and then this site wouldn't save it! Now I have recreate it again... so starting over:

    Ken, I agree with everything you said about old hardware above but have to disagree with your statement: "..pitiful data collection speeds..".  I've used SMI for over twenty years and still use it when I can.  Because the 48 was discontinued, I investigated some of the 'newer, faster, better' boxes for running SMI.  But none could replicate the simplicity and operating speed that the HP48 supplied to the SMI program.  There was an attempt to 'update' SMI to run in a GUI environment but I feel that was the start of the downhill slide for the program.  SMI was originally developed to run on an HP41 and if you got past the relatively simple learning curve, it was a nice combination.  The introduction of the HP48 greatly simplified the user interface with the program and that's when the popularity of SMI really took off.   I now run SMI Version 7 data collection on a Recon, connected most of the time to a reflectorless Nikon, and love it!  Granted, it is the 48 emulator version but it works just fine.      And back to your comment, I believe the "data collection speed" is more a function of the measuring time of the total station than data processing time of the collector.   I "moved on" to using FieldGenius on an Allegro DC connected to  a Sokkia motorized, reflectorless total station.   I prefer the SMI/Recon/Nikon combo because I do a lot of calculations if the field and the old SMI software will run circles around new data collection programs in this area - my field computing needs.  I will state that I do very little topo work, mostly 2D land surveying.   

  • It's great that you are taking your GTS 203 out of retirement, it's a great 3" gun and I'm sure it is just as good now as when you retired it. However - It may be time to to permanently retire that old tired HP 48!! Yes nostalgia goes a long way with the 48, an old flame of mine, but it's time to consider upgrading to a newer data collector, one from the last decade at a minimum. Look for a used Topcon FC-100 or FC-200  - with TopSURV  - or rent one from your local Topcon dealer. Using, or attempting to use, a data collector -  that ancient  - is absolutely prone to failure - not to mention the pitiful data collection speeds that are costing you time and money.  My heart goes out to you. My HP 48 with SMI failed me about 10 years ago...and I moved on.

  • GEO Ambassador

    and finally...this might get you going too

  • GEO Ambassador

    you might also have a look here:

  • GEO Ambassador

    check the port on the 48, make sure it doesnt have a bent pin.
    Here is the manual for the Topcon 230:
    Topcon GTS 230 User Manual

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