HP48GX With TDS Data Collection And Civil 3D

Today, on the POB Message Board, a gentleman named Danny Wilson asked about downloading a HP48GX data collector with TDS software to Civil 3D. I can understand the question, as I’ve had to answer it before, and feel like our HP users are being left out in the cold…

Luckily, R.K. McSwain was on hand to point Mr. Wilson to a previous post of mine regarding this subject. Unfortunately, someone really misunderstood the question, and seemed to disagree with my article. Please allow me to explain…I’d do it there, but don’t want to sign up for a yet another membership to forget.  (For what it’s worth, I found this on our referrer stats.   As of 12:16 AM Eastern Time, 55 people had visited from that link, so I can see that there’s some real interest in this subject.)
The person who disagreed wrote the following:

contrary to the article, you can still download from the 48. biggst drawback is you must create and open a project just to download, the transfer software won’t run independant of c3d

Sorry there buddy, but downloading from a data collector has absolutely zero, zilch, nada to do with a project in Civil 3D. And, since Civil 3D was the software that Mr. Wilson was asking about, then my article stands true. I’ll say it one more time:

You cannot download a HP48GX running TDS software to Civil 3D, no way, no how, sorry, won’t work.

Now, since I’ve done this a few times before, I can infer that the party that disagreed was thinking about Land Desktop. Because, you see, Land Destkop with Survey still includes TDS Survey Link, which won’t a) run outside Land Desktop, and b) won’t initialize without a project being active in Land Desktop.

Funny that this should come up since I was just discussing this very thing today with Anthony Governanti…he explained a few things regarding it that I already knew, but we were rehashing some things. See, TDS doesn’t really exist as a company anymore – they were purchased by Trimble a few years ago. As such, they’re phasing out TDS software, including the license that Autodesk used to put into Land Desktop with Survey. Can’t buy it anymore through TDS – go to their website if you don’t believe me.

Let’s go over this one more time since people don’t seem to get it – folks, don’t shoot the messenger, I really feel for you. My TDS data collector is sitting on my desk back in Birmingham waiting on me to get home. I use it mainly for unit conversions (when I don’t want to type into Google), for balancing my checkbook, and for rough loan calculations, and that’s it. But I’ll never part with it….

One more time:

You CANNOT transfer data from a HP48GX data collector with TDS software using Civil 3D.

I can’t make it much more clear than that…


ed. note – Yesterday, the question came up regarding TDS data and Civil 3D.   Yes, you can use the data collected with TDS software on a HP48GX in Civil 3D – there are programs that convert both the .CR5 and the .RW5 file to a usable format that Civil 3D can handle, be that a COGO Point file or a FBK file for the survey database.   My whole post was regarding the transfer of data between the DC and the computer – the program that allowed the cable to be connected and data to flow over it.   That’s what you’re missing in Civil 3D.   I believe Carlson Connect for Civil 3D will convert the data formats just fine.

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