RTK for less than $1,000?

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paulhmabry
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RTK for less than $1,000?

Post by paulhmabry »

I ran across this company offering an RTK GNSS Engine capable of centimeter level positioning for less than the cost of many smart phones. With antennae and radios, the a single setup would be about $500.
Link here:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/17369

Anyone have any experience using one of these or one like them? At this price point, I expect a lot of future mischief from non-professionals and para professionals.
-Paul
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Jim Frame
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Re: RTK for less than $1,000?

Post by Jim Frame »

I would be extremely wary of using this for any important measurements, even if you could get it into field-usable form. While it appears to be an interesting science experiment, there's a whole lot more that goes into reliable GNSS positioning than an RF board in a nifty enclosure.
Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
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[url]framesurveying.com[/url]
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subman
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Re: RTK for less than $1,000?

Post by subman »

They have taken the next steps.

Base and rover: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/19984

With L-Band corrections: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/20000
DWoolley
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Re: RTK for less than $1,000?

Post by DWoolley »

paulhmabry wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:29 pm ...
Anyone have any experience using one of these or one like them? At this price point, I expect a lot of future mischief from non-professionals and para professionals.
-Paul
A coworker mentioned this post yesterday during a meeting. We may purchase a unit simply to satisfy our curiosity by comparing it to our Trimble units.

Paul is correct to predict "future mischief" from non-professionals. We have been venturing outside of the professional circles with land surveying adjacent work and found "GNSS" is applied synonymously with 1cm accuracy.

Frankly, the technology available is incredible and promises the users fast, easy to use, accuracy. We have licensed surveyors that would swear on a stack of bibles their RTN-GPS is accurate within 0.03' - can we honestly expect the unlicensed public to know otherwise?

I have said it in many forums, any surveyors that think they will be paid to do construction staking - outside of specialty situations - or topography i.e. top of curb, flow line, lip in the future are in for a surprise. Our phones will simply quit ringing. I have had several equipment vendors (survey adjacent) that have recently sold several hundred measuring units to locate and map "fixed works embraced in the practice of civil engineering" to folks that are not land surveyors or engineers.

Catch a glimpse of the future here:

https://youtu.be/PdQsy4rK8t4

Watch the video long enough to see him position his targets with a phone, laser and rtk unit in one. A common phone provides the LiDAR scans for obscured areas.

Barrier to entry, none. Anyone think the public will pay $320 for a two person crew for topography? Don't bet on it.

DWoolley
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