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Last Post 08/15/2007 8:30 PM by  beumelc
Electronic Measuring Devices
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Tom Rongstad
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01/10/2007 7:43 PM

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    Jud G.
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    01/10/2007 8:06 PM

    That's a bummer about the loss of time.  You must have had a manuscript policy that provided coverage for the docks. 

    For outdoor measurements, I use logger's tape since it covers 300' easily and can reel in quickly with its big lever.  Plus, the tape is vinyl and you don't have to worry about it rusting over time.  While the wheel is quick, I don't trust its accuracy since everytime it hits a bump, your accuracy decreases.

    For indoor measurements, I have a Disto made by Leica.  If you are lucky, you can find the Fat Max laser in Home Depot which measures up to 100'.  Last I saw, it costs about $100.  The Leica I have is an older model and I beleive the cost increased to $450.  They have a smaller model that doesn't measure as far, but is more compact and costs around $300.

    Hilti also makes a laser device and makes a fine addition to your toolbox.  One particularly novel feature to look for with any laser device is the pythagorean theorem.  This feature allows you to measure dimensions that are simply out of reach.

    Important: If you find the Fat Max, make sure it is the laser type and not the sonic.  The sonic one is a peice of crap.  If you haven't already, you will later hear of vendors that send adjusters home caught using them.

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    Tom Rongstad
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    01/11/2007 12:09 PM

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    katadj
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    01/11/2007 12:49 PM

    Will wade into this discussion with this comment.

    I purchased my first Disto Lazer measuring device in 1998, in VA. It was stolen from my car the second day. I bought another the enxt day and still have it. It works fine.

    If you use the sight glass and the red glasses you can read almost 300 Meters with it, or use the accumulation function to add or subtract the total.

    IMHO there is nothing better, yet.

    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
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    Janice R. Martin-Toll
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    01/11/2007 2:20 PM

    Tom surprised me with the Disto Classic 5, in 04.  I had told him for years that I didn't need the expense of a Disto and was happy using tapes.  After one day of using the Disto, I realized that it was worth every cent.  I especially like the lighted display screen.  It's great when there is no power. 

    I've only encountered one problem with the Disto.  My Classic 5 will not give me a reading when shooting to a black object.  Has anyone else encountered this?

    Janice R. Martin-Toll
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    katadj
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    01/11/2007 5:09 PM
    Janice,

    It will give you a correct reading on Black or any other color.

    The problem is that the reading is much slower on a darker color.

    Of course white, or a light color reacts immediately.

    Just hold it there , it may take 10 seconds, but it does work, at least mine does.
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
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    Janice R. Martin-Toll
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    01/11/2007 5:35 PM

    Dave,

    I wasn't clear in my above post.  It's not that it won't give me a reading, but it gives me an error.

    Anyone else?

    Janice

     

     

    Janice R. Martin-Toll
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    Jud G.
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    01/11/2007 7:13 PM
    I've had my most trouble in bright areas.  Like when the sun is so bright that it dissipates the distinct appearance of the red laser dot.  This prevents the receiving lens from seeing the red dot.  In this case, I will shoot the dot into a shaded portion of the parpet wall and put my hand or folder over the lens to prevent the sun from shining directly into it.
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    RandyC
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    01/11/2007 7:54 PM

    Janice,

    I hung a black terry cloth towel over my back fence.  From the back of my house to the fence was 129 ft 11 inches.  When I moved the red dot to the black towel, I got  a blinking question mark in the upper left screen.  I also get the number 255 which indicates a weak return signal.  Earlier in the day, I was getting an occasional correct reading when holding the A5 steady against the corner of my house and holding the button down while it beeped, getting a min/max reading.  That was against a dark blue towel and during daylight as opposed to the black towel after the sun went down.

    I left the A5 in our linen closet while looking for a black towel.  It took us 30 minutes to find it after my wife retrieved the black towel from the trailer :-)

    Randy Cox

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    Janice R. Martin-Toll
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    01/11/2007 9:09 PM

    Randy,

    You're getting the same thing with the black towel that I get when shooting to anything black.  It not only happens outdoors, but interiors as well.  Hasn't been much help to me in a fire claim when everything is black.

