Links:Sloan Implement Coverage Map Benefits of RTK 450 MHz versus 900 MHz Subscription Management
Sloan Implement Network / Coverage Map
Benefits of RTK
Accuracy – RTK from John Deere provides highly accurate, repeatable corrections from global positioning system (GPS) to John Deere’s suite of precision ag applications. RTK utilizes a local, ground-based reference station that transmits the high-accuracy corrections to a StarFire receiver on a machine via RTK Radios.
Accuracy depends on the distance between the base station and the machine. At 20 km (12 miles) from a base station, a machine has 1.6 km (1 in.) of accuracy 68 percent of the time, but the closer the machine is to the base station, the more accurate the signal is.
StarFire RTK accuracy depends on the distance between the base station and the machine. The shorter the distance, the more accurate the system will be. In general, the accuracy of StarFire RTK is described below.
- +/- 2.5cm (1 in.), 95 percent of the time
- Up to 20 km (12 miles) line of sight
- Measured at the receiver every 15 minutes
RTK accuracy provides many benefits to the user as well as highly accurate corrections to a suite of John Deere precision solutions. Machines utilizing this type of signal correction have repeatable +/- 2.5 cm (1 in.) accuracy out to 1.6 km (1 mile) 95 percent of the time.
A producer running RTK can operate at +/- 2.5 cm (1 in.) pass-to-pass accuracy. With less overlap, fewer inputs are used and overall costs can be reduced.
No satellite drift
Inherent to any satellite-based guidance system, drift occurs. Whether it is starting up a tractor in the morning or servicing it during the day, A-B lines can drift during those time periods. With RTK, satellite drift is completely taken out, because the stationary, local base station is now providing the corrections.
RTK also enables other John Deere products to provide greater precision and repeatability like implement guidance.
450 MHz versus 900 MHz
The John Deere RTK Radio 450 is designed maintain signal coverage to be used in areas with rolling hills or dense treelines to maintain signal coverage and RTK accuracy where the John Deere RTK Radio signal strength is not sufficient. Especially in the rolling and rocky ground of SW Wisconsin, the RTK signal with the 450 MHz radio has been exceptional.
The John Deere RTK Radio 450 is required to obtain RTK accuracy and be paired with a StarFire™ 3000 Receiver. It can be used on a base station or machine and can also serve as a repeater when paired with a StarFire 3000 Receiver.
The John Deere RTK Radio 450 requires a license for a dedicated frequency. While a license has to be paid for, the user owns that specific frequency. Unlike the John Deere RTK Radio 900 frequencies, wireless providers or anyone else cannot use that frequency, thus eliminating signal jamming.
The following is a simple way to think about the difference between a John Deere RTK Radio 900 and RTK Radio 450:
The John Deere RTK Radio 900 uses a frequency band that is like an interstate: it is free and open to the public. If only a few people are using the interstate, it moves fast; however, when everyone uses it at the same time, there is a traffic jam and it moves slowly. Conversely, the John Deere RTK Radio 450 is a private road. It costs to own, but you can drive as fast as you want whenever you want.
For all of the added benefits of the 450 MHz radio, Sloan Implement has decided to end date the 900 MHz radio in April 2015. We believe the benefits of the 450 MHz will make this transition worthwhile for farmer’s on the Sloan Implement RTK network in central Illinois and Wisconsin.
Sloan Implement charges $1000 for a 1 year subscription to their RTK network per radio. If you have multiple radios on the farm, then it is $2500 for all of the radios on a single farm. Please call your local AMS product support specialist to activate or renew your annual RTK network subscription.