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The pig in the poke turns out to Wild, a Wild Theodolite that is

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  • The pig in the poke turns out to Wild, a Wild Theodolite that is

    Short of fancy survey and construction work, any uses for one?

    I bought a pile of stuff the other day, small dollars and several bins worth. Hidden unseen in the bottom was a Wild Heerbrugg T2 Theodolite with the GPM4 Micrometer. Its like new, with case etc.

    Its 1 arc second so the same accuracy as (afaik) most autocollimators, but its kind of overkill and has a 2m minimum focus. To examine say a surface plate, you'll need some space which I don't have. These things, especially with the micrometer, fetch a good dollar so I'm mostly inclined to sell and fill the kitty....but I only have one chance a tool like this. If I'm missing some great shop use for it, the odds ever finding one in the bottom of a bin again are about zilch.

    Is there much point in keeping it?
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

  • #2
    you could reduce the minimum focus without too much difficulty.

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    • #3
      Hmm. Looks like a nice piece of equipment but not much use in a shop.

      From the wikipedia page the light travels along quite the path to give you the readout. Facinating.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodo...theodolite.jpg

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      • #4
        All the survey crews I see these days are using the new electronic units which they don't even look through. They don't use the helper with the height stick anymore either. So I don't see it being worth much to any serious survey outfits. But there's probably more than a few now and then folks that do a bit of survey work on the side to make it at least worth testing the market. Otherwise if it looks like the one in Tom's post I'd say just put it on display. It's a pretty slick piece of kit. But I don't see it having a whole lot of use in a shop. I'm sure there's likely one or three on Ebay and similar. What are they asking and getting?
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          Does it have the tripod legs with it? Without these, it really isn't much use to anyone, despite the fact that without doubt in its day it was an expensive precision piece of kit. Time has overtaken it, as indeed its overtaken me, who used to use them as a young engineer.
          Other than that, its an attractive ornament, might have some value in the antique market.
          'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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          • #6
            I just bought a used Wild T3000 recently for the cost of shipping. It was bought the same way yours was by a friend of mine. This is an electronic version with digital angle readouts, supposed to be among the most accurate ever made. It reads to 5 decimal place degrees (0.03 arc-second) in decimal mode, or 1/10 second (0.1 arc-second) in degree-minute-second mode. Accuracy at standard deviation is supposed to be ½ arc-second. This one was surplus from Lockheed Martin. I was able to get it for peanuts because it didn't work right - had all kinds of errors. I managed to fix it up and now it's working perfectly. I got a bit of interest in these after watching this video featuring a T2 like yours.

            https://youtu.be/3NcIu0EF6lQ

            I bought mine thinking the kids could at least use it as a telescope - it's got almost 60x magnification at infinity focus. Getting it fixed and working was a bonus. Minimum focus distance is only about 18"-20". I'll be hanging onto mine.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	t3000a.jpg Views:	0 Size:	234.8 KB ID:	1904104
            Last edited by eKretz; 10-09-2020, 03:50 PM.

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            • #7
              I have two- one was my dads, and the other was donated to me. The old one looks pretty cool, the newer one is plain jane. They occupy space.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                Pics? Without pics, it doesn't exist!

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                • #9
                  I could see using one to setup and calibrate large machines but probably not home shop size machines.
                  Such as commercial printing presses, paper mils, very large HBM's ,etc.
                  I would be tempted to hang on to it just for the sheer beauty of the design etc. especially if its the old all-mechanical/optical type. Or perhaps hack it into some other type of useful measuring tool.

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                  • #10
                    Used an older one for machine set up/calibration. A pleasure to use. The optic quality and craftsmanship are something to behold. It causes one to do better work, paying more attention to detail, just out of respect for the calibre of the instrument. They are as much a work of art as an essential tool. Unfortunately they are of very limited use in a home shop environment, and a bit much to have sitting on a coffee table as a conversation piece. I suggest selling it to someone who has a need for it, and turn your profit into tooling that has a more practical use in the shop.

                    Any chance you can post some photos?

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                    • #11
                      thanks for all the input. will get some photos at some point, but its not at the house right now.
                      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                      • #12
                        The place I worked at until recently used theodolites to align large-ish mechanical structures to pretty tight tolerances. I have used them at work though those were more modern with electronic readouts, similar to what eKretz posted. They are cool instruments.Tripods to go with them make regular appearances on Craig's list around here and sell for pretty short money.

                        I'm not sure I can see a lot of use for one around my shop, but they are cool devices. I have always kind of wanted one, but really have no actual use for such a thing.You clearly acquire much better "bins of stuff" than I do.

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                        • #13
                          I grew up surveying for my dad, way back when our total station had a rechargeable battery that would only last half a day so we often used it as a old style theolodide with a steel tape or chain. I set many a pin or property iron with a chain.
                          over time things got better and we upgraded to a better model then a Robotic unit which was a one man operation by the time my dad retired. Brands we used were mostly Topcon but I remember a Pentax, Ziess. And later Trimble.
                          Your machine should read in degrees/minutes/seconds horizontally and vertically. To get distance you’ll need to buy a steel tape measure, be aware most of them measure in 10ths of a foot not inches or tenths of an inch.
                          I doubt you’ll be able to use it for super accurate things like an autocollimator but we set a few bases in place for things like pumps, sewer plants, machinery but honestly unless you need to set the location of the pad most of the elevation could be done with a construction / surveyors level.
                          one last thing. To get the degrees minutes seconds there is a gearbox and with gears come backlash and wear. Get in the habit of always turning it clockwise , even when using fine adjust, to take up the backlash. We would periodically have ours checked out and sometimes they would have to make adjustments or repairs to it.

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                          • #14
                            Wild are beautiful pieces of equipment to be sure. If you can't modify it for the shop ,if you are a shooter it would probably have some use as a spotting scope. Jim

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                            • #15
                              maybe a good spotting scope at the rifle range?

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