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Optical Level

Summary

An optical level is a piece of equipment used for levelling.

Technical Information

An optical level consists of a scope with a crosshair, through which the levelling staff is targeted. It has a spirit level to aid in making the instrument level during setup and it is mounted on a tripod with adjustable legs.

Some optical levels are digital and can automatically take a reading from an appropriate levelling staff.

To take measurements with an optical level you must:

  1. Set up a tripod so the legs are equally spaced and the top roughly horizontal.
  2. Remove the optical level from the hard case and screw it onto the tripod.
  3. Once secure, level the apparatus with the spirit level and the levelling screws on the optical level. Now, any point to which the crosshair aims at will be on the same horizontal plane.
  4. Readings can be taken once the set up is complete. To do this look through the eyepiece and use the focus knob to clearly examine the levelling staff.
  5. When readings have been taken from all points in range, the optical level must be moved to another position and re-levelled and calibrated. A back sight must be taken once the optical level is in its new position. 

Related Definitions

Resources

  1. BS 4484-1:1969: Specification for measuring instruments for construction  

  2. The Concrete Society: Technical Report 34; 3.3.3.

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