The RTK Express Kit has everything you need to get centimeter level global positioning measurements using GNSS RTK. We've created a handy carrying case to protect the most expensive bits, allowing you to quickly attach the L1/L2 antenna and RTK Express housing to the pole or tripod of your choice. The kit includes all the antenna bits, cables and chargers you need to jump right into the field.
The RTK Express is a Bluetooth® enabled multi-band GNSS receiver based on the ESP32 from Espressif and the ZED-F9P from u-blox. Power it up and you'll have 300mm approximate accuracy out of the box and 14mm accuracy with RTCM corrections. This kit provides the L1/L2 antenna, adapters, interface cables, and chargers needed for general GNSS use.
We generally recommend using your cellular phone as the radio backhaul for RTCM but you can also use your own, higher power radios as long as they support 57600bps. We also recommend logging all data to your phone over Bluetooth®. This is as simple as checking a box within SW Maps. But if you prefer to do long surveys, or need to deal with RAWX measurements where a phone will not be present, a microSD card should be purchased (any size up to 32GB). The RTK Express Kit works with common GIS software including SW Maps, SurvPC, Field Genius, and any GIS software that supports NMEA over Bluetooth.
Please keep in mind that you will need to provide your own mono-pod or tripod as well as a cell-phone type holder for securing the RTK Express to your mono-pod or tripod. We've found this style clamp and this style clamp work well. Your mileage may vary.
Note: The L1/L2 antenna has a 5/8" thread which will fit most surveying platforms. The kit includes a 5/8" to 1/4" adapter as well which will fit most camera mono-pods and tripods. You may need additional adapters for your specific equipment.
GNSS Receiver: ZED-F9P
Bluetooth® Transceiver: ESP32 WROOM
GNSS Multi-Band L1/L2 Surveying Antenna
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The RTK Express is a nice handheld GPS unit.
Outdoors the RTK Express as a standalone device in Rover mode seems to easily get less than 1 meter horizontal accuracy. When combining it with NTRIP data via a cell phone's Bluetooth, the RTK Express is able to get around 1 cm horizontal accuracy. I am using the RTK Express to do some surveying where I need horizontal accuracy much less than 1 meter. The RTK Express is working nicely for my purposes.
As mentioned on the website, the firmware is open source. I have been able to update the firmware on the unit from v1.10 to v1.11 using the SparkFun provided binaries. Additionally, on my Linux system, I am able to compile the open source firmware and load it successfully on the RTK Express.
I am blown away by the accuracy of