FAQ

Why Use A Physical Alarm?

Autoslope and GeoMoS software have built-in alarms and alerts that use email and SMS features.  But they can also be programmed to activate physical lights and sound.

We have found that email and SMS servers are not always reliable, and if a critical alert is not transmitted because an email server is down, then a potential dangerous situation is not being addressed.  Physical alarms are much more likely to be immediately activated successfully.

Note that alarms have the following features:

  • Buzzer for office alarm
  • Klaxen siren for pit alarm
  • Red beacon (red LED for office) is normally used to activate an alert of movement over threshold.
  • Green beacon (green LED for office) is used to show the system is operational.
  • Blue LED for office only is used to show that there has been no data write in the database for XX minutes.  This is a user entry like 180 minutes

How To Install an Office Alarm

These highly affective units can be installed on the wall of an office.  You will need

  • Power is typically supplied by a 240v to 12v power supply.  You will need a nearby GPO.
  • Communication is via a network ethernet cable.  So you will need a nearby network plug.
  • Alternatively, communication can be via an RS232 to a computer.  This is handy when installing the alarm at the control computer.
  • If using network communication, then the unit will need to be programmed with an IP address, and gateway.  This will usually need to be organised with the network administrators.
  • Softrock can then provide scripts to activate the unit from GeoMoS.

How To Install A Pit Alarm

These rugged units can be deployed anywhere where there is line-of-sight to an access point radio.  You will need

  • Power is typically supplied by 12v batteries.  Note that the Klaxen siren requires 24 volts.  This is achieved with a 12 to 24 volt converter.
  • Batteries are charged from a mobile 50 watt solar panel.
  • Communication is via a radio unit that suits the system.
  • The radio will need to be programmed with an IP address, and gateway.  This will usually need to be organised with the network administrators.
  • Softrock can then provide scripts to activate the unit from GeoMoS

Rain Gauge

Rain data can be imported to Quikslope5 using a simple CSV import file containing 2 items per line – DATE, GAUGE READING

Rain data can also be automatically imported into Quikslope5 when a Softrock recommended weather station is used together with Autoserver software.  We recommend the Vaisala WXT520 which has no moving parts that can get clogged up.

Meteorological Instrumentation

Accurate distance measurements are affected by air temperature, pressure and relative humidity.  Relative humidity has a minor affect on the calculation of PPM (parts per million), but temperature and pressure have a dynamic affect on the current PPM calculation.

For automated systems, it is important to have an accurate weather station that can be queried from the software (GeoMoS or Autoslope) to maintain an accurate PPM calculation.  Softrock supply 2 types of automated weather station.

  • DTM weather station with combined temperature & pressure sensor in a solar shield. Sensor is made by STS in Switzerland. They supply these sensors to Leica. Sofrock combine this sensor in a Unidata shield.  http://www.softrock.com.au/products/weather-station/weather-station/
  • The Vaisala Weather Transmitter WXT520 measures barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation, temperature, and wind speed and direction. To measure wind speed and direction, the WXT520 has the Vaisala WINDCAP ® Sensor that uses ultrasound to determine horizontal wind speed and direction. The array of three equally spaced transducers on a horizontal plane is a Vaisala specific design. Barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity measurements are combined in the PTU module using capacitive measurement for each parameter. http://www.softrock.com.au/products/weather-station/vaisala-wxt520/

For users taking measurements manually using on board software, we recommend using a hand held unit which can be used to measure the mets and enter the data into the instrument before beginning the measurement round.

  • The Silva ADC Summit is a functional wind gauge, altimeter, thermometer, baromteter and clock in one.

No Power At Instrument

There is no power at the instrument.

  • Check the battery voltage using the built-in volt meter or multi meter.  It should be between 12.2 and 14.2 volts.  The instrument may turn on at 12.2v, but will not sustain operation at that voltage.  The radios and Moxa units will work at a much lower voltage.
  • Check the blade fuse (3 amp) on the Y cable power lead.  Replace if necessary.

