Emlid RS2 and a Drainage tile plow. Can it be done?

Ok so we are on my not adventure with the emlid (and the farm as well). I want to buy a pull behind tile plow for a four wheel drive tractor to install tile in the ground. So I know the emlid is plenty accurate enough and would be well suited to the job, but how can I get it to control the hydraulic lift of the tile plow? I currently use a dell 7212 and Field Genius to survey, stake and measure with a grade stick or I have the rs2 mounted on the blade behind a tractor kinda like Mr. Hofer does with his scraper pan. I’m having an awesome day and I hope everyone else is too!


Geez… where’s @jp-drain-sol when you need’m?


You’ve summoned him, now we wait…


What can I say, a guy has to sleep sometime :wink:

Yes it can be done.

If using Trimble or CNH (same thing just a different sticker on the front and the splash screen logo) you need either a FMX/CNH FM-1000 or a TMX-2050/XCN-2050. The monitor doesn’t need to be unlocked to RTK ($5000 unlock) as you are porting in 3rd party RTK GPS. I added a 12 pin Deutsch connector to the Reach RS+/RS2 cable 2m w/o 2nd connector and made an extension cable. This supplies power to the RS2 and uses the RS232 pins to feed GPS to the monitor. I can do it via Bluetooth but it takes a Parani SD-1000 and an adapter cable for the Trimble monitor plus, you would be running on the RS2 battery. You most likely will have to purchase the drainage unlock, WM-Drain ($2225), and a valve module kit ($500-2500) depending on how you are automating it. There is a PT/PWM kit if there is a solenoid valve on the plow for automation or direct connect kits for Challenger, CNH or JD tractors. Direct connect connects to the tractors electronics and automates SCV 1and/or 3.

The FMX is older and if WAAS only on the used market should run between $2000-3000. Guys ask more but they are not worth it. If unlocked to RTK they will sell for $6000-9000 depending on which other unlocks are enabled. ( I have a used FM-1000 RTK unlocked monitor only for $6000. if you want the power cable/Ram mount +$300)

The TMX/XCN-2050 replaced the FMX/1000. It is currently sold new and will be for at least the next couple years. It has a faster processor and a easier screen to read in direct sunlight. It is also a modular design.

Ag Leader has the has the drainage capability as well but I do not know their monitors that well as I am a Trimble dealer.

There are two others as well, AGPS/AMW and SD-Drain. I do not care for the user interface on AGPS/AMW plus the company split with a lawsuit a couple years ago and hasn’t been the same. SD-Drain is from South Dakota and pretty much a regional item. I have never been around one in use. From some research it appears to have a good user interface but I have no idea on pricing.

If you find some used Trimble stuff I would be happy to help you figure it out. Do not have enough knowledge to be helpful on the others.

Messaged you my email address.

Hope this helps


Sleep?! Bwaahah… I knew you were the right man for the job. :tractor:


I forgot another option AgOpenGPS has a grade control project they are working on as well but, it depends if you have time to tinker or want to tile.


Thats some really cool stuff they’re doing over there!


Shucks, I just want to be involved! :rofl:

But @jp-drain-sol and @michaelL already nailed it.

If you do get to the AOG forum its a deep rabbit hole, so much to learn, some very bright chaps in both hardware and software.

A freind of mine did some land levelling using an m+ in a pelican case stuck to the scraper. He watched the elevation of the blade on his phone inside the cab. As shoestring as this was it worked way better than guessing and drained very well.

But for ploughing tile it would be nice to automate the hydraulics.

Currently I use Field Genius Pro on a tablet and it works well “like a lightbar for your blade” however I fell that a fully automated system is the more accurate way to go. One turn around and not watching what your doing and youve got a dip in the tile or a high spot (worse in my opinion). I wish that Microsurvey wouldve included a machine contol output… that would have made this much simpler. I like the trimble system because it is cost effective (too bad we dont run any trimble on the farm then I wouldnt have to buy any displays) The john deere system that we own would work I would think but the RS2 is much more cost effective and it is kinda open source which is always great that it isnt tied to a specific brand.

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To be honest, I am not fond of JD I-Grade, that is why I didn’t mention it. They decided to get into the market years back but, never went after it aggressively. It is an extremely basic system that doesn’t do what the others do.

Like I say, if you have time to tinker, AgOpenGPS’s stuff would be worth a look. I like Trimble’s as it is a whole package if you buy the desktop software ($2995). I go out with a JD Gator and my Trimble system and record a boundary and the interior, copy the data to a thumb drive and read it into the software. From there, I can view it with different aspect, contour/flow arrows/tributary lines. I use this to layout the tile design. After I lay it out, I write the job data to a thumb drive and then copy it to the monitor. The only thing I have to do in the field is select closest run, set in the start hole, measure outlet and install tile. Not sure that AgOpen is there yet. I know Ag Leader is and SD Drain uses a 3rd party software to do it. AGPS/AWM used two programs to one job, another reason I wasn’t fond of that one.

BTW PotatoFarmer, I didn’t want to neglect AgOpen since I know you have been in the steering realm with them. I think their stuff would work but, a lot of tinkering. If it were winter and I had the time, I would try to get it going.

The AOG steering is really starting to get extremely polished with the new V5 update and user interface. Even handling dual rtk receivers for ultra precise, ultra slow speed applications. Other than the building your own hardware learning curve, the final user experience is as good or possibly better in some respects than jd or trimble. AOG is a clear winner in how they manage the tractor, implement, and field file systems.

“AOG Open grade” is not quite as fully fleshed out at the moment, as most of the focus is on the steer program.

I think too they are moving to things like grade control being a plugin to the main program, like tree planting already is.

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I’m using Ditch Assist with my RS2 on a scraper for machine control of the elevation and it works well. The wiring harness also connects to the RS2 which powers it and allows me to turn it on and off from the tractor. DA is very affordable and will do what you want.


Never seen it or been around it. I have heard of it but, before yourself, I know of no one that uses it.

Anyone here thought about outfitting a skid-steer or mini-ex? I have been thinking about it for cleanup (pre-landscaping) work… Seems like something simple like that would be worth a demo at least.


Now you know! I purchased Ditch Assist last year about this time and installed it on my scraper. It uses a solenoid valve that plugs into the scv’s on my tractor and was simple to install. The controller mounts with magnets which lets me move it between tractors in a matter of seconds. It connects with wifi to my Android tablet. The software will map and design a ditch or plane, or I can load a design file and run on that. I purchased Ezigrade and have used it for designs, but most of the time I just use the Ditch Assist software feature in the field to design my jobs.


Have you seen any limits to design surface size? I’m assuming it’s a XML or TXT import of the points used to create the surface? We create meshes but can down-sample them to points.

I haven’t encountered any limits so far, however, I’m only using it for terraces, waterways, and ditches.


How many Dollars? For the complete DA system, cannot find it on there website.

I’m thinking @Brent_W could help you there ,if you messaged him

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I’d love to see some pictures of your Ditch Assist setup! That’s awesome if you’re using it with Emlid.

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