Monitoring Prisms, Everything you need to know.

By Cody Corporation

Monitoring Prisms, What’s the difference between SECO and BEAR?

Monitoring Prisms are commonly used in the Mining, Civil and surveying world, but when it comes to purchasing a reliable prism a lot of the time brand names win the debate without any real factual evidence pointing to why they are priced as much as they are and why they should be chosen as the go to prism.

At Cody Corp we decided to put to the test the worlds most commonly sold Monitoring prism up against our prism to see what they are made of, how they are made, the accuracy of the prisms and what dignifies the huge difference in price between them.

The 2 prisms being looked at today are the SECO 62mm Monitoring Prism and the Bear 62mm Monitoring Prism. Both prisms are commonly used within the previous mentioned industries for various tasks because of their robustness, accuracy and easy to calculate offsets but the SECO prism is the highest turnover prism on the market, lets find out why this is and what the differences between the 2 prisms really are.

As you can see here both outer housings look very similar not a huge deal of difference other then the 5/8 x 11 thread being slightly longer on the SECO Prism.

Orange = Bear Large Single Prism

Black = SECO Large Single Prism

But when you look at the thread from the back you will see that the end is plastic capped and not completely aluminium filled. This is a problem because plastic is in general very thin on the end of these threads and this causes cracks and holes to open which compromises the internal prism. A fully encased aluminium thread is what you’re after and that is what the Bear Prism in fact has.

Orange = Bear Large Single Prism

Black = SECO Large Single Prism

As mentioned before once the prism assembly is removed you can in fact see a hole at the end of the prism thread this is something to be weary of as once the weather starts to hit this prism you will find water starting to seep inside the housing, causing its weight to be compromised, causing misting and degradation to the prism backing. This is not a good thing, but it is something that without looking for it you wouldn’t have noticed it.

SECO Casing Picture.

Bear Casing Picture.

With the aluminium thread completed on the orange prism this ensures the pin holes won’t occur and won’t compromise the prisms integrity. The Bear Prisms also have a glue applied to the prism to further secure it making it highly difficult to unscrew the prism and change the internal of the prism.

The next picture shows the Prism assembly, protective ring and black coating, as you can see both prisms are the same in this manner. This is the main part of the prism, this is where the accuracy comes from, the manufacturing of these prisms is done the same and the outcome is the same.

Both prisms have an O-ring seal around the base of the prism, this stops water from the face sliding behind the prism and into the housing compromising the prism and housing.

As you can see the back of the prism is coated black this is to aid in the reflection of the laser from the base of the prism. Some cheaper alternative prisms in fact aren’t coated which can cause bad readings as the laser gets lots within the angles of the prism and reflects through the back of the prism. This is something to keep an eye out on the lower quality prisms on the market.

Bear Prism Picture.

SECO Prism

This picture shows you the inner prism of a lower quality alternative, as you can see the reflective coating has been removed and this can cause bad, inconsistent and on rare occasions no reflection of the laser beam back too the total station. Be careful of these prisms out there being sold as high quality alternatives.

As you can see both the Bear and SECO prisms are very similar with a few slight changes for the better on the Bear prism. The main factor you need to worry about when purchasing these prisms is the pricing for both.

SECO – $189 +gst AUD

Bear – $99 +gst AUD

There is a huge difference in price for effectively a prism that is less durable to the other, this is mainly to do with the brand name associated with the prism. Don’t be fooled just because the brand name is on there doesn’t always means it’s the best quality out there.

Always ask for a demo unit, test these things for yourself and see the quality for yourself and once you have done that also save yourself a ton of money when buying these prisms in bulk.

Comparison between Bear (Orange) and Seco (Black) Prisms.

Should you be interested in a trial of any of our prisms in accordance to bulk ordering or want to see the quality of these prisms for yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know and we can arrange a time for a demonstration.


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