shrug-l: Feedback on use with a Topcon GRS-1

Tripp Corbin tcorbin at
Mon Apr 19 07:59:21 EDT 2010

I tested the Topcon GRS 1 a few years ago. It was the initial model and
had several issues. First the WAAS correction was not working. Second it
was running an old version of ArcPAD which had been highly customized
into something called TopPAD. They also had a TopCon software I believe
called TopSurv running on it. It worked much better than the TopPAD but
it's workflows were more surveyor like than GIS data collection. This
made it somewhat difficult for our GIS collection crews to work with
since it did not work the way they had been trained to think using GIS. 

Now the idea of the combined GPS unit with the laser range finder and
compass is pretty cool and can come in handy when used properly. You do
have to watch out for the compass to make sure it is not pulled off by
metal, electrical equipment and so on. But it is handy to have when
trying to locate features that are in an area you just can't get a GPS
signal. Also if you are using other TopCon equipment it can also be
turned into a standard data collector which makes it more flexible than
other GPS units. 

All in all I was disappointed in the unit when we tested it. However as
I said that was a few years ago. I have talked with TopCon and they say
they have fixed the issues I noted with the first generation units. I
have not had the chance to test a newer model to verify. 

On a personal side note, I am not a big fan of handle held units. I have
seen too many folks operating the wrongly  (i.e. holding them at chest
height or lower without an external antenna which blocks the antenna
from the satellites and then they complain about the unit's
performance). I like the old backpack units or the pole mounted antennas
for the best performance and data quality.  

Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP
Vice President, GIS/IT
ESRI Authorized Instructor
Keck & Wood, Inc.
(678) 417-4013
(678) 417-4055 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: shrug-l-bounces at
[mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Endries,
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2010 9:38 AM
To: shrug-l at
Subject: shrug-l: Feedback on use with a Topcon GRS-1

Greetings SHRUG,

I am in the process of deciding on purchase of a couple GPS units.  Has
anyone had any experience with a Topcon GRS-1 unit.  If so, any feedback
on the unit would be great help to me.  Mainly, I am curious how the
Topcon unit compares to a similar Trimble unit (GeoXH, GeoXT).


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