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E2 specifications
E2-EC standard Kern base
Kern E2-ECA8 Leica DISTO™ A8 E2-EC with Leica DISTO™ A8 E2-EC with Leica DISTO™ A8    
Kern E2 sub-second theodolite.
Shown here with the Kern module 3-point multi leveling base for a constant axis height of 220mm.
Kern E2 sub-second theodolite
Shown here with the Kern standard 3-point pivot leveling base for a constant axis height of 200mm.
E2-A8 with original standard center pivot leveling base for a constant height of 200 mm, and top-mounted A8 Leica Disto™ visible Laser for quick distance measurements.

The Kern E2 is the most accurate and stable electronic sub-second theodolite ever built. The instrument is built with an extremely sturdy aluminum cast U-standard frame, which guarantees unsurpassed structural and mechanical stability. Due to its simple operation and solid state design, no RAM or software nor internal batteries to content with, a low maintenance and calibration cost and an overall very short learning curve stands to benefit the user.
Unfailing even under extreme use and conditions, it is without doubt one of the best kept secrets and most cost-effective electronic theodolites in the optical tooling and alignment industry, equaling the measuring accuracy and capability of the very Kern DKM3, a one-tenth arc second theodolite.

DKM2-AT DKM2-AEC with A8 Leica Disto™ A8 Leica DISTO™ DKM2-AEC with A8 Leica DISTO™ DKM2-AEC with A8 Leica DISTO™ DKM2-A with Laser  

This previously standard Kern DKM2-AE was modified and converted into a tribrach model DKM2-AET by Swisstek Inc.


This DKM2-AECT one arc second Theodolite, mated with a A8 Leica Disto™, with visible Laser and Tilt Sensor, makes this combination a highly viable and accurate reflectorless Optical Tooling Tachymeter system.

Kern DKM2-A equipped with Laser eyepiece and Green Laser Diode module powered by a standard Kern 3 Volt 2xD battery case.

Click picture to show detail.



The Kern DKM2-A is a workhorse in many respects and is today's choice theodolite for use in optical tooling and alignment applications. It is also heavily favored where a purely optical environment is required or desired and bulky electronic spatial measuring devices are rendered impractical. Furthermore, optical theodolites like the DKM2-A, have practically an infinite shelf life and will still be going strong long after all their electronic counterparts have lost their memories and succumbed to old age.

The Kern DKM2-A and its variants can be regarded as the most accurate and robust built 1" of arc optical theodolite ever. Available in several versions, including with preloaded vertical and horizontal axes systems which can be mounted in inclined or hanging positions.

The first generation DKM2-A theodolites, available only with an inverted telescope image, had the designation DKM2-A, where DKM stands for Doppel Kreis Mikrometer, meaning double circle or diagonally-read circle with micrometer. The numerical 2 stands for second order triangulation with the dashed A standing for automatic index. This type of telescope is sometimes also referred to as celestial or astronomical version.

The successive terrestrial version was named the DKM2-AE, with the added E standing for erect or upright telescope image. In later years, this was to become the standard model as all DKM2-A's were built with only upright telescope images, except for the DKM2-AC. Thus the E became redundant and was dropped from subsequent production runs.

Other official designations included the DKM2-AM and DKM2-AEM, a theodolite with built-in trunnion axis micrometer and capable of measuring an incline of up to 30"; the DKM2-AC with a built-in integral autocollimation beam splitter and the latest version, the DKM2-AT, where the T stands for tribrach, as in tribrach version. Up to this point, and except for some government specific contracts, all Kern DKM2-A models distinguished themselves with the compact and precise Kern cam leveling system, assuring a constant horizontal axis height of 173 mm.

Other semi-official designations included the DKM2-AEC, DKM2-AET, DKM2-AECT, DKM2-AL as in Laser and perhaps a few more.

Kern DKM3 and DKM3-A Optical Theodolite 1/10"
New Kern DKM3 Autocollimating Theodolite A8 Leica DISTO™ DKM2-AEC with A8 Leica DISTO™ DKM2-AEC with A8 Leica DISTO™ Kern DKM3-A  Description (pdf 6-pg)
Blue Contrast Filter Black Solar Filter Green Contrast Filter

Kern DKM3 optical theodolite with a 1/10" of arc second angular resolution.
Kern DKM3-A 1/10" of arc second Astronomical Universal Model.

Click picture to download 2.8Mb PDF brochure

Eyepiece filters for the Kern DKM3

DKM3-A application Video and Moon landing by Swiss TV



Kern Total Stations

Kern DKM1 with Leica DISTO™ A8
Kern E2-ECA8 Leica DISTO™ A8 E2-EC with Leica DISTO™ A8 Kern E2-EC with Leica DISTO™ A8        

The DKM1 combined with the A8 Leica Disto™ makes this the smallest Tachymeter in the world. The complete combination weighs a mere 6.5lbs, or less than 3 Kg and lends itself for use in remote or confined areas and makes for easy on board air travel.
Click here for DKM1 cross section.

The E2-EC mounted with the A8 Leica Disto™ converts the Kern E2 into a highly accurate reflectorless Total Station. The Range of the visible red Laser is greatly increased when used with a standard Retro reflector.

Kern Precision Levels and Optical Plummet

Kern GK2-A Precision Autolevel with Optical Parallel Plate Micrometer GK2-A with Tribrach Base Detachable Parallel Plate Micrometer
Kern GK23
Kern Op48 Optical Nadir and Zenith Plummet
Kern Gk0-A Automatic Builder's Level
The Kern GK2-A is an Automatic Engineer's Level of very high precision. Available with detachable Parallel Plate Micrometer and incorporated Optical Microscope Readout.
The Micrometer Range is 10 mm with optical direct reading to 0.1 mm and 0.005 mm by estimation.
The Telescope Magnification is 32.5x Power and the magnetically suspended, air-dampened Pendulum has a compensating Range of ± 2'.
Kern GK23 Engineer's tilting level with 360° horizontal circle, directly reading to 10', upright telescope image with 30 x magnification, 45 mm aperture, short focus at 1.8 m, coincidence level sensitivity 18" per 2 mm. Coincidence level is viewed through telescope and azimuth readings through microscope. Kern dome head or tribrach base.
Kern OP48 Optical Precision Plummet with dual telescopes for simultaneous plumbing observation of Zenith and Nadir. Applications range from industry to high rise construction with visual verification requirements.
Coincidence Level ensures that a supreme accuracy of 1:100,000 can be achieved.
Knocked, bounced and much abused, this premier Kern GK0-A Builder's Autolevel beats 'em all! Constructed of a solid Swiss aluminum die cast housing and brass base, it is engineered to last several generations.
This timeless instrument has been sold for decades and is still being sold and serviced by Swisstek Inc. for a long time to come.

Now NEW quick leveling dome head aluminum Tripods available for all Kern levels!

Kern Autocollimating Theodolites
DKM1 autocollimating theodolite
E2-EC specifications
New Kern DKM3 Autocollimating Theodolite

Kern DKM2-AC one arc second autocollimating theodolite with tribrach base.


This DKM1 five second of arc autocollimating theodolite is the smallest of its kind. Adapted to a tribrach leveling base, it can be used in very tight spaces and for zenith target acquisition.

Kern E2-EC sub-second theodolite with superior contrast autocollimating return image.
Here with the Kern module 3-point leveling base for a constant axis height of 220mm.
This New Kern DKM3 optical autocollimating theodolite has a 1/10" of arc second angular resolution and is LED- illuminated, eliminating heat dissipation. Runs on extremely low 6V battery power.

Kern EDMs

Kern DM 500 Series

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