EDM (Wild DI 10)

The Wild DI 10 Distomat, one of the first infrared EDMs on the market, used a gallium-arsenide light-emitting diode, and had a digital readout. Wild began experimenting with gallium-arsenide diodes in 1963. These diodes used very little power, and their infrared radiation could be directly modulated in intensity.
In 1965, Wild began a collaboration with the Societé d'Études, Recherches et Constructions Electroniques (SERCEL) in Nantes, Frances, which was working on the same problem. By the end of 1966, they had a prototype that could measure 912 meters in misty weather. The first production models arrived in the United States in October 1969. The DI 10 was small (17.7 kg plus batteries) and convenient, and could "span 1 to 1000 meters perfectly (with 1 cm accuracy)." It could be ordered with, or retrofitted to, any Wild T-2 theodolite, or used as a separate measuring system with the tilting base. New, it cost $6,850.
By February 1971 there were more than 1,000 units in service; by June 1973 this number had increased to nearly 2,000. The DI 10 at the Smithsonian belonged to surveyors in Tennessee, who bought it new in 1971. The case for the control unit is marked "11729." The aiming head is marked "WILD HEERBRUGG Made in Switzerland 51729."
Ref: Wild, Infra-red Distancer Wild DI 10 Distomat Instructions for Use.
Currently not on view
overall: 43 cm x 36.5 cm x 22 cm; 16 15/16 in x 14 3/8 in x 8 21/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object