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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple small and one mid scale landscape project coming up. A long time ago I borrowed one of those spinning laser dodads and still have it, if it was yours and you need it back let me know. Its a Johnstone so not total junk and I'm sure at the time wasn't a throw away cheap unit but its very basic manual leveled and just not bright enough to be of any use during even a cloudy day outdoors. It came with one of those plastic target things which helps slightly but still has only about a 10' range.

What appears to be better quality prosumer stuff can easily get into the $1000's which is more than I want to spend for a tool I so rarely need. I did notice you can buy what they call laser receivers for under $100. Anyone ever use one? I used one once but it was part of a $1800 dewalt set. Seemed to work good and even had a beep so if it was really sunny it still worked. Do these sold on their own ones work with any laser? Because mine seems extra weak will I still have limited range? Just curious to hear what others have experienced on the subject.
 

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Yes! I've used these on many oh jobsites, they are excellent!


I used no less than 3 at a time with my 18v Dewalt rotary laser. Your range isn't of you can "see" it while it's spinning. If you turn the spinning off, and can see the laser in static form then the receivers will be able to pick it up.

These particular Bosch units linked above run on 9v batteries, keep extra handy. If the receiver starts acting funky or inconsistent, put in a new battery.

Tip: use 1/2" or larger threaded rod to mount them on. Very narrow margin of being "zeroed". Threaded rod you can push it up and down a thread at a time til you're where you want to be

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I don't quite get what you are saying about not spinning. Seems like especially on the scale of outdoors if it wasn't spinning and you can't see it that it would be very hard to get it where you wanted it and hit the beam.

And with the threaded rod are you just sticking it to it with the magnets? I was thinking of a piece of scrap angle iron with one of those free yardsticks glued to it as a makeshift grade rod.

My current project is just trying to get rid of some rolling hills in what is supposed to be a flat road. I'm only off by inches but keep getting stuck and moving them around I think because of the wheelbase of my tractor. If I can easily identify them and mark them with cones I can then move gravel based on the cones not what I think I am seeing and feeling from the tractor seat. It did just rain so maybe when I get out to the property today I will be able to see puddles or signs of puddles.
 

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Sorry, re-reading I totally butchered my words. My free time was coming to an end quickly and I was trying to rush in a response.

My use with these Bosch units linked above was for very precise measurement of ground movement. I was pumping expanding foam under and Interstate and had these units located strategically around my injection site to monitor ground heave. We dial them all in to 'zero' and pump away until one of these units indicates ground movement or we reach our target quantity of material, whichever comes first. They are accurate to 1/16",that's the claim at least.
Based on what you're trying to level, these are probably not your best option.
Let me know if you're able to see puddles immediately after rain to determine your low spots. A couple ideas come to mind...

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Discussion Starter #5
I do use puddles and water flow during the rain to try and find the low spots and make sure things are flowing where I think they should.

The typical problem area is basically a class 5 limestone driveway. At times it can see a few hundred cars in a day. When there are puddles its too wet for me to do anything productive with it so I have to wait for it to dry and by then the traffic has really made a mess of things so I have more to contend with than just a low spot.

Tools I have at my disposal is a tractor with a loader and a 3pt box scraper. I have an improvised drag thing I pull behind the tractor for a final finish. I just hook it to the scraper so I can use it by itself or with the loader and scraper. I also have a small skid steer with a land plane.

I do know at times I'm literally digging myself a hole because of the wheelbase of my tractor and implements. Sometimes when I know thats what I did I will go try and mow down the high spots with the land plane but that is where I'm really working in the dark because I can't really tell where I'm at.
 

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I finally had enough reasons to buy something so I got the $70 Johnson detector and their $40 aluminum grade rod. I also set up a 50' water level just for comparison. The manual or maybe cheap laser differs by abut 1 1/2" at 40'. Not sure if a higher quality auto level one would be better or not. Looks like that will only be a good setup when the distances are too far for a practical water level or an inch or so isn't that critical.
 
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