True North Equipment is home to 31 RTK base stations, with coverage in 14 counties across Eastern North Dakota and North Western Minnesota.
How does RTK work?
It utilizes a local, ground-based reference station that transmits the high-accuracy +/- 2.5 cm (1 in.) corrections to a machine StarFire receiver via RTK Radios.
Because of the proximity of the base station to the machine, nearly all satellite drift is eliminated, and the position is highly repeatable. In order for the base-station signal to reach the machine, a direct line of sight is required.
What about trees or rolling terrain?
With many real-time kinematic (RTK) solutions, automatic guidance simply stops working if trees or rolling terrain interfere with the line of sight between the base station and the machine or in areas with limited cellular coverage. That is not the case when using RTK with John Deere, thanks to RTK Extend capability.
John Deere RTK Extend provides RTK performance even when temporarily losing the radio/mobile correction signal.
RTK performance is maintained for StarFire 3000: 15 minutes with John Deere Radio RTK
RTK performance is maintained for StarFire 6000: 14 days with John Deere Radio RTK
The StarFire Receiver automatically transitions to RTK Extend when line of sight to the base station is lost or the cellular coverage is limited. If within 14 days the receiver has not received an RTK signal the receiver will end the RTK Extend mode. In that unlikely case SF1 is still available but needs to be manually selected by deactivating the RTK mode.
RTK with the StarFire 6000 Receiver
When using StarFire 6000 Receivers, the rover receiver goes to the SF1 manually and EGNOS signal automatically when RTK Extend expires. RTK Extend expires after 14 days.
RTK with the StarFire 3000 Receiver
When using StarFire 3000 Receivers, the rover receiver automatically goes to the SF2 signal when RTK Extend expires. This allows operators to take advantage of +/- 5-cm SF2 accuracy for a maximum 14 days along tree lines or hilly terrain. The machine transitions from RTK to RTK Extend, to SF2, and back to RTK without disengaging AutoTrac. This benefit does not require a SF2 license.