DistoX calibration tools and the need for calibration checking
For proper cave surveying using DistoX, the device needs to be calibrated with adequate accuracy. Calibrating does not require any tools; but, tools to make calibration easier have been developed. Theoretical consideration shows that the use of certain tools enables one to introduce a type of calibration error that goes undetected by the calibration software. In this study, the existence of such errors is experimentally confirmed and their magnitude is estimated. It is demonstrated to be crucial that the DistoX is calibrated and that the calibration is valid, that is, that the device has not changed since it was last calibrated. No part of the DistoX must have moved or changed its magnetization since calibration, not even the battery. The calibration method used and the quality of the resulting calibration are important too. It is highly recommended that the DistoX be checked immediately before surveying a cave and thus avoid the possibility of using an uncalibrated, not validly calibrated, or poorly calibrated device. To complete the check, a few survey shots are measured multiple times with the device at different roll angles, and the back shot of one of the shots is measured. If the device is properly calibrated, the measurements will agree with each other within the acceptable measurement error. This is not the case for a device that is not properly calibrated.
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