Bruce Wilcox
  • Medford, OR
  • United States
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Topcon GTS-3b/c serial (rs-232) data message help

Started Jan 7, 2017 0 Replies

Hello all. I'd like to write a laptop/tablet app for linking to my older Topcon GTS-3b gun for storing its serial port data from a job (Hor/Vert angles, distance, etc). Can anyone out there help me…Read more →

Tags: Topcon GTS-3b/c rs-232, Topcon GTS-3b/c data

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Profile Information

I am here because I am a.
Surveyor Bio:
I'm a retired radio communications guy that worked with surveyors quite a bit over the years as we built new communications sites, passive reflectors, etc. Since retirement I have assisted a local LPS with boundary surveys and really enjoyed it. I read several texts on the subject and recently purchased an old Topcon GTS-3b and prism to learn more.
Licenses Certifications or Awards
I have experience with the following
GPS, topographic, boundary surveys, construction staking, Student of Surveying
How many years have you been surveying?
Most comfortable with the following types of instrumentation
Total Stations, Automatic Levels, theodolite, compass

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At 2:17pm on July 20, 2017, Joe Staniford said…

Hi Brude, sounds like you are way more advanced in your programing skills than I. It sounds like you are doing the same things I am doing to set the baud rate. I use F-0 to get to hardware parameters. F-2 opens parameters for the FC-4 or FC-1 emulation. Selecting F-1 opens a selection of parameters. F-1 opens baud rate. The up and down arrows change the rate, and return accepts the desired rate. Then F-0 to get back. I can't set the date in the FC-4; I thinks it doesn't recognize the 21st century. I did finish my topo survey. If I do a survey every 10 years, and have to re-learn by trial and error, I think it is probably time to retire. I will be 75 this year, so I would be 85 for the next go round.

At 2:45pm on July 14, 2017, Joe Staniford said…

Hi Bruce, my serial cable did work, and I was able to download an old file from the FC-4 to my computer using Microsoft Hyper terminal. The data comes in as a text file with each bit of data on a line. To bring the data into my cadd program, I have to put each group of five lines into a string. I can do it manually, but I suspect there is a way to automate it. I took my first baby steps this morning; setting up and shooting four points.The abbreviated instructions I had downloaded from the net worked up to the point of putting a back site  azimuth. It took a bit of trial and error to get that to work. I have thought a lot about your baud rate issue, and it seems like there should be other problems if that simple setting doesn't take. You are talking about the baud rate for the serial transfer to the computer? If you ever get down to Northern California, it would be interesting to compare out hardware. Tonight when it cools down I will continue my topo survey. When I get that done, I think I will sale all my survey equipment, and try to really be retired.

At 7:54pm on July 6, 2017, Joe Staniford said…

Hey Bruce, this is a little embarrassing; I discovered that I don't have a memory card in the working FC-4. I took the card out of the non functional unit and tried it. When I tried to initialize it, I got a non listed error message. I am afraid the card isn't going to help either of us, but my FC-4 seems to work without the card.

At 6:57pm on July 6, 2017, Joe Staniford said…

Hi Bruce, when I retired from the engineering company that I was working for, they offered to sale me all of their survey equipment for practically nothing; so of course I did. Topcon support sent me a copy of the FC-1 manual. Ironically they had that, but not the FC-4 manual. I am waiting for parts, and then I am going to make up serial cable per the FC-1 pin outs. You are lucky if the batteries in your FC-4 take a charge; mine were shot, and there are no replacements that I can find. I jury rigged a 9 volt power supply to the FC-4, and that works in the office. My GTS-3B will power the FC-4, in the field. The FC-4 talks to the GTS-3B just fine.When I got the equipment, there were two FC-4 - one working one not. The dead unit has a memory card in it. No number on it; just "memory card ep rom" made in Japan. I don't know if it is any good, but I would be happy to send it to you, if you want to give it a try. I will let you know if my serial cable works.

At 1:49pm on July 5, 2017, Joe Staniford said…

Hi Bruce, I saw your discussion on Topcon FC-4. I have an old FC-4 that I am trying to remember how to use, so I would also like to find a manual. You were having trouble changing baud rate. I can do that in my FC-4, using arrow keys, after selecting change baud rate. I am trying to connect to computer with serial cable, but having trouble finding correct cable.


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