Add an External UHF Radio

EXTENDING RTK TO THE LIMIT USING HIGH POWER UHF MODEM!

If the 1-2km limit using Internal Peer-to-Peer UHF radios is hampering the performance of your surveying team. The addition of an External UHF Radio may just be the answer. Many dealers sell “cheap” UHF Receivers available from China, these are heavy and power hungry….. so if carrying a heavy battery concerns you take Elliott Enterprises advice.

Please consider a light, power efficient, low TCO alternative?

iStock_000004608305Medium copy

WHY ALTUS RTK RECEIVERS

Altus APS-3 receivers are the most flexible GNSS receiver platform available today (across the Philippines and the World). Every effort has been made within the “Better by Design” concept to allow the operator to use most of the UHF radios available on the market. In providing this, the surveyor has the flexibility to use a radio of choice, plugging in the Radio to the Base receiver is a simple process or with NO CABLES between the Base Receiver this provides a UHF Repeater Radio solution. In reality, the Base Receiver can be located in any safe place with good view of the satellites, connecting to any number of UHF Repeater Radio using the Internal UHF Radio in the Base receiver located anywhere within a kilometer of the Base receiver – on high point to provide a greater coverage area for the survey; forget hauling all the base equipment up the hill – instead only the Radio(s), Antenna(s) and Battery(s).

UHF RADIO SELECTION

Selecting a UHF radio is an important decision, keep these factors in mind: Power in vs Power out, weight of radio and cooling efficiency (all electronics are pushed to the operating temperature limit near the Equator), frequency range, ease of setup and configuration – all adding up to value for a $$dollar and TCO.

We recommend the 35W UHF Radio manufactured by SATEL Finland. Weighing less than 2kg and drawing less than 150W 12VDC, the radio can be configured to transmit from 2W-35W across the 400-470 Mhz spectrum. The radio can be configured to work across this broad range of frequencies, channels and power outputs using the simple configuration software provided by Satel, this radio does the job efficiently and because of it’s design and small footprint, will do so for many years.

HARDWARE

Satel easy pro 35w

Satel SATELLINE Easy Pro Digital Modem

Even the lightest, powerful UHF Radio signal depends on “line of site” to transmit effectively. At 35W, the radio is capable of transmitting 10-100 kms depending on environmental conditions and terrain. We recommend  configuring the radio to 20-30W output, this provides a good coverage and a long battery life from a 80-100AH 12VDC sealed, deep cycle, lead acid battery. Providing power for a long, successful day. The deep cycle battery supplied, has a long life and weighs in at almost half the weight of those used by our competitors.

The kit also includes a CTEK CT5 GO electronic battery charger taking care of your battery as it charges, pulsing and changing charge rate as it processes feedback from the battery. All these features guarantee long life and efficiency for your battery.

CTEK Charger

Satel SATELLINE ESY PRO RADIO PREPARATION

To configure the SATELLINE Easy Pro UHF Radio we use  the Satel Radio software from the USB provided with the Altus GNSS Kit. Install the software on a PC/Laptop equipped with USB-RS232 converter or connect the DB9-DB15 cable provided by Satel to the RS232 port on a PC. Power the SATELLINE Easy Pro radio from a 12VDC battery or suitable power source.

STEP BY STEP DIRECT CONNECT CONFIGURATION

RE-CONFIGURE APS-3 BASE and CONNECT SATELLINE Easy Pro RADIO

  1. Setup the APS-3 Base (safe with good satellite access)
  2. Using the Cable provided connect the UHF Radio to the Base receiver.
    1. Hang the SATELLINE Easy Pro on the Base Receiver Tripod – “UHF radio signal is limited to LINE OF SITE”.
    2. Connect the SATELLINE Easy Pro to the external Whip Antenna.
    3. Connect the Power cable to the SATELLINE Easy Pro and the Battery or suitable power source.
    1. Using Carlson SurvCE connect to the Base.
    2. Select RTK tab.
    3. Click on Tools (hammer and wrench) icon
    4. Set the Channel and Protocol.
    5. Check the Error Correction box
  3. On completion of the APS-3 Base setup the RTK LED illuminates.
  4. Check the SATELLINE Easy Pro, the Tx/Rx LED should be illuminated.
  5. The SYNC LED will also be illuminated.
  6. The SATELLINE Easy Pro is now transmitting on Channel.

STEP BY STEP REPEATER CONFIGURATION

RE-CONFIGURE APS-3 BASE and CONNECT SATELLINE Easy Pro RADIO

  1. Setup the APS-3 Base (safe with good satellite access)
    1. Using Carlson SurvCE connect to the Base.
    2. Select RTK tab.
    3. Click on Tools (hammer and wrench) icon
    4. Change the Channel (ask your dealer).
    5. Check the Error Correction box
  2. On completion of the APS-3 Base setup the RTK LED illuminates.
  3. Find a suitable location to setup the SATELLINE Easy Pro Repeater on high point within a kilometer of the Base Receiver with good line of site access. UHF radio is LINE OF SITE.
  4. Connect the SATELLINE Easy Pro Repeater to the external Whip Antenna.
  5. Connect the Power cable to the SATELLINE Easy Pro and the Battery or suitable power source.
  6. Check the SATELLINE Easy Pro Repeater, the Tx/Rx LED should be illuminated.
  7. The SYNC LED will also be illuminated.
  8. The SATELLINE Easy Pro Repeater is now transmitting on Channel.

RE-CONFIGURE APS-3 ROVER

  1. Using Carlson SurvCE connect to the Rover.
  2. Select RTK tab.
  3. Click on Tools (hammer and wrench) icon
  4. Set the Channel (if in doubt ask your dealer).
  5. Check the Error Correction box
  6. The Rover will now connect to the SATELLINE Easy Pro and the RTK LED should pulse at 1 pulse per second or so; pending access to signal (UHF Radio).
  7. Depending on ground cover, height of antenna, height and density of trees the radio coverage should operate between 5-30 kms from the antenna. Every situation is different –  HIGHER IS BETTER!
  8. To change the Rover back to Peer-to-Peer change the Channel back to (1).
  9. Future use of Peer-to-Peer and SATELLINE Easy Pro is as simple as changing the RTK radio option.

USING AN EXTERNAL UHF RADIO

The APS3G receiver has very powerful and efficient UHF radio built in. To transmit Peer-to-Peer or to utilize a UHF repeater requires little extra field setup. The Base receiver transmits the RTK correction from a range of outputs (GSM/UHF/COM port), The 35W SATTELLINE EASY PRO repeater radio receives the signal from the Base receiver via the Internal UHF radio receives the signal on one channel and transmits the signal on another.  This equates to a simple change of channel at the Controller to utilize the Repeater or the Internal UHF radio on the Rover.

At Elliott Enterprises we configure the UHF Radio for you, the user has the flexibility of using “either or” with a simple configuration change. This is what we call “Better by Design”. Cheaper GNSS equipment proves “you only get what you pay for”. We save you money, muscle and TOC (total cost of ownership), this is where you the owner gets a dividend on his investment working with a professional supplier.

If your system fails to connect after following the above instructions, recheck the settings at all stages once again. If still NO signal pulse from RTK LED; Check Protocol, Frequency and Modulation are same on all three radio setups (Base, Rover and Repeater). Do not despair if the radio does not communicate…

CALL the Elliott Enterprises Support HOTLINE.  We will talk you through the process.