CUCC Expedition Handbook - Basic laptop

Setting up a basic Expo laptop

What you can do from any laptop

There is a lot you can do without installing any software on your own machine. Anything with a web browser is an 'Expo Basic laptop'. Using the browser, you can logon to the Expo online system ("the website", also known as "troggle") as user 'expo' at the Troggle User Login page. (Ask another expoer for the 'cavey:beery' password.) You can:

Documentation on how to actually do these things are in the data maintenance manual.
Or use the "Search" box below the menu on the left-hand side of the page.
Or go to any of the troggle report pages and explore the menu of items across the top of the page: 264 | 290 | 359 | Survex | All Survex | Scans | Upload Scans | Drawings | Upload Drawings | Upload Photos | 290 (FGH) | 264 (Balkonhöhle) | Data Issues | tasks to do | caves | QMs | ents | expoers | survey lengths | statistics | Wallets(2022) | Expo(2022) |

And using email to send the results to an expo nerd, you can:

and of course using your phone or laptop you can update entries on expo antics on public forums such as ukcaving.

If you also have Survex and Therion installed on the laptop (which makes it an "Expo Survey Laptop"), you can do nearly everything for initial cave survey data entry. See the expo survey laptop installation instructions.

We are actively working on increasing the number of expo activities that can be done with just a browser and no, or minimal, installed software.

Which laptop do you need?

If you have not actively used troggle since 2018, you are probably not aware of all the things you can now do with just a browser. Many of these capabilities are not new, but they weren't documented and had been forgotten over the past 10+ years. Now these capabilities are documented, though writing better documentation is an unending job, and we have a data maintenance manual.

Your own Survey laptop

If you are new to expo and can't do what you want with just a browser and email, then please use the expo laptop in the potato hut first. You don't need to use your own laptop - which can take a while to configure with survex, tunnel and therion.

You may also need to install image editing software such as Irfanview or gimp.

The expo laptop

The expo laptop is a bulk update laptop configuration. It has everything for editing and testing survey files (survex, aven, cavern), drawings (tunnel, therion), scanned images of sketches and centre-lines, and photographs. The expo laptop in the potato hut is also physically connected to a flatbed scanner but you can use your phone camera instead and email the images to yourself on your laptop.

The expo laptop may also have some software for managing vector images (such as rigging guides), PocketTopo files, GIS digital maps and GPS tracks. See the full survey laptop configuration for details.

Bulk Updates

Managing large sets of photographs and scanned images, and managing several folders of these on your laptop and on expofiles on the server is finicky and time-consuming. Many programmers use rsync to help them with this, but if you have never used rsync, now is not the time to learn. Use filezilla on the expo laptop. It is at this point that if you are using a Windows machine, you really need to read about how expo uses hard and soft links and filenames on Windows. If things get screwed up badly, it will need someone on a Linux machine to sort it out.


It is necessary to use Filezilla scp or sftp to manage large collections of files in 'expofiles'. Before you attempt this, talk to a more experienced expoer.

See Experts: Uploading files, Uploading files and Uploading GPS tracks. Only Bulk Data machines which have done the key-pair setup process can do scp, sftp or rsync or run Filezilla.