Workflow and settings, RS2/M2/drone/LoRa/ multiband GNSS

Hi, there is way too much info out here to make sense of what I’m trying to do.
My hardware is a new RS2 as base, M2 as rover, mounted to a Matrice 600 drone connected to a Sony A7r iv camera with hot shoe adaptor, multiband GNSS antenna, LoRa radio. We were able to get the new RS2 and M2 up and running on our mobile devices. Was able to mark some GCPs on foot for testing. Now I’m mounting the M2 as a rover on the drone and connect to hot shoe adaptor on the camera. I have named the RS2 base and M2 rover and get signals on the mobile devices.
We want to set up multiple GCPs around agriculture, program the aircraft to scan the fields capturing data and process data.
Questions: Is the LoRa Radio necessary or helpful to communicate with RS2 at less than one Km?
What are the basic settings for the RS2 as a base station?
What are the basic settings for the M2 as a rover?
Can I find a sequence of events description to help us step by step?
We have the aircraft autonomy experience and will find proper camera settings to geotag photos through the hot shoe adaptor, but getting to that point is confusing. I realize the answers are here, but they are so scattered about, nothing fits my scenario. Any direction or info is helpful and if there are any experienced persons in Northern California that would like to make a day’s pay for instruction, please let me know.
Thank you.


Hi Dave,

Thanks for your patience!

If I understood you correctly, you’re planning to use Reach RS2 and Reach M2 on a drone for placing GCPs. This workflow wouldn’t let you position on the points properly to collect them. That’s why I’d recommend sticking to the traditional on-the-ground point collection. This way, you will be able to place the unit directly on the point.

For accurate placing GCPs, you can use the second RS2 unit as a base or get corrections from the NTRIP provider. Then you can use your RS2 as a rover and collect the coordinates of each GCP using this guide.

Please note that precise mapping with Reach M2 is possible only in the PPK workflow. For geotagging, you need to get raw logs from your RS2 base and M2 rover, a set of aerial images, and a list of GCPs. Once you have the list of coordinates for each photo from the post-processing, you can match it with the set of images in the special software.

I’d also recommend you to check out our PPK mapping guide. There’re lots of helpful hints :slight_smile:

Regarding other questions, LoRa radio works fine on up to 8 km baseline when there’s a line of sight. You can find settings for your base and rover in our guide. Please note that for your M2 rover, you should apply the same settings as for the RS2 rover.

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Thank you for your reply. We do not have two RS2 units. We have one RS2 as a base and one M2 mounted on the drone with hot shoe adaptor to the Sony camera. We have set GCPs with the M2 mounted to the drone. Is this a viable method? Also, the M2 has a camera control in the menu. I have selected that option but it does not seem to be working. There is very little info on the camera control.
So we are still struggling with creating a project, creating GCPs, recalling the project, getting the camera to cooperate with the project, etc. The info you supplied will be very helpful when we get to that point, but for now it is still difficult and learning is taking a very long time. Let me know about the M2 camera control and other questions.
Thanks you,

Hos do you do that? I don’t see how it could be very precise?

You should rather let the autopilot/mapping app control the triggering of the camera, then let the M2 sense when the camera triggers, via the hotshoe.

We managed to create GCPs using the RS2, numbered 1-6. They appear correct on the project map.
We have tried many autopilot/mapping apps connected to the M2 via hotshoe adaptor. The camera is the Sony A7r iv. So far we have had zero success with this method. Have enabled the trigger via M2 menu in both available configurations with zero success. The only method we have found to create photos is to set the camera to automatic trigger in 3 second intervals and let it shoot until the aircraft lands and manually shut the camera off. Unfortunately, we cannot calculate overlaps, airspeed, altitude, shutter invervals, etc., with this Sony camera as flight planners do not recognize it or the 20mm lense attached. And the auto shutter feature only works in manual mode which forces us to focus this 61 MP camera on the ground with a measured target calculating the altitude we plan to fly. We don’t know how to calculate altitudes and airspeeds at the required 75% overlap required, so we are forced to waste a lot of days experimenting with many variables. If I could get the M2 to geo tag each photo, that would be great.
Plus, I’m trying to download raw files from reachview 3 to my pc to try rtklib but the download option I choose is Gmail and the files are too large for the 25MB limit of Gmail. At this point I’m researching getting the hotshoe to geotag the shots with conflicting info from different sources. So each day there’s a lot of cussing and frustration. It’s taking us way to long to get this system up to speed. Every day turns out to be a waste of time.

Hmmm, what kind of flightcontroller are you using?

Pix4d, DJI GS Pro, Maps made easy. I’m sure there’s a couple more I’ve tried over the years. Some I choose not to for various reasons, but these are the ones on my Ipad now. I prefer the Pix4D apps. They seem to be the most user friendly but are not Sony capable.

Hi Dave,

Sorry that my comments are quite delayed.

Reach M2 can’t trigger the camera via its hot shoe. The module has a trigger pin. But you have to know how to trigger your camera and make a DIY cable for it. Also, such a process wouldn’t differ from triggering via the camera itself. It works with determined intervals only as well.

So I believe that the easiest way to trigger the camera is to use autopilot. It should simplify preparations, as it can control overlap by itself.

I’ll also leave here a brief description of the PPK Mapping workflow:

To handle 25MB limits in Gmail, I’d recommend installing a mobile File Manager app. It allows you to download logs directly on your phone, so you’ll be able to share them from your phone using any convenient way.

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