How To Setup Your Instrument

There are important factors when setting up your instrument.

  1. Ensure it is secure to the pillar.  There should be no (or very little) vibration in the instrument.  If there is vibration, this could be a failure in how the tribrach is screwed to the pillar plate.  It may not be sitting flat on the plate.
  2. Turn on and level the instrument.
  3. Go through the correct procedure for this instrument.  Softrock has procedures for most instruments.
  4. Point to the reference prism and zero the HA (horizontal angle)
  5. Turn off.

Autosync And Quikslope5 Database Locking

Quikslope5 and Autosync operate in an environment that allows multiple simultaneous users to access and manipulate the data in the SQL database. As such, there are locking mechanisms in place to protect the integrity of the data in situations where the actions of one user may clash with those of another user if they are executed at the same time.

Some examples of actions that manipulate the database include recalculating movements or velocities, shaping data, removing steps or hiding points and transferring new data from the source database (Autoslope or GeoMoS) to the Quikslope5 database.

The lock is initiated when any of these actions begin and the lock is removed upon completion of the action. The user will see a message indicating that the database is “locked” when any of these actions are in progress. Because Autosync typically transfers new data every 15 minutes it is the process that is most likely to be the reason for the lock.

The time required to complete these processes can range from just a few seconds to several minutes depending on the amount of processing that is required to complete the process along with other factors that affect performance such as networking speed and computer processing power.

In some situations an action creating a lock may not be completed correctly and the lock may not be removed as a result of this. For example, Autosync may be in the process of transferring data when the computer is abruptly switched off or restarted. The process does not complete therefor the lock is not removed at the end of the process.

There is logic built into Autosync that will identify when this has happened and after a timeout period has elapsed, Autosync will automatically remove the lock and cleanup the database so that it can continue to transfer new data again. Alternatively a Quikslope5 user can manually unlock the database using the “Database Cleanup” tool found under the “Tools” tab at the top of the main Quikslope5 window.

As shown in the screen shot below, the user can then “Run” the database cleanup tool with the option of recalculating all movements and/or velocities if required. This is rarely  required and will add to the time needed to complete the cleanup/unlocking process, particularly in large databases with many prisms.

When the cleanup process has competed the database will be unlocked as shown in the message screen pictured above. All actions that require a database lock to perform will be available again.

It should be noted that the “locking” that is referred to above is a feature of the Quikslope5 and Autosync software and should not be confused with the standard automatic locking features of SQL Server that occurs when editing a record.

Quick Configuration

GeoMoS is easily configured.  All configuration items can be found in the pulldown menu “Configuration”.

  • new project needs to be created.  See File-Projects.  New button, and open the project.  New name will appear on Geomos desk top.
  • Now we configure the sensors – these are instruments and weather stations.  Use the INSERT button to add a sensor.
  • We can use the communication setting to ensure we have comms to the instrument. Continue with all sensors.
  • Now use the Point Editor to add some points.  We will need control points and prisms.  They can be entered manually or by import file.  Firstly, we need the instrument control points entered.
  •  Now the Sensor Location Editor is required to place the sensor on a control point.
  • Each sensor (instrument) can also be orientated here.
  • Point Group Editor is now used to create a group of prisms to measure.  You may need to add more points in the Point Editor.  You can also Learn new prisms as well here.
  • Measurement Cycle Editor is used to schedule groups.  Note that an orientation group is required to a reference prism for each sensor.  Also note that the weather station needs to be represented with a meteo group.  Enter time frequency.

Problem Opening Quikslope4 In Windows 7

PROBLEM:

Quikslope 4 installed on a Windows 7 PC will not open up into the expected window.  An icon for Quikslope 4 is visible on the bottom toolbar.

Solution:

Hover the mouse over the Quikslope 4 icon.  A thumbnail image of the Quikslope window pops up.

