Trimble DigiRod eliminates surveyor’s need for grade rods

| August 20, 2012

Trimble has introduced a new product called the DR400 DigiRod that the company says allows surveyors check grades with a rotating laser without the need for grade rods.

The DigiRod eliminates the need to carry, transport and maintain multiple grade rod types by emulating them. Rods emulated include direct elevation rods, cut/fill rods and indirect reading rods. Users can select measurement units in meters, decimal feet or fractional inches with the press of a button. Elevation measurements can be taken up to 20 feet and the tilt sensor ensures accuracy by automatically correcting to actual vertical distance.

The DigiRod combines a laser receiver with digital readout, laser distance meter and built-in tilt sensor to provide the information required to take rod-less, accurate grade readings, even at tilt angles up to 30 degrees.

To use the DigiRod, the user simply places the laser distance meter spot on the location a grade check is required, picks up the rotating laser beam anywhere on the reception window, and the distance from ground to the rotating beam is measured and displayed. Trimble says errors due to rod math and out of plumb grade rods are virtually eliminated. The rod-less grade checking system also allows for safe trench and excavation grade checking as workers do not have to climb down in the trench or lean over unstable trench edges to obtain elevation readings. Screeded concrete can also be checked without leaving marks on the finished surface.

Because the DigiRod functions as a laser receiver, it will work with any rotational red beam laser. The receiver has an extra-long 5-inch vertical reception range that does not require centering on-grade to obtain a reading. The DigiRod has an LCD screen that gives a bright, clear digital readout of elevation and an anti-strobe sensor stops construction strobe lights from setting off the receiver. A multiple accuracy setting allows adaptation to meet jobsite requirements.

As a stand-alone laser distance meter, the DigiRod is provides contractors with a one-person distance measuring and estimating tool to measure remote and difficult-to-reach places such as high overheads, factory interiors, or over water. It can measure up to 160 feet and has an accuracy of ±1/16 inch. A continuous measure mode is useful for staking out various distances and a minimum/maximum function accurately measures diagonals and right angles to surfaces. In addition, the DigiRod is dust and waterproof and backed by a 5-year warranty.

Trimble says the DR400 DigiRod is available now through the Spectra Precision Dealer Network.

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