    Janice

    Janice R. Martin-Toll
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    Ray Hall
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    01/11/2007 9:30 PM

    The small wheel that cost around $50. are not accurate. Home depot has a 100 foot cloth tape for about $18.00 it will stretch out so check on critical. The $100.00 fat max works very well and accurate. Have not tried on a black wall yet.

    What is the best color towel for outside in bright sun ?

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    ChuckDeaton
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    01/12/2007 10:35 AM
    We are working on putting together a Sony 280p, Simsol 3.0 and a Blue Tooth Disto.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    katadj
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    01/12/2007 5:14 PM
    Well, just for the record, im using the Disto Classic not the newer model 5.

    Mine always gives me a reading , and i only get the 255 error when im off the mark and shooting into space beyond the capacity of the instrument.
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
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    RandyC
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    01/12/2007 7:10 PM
    I love my Disto A5. I am waiting for comments on the A6 and the bluetooth imput directly into Sketch.

    For some detailed test results on the Classic goto: http://www.gmat.unsw.edu.au/current...hockin.htm

    for interesting use tips and answers to various questions goto: http://www.mainetechnicalsource.com...l#accuracy

    The Disto can't do everything, but for what it does well it can not be beat.

    RandyC
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    Jud G.
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:509


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    01/13/2007 10:58 PM

    Randy,

    I just got my disto to call and make my appointments after grouping them all into geographic territories. 

    Just Kidding, it still doesn't do everything.

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    okclarryd
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    01/27/2007 8:22 PM

    I carry a couple of 35ft Stanley tapes,  a couple of 100ft tapes and a disto.  I use the Disto for ALL interior measurements and have never had a problem.

    I have occasionally used it for fences and have had mixed success.

    I trust it ------- period.

    Larry D Hardin
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    mbrew.2
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    01/31/2007 7:50 PM

    Very interesting and informative comments on the use of the Leica in sunlight.  I recently purchased the A3 model and found it to be highly accurate (by checking with my metal tape) for interior readings.  However, with a 3rd party claimant's help, I had trouble getting a "read" at about 45' on a pasture fence in bright sunlight recently with my brown leather folder as a reflector. Actually I could not see the laser dot hit on the folder.  I suppose I need more practice in lining up the laser beam in the outdoor locations where there is nothing  around to stabilize the A3.   Subsequently, I have purchased the Leica target reflector which is gray on one side and copper-brown on the other.  The gray is for reading distances up to 90  ft., and the brown side is for distances "beyond 90 ft".  BTW, the target is about the same size as my 10" x 14" brown leather folder. 

    I think my real problem was the bright sunlight as I later took a measurement, in shaded light, on my own fence post at 80' and was able to see the laser beam on the grayed fence board without the Leica target.

    My suggestion to any others who plan to purchase a Leica, is to get a lot of "dry-run" practice before going "live" out there on the big storms where "time is money". 

    Martin Brewer, AIC
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    Linda
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    02/01/2007 9:26 AM

    Martin, you need the "Disto" glasses for seeing the target dot outdoors in bright sunlight.  They cost about $30 and are worth every cent. 

    Janice, I agree, dark targets are hit and miss.  However, the Disto target plates are dark brown and there is no problem using them.  I have one set I glued a magnet to for measuring metal buildings--works great and never get an error message.

    I would not use anything else for interiors.

    Now, I know Chuck is going to let me know about his 100 foot with the nail on the end but it doesn't always work.  Nothing like getting almost to the end and the tape hitting the ground.

    I don't trust anything but my Disto and my metal tape.

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    sbeau4014
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    02/03/2007 10:37 PM
    I used the red glasses for the Disto and the dark plate together this last summer doing a ton of measuring out in the open in the direct sun and they worked perfectly. The two items together were about as easy sighting up as being inside. Those distos will pay for themselves time and time again in saved time on claims, especially if you do a lot of flood work or fires/smoke claims where you have to measure every space in the house, apartments, hotel or whatever you have.
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    Tom Toll
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    02/04/2007 12:49 AM
    The disto glasses make all the difference in the world. Linda is the one that put Janice and I on them years ago. By the way, if your using a steel tape or loggers tape, you can take electrical tape with you, cut off a 3 inch piece and tape the end hook at the corner your are starting from. This will keep the tape in place on wood, brick, stucco, or wood, so it won't fall while your walking out the tape.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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