Making history with the help of Topcon technology
The opportunity to build a house in the shape of a Spitfire engine doesn’t come around often. So, when this once in a lifetime invitation presented itself, Shane Jones, owner of Tahi Engineering, turned to Topcon Positioning for technology that would be easy to use and reliable when setting out points for the complex grand design home.
Once complete, the private development — designed by award-winning architect, Lap Chan, and built by leading construction company, Agilitee — will see the aptly named ‘Griffon House’ built with very few straight walls, meaning initial construction processes were far from simple. Here, Shane saw an opportunity to put Topcon technology to the test. “I’ve been using Topcon for the last twenty years,” explains Shane, a freelance land surveyor with over 25 years of experience in the industry. “I’ve worked on projects in many parts of the world and have found the ease of use and reliability of Topcon second to none.”
“Uploading files to the controller via Topcon’s MAGNET Office software was so simple and effective."
Just over a year ago, Shane purchased the Topcon DS105 — a one-man robotic with an FC 500 data controller. With the same touch-screen technology as smartphones, this Topcon field controller is a portable device designed for all positioning and construction jobs. The controller runs with internal GPS and is compatible with all Topcon data collection software, with the option for a cellular modem to remain in constant connection to the office from dynamic project sites.
Shane continued: “Once the client and I were both happy with the working drawings, I got to work setting out the points using the DS105 and the Topcon MAGNET software — this combination made for a very fast and accurate way to set out the piston-engined, spoke patterned design of the building.
“Uploading files to the controller via Topcon’s MAGNET Office software was so simple and effective. I could highlight the fact that changes have been made in the field then later produce a ‘stake out’ report for the client and my own records, to show and check the accuracy of the points I’ve staked.”
“Moving from a two-man operation to a one-man robotic can seem like a big financial commitment in the first instance, but it has ended up saving me time and money on a number of projects now."
MAGNET software is a user interface designed to work with Topcon positioning tools. Using local Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, all mapping or positioning tasks can be performed on a satellite image background to give teams a full visual context, allowing them to get the full picture of the project at all times and in real-time.
Shane concluded: “Moving from a two-man operation to a one-man robotic can seem like a big financial commitment in the first instance, but it has ended up saving me time and money on a number of projects now, because I can work efficiently and provide a better service for my clients. On this project in particular I have seen a big improvement in job efficiency, with Topcon helping me to increase the speed at which I can complete the setting out phase, with the tech allowing me to be much quicker processing and actioning this on-site.”