Disto for cave survey work

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Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 8, 2018 3:48 pm

My understanding is that the Leica E7400X can be modified into the DistoX2. However, the modification boards are unavailable. Is there anybody who sells a modified unit?

Or, do I just bite the bullet and use the E7400X and use a separate magnetic compass?
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby trogman » Sep 13, 2018 4:42 am

I think a guy named John Harmon can build one for you. They are pricey, over $600. If I am not mistaken, he is affiliated with WV Underground. https://wvunderground.net/

They have a category on their website for "Uncategorized." When you click on it, it takes you to a page that requires a password. I think all you have to do is create an account with them to get that password. Or you could just call or email them.

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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 13, 2018 2:33 pm

I sent a message to the web site contact page. I'll see where that goes. Thanks.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 20, 2018 1:23 am

I have the E7400X in hand. So far I can't find anybody who wants to do the modification for me for a price. Right now I am waiting for a reply from Switzerland about getting the mod board. So far, no luck.

I just may have to read the azimuth off my Suunto, the old fashioned way.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 20, 2018 1:29 am

Apparently most E7400X users carry it around in a small Pelican box. That is easy enough. But then there might be other instruments to carry also, and maybe a survey book. Which model of Pelican box do you use, and why? Also, I see that there are cheaper generic Pelican boxes, but I can't tell if they are waterproof enough.

Obviously it is better to have too much room in the box than not enough room. On the other hand, if the box gets too big, then it will be a pain to drag around through some squeezeway. If the box were flat enough to carry inside a caving suit, that would be nice. It won't get bounced so bad if the box is inside a cave pack, but then it isn't as convenient to get to.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 23, 2018 12:31 pm

Ten days, and no word at all. <sigh>

It is interesting for me to note that Cavechat.Org does not publish most of my postings. I understand moderation, but they never happen.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 27, 2018 1:01 pm

The remainder of my postings simply are not showing up here. I'm not sure why the forum is operated this way.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby Squirrel Girl » Sep 27, 2018 2:39 pm

bobby49 wrote:The remainder of my postings simply are not showing up here. I'm not sure why the forum is operated this way.


The humblest of apologies. The first posts by a new user need approval to weed out the spammers (of which there are many). Once you've been determined to be a real cave enthusiast and a few of your posts approved, you're good to go and the approvals are no longer needed.

It's true that Cave Chat is not quite so active as it used to be as other social media platforms have grown. Still, some of us think Cave Chat has a very important place. Some of the moderators don't visit here as often as they used to, though. Personally, I was on a business + work trip for over a week, then came back with a nasty cold. So I wasn't so good about checking in on Cave Chat.

Please know you're very welcome here and hopefully this unfortunate delay hasn't soured you on us.

:grin: :woohoo:
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby trogman » Sep 27, 2018 4:31 pm

Hey Bobby-Not sure if you do Facebook, but I messaged John on FB and go a response rather quickly. If you aren't on FB I can contact him for you and ask him about your situation. Not sure if he does unit upgrades on other people's unit. He may just do it on new units for resale. I have a Disto E7400 myself, and I was thinking about getting someone to install the board in it. Ultimately I decided it would be best not to take a chance on it, as my unit had already seen some use.

Let me know if you need me to shoot him a message.

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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 27, 2018 5:10 pm

As you had suggested, I sent a message to WVunderground.net and asked for contact with Harmon. WVunderground.net responded, but then nothing else happened. Since then I have lost my interest in contacting him and have gone after other solutions.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby chac » Sep 28, 2018 4:39 pm

Hi Bobby,

Many Pelican boxes are only water-tight to a very shallow depth for a few seconds. If you want a waterproof box, Otter boxes are waterproof to a certain depth for a longer period of time. They are usually more expensive than Pelican boxes. In either case. pay attention to the o-ring, seat, and sealing surface as you are using the box in the cave. Carry a small cloth to wipe the area clean if you want. I do put the Disto into a box for moisture and protection. Look for the IPX water resistant rating for the box you choose.

I don't house all the surveying gear in one Pelican box. I put most everything in a 6L Darren Drum.It has an o-ring seal and has a large enough volume to carry most everything you can put in it, including a small survey book. With everything in the drum, the drum will float in the water. This size of Drum will fit into smaller cave packs leaving room for other things. Many US cave, canyoning, and kayaking equipment suppliers sell these drums. Have a look around. Good luck!

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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 28, 2018 8:39 pm

The caves that I do are muddy or drippy, but not a raging torrent, so a very short period of waterproofness should be sufficient. If I use a very flat box of any type, I can slip it into my cave suit. A 6L drum would have to go into my backpack, and that is not going to be convenient while surveying. All of that stuff can go into the backpack while on a rope.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 29, 2018 5:24 pm

Besides, this newer Leica model is supposed to be waterproof on its own. So, if a few drops of water or mud penetrated the Pelican box, it should not be the proverbial turd in the punchbowl.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Sep 30, 2018 7:36 pm

That was interesting. I did my own E7400X modification for 3-D and Bluetooth.

A few words of warning. The assembly guide is OK, but it sure isn't perfect. Lots of stuff made perfect sense to the author, but it wasn't good for the reader/user. Some of the photos leave a lot to be desired in terms of clarity. Now that I have it working and charging, I need to do the calibration routine.
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Re: Disto for cave survey work

Postby bobby49 » Oct 3, 2018 2:25 pm

I believe that there was a spelling error in John's name about the DistoX2.
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