Move the mouse up onto the thumbnail image and right-click.  A window control menu pops up:

Left-click the Restore or Maximise options of the menu.  This should result in the Quikslope application becoming visible.

This fix appears to be persistent – you probably won’t have to do it again for this PC.

Cause:

It’s a bug between Microsoft Visual Basic applications and Microsoft Windows 7.

GeoMoS

Softrock have been supplying our own Autoslope software for controlling monitoring instruments for many years.  Softrock decided some time ago to recommend Leica hardware as the instrument of choice.  Then it was a natural progression to also recommend Leica’s famous software – GeoMoS.  Hence, we no longer supply or support Autoslope.  There is support available for some long term Autoslope users, but this is expected to finish in 2014.

Softrock is proud to partner with Leica to supply and support their software components.  By upgrading from Autoslope to GeoMoS, we can supply GeoMoS for 50% discount.

When purchasing GeoMoS, we also supply a CCP (Customer Care package) from Leica, that ensures the user can receive free software upgrades for 3 years.  There is an annual Softrock support subscription required after the first year.  For Autoslope users upgrading to GeoMoS, this subscription is a seamless charge that appears when the next subscription is due.

Quikslope

Quikslope version 4 has been available well before the year 2000.  There has been many upgrades.  All these upgrades have been available free to registered users.

Quikslope5 is available to registered Quikslope v4 users at a 50% discount.  Ask our team for a quote.

Softrock is proud to partner with Leica to supply and support their software components.  By upgrading from Autoslope to GeoMoS, we can supply GeoMoS for 50% discount.

When purchasing GeoMoS, we also supply a CCP (Customer Care package) from Leica, that ensures the user can receive free software upgrades for 3 years.  There is an annual Softrock support subscription required after the first year.  For Autoslope users upgrading to GeoMoS, this subscription is a seamless charge that appears when the next subscription is due.

Registered User

A Softrock registered user is one that has paid their annual “support & maintenance” subscription.  This enables users to unlimited phone & email support, and allows them to download the latest software upgrades.  A new software purchase includes 12 months free registered user status.

Quikslope V4 Data

Quikslope4 uses Microsoft Access databases, while Quikslope5 uses Microsoft SQL databases.  Connection to these are quite different.  Database structures are also different.

However, data can be streamed from Quikslope4 databases using Autosync.  For automated users, this is a continuous operation.

For manual data users who do not have Autosync, Softrock will provide a free service to move your old data from Access to SQL database formats.  Manual calculations survey control database, can be downloaded to a CSV from Quikslope4 and then uploaded to Quikslope5.

Raw & Shaped Data

Quikslope will not allow deletion or alteration of data.  We can flag certain points for exclusion or removing jumps in the data.  When viewing graphs, you should be aware if you are looking at RAW or SHAPED data.  You can switch from one to the other.

  • RAW data is unaltered field data.  This can often be difficult to read because it may include bad readings.
  • SHAPED data is a way to show data in a realistic way.  By “removing” spikes (outliers) and “removing” data jumps.

How To Make A Project CAD File

The standard CAD file used by Quikslope is a vdml file.  This is a standard binary file used by Vector Draw, which is the tool we use.

The basic procedure is:

  1. In the Quikslope CAD window, we can open many different file types.  The most common is probably the DXF file.  This can come from many different applications as an export file.  The best format is a shell type with full 3D linework.
  2. Open the DXF (or whatever) file and zoom to extents so you can see it.
  3. Colours and linetypes can be changed using the Quikslope CAD features.
  4. Save as a vdml file type.  We usually save to C:\Softrock\Graphics folder.
  5. Edit the Quikslope current project to reflect the new project drawing.  Your drawing will then be displayed automatically when starting Quikslope5.

How Do I Graph Multiple Prisms?

Prisms can be graphed individually or by cluster.

  • Use the activate button next to the cluster list on the left to graph all prisms in the cluster.
  • Use the activate button next to the prism list on the right to graph a single prism.

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