Chat => Guides & Projects => Topic started by: zpyder on June 11, 2012, 16:26:13 PM

Title: Quadrat project
Post by: zpyder on June 11, 2012, 16:26:13 PM
For people who are thinking "WTF is a quadrat?"....it's one of these:


Basically it's a square that is chucked about outside and the coverage of different features/species within the frame is recorded as a %.

My survey this year is using a 2m quadrat. Rather than being rigid it's two 2m poles with string 2m long connecting them, so it's easier to carry. At a survey point you just throw one pole as far as you can and it forms the 2x2m square. Problem is when you pick the poles up the string dangles 1m down and as I'm doing heathland, it's snagging and catching on everything and poses a trip hazard as I'm walking.

As I haven't got anything better to do when i'm walking from point to point, my brain is trying to come up with a foldable/collapsible quadrat design. It'd be very cool to create something that is cheap, lightweight, durable, and can be folded down nicely for transport. I've got a few options, but the challenge is the actual joints. As such I'm asking for any help in sourcing materials and joints that could work!

2 Design options are:

Option A
Only folds at the corners. Easier to do, but does mean the folded-down quadrat would be 2m long.

option B
Folds in the corners and at the mid-point, resulting in folded-down quadrat being 1m long and easier to store. Problem is the extra joints could make it harder to keep the square shape in the field.

I'm wondering if something like this, but in reverse (so a dowel slots into a tube) would be suitable:

Ideally though I'd like joints that lock at 90 degrees and 180 degrees, so it's not possible for the frame to fold the wrong way. Even better would be some kind of "lock into place" action which would allow for the frame to be made into a square and the quadrat thrown, to allow for random placement in the field.