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How to Set Up a Level

A Leica auto level on a construction site
 
A level is essentially a telescope that rotates around a vertical axis. It is used to create a horizontal line of sight so that height differences can be determined and stakeouts can be performed. Some levels are equipped with a horizontal circle that is useful for setting out right angles, such as during the recording of transverse profiles. High-quality levels can be used to determine distances optically with an accuracy of 0.1 to 0.3 m (4 to 12 in). However, if your level isn't level, it won’t give you the information you need. Here are the basics for how to set up your level correctly.

1. Extend the legs of the tripod as far as required and tighten the screws firmly.

2. Set up the tripod so that the tripod plate is as horizontal as possible and the legs of the tripod are embedded securely in the ground.

3. After setting up the instrument, level it approximately with the bull’s-eye bubble.

4. Turn two of the footscrews together in opposite directions. The index finger of your right hand indicates the direction in which the bubble should move. Now use the third footscrew to center the bubble.

To level the instrument, turn two of the footscrews together in opposite directions.To level the instrument, turn two of the footscrews together in opposite directions.

 
5. To check for level, rotate the instrument by 180 degrees. The bubble should remain within the setting circle. If it does not, then readjustment is required (refer to the user manual).

6. The compensator automatically takes care of the final leveling. The compensator consists of a thread-suspended mirror that directs the horizontal light beam to the center of the crosshair, even if there is residual tilt in the telescope. To make sure the compensator can swing freely, lightly tap a leg of the tripod. You should see the line of sight swing around the staff reading and then steady. If the bull’s-eye bubble is centered, the line of sight should stop at the same point each time you tap the tripod.

The compensatorThe compensator automatically takes care of the final leveling.

 
Go here to browse the wide assortment of levels available in the APE Online Marketplace, or contact us if you need additional assistance selecting or setting up your level.