Complete Newbie

Hello all
I am an excavating contractor. this Jan the laws in my area started requiring drawings to be submitted for septic systems in advance of approval. These drawings must include property lines, house site, tank location, lateral field locations, and actual elevations for everything. So if there is heavy brush, in the lateral area we have qo clear it in order for the health dept to be able to see all the stakes. The builder will have the house staked and I lay out the lateral field along the contours with a laser and a tape. once that is done the real work starts as I have to measure everything, and I mean everything in order to place everything in to the drawing semi accurately.
This has lead me here in a search for an affordable solution to collect this data via gps, total station, or laser system. As you know the total station option is quite expensive and limited by line of site, making some of the property corners quite difficult. The same with a 2.5 dimesional laser system. They are limited by line of site and are quite expensive. This has lead me here.
My questions are, if I by the survey package and set up my own base station, Does it have to be set up over a monument or know location, or can I set it up over a property corner and get acceptable results.
About half of my sites are in the trees, can I get acceptable results in the trees ether by PPK or a local free base station.
I know the first question is going to be “what are acceptable results”. I would like cent accuracy but if I was in the trees and and was within a couple of feet I would be ok with that. I tried with a handheld garmin and was getting about 6 to 15-20 ft and thats just not close enough.
I have been doing as much reading as possible, but I am getting conflicting information regarding the single frequency of Reach. Most of the big companies all use dual frequency, leading me to believe that it couls be better, but they arent affordable.
Can I acomplish this with Reach?
Will it take me hours to get the shots in the trees?
Raising the rover is not an option as the hardwoods here are 80 to 100 ft in height.
I am hoping some one can point me in the right direction.
I am sorry if these questions have been asked before but I have been unable to find definitive answers with searching the forum.
Thanks in advance

This is definitely a solution you should consider being that it does give you the ability to fully survey without being tied to a service contract.

The two issues you are going to run into (and would with any other system) are obtaining “real” elevations and possible interference with the trees. PPK will help with the trees. Check out this thread on the elevations natively provided by the system versus real ground elevations. There allot of content so just grind through.

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The Emlid Reach RS units really are awesome especially for the great cost. Being only L1 you won’t know what kind of problem you have getting a FIX until you put them to use in your conditions using RTK. If you have clear sky view most of the time. Then may be sufficient. If not, like in urban concrete jungles, then probably not.

If you’re making a ton of cash and prolific with business, then it may be wise to look into the $$$$ multi-frequency solutions. But personally I’d first take the risk of buying (2) RS units, one BASE & one ROVER. You could buy just one and use as ROVER with CORS etc. also. But personally the price is so reasonable, it wouldn’t be a total bust for me if even half the work couldnt be performed with the units. Some scenarios you might have to use GNSS and Total Station?

But I think the L1/L2 do better through trees etc.

All in all, you may find that @chascoadmin among some others can be a HUGE help in this area! ; )

I have noticed lately, there may be competitor multi-frequency affordable solutions becoming available also and some already here. But I’d rather wait for Emlid’s offering hopefully soon eventually as their products and software are really the cream of the crop!


Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. Sry to be so long in responding, Had a death in the family and had to leave town for a few weeks.
I am a little concerned about being in the trees at least half of the time.
So if you have 2 units and you want to set up a base, does the base have to set up at a monument or could it be set up there close like over a property stake and still work.
My limited understanding is a base with a clear view and good fix provides correction for the rover that is under the trees.
Is this right, or am I missing something?

BOTH Base snd Rover must have clear sky view. Especially since Emlid Reach are only L1. That’s the trade off for $$$$$. Just depends on how thick the trees are above you also. May work fine may not.

Ideally best to set base on a KNOWN point when possible.

The LoRa (LongRange) radio of the base and rover are just for communication between them, not for triangulating or trilateration calculations You would have to use other methods in addition to remotely get points under trees, problem areas etc. Or get a system that uses more than just L1, or a Total Station but $$$$$.

I’ve found that you need about 60deg of clear view, but anything more than that is unstable.

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you mean “less than” 60 deg is unstable? but obviously you don’t want to exceed it below the horizon also.

ok, or do you mean just a small 60deg opening in the trees? anything beyond that, the trees interfere?

Yes, 60deg up. 90 would be straight up.

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