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Leap forward for handheld borehole logging

A HANDHELD borehole logging device that combines logging software with a Compaq iPAQ pocket PC has been launched by Key Systems Geotechnical.

PocketSI was developed with a number of site investigation companies which provided feedback and advice at each stage of development and tested the equipment in the field.

The optional armoured waterproof case renders the iPAQ 'rugged enough for moderately rough treatment such as dropping on to soft ground or immersion in water', the firm said.

Although it has a cursor control and five programmable buttons, operation is mainly by tapping the stylus on the screen, even through the weatherproof membrane of the strengthened case. Data is typically entered using the onscreen keyboard although hand-script recognition and voice recording are provided as standard.

Data entry uses a familiar treelist layout which Key says is intuitive and easy to master. Data validation rules enforce AGS data format rules and British Standards BS5930 and BS1377, as well as ensuring logical values are maintained between related items - for example, maximum geology depth and final borehole depth.

Pivotal to the system's role is the ability to upload logged information to a central data store using the iPAQ's in-built synchronisation system. The user only needs to place the pocket PC into its cradle and the data is transferred automatically.

Although specifically designed to post data directly into Key Systems' borehole software Holebase, PocketSI is compatible with all AGS-compliant systems.

The iPAQ is also supplied with Pocket versions of Word, Excel and Outlook. Prices were yet to be announced as GE went to press but were expected to start at less than £600.

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