Laser level receivers are an essential part of using laser levels outside, without a receiver/detector you would have to rely on the visibility of the laser line or dot under bright conditions thats not going to do the job .
Laser receivers /detectors are not as generic as you may think and so its worth taking some time to talk about them.
First of all, not all laser receivers work with all laser levellers. Line lasers must have pulse mode for a line laser receiver to pick them up, even then some lasers pulse at a different rate to others, so one line receiver may not necessarily work with all of them. Rotating lasers will not work with pulsed line lasers, and Line receivers with not work with rotary lasers. Finally Red and Green lasers operate at different frequencies and so red and green receivers are tuned to their specific frequency. Saying this there are some universal detectors available which work with both red and green beams.
Most of the time when you purchase a rotating laser it comes with a receiver so its worth looking at the receiver as well as the laser when you make that purchase. Following is a list of different styles of receiver and features.
- Basic rotating receiver with LED display – The most basic of receiver will have three LED lights one indicating “above level”, one “below level” and one showing “on level”.
- Rotating receiver with LCD display – These generally have a number of bars above level and the same below and as the receiver gets closer to level the LCD display indicates it getting closer to level.
- Rotating receiver with dual LCD displays – Simply put the receiver has a duplicate display on its reverse. This is well worth having as you can observe the display from the rear as viewing the front display can mean you getting in the way of the laser beam.
- Millimetre Display receivers (can operate in fraction of inches too) – These receivers generally have a greater reception window and indicate how close to level the laser is. e.g. 35mm above level.
- Machine Mounted receivers – All the previous receivers are hand held/staff mounted receivers. machine receiver are mounted on an earth moving machine directly so you can see the depth of a cut directly compared to the level/grade set on a rotating laser level. These types of receivers are often purchased as an accessory, its worth noting that most machine receivers only operate on red beam rotating lasers. So don’t buy green if you think you may later on need a machine receiver, your options may be limited.
Other receiver features worth talking about;
- Sound – Most receivers have sound and most will have three seperate tones, for above, blow and on level. Some models will have variable sound levels and some are loader than others.
- Accuracy settings – Receivers have a band in which it displays as level, some are 1mm dead accurate band and some a larger band such as 3mm and some are switchable this can be important for some users and applications. So again its worth asking the question when you are looking to purchase.
- Build quality – Some are much tougher than others, and receivers are going to get abused by dropping, covered in mud or concrete etc. Also worth checking how durable the staff clamp is as well while you are at it.