Use RS2 or RS3 with Leica Captivate on Leica CS20 controller


I am an archaeological geophysicist and am considering my options for my next RTK GNSS receiver. The Emlid RS3 is a compelling option at a price point I can’t ignore.

I currently have the following equipment:
-Leica CS20 controller with Captivate software
-Leica GS08 RTK GNSS receiver
-Leica GS14 RTK GNSS receiver
-Leica MS60 robotic total station

At the moment, I have the GS14 set up to output NMEA messages via cable into some geophysics equipment.

I also have the MS60 output pseudo-NMEA messages to the geophysics equipment (this is done by Captivate on the CS20).

I use the GS08 for feature surveys, and I also use it to create control points on the CS20 that are then used as part of a resection to set up the MS60 total station.

I would love to be able to sell the GS08 and GS14 and replace them with an Emlid RS3. However, I need to be able to use the RS3 in Captivate in order to do the resection for the total station.

Has anyone got the RS3 working in Captivate?
Does the tilt compensation from the RS3 work in Captivate as expected?
Alternatively, is there other software available that can control the MS60 and RS3 together (not necessarily Captivate and not necessarily running on the CS20, I’m open to suggestions). (Of course, this software would need to be able to do standard Captivate operations, as well as the pseudo-NMEA output via serial cable to the other equipment). (Please note: I can’t use Bluetooth for the TS NMEA output as it interferes with the other equipment. I can use Bluetooth for the connection between controller and RS3, though, as it’ll be turned off when the geophysics equipment is running)

Thanks in advance.

(To clarify, I’m using the Hexagon SmartNet network RTK corrections service)

Hi @DaveTSG,

Apologies for the radio silence here!

We haven’t tested the setup you mentioned, so I can hardly say anything but the integration. If Captivate works with the generic NMEA messages, then maybe it’s possible to integrate it into your device. However, I suggest contacting Leica about this, as they would know more.

I found similar threads: 1 | 2, and they suggested using Microsurvey’s FieldGenius for third-party application integration.

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for your reply.

Actually I spoke with my local Leica distributor since posting here and they advised that it’s not possible to control other GNSS receivers in Captivate.

I also found those same discussions you linked to and have looked into FieldGenius further. Thank you for that suggestion.

Unfortunately, there were a number of features that appear to be missing in FieldGenius that I would rather have. I sent Microsurvey an email but haven’t heard back from them.

I realise this has nothing to do with you/Emlid, but do you know if there is a FieldGenius user group somewhere e.g. Reddit/Facebook/Discord/anywhere, where I can ask questions to actual users of the software? I haven’t been able to find anything via Google or searching those individual websites, sadly…

Thanks again for your help.

I :heart: FieldGenius (Windows) and what I use with older Leica Robotic Total Stations and supports the MS60… but sounds like you would be downgrading software-wise and losing the Leica ecosystem just to use a RS3?

You will probably be better off using Captivate with all that Leica equipment.

As far as limited functionality of FieldGenius, you are probably referring to their Android version which has been WIP for quite some time now… the Windows version is complete and has been since the beginning of time.

Thank you.

Actually I heard back from MicroSurvey about half an hour ago and they confirmed the features I need aren’t supported.

Specifically, they don’t support the MS60’s two cameras, and they don’t support pseudo-NMEA output.

So I will have to stick with Captivate.

I may end up just buying the RS3 and using that as a stand-alone system for feature surveys and NMEA output to the geophysics equipment. I’ll keep the CS20/GS08 only for doing resections to set up the MS60 total station.

(I could, of course, use the RS3 to create control points for the MS60 resection, but that’d be more hassle, and selling the GS15 should give me enough to pay for the RS3 entirely)

Thanks for the comments.