Many people only think about tripods in relation to photography, and these helpful stands do help professional photographers and shutterbugs keep cameras stable in order to produce high-quality photographic images. However, this is just one type of tripod. There are several varieties used by many different professions.
Surveyors have been around for more than 1,000 years and for many centuries, surveyors have used tripods. These types of tripods usually have been called a survey compass tripod or a surveyor’s tripod. No matter what you call it, the tripod was used to hold and keep steady devices such as a compass, a theodolite or perhaps a total station. The compass has long been used as a directional device, and a theodolite helps surveyors measure angles in both the vertical plane and the horizontal plane. A total station combines the theodolite with a device known as an EDM or electronic distance meter.
The surveyor’s compass is another tool that might be mounted on to a compass tripod. Surveyors and other types of engineers also might refer to this type of compass as a circumferentor. Before theodolites were developed, the circumferentor was the main tool of the surveying trade. While it’s true that modern theodolites are used far more these days than a surveyor’s compass, the circumferentor is sometimes used by professionals such as mining engineers or foresters. It doesn’t really matter which of these common devices are used, a compass tripod or an elevation tripod will make the job much easier.
In addition to many types of stationary tripods, there are also important tripods known as elevation tripods. These can hold equipment such as the total station or a theodolite and are helpful because you can adjust the elevation of the tripod to take additional measurements. You don’t have to take off the theodolite and move the leg height; you can simply make adjustments while the total station or another device is mounted to the elevation tripod. Considering how heavy some of the equipment can be, using an elevation tripod can make your work much easier.
An elevation tripod is quite sturdy, and while they are certainly heavier than your standard compass tripod, they can handle both the weight of your devices as well as being able to stay firmly in place as you make elevation adjustments. You simply turn a crank or lever and adjust the elevation tripod to whatever elevation you might need. This saves you time and ensures that your measurements from a specific point are as accurate as possible.
The compass tripod and elevation tripod are two types of tripods commonly used by surveyors and engineers. When shopping for a tripod, it is important to look at several characteristics of the tripod. These include the weight of the elevation tripod or the compass tripod as well as the weight capacity. If you will be using your theodolite or another mounted device in a variety of climate settings, it is wise to select compass materials that stand up well against temperature changes, humidity changes and certain weather conditions. It also may be important to select a tripod that is non-magnetic. There are many compass tripods and elevation tripods out there that are sure to be able to handle whatever you need.
Carey Bourdier enjoys writing about precision scientific instruments. To get more details about surveying products like a surveyor compass, or to find other alignment instruments, go to the Warren Knight site now.