My company is currently looking at buying an RTK GNSS receiver, and I stumbled upon the Reach RS+. Given its low price, I was skeptical at first, however, it seems an interesting solution after I did a bit of research. I just wanted to ask what current users think of this device and how it compares to other more expensive solutions (Leica, Trimble). More specifically, what accuracy should we expect when using it with an NTRIP connection, how long do we need to hold the device to measure a point, and do obstacles (tree, building) affect a lot the accuracy of the device.
In my experience the accuracy is just as good as the industrial-grade units. What you sacrifice is speed of the fix and speed of the collection to achieve those accuracies. The main differences are that these are L1 single frequency and the Topcon/Trimble/Leica units are dual L1/L2. Single frequency is supposedly faster to decimeter accuracy which makes them great for GIS, but if you are looking for centimeter accuracy you can either wait for an extra minute or so on the shot or post-process all your data. I used to be afraid (not want to spend the time) of PPK, but now that I have done it a few times I don’t think it is a big deal. Just takes a little more time.
The other category is the ability to maintain a fix in adverse conditions. Trees kill any GNSS solution, but I can get much closer to trees with my Topcon. Ionosphere is a big accuracy killer as well which dual frequency almost eliminates. This is probably a factor in the issues I stated above.
I am still very happy with my purchase of the Reach RS+ Base and Rover. They are great for several scenarios in my business and the price point is ridiculous. They do not come with a base tripod or rover bipole and it will depend on you goals whether or not you need to purchase a different data collector software.
If you shopped for the industrial-grade receivers you know $10,000 plus price tag per head. Yes it is a much more robust solution, but think about what you really need.
That is probably the biggest difference between the Emlid (L1) and the BIG DOG$ (L1/L2).
So the tradeoff will depend on exactly what your needs are…and in most cases, what kind of cash you’ll be making and if the BIG DOG$ equipment is what you may really need…or are REQUIRED.
When it gets down to it, your comparing apples to oranges until Emlid develops a multi-frequency (beyond L1/L2) solution with “professional surveyor standard” features. I would assume within the next couple of years (if not a year!) at most so they don’t fall behind the competition.
But really, Emlid really offers something quite extraordinary even if only L1 for the small price you pay.
You really can’t go wrong, unless you plan on being under a tree canopy or in urban areas with adjacent tall buildings.