A. General Information

1. Error Source: Instrumental

All measurement equipment, from steel tape to total station, is subject to maladjustment. The most conscientious personnel measuring in the best environmental conditions will obtain poor results if they do not know how to compensate for equipment maladjustment.

Because it originates with the equipment, maladjustment's error source is Instrumental. If consistent, it is generally systematic which means there is some way it can be eliminated. If inconsistent, the instrument cannot be used to measure reliably and may need to be sent to a repair facility.

Maladjustment compensation can usually be by procedure, math, or equipment adjustment. Measurement procedures generally incorporate maladjustment compensation so equipment can be reliably used even if not in perfect condition. However, some maladjustments cannot be eliminated by procedure. Some might be compensated mathematically, but others could require physical adjustment.

For each measurement device or group, primary maladjustments are identified and how they can be addressed described. Measurement procedures in other topics are heavily based on the information in this topic. Even if you are not going to physically adjust your equipment, these principles help explain why we measure the way we do.