Total Open Station

Total Open Station on OSX and Leica TC407

19 Aug 2014

Last week the friends of L-P Archaeology contacted me to sort out the usage of TOPS on MacOS X ‒ they needed to download data from a Leica TC407. Having worked with a TC307 just last month, I was sure things would work well. Instead, they made me learn about several problems, but by far the most serious is that the main program is broken when used on OSX with the default system Python, due to a known bug in the Tk library ‒ using a Python installed from works well instead.

In the end, after several days of troubleshooting and patience by Guy Hunt and Stu Eve, they were able to download their data from the command line using, which is little more than a thin wrapper around pySerial but did the job.

We’re updating our install instructions for Mac users and also evaluating alternative ways to use TOPS, e.g. as a QGIS plugin instead of a standalone program.

Quoting Guy:

it will give our total station another couple of years of life.

and that’s exactly why TOPS exists!