Any HP 48GX Users Out There?

(Can you tell I’m finally in the office for a day? I’ve got time to update my blog!)

OK, my first introduction to this industry was by a crusty old surveyor many many moons (and lots of “skeeters”, thorn bushes, and swamps) ago, and that’s made me a crusty old surveyor (at heart, anyway). I remember field notes in field books (no fancy data collector for me!), the HP41 “garage door opener” data collector, and finally, when I thought it could get no better, we got the HP 48GX with TDS Survey Pro data collection software. I was in heaven, and could operate that thing in my sleep. I knew where the shortcut keys were without even looking, and could literally collect data with the collector on the other side of the “gun” than I was. I thought I was hot stuff…then they came along with the TDS Ranger and Recon – TDS on a Windows-based platform, what the heck!?! Nice….

I know that most of you survey people have upgraded to that wonderful Windows-based collection system. However, there are still some people still out there using the old trusty 48GX. I fully understand – it was a good solution, that’s for sure.

Well, good news – survey functionality is included in Civil 3D now! Sadly, however, the TDS software that we’re so used to seeing is no longer going to be available. Due to TDS being purchased by Trimble and the number of people downloading data using MS ActiveSync, it’s just not going to be offered. If you still use that HP 48GX, you’re going to have to use an older method of downloading your data collector, or update your collector. Sorry…it’s a sad, sad day here for the crusty old surveyor-types.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Check out these guys making a data collector based on the HP-49g+, called the DC49. It is way better than the old 48, and way better (and FASTER!!!) then every other modern collector I’ve used (FC2000, Carlson, TDS Ranger).

  2. DYoung says:

    FYI: You can use Hyper Terminal (comes with Windows so it’s free) to download points in the HP/TDS-48 data collector to a file on disk.

    I’d guess C3D might have a way to import that file. Even if not, I wrote a small Lisp program to import the file into plain AutoCAD. I’m sure someone could do the same with C3D’s API’s an Lisp/VBA.

    If anyone wants documentation on how to setup and use Hyper Terminal for this, just shoot me an Email and forward you PDF instructions.