Theodolites For Sale: Researching Your Options

When searching for a theodolite for sale, you’ll find that there are many different options to consider. The type of theodolite you select will be influenced by several factors, but the most important factor will be how you need to use the theodolite. Take a quick look at the different types of theodolites to help you determine what you truly need to purchase.

Surveying Theodolites

A surveying theodolite can be used for a myriad of tasks, but it most commonly is seen at construction sites as well as on the roadways. Surveyors and engineers can use the theodolites to determine boundaries, look at land elevation and record changes in elevation of bridges, buildings and roads that may have shifted their positions over time.

These types of theodolites also can be used for unique applications. For instance, we recently read about a team of scientists studying orca migration and behavior, and they used a theodolite to track these animals from the shoreline. This allowed them to study the animals without using a boat or disturbing the orca’s environment.

Observation Theodolites

Technically, all theodolites are used for observation, but our WK-20-8500 Observation Theodolite is used for very specific applications. This observation theodolite is designed to be installed permanently in one specific spot, unlike a surveying theodolite, which can be packed up and toted from site to site.

Typically, you’ll find one of our observation theodolites on the deck of a ship or perhaps at an airport, particularly at a military facility. Our theodolite allows for both daytime and nighttime operation and includes full 360-degree vertical and horizontal circles, which permits sightings from zenith to 10 degrees below the horizontal.

Telemetering Theodolites

This type of theodolite typically is used at civilian and military airports. Our WK-20-8350 Telemetering Theodolite can be used to calibrate a variety of navigational aids, including ILS, MLS, VOR, TACAN and VORTAC. As the name suggests, the azimuth and elevation readings continually are transmitted to an aircraft receiver with a UHF telemetric unit. 

Meteorological Theodolites

In this category, you will find theodolites for sale listed as meteorological theodolites or you might also need a pilot balloon theodolite. Both of these can be used to observe the elevation and azimuth of pilot balloons or weather balloons, and you also can use these to study cloud formations.

Additionally, our pilot balloon theodolite can be used to measure angles of elevation and azimuth of aircrafts or ships as well as other moving objects. In fact, with good visibility, our pilot balloon theodolite (the WK-20-8400) can provide measurements at distances of up to 20,000 meters away and perhaps farther. We also sell balloon inflation kits as well as ceiling and pilot balloons.

Theodolite Apps

Of course, not everyone is a surveyor, meteorologist or working on board ship or at an airport, and theodolites can come in handy for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are several theodolite apps available for smart phones, and these can be a lot of fun to use, but they also can save your life, as they often include features such as a GPS and a compass, as well as maps.

You could also use these apps for your next round of golf, as it provides you with highly detailed information about elevation and angles. Additionally, some people even use them for professional tasks such as landscaping and surveying. For less than $10, these apps can be a huge help when you are out in the field, allowing you to simply use an app on your phone to make initial calculations.

It’s interesting to note that the theodolite has been around for hundreds of years, and it’s still commonly used today. The first theodolites were developed in the 16th century, and while they certainly were less precise than the theodolites today they were used for surveying and mapping tasks in much the same way we use them today. At Warren Knight, we’ve been designing precision instruments for more than 100 years. As stated above, our selection of theodolites for sale includes a telemetering theodolite, a pilot balloon theodolite, an observation theodolite and a meteorological theodolite. If you don’t see precisely what you need, give us a call as we may be able to provide you with a custom design.

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