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How to Stake Out with a Total Station

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When starting a construction project, it is important to know the layout of the area in which you are working. A total station is a device that you can use to plot out an area of land before you begin construction. Once the area has been mapped out, you can use the total station to perform a task called a stake out. This will allow you to choose a point in the area and instantly know where that point lies in relation to the location of the total station .

Place the total station in the spot from which you want to stake out points after you have finished entering the coordinates for the area into the total station's internal memory. Make sure that the total station is level and on secure, even ground before continuing.

Press the "Power" button to turn on the instrument if it isn't already on. When you see the home screen, press the "Menu" button and use the navigation arrows to move down to the "Stake Out" menu option. Press the "Select" button to enter the stake out menu.

Select the method that you want to use to stake out the point. Select "XY" to stake out by coordinates which will be the most common method. Select "HD" to stake out using angle and distance, or "XYZ" to stake out with 3D coordinates. You can also stake out by using angle, distance and height by selecting "HDh." Selecting a coordinate method will give you the angle, distance and/or height, while choosing "HD" or "HDh" will give you the coordinates of the point.

Press the "Yes" button to continue the process using the coordinates on the screen for your total station. If the coordinates are incorrect, press the "No" button to try again. In the next screen, use the keypad to enter the coordinates or distances and press the "OK" button to measure. The results will be displayed on the following screen.


Chris Waller began writing in 2004. Chris has written for the "Fulton Sun" and eHow, focusing on technology and sports. Chris has won multiple awards for his writing including a second place award in the Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Chris earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and English from Truman State University.

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