Excavation grading with Reach RS2

Hi, I’m new here.
I want to use a reach rs2 like a laser system when I am laying tile or trenching with my excavator. I’ve herd about Field Genius and i think it may be the way to go but I was wondering if there was another app or program that can set a grade and use the reach rs2 as a receiver to tell if I am on that grade or not. Would like it to run on my IPhone or IPad but a windows tablet pc is also an option. Thanks, Ian

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Are you looking for live grade indicate or just the ability to have someone check grade with a rover?

What kind of excavator?

Just check like a laser system, using a John Deere 35D mini excavator that I do a lot of tile and grading with. We also farm and can use the rs2 for staking farms boundaries and whatnot

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Sorry if these questions seem out of sorts, but when you say tile do you mean pavers like would be used outdoors or actual interior ceramic-type tiles? Just trying to make sure we are crossing any terminology barriers. Can you give a little detail of the workflow? Building foundations and such? I am thinking the GNSS equipment would be good for part of the process, but not the final phases.

Sorry about the confusion, when I refer to tile I mean the drainage tile we put in farm fields, the tile has slits in it and is buried underground to drain water from fields. All the tile has to be put on a certain grade to make the water run into the ditch. the process consists of digging a trench in the ground with a special plow or an excavator and all needs to be on a slight slope. Some people use laser to achieve this but I much rather gps because it does not rely on optical view like laser does.
So to make sure were clear 1. dig trench, 2. check grade, 3. put tile (Plastic pipe) in the ground and then cover with dirt. it is very important that the tile is on the grade.


Ah, I get you now. That is a new term to me. Here it’s just corrugated pipe and underground drainage systems, but I like your term better. This is similar to what we do in wet and filtration ponds. In this case unless you have some really shallow slopes of 1% or less that you are trying to sheet drain then I think the RS2 equipment would work very well for you. With an RTK corrections fix you can easily get your repeatable accuracies down to 3cm or less over 330m, or in our case 0.10ft over 1,000ft. I would even bet that with line and collected topography of that line you could easily set cut-stakes that you could work by and knowing the grade that you need to be at along the line at those stations could easily check what grade you are at by staking out those points that were originally collected. I would have to see it in practice in the field, but I bet you could do it with Reachview without the need for third-party survey software at least to start. You could do all your calculations and point creation in something like QGIS, import those points into Reachview and stakeout until your heart’s content.

Would I have to stake out where I want to put the tile then? Or could I do that on the go, sometimes a farmer needs just one piece put in to drain a spot, how fast could I stake it then stakeout. Field genius (apparently from reading forums) can set a grade and do points anywhere.

If you want to walk around with the farmer and figure out where the drain needs to be then you can collect those points and stake back to them later. You can then bring those points into QGIS if you want and do some design work. If you want to do it in the field, want to see linework and inverse (measure) between points on the screen to see the distances between them then you will need something like FieldGenius. There are other softwares out there though. I just chose FieldGenius because it was the most similar to the Topcon software we use at work and it had good recommendations from the other users. I used the old Windows CE mobile platform and have switched to their Android app. I don’t know of any iOS apps that connect to the Emlid receivers, but I am sure that someone will pop in and have some more advice.

Hello yes as mentioned FG is a very good option , we have done stuff like this before . All we did was collect a point at the start point and then a point at where you want to end and maybe one in between if in hilly conditions , then you snap a line to connect the points , then in stakeout you stakeout the line , it will show how high or low you are on the line.


Continuing the discussion from Grade control indicator:

I have read your grade control indicator post many times over, thanks for writing it! Will FG give me a readout on the screen kind of like a laser level? What is FG like to use? Quite a learning curve or not? I saw in one of your pictures the tablet PC you run it on in the scraper id like to look into one of those if I go the FG route. Could you leave a link to it or a name and or model would be great too. I am in Ontario Canada.

It is a Mesa2 tablet , you can get it in windows or android . FG has both versions but I use the windows version . As with all programs it takes some time to learn all the features but once you get it it real simple . I have also heard QGIS being real simple but have not used it myself.

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A little off topic, but I just ordered my reach, I’m hoping to mount to the dozer and use it for grade control with a .dxf file for my site plan for a subdivision we’re doing. I will try to keep you guys updated on my endeavors. This has a huge impact for us, we do mostly landscape work and at this price, I can replace my laser on almost all my excavation sites and grading sites. I also can afford to throw this on my skid steers and ideally quickly create a grade profile from a few data points.


Great keep us updated

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Could I use cad or some other software to make a grid of the area that I am working on and make it a 6 inch square grid and then I could grade all of my points however I wanted and as Mitch said upload it as a dxf file. I’d like to hear more about his bulldozer project when he gets it going. Did they give you a shipping date estimate because of the virus? I am wondering if the 2-5 day shipping will be 2 to 3 week shipping. Anyone used Autocad to plot points and upload them to an Emlid before?

Would QGIS do the same grade finding type work that you are doing and that I hope to do?

unsure ,hopefully a QGIS user can give us a anwser

I’ll try to do some research on it. Can you buy FG online or do you have to buy from a dealer? Just curious.

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You can buy from a dealer but there is really no advantage ( not to hit on my dealer ) they would direct you to microsurvey for any service anyway , I bought from a dealer . You can also buy direct , here are some links https://www.microsurvey.com/products/fieldgenius/pricing/ https://www.microsurvey.com/products/fieldgenius/juniper/mesa2/ Also the andriod version https://www.microsurvey.com/products/fieldgenius-for-android/

It’s the same as a Topcon FC-5000 if anyone is looking and finds a better deal on one vs. the other.

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