I’m helping out on a big survey and we’re nearly done with the total station work, the missing bits are now apparent and it’s time to move into detail. Generally I’m happier knocking out a measured sketch but on this job I decided to plot direct to CAD from taped distances. The method for ‘non standard’ detail I use here uses copy, offset, extend and trim to build up the lines; ponderous compared to picking up a pencil but CAD time on this job is short so I went for it. One of the big hassles with measured drawing in CAD on a tablet is using the tablet PC popup keypad for numeral entry, thre’s a fight for window focus that gets in the way of the work.
A good while ago LatimerCAD added its own key pad to the TheoLt suite as an aid to tablet users and it’s a godsend. The first hassle in using offset is the command line request :
Specify offset distance or [Through/Erase/Layer] <0.0450>: 0.755000
If you have taped the 75.5cm and tapped it into the key pad you can always get to it (it stays there until you clear it) as it sits on top of CAD and doesn’t hide, but best if all it thumps the value into the command line of the current drawing when you tap ‘enter’……always!
It’s one of those small things that makes a difference, I could dock the windows key pad but it takes up a fair bit of screen, and it is quite capable of sending my precious centimetres anywhere but to the CAD command line. The CL900 is proving to be very handy at survey work, both by total station and by tape measure. Being lightweight with good battery life it makes having a ‘whack to CAD’ key pad on it all the more indispensable. On this trip I used my trusty Leica ‘Instrument Height Meter’ GHM 007, no paper and no pencil to get my measured drawing done, nothing like travelling light eh?