Permanent Cellular Base Station Setup

Hello,
I am looking at setting up a permanent cellular base station for precision agricultural work. I just had a quick question on what Reach product would be best for this. If I was to permanently mount it on a roof, I’m worried about dust/dirt/snow/rain. Although the RS2 is IP67 rated, if I have a serial or power cable connected my thoughts are that it will eventually let moisture in. I am wondering if anyone has any expereience setting something like this up and what the best place to position an antenna might be (or is there some sort of astronaut helmet that I could put over the antenna to keep dust/dirt away from the connections).

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Thanks,

Joe

1 Like

Most permanent stations have specialized enclosures to protect from the elements. Even something as simple as a 2-gallon bucket upside down will work without harming the signal. We have one mounted to our building and it works great.

Is it going to have permanent power? Get an external caster to relay the signal inside of your building and you can have a testing area.

Yep, you could go the enclosure route, or you could protect the connectors with a barrier.

I think of PetroWrap:

It is a greasy product that is wrapped around any exposed metal (usually hydraulic fittings, etc. - where I see it used in the commercial fishing industry) and it protects the metal by making a barrier that salt-water can’t penetrate (for a while anyway).

So this example is not well suited for use on Reach RS2, but they make a filler bar (without the reinforcing tape) that is quite thick and firm consistency and you can squeeze it into voids to fill them up and keep out water and oxygen.

Something more light-duty would be common silicone dielectric grease, or a waxy coating like “Fluid Film” or LPS #3.

Just some ideas for you in case you’d rather not make an enclosure…

2 Likes

I’d probably worry more about outright theft - at least here in rural UK with our esteemed Caravan Utilising Nomadic Travellers.

I’ve got no issue with leaving a dumb GNSS antenna out for all and sundry, but would stop short of a full blown receiver.

Otherwise hope you’ve got good insurance or a very “hungry” dog :sunglasses:

3 Likes

Thanks for the info. The building is 30 ft high and is enclosed within a fenced compound. I don’t mind building an enclosure. Would I be looking for the RS2 in order to get centimeter accuracy or are there any other Emlid receivers that I should be looking at.

I think I will look at an enclosure but the upside down pail idea might be the easiest thing to do. Is it just metal that will disrupt the signal?

Hee hee : )

2 Likes

If it’s more or less a permanent install, I’d think what else I could do to keep the sun directly off it. Whilst maintaining airflow/ventilation around the unit, to reduce condensation and to keep its temperature more consistent, rather than exposed to daily and yearly extremes from searing to freezing which will eventually take their toll.

Remember the Reach units are built as “campaign” devices rather then permanent outdoor antennas. So sure they are IP67, but how good will that be after 5 or 6 years in the weather if they’re completely exposed.

The upturned plastic pail/bucket is a simple idea, but also think through things like bird roosting (which will want to be discouraged) and how to periodically clean the protective structure.

Trimble for example deploy an optional clear Perspex dome on some of their Zephyr antennas for this reason.

This is probably a good idea. Use the IP67 of RS2 as the second line of defence for a perpetual installation. It doesn’t really have to be clear though. I would go for the nondescript white.

RS2 is the only one with a built-in cellular modem, so it will be the most simple to set up. Also with RS2 you get multi-band corrections, which will be of great benefit to any multi-band rovers that are used.

But if economy is the deciding factor, then a single-band Reach M+ with Tallysman TW3710 is a pretty good combo. The antenna can be out in the weather 24/7 and the M+ can be connected by a length of coax cable and live inside an enclosure or building. Some extra hardware will be needed to make the cellular connection though.

Thanks for all the replies. The place where I would like to install the base station has a reliable high speed internet connection and reliable power so I dont know if the cell modem would help me (other than if I ever want to take it off the roof and use it as a rover). I like the idea of the M+ having just the antenna outside with the remainder of the hardware being inside. That being said, I REALLY like the idea of a multi-band antenna. I wonder if Emlid is planning to update the M+ to be multi-band in the future. If not, I wonder if I can make an enclosure that is not air tight (to allow ventilation) but will keep the weather/elements/nesting animals out. I did some research on polycarbonate domes last night. If I built an aluminum/metal base, will that affect the signal (as long as all the aspects of the base are kept below the mounting point of the antenna).

1 Like

Good question , because this is where I want to put one RS2 . The seagulls are up there already waiting for it :smile:

2 Likes

Personally I’d avoid any alloy/metal in the base that is horizontal, especially so if it would extend beyond the periphery of the GNSS antenna.

Try and restrict the use of metal to the vertical elements like the pole/support, to reduce the risk of adversely affecting satellite reception from any reflection, scatter from a metallic element here.

Ideally anything sited above the screw base should be non-metallic/plastic and of course this is essential over the reception antenna. Ideally a hemisphere/dome shaped opaque plastic element would work best here to discourage bird roosting and also aid in natural cleaning from any bird and other atmospheric errr deposits, and keep the rain etc running off.

Seems only natural. Time will tell. ; )

Bird spikes.

1 Like

If you’re intending to serve corrections to other 3rd party Ag receivers then the RS2 is your only option in the Emlid stable. Trying to use any other Emlid product will result in a base that will serve only L1 corrections and from past experience this won’t work with the likes of Topcon or Trimble etc receivers you typically find in Ag.

1 Like

If you have a high percentage of clear sky view in the area your working in, the RS would be just fine.

This topic was automatically closed 100 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.