Topography - Laser Rangefinder TruPulse 360B

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Parameter to be measured:

The laser range finder measures distances, height and azimuth of objects in reference to own position. distance measurements are recorded as points which are characterised by horizontal distance, straight distance, inclination and azimuth.


Laser-based ranging, electronic compass and inclinometer


TruPulse Laser Range Finder 360 BT standard with a serial port 2x AA Batteries

optional: Laptop/PDA for data logging, software


  • small and light, fits in breast-pocket
  • large range (manual states 1000 m and 2000 m with reflectors; 500-900 m have been confirmed)
  • integrated measurement of range, azimut and inclination (opposed to the other models of the TruPulse series)
  • data connection via serial port or Bluetooth
  • measurement modes for indirect height measurement or distance between two points
  • modes for nearest/farthest targets
  • indicates quality of measurement
  • can be used as binocular


  • no internal data storage - if no PC/PDA is connected, no data can be stored
  • Laser range is severely reduced in hazy conditions, light rain, very windy conditions
  • experience showed that reliable measurements were only possible up to 150 m
  • unilluminated internal display is hard to read in low lighting conditions

What to watch out for:

  • shipment (i.e. purchase) from the USA to other countries may be restricted by legal regulations
  • no software included, possible options
    • Putty / PocketPutty (free): capturing of raw data, sending of commands (i.e. Fire, options), no logging on PDA
    • CommLog (free, PDA): logging of raw data, no sending of commands possible
    • Comm Operator PPC (92 €, Dec 2011): logging of raw data, configurable sending of commands
    • MapSmart (?) apparently very specific application (e.g. for stock pile measurement), no sending of commands (?)
    • TPControl Professional (~100 €, Dec 2011): advanced data collection modes, sending of commmands; requires PC with ActiveSync and installed software to retrieve the data
    • LASERGIS (~ $400, Dec 2011): extension for ArcPad (further costs), integration with GPS-measurements
  • Using a tripod (standard camera thread) is very handy for accurate measurements
  • don't change position during a measurement
  • even if you select „farthest“ mode for measurements, the laser range finder may measure objects, e.g. branches, leaves, in front of your actual target
  • Bluetooth may disconnect automatically even if the connection is switched on. Problem can be resolved if you deactivate and then reactivate Bluetooth connection on the laser range finder
  • Bluetooth may still be ON, even when deactivated, but doesn't send data. This can create a lot of confusion.
  • calibrate if AZ blinks in the display


  • Can be difficult to measure rough surfaces, high level of inaccuracy as only points are measured


1700 € (Dec 2011, Germany)


Projects that used the above equipment:

Other related web sites:


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