The FOUNDATION and DAVE INGRAM Collaborate to Help ETSU
Monday, November 27, 2017
Many of you know that a little over a year ago Dave Ingram sold his business that he had managed for over 40 years and retired from the active practice of surveying. In preparing for retirement Dave set up a shop to do repairs and restoration of antique surveying equipment and has been thoroughly enjoying himself. Much of his work is focused on brass instruments from the 1800’s which are in need of cleaning, lubricating, and having replacement parts made. Every instrument has to be evaluated and studied individually for its specific needs so that the end product is functional and true to form.
However, Dave has also gotten interested in some of the instruments that were developed while he was practicing. The Wild T3000 series of precise theodolites have proved to be amazing. And the very rugged Topcon 3B series are still an old favorite and have lots of life left in them. A year ago Dave bought a 3B on eBay dirt cheap not knowing whether it was functional or a boat anchor. It was perfect. Next thing he knows, he buys three more that all turn out to be good. So, what now?
Having served on the ETSU Surveying Advisory Committee, Dave was well aware that instruments for freshman and construction students have been an issue. There was no reason to overwhelm the students with the most recent, state of the art instruments, but the low end, inexpensive theodolites were not serving the school or the students well either. A conversation with the faculty discussed the idea of letting the intro classes use 3B’s which could be provided to the school at a cost of $425 each. Dave would acquire the instruments, refurbish & adjust them, include a rebuilt battery, charger, case, manual, PPM calculator and other incidentals. The faculty liked this idea because it would be a fully functioning total station, but the loss would be minimal if something happened.
However, there was a problem because the University is not accustomed to purchasing used equipment, but this is where the Virginia Surveyors Foundation stepped up. The Foundation budgets money every year to purchase things for the program that they otherwise have difficulty funding. So the Foundation agreed to fund the acquisition of a total of 7 Topcon 3B’s for the program. The first semester is almost over, the instruments have served their purpose, and have provided better learning opportunities than freshman students have previously had.
Now there is an opportunity for you to help the surveyors of tomorrow – actually 2 ways. First, do you have an old Topcon series 3 total station sitting around in a closet that you are not using? Consider donating it to the Foundation and Dave will try to work his magic on it. Then it can be made available to schools for student use even less expensively than noted above. Second, consider becoming a member of the Foundation. Join us at our luncheon on Friday at the VAS Annual Meeting in Staunton. Our membership application is real easy – a check made out to the Foundation in the amount of $125 with your address on it is all we need.
There is one other thing that may happen with these instruments as well. Any student that would like to have is own instrument is invited to purchase one. There will be occasions during a student’s time at school that it might be handy to have their own instrument to use without being dependent upon instruments that the school has that might not be accessible when desired. It’s a good opportunity to make student life less stressful.
So, if you have a Topcon instrument you could donate to the Foundation, please bring it to the January annual conference in Staunton. If you have an old instrument you’d like to have Dave repair and restore, please contact Dave directly at 140 Old Bridgewater Road, Mt. Crawford, VA, 22841 or phone him at (540) 828-4878.