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6. Good habits

It is important to establish good procedural habits right away and follow them consistently. Although there are a lot of things to remember learning to set up and use a TSI, continued practice helps these become second nature.

When measuring horizontal angles, always turn the TSI in the direction of the angle measurement. Do this even if it's a longer way to go. On a digital TSI, the angle readings generally increase as it is turned right and decrease as turned left. Most can be set to increase left and decrease right. Using a consistent measuring and turning direction can avoid confusion later on.

Horizontal and vertical circle locks need only be finger-tight. Overtightening can damage the locks. They can also freeze up if tightened in cold operation conditions then used later in warmer conditions.

To rotate the telescope vertically or the TSI horizontally, use a single finger to impart the motion. It doesn't take much force to rotate if the respective lock is open, If it doesn't freely rotate, that means the lock is set. This doesn't apply to TSIs which use a friction-drive system.

Before beginning an angle measurement set, position the horizontal and vertical slow motion screws at mid-run. This will allow sufficient movement in either direction when accurately sighting.

Don’t lean on or grab the tripod. The tripod’s sole purpose is to provide a stable platform for the instrument, not the surveyor. Be careful to not kick a tripod leg when moving around the instrument.

If setting up on frozen ground make sure the legs are firmly planted. Over time the pressure of the leg tips will thaw the ground beneath them causing potential settlement. This can be prevented by piling snow around the legs to insulate them. (If you've never surveyed in the winter, you're missing quite a treat.)