Another option that we have used is the Trimble Recon. This is quite a nice device, though it is more expensive. Properly configured, it comes with a BlueTooth connection and a serial connection both of which make it quite easy to connect to a total station. The unit also comes with an extended battery that gives extra security (though note that the iPaq also easily records a day's points and has interchangeable batteries).
Both the iPaq and the Recon come with mini-USB ports. These ports can be used to connect these devices easily to a PC. However, they cannot be used to connect to a total station (at least not on Leica). This is because Leica does not provide a USB driver for Windows Mobile.
If you would like to use BlueTooth but your total station is not BlueTooth equipped, you can purchase a BlueTooth to Serial converter. These devices connect to the serial cable connected to the total station, and then allow the iPaq or Recon to use BlueTooth to connect to the total station. Initial setup can take a bit of time, but once you solve the settings our experience is that these devices work very well. Note that you need to be sure to buy a BlueTooth to Serial converter that is battery powered.
Like our other versions of the EDM software, the program differs from standard survey programs in that it was specifically designed to help with piece proveniencing artifacts in archaeological sites. It uses a configuration file that the user designs (there is also a default configuration). It has menu fields to speed data entry and reduce errors. It allows user defined spatial units that can then be associated with various fields so that the total station can determine which unit a point comes from and so that defaults and ID numbers can be retained for those units. The program accepts data transfers from Topcon, Wild, Leica and Sokkia total stations. Recently the program was updated to accept the new Leica data format.
Version 1.5bt This is the latest version of the program and the one that we use daily. This does not mean that it is without bugs. You may try things with the program that we did not anticipate. If you have a problem, you can write us and if we have time we will try to help you. We like to learn of bugs because we would like this software to work for everyone. Contact us at email@example.com.
Installation Instructions To install the program, create a folder on the handheld device. We recommend a folder called 'EDM-Mobile' in the 'Program Files' folder. Download the five files listed below to your PC. Connect the handheld device to the PC (you may need to install Microsoft's ActiveSync software to do this) and place all five of these files in the newly created folder. Tap on first one and then the other CAB file to install them. The program will not work without these files installed. Now tap on the program itself, and it should run. The first time you run the program, it will offer to make a default configuration file which will be saved in the 'My Documents' folder. You can begin using the program in 'Simulation' mode (meaning that random XYZ coordinates are provided) or you can connect a total station and configure the program to communicate with it.
We use the program on an HP iPaq running Windows Mobile 6.0. For now, these can still be found on sites like Amazon. To use an iPaq, you also need a Socket Serial card for a compact flash (CF) slot. This means buying an iPaq with both a compact flash slot and an SD (secure digital) slot. The latter is used to store the data. A Socket Serial card for CF can also be found on Amazon.
EDM-Mobile is a total station data collection program (like EDM-CE and EDMWIN) designed to work on handheld devices running Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.5. It also works on Windows Mobile 5.0 with a compatibility pack installed. It does not work on Windows Mobile 7.0 (the latest version that is used on smart phones - this is because Microsoft once again changed everything).