Frequently Asked Questions

This page is a continuing Work in Progress, and we will continue to compile, collate, index and publish questions which are common to new clients, and clients starting an activity they haven't attempted before.

We would recommend that you also scan the online tutorials on how you could perform a certain operation. 

Please check back again regularly, but in the meantime we are happy to answer any particular question if you click on the "Ask a Question" button and send us the question.


FAQ's Contents

  1. How do I use Different Distance Units ?
  2. How do I Input Quadrant Bearings ?
  3. Where can I find the Inverse routines ?
  4. Why don't I get any Triangles ?
  5. Why doesn't the job Plot out ?
  6. Can I do a 'MapCheck' (aka Lot Check)?
  7. After upgrading to Win2000 or XP my hardware lock doesn't work
  8. I installed the drivers and it still doesn't work 
  9. My new computer doesn't even have a parallel port for the dongle

1. How do I use Different Distance Units ?

CDS allows you to use metres, feet, feet and inches and links as the unit of measurement..

When it first is installed CDS assumes that the distance unit will be metres. (The over-whelming majority of the world uses metres as the standard of measurement, so that is the default)

If you wish to use feet (or feet & inches, or links), you need to:
• create a NEW job,
• immediately use Modes Input - pick on the Modes icon (or press the F9 key)
& click on the "Modes Input" Tab
• set both Input and Output to Feet (decimal), or whatever unit you require. 

Now any values you add to the job should be accepted and displayed in feet.

If you look to the bottom right of the screen you will see 'ft' in 2 fields to indicate that you are inputting and outputting feet.

From this point forward, any new jobs you create will default to using decimal feet for input and output. (new jobs, except for the first one, default to the units used by the last job you created).

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2. How do I Input Quadrant Bearings or Grads?

When CDS is installed it defaults to accepting and displaying angular measurements as Bearings (aka Whole Circle Bearings)  with Zero degrees being North, 90 degrees due East, 180 degrees due South and 270 degrees due West.

If you wish to use Quadrant bearings or Grads or Mills you may change the units to suit.

To do so use the following steps
• create a NEW job,
• immediately use Modes Input - pick on the Modes icon (or press the F9 key) & click on the "Modes Input" Tab
• set Bearing Input and Output to Quadrant , or whatever unit you require. 

Now any bearings/angles you add to the job should be accepted and displayed as Quadrant Bearings.

If you look to the bottom right of the screen you will see 'quad' in 2 fields to indicate that you are inputting and outputting Quadrant Bearings.

From this point forward, any new jobs you create will default to using Quadrant Bearings for input and output. (new jobs, except for the first one, default to the units used by the last job you created).

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3. Where can I find the Inverse routines ?

The Inverse routines you are looking for are called Joins in CDS.

While the term Inverse is very common in the US, it is not widely used around the rest of the Surveying World, and there is unfortunately no 'standard' term.

For better or worse, we chose the term Join because what the Inverse does is to show you the Join between two points.

If you want to do an Inverse press J .

This is what we call a "Hot Key" - it doesn't appear on any of the menus but it is available any time you are not entering data into a field.

You will be asked to specify the 2 points. You can either enter the point numbers, or 'pick' the points with the cursor.

Once you specify the points the bearing and distance of the Join (OK then Inverse) between the 2 points will be shown. 
If both points have heights then the grade between them will be shown as well.

If you need to Inverse/Join to a series of points then use Cogo followed by Stake Out Report.

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4. Why don't I get any Triangles ?

The lack of triangles can generally be solved by stepping logically through the options in Surface Parameters, Surface Point Selection and Surface Area listed below - providing you have points with heights in the job.

1. Surface Parameters

Select Contour followed by Surface Parameters.

Check to make sure that the heights which appear on the Surface parameter screen cover the range of heights in your job

If they don't, Press the Reset button and then check again.

If they still don't cover the range, go through the Surface Point Selection option discussed below and then try again.

If you still have no luck, close the job down and re-open it to make sure everything gets reset correctly, and any lingering scrambled memory is unscrambled.

2. Surface Point Selection

Next, select the Tab marked Surface Point Selection.

Check to see if the range of points on the screen covers the range of points in the job.

If not, use the Reset button to rest All parameters, and then check the range again.

If you still have no luck, close the job down and re-open it to make sure everything gets reset correctly, and any lingering scrambled memory is unscrambled.

3. Surface Area

Select Contour followed by Surface Area.

Select the Extents option to make sure that the entire job will be included..

