The Experts in Design-Build-Operate Solutions

Trimble Field Link Tips and Techniques

Ken Dill, Sales Support Engineer at BuildingPoint Pacific shares his tips and techniques when working with Trimble Field Link.

One of the first things we learn when setting up the Trimble Total Stations is how to do an ‘unknown’ location set-up. Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about how to do it properly.

A resection (unknown location) is one method for determining the location of a total station based on known site coordinates (control points). In order to properly use this type of set-up we first need to find a safe place to set the instrument up. This should allow visual line of site to at least 2 control points but ideally 3 or more. Now that we have the total station on the tripod we are ready to complete the radio connection and fine leveling. Proceed to the set-up routine in the software and choose ‘unknown location’, this will prompt you to pick the first control point to be used. Prior to taking the first measurement we need to verify the correct prism and the total station is locked on to that prism. Now we can take the rod to the first control point, level it up and measure the location. Proceed to the 2nd control point and do the same. Now that we have two control points located we will start to get details about the set-up. If the points we shoot are too small of an angle > 45° or too wide of an angle < 135° the software will say ‘unreliable’ and we will need to add another point to the set-up. If the two points are within the specified range 45°-135° you will see the quality displayed. It will be up to you to determine if this is within tolerance for the work you will be performing from that location. Once you are satisfied with quality of set-up press the accept button and finalize the resection. To ensure that you are within tolerance of the site stake out 1-2 additional known point for checks. You have now completed an ‘unknown’ location set-up using the Trimble Field Link software.


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