We use Trimble data collection software. We typically import a "rw5" file converted from the "job" file. We then convert the "rw5" file to a "fbk" file. The conversion process has some bugs in it..
We have found two problems (thus far!):
1) The backsite data, for a station set-up, gives back an error when we reduce the data into the survey network. It also tweaks the coordinates for the set-up point. We have fixed the error by noting this line of data in the "fbk" file.
2) When the field doubles angles (wrapping, turning, etc.) C3D use only the first angle turned and not the mean or averaged angle.
We have found that if Trimble Geomatics Office (TGO) is used in post-processing, the "fbk" file generated works on both counts. Just wanted see if anybody had any thoughts. FYI, the Trimble ribbon does exactly the same thing as C3D when a "job" file is imported, i.e. does not work properly.
Use the instrument manufactures software to process and adjust field data. The "TDS / Softdesk Survey " subroutine is at least 15 years old and does not understand the capabilities of modern instruments; at best it understands a simple plate angle survey . The Back sight problem has been in the TDS software since the 90's, There is a problem with duplicate point numbers, and a problem caused by inserting a line of setup coordinates in the field file with each new instrument point. This causes problems when trying to reprocess after correcting takeoff coordinates of azimuth; each of these instrument coordinate lines need to be changed to notes. TDS uses a BIF format to store point coordinates Back sight, Instrument, Foresight ; this works if you only shoot one shot and one face on each point number. But if any point is shot more than once the coordinates are averaged and updated. ie shoot a back sight as a foresight from a new instrument point and it changes the coordinates of the back sight point.
The Instrument manufactures software allows all of the capabilities of the instrument to be used. We use a Leica System 1200 consisting of a set of GPS 1200 GPS receivers and base station and a TPS 1200 Smart Station. This allows use of GPS in the open and we can go to conventional total station seamlessly when needed. Data from the two methods can be mixed as needed. The Smart station allows Smart Station GPS setups, conventional setups, 2 point resection, multi-point resection, reciprocal leveling, solar leap frog. I process the mixed data using Leica Geo Office and do adjustment if needed with Move3. Code Lists and Figure Codes need to be setup ahead of time for both the instrument and C3D. Processed data is exported in PENZD.csv format then imported into C3D and Description Codes Applied.