At this point you should be able to select Contour followed by Form Model and you should get some triangles.

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5. Why doesn't the job Plot out ?

The first thing to define here is what is a 'Plot'.

You probably think it is the final piece of paper you get, and that is fine, but from our position we can only directly control what appears in the Print Preview window. 

What happens between there and the piece of paper is beyond our immediate control and involves a combinations of the mysteries of Windows and the machinations of Device Drivers.

A. Nothing appears in the Print Preview

First you need to make sure that you have actually told it to plot something.

You must be aware that what appears on the screen is controlled by the Modes/Layers option while what appears on the Plot is controlled by the Plot Parameters option.

Step 1 - Check the Plot Parameters

Select File followed by Plot Parameters.

You will see a series of 'Tabs' and you need to examine each one carefully to make sure the settings on each are correct.

First and most basic of all is to look at the Point Point parameter 'tab' and make sure that the field at the very top labeled 'Points' is ticked or selected if you actually want the points to be plotted.

The same applies to the String and Contour Parameter tabs - if you want to see them turn them ON.

If you have turned he items On, and still can't see them, have a careful look at the 'Selection' tabs to make sure that you have actually got some Points/Strings selected and reset them if necessary.

Step 2 - Check the Plot Position

Next you need to go to File followed by Position Plot Window. This will give you the outline of the sheet of paper you are trying to plot on at the scale you are trying to plot.

If it doesn't appear, or doesn't appear correctly, you need to go to File, Plot Parameters and examine the Paper Size and Scale values that are shown on the 'Sheet Details' tab..

You can use the 'Printer Change' button to change either the printer or the paper size and layout, or both.

The Scale option is on the next line down.

Once you have tinkered with these settings, go back to Position Plot Window and 'drag' the piece of paper to where you want it.

Step 3 - Print Preview

Once you have changed one of the parameters outlined in the first 2 options, do a Print Preview to see what effect the changes have had.

When it appears that there is actually something which vaguely resembles what you want in the Print preview window you can proceed to the Print option.

B. Print Preview is OK but Paper Plot is not

If the thing appears to be OK in the Print Preview but gets scrambled when it appears on the paper, or doesn't appear on the paper at all, please download and install the latest driver for your particular printer/plotter. 

99.95% of the time this has proven to fix the problem.

And no, sorry, but we don't have any of the latest drivers - there are simply too many and you need to look at the Web Site of your printer manufacturer.

In the other 0.05% of cases we will do what we can to help you sort out the problem.

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Can CDS do a 'Map Check' (or Lot Check) ?

Certainly. While the terminology used to describe this type of report varies from location to location, thankfully the basic format of the report remains the same, and you can achieve it with the following steps.

Open an existing job or create a New one.

If necessary, use Point > Add, to add in the POB with its coordinates.

Use Cogo > Bearing and Distance, to enter the 'calls' or bearings and distances around the parcel, or parcels.

Use Strings > Add, to add in a string or strings to define each Parcel.

Use Strings > Select, to select the parcel or parcels you wish to include in the report.

Use Strings > Listings, and make sure you select Full Listing and Misclose Report then pick OK.

You will now receive a report which details each 'leg' of the parcel, with coordinates along with the 'misclose' the 'accuracy' and the area.

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After upgrading to Win2000 or XP my hardware lock doesn't work

The hardware lock is still operating correctly. However Win2000 and XP require a software driver loaded so that the program can access the lock. The driver can be found on any of the latest program CD's that we have sent out. To install the driver proceed as

Place CD in to computer. Ignore start up dialog. Right click on the start button in bottom left of the screen and choose explore. Open up the CD directory and double click on the "NTdisk" folder. Double click on the "setupX86" program to run it. It runs and displays one menu item called "functions". Click on this and select "install sentinal drivers. Accept the default directory shown. It will reboot your computer and the dongle will be operational.

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I installed the drivers and it still doesn't work 

If you have a Toshiba laptop the problem fix is described below. It is possible that some newer computers could have the same setup.

The problem is in the bios setup of the Toshiba notebook. You need to change the operation of the parallel port in the bios.

We have a link here of a program which is totally unrelated to ours. However the instructions for changing the Toshiba bios is identical to what you need to do for CDS. Please read the bit about the Toshiba lap top problem. It describes exactly what you need and what you need to do.

http://www.transasnautic.com/support.asp 

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My new computer doesn't even have a parallel port for the dongle

We are presently implementing a USB dongle. Email us for details.

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Copyright © 2003 Foresoft Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 01, 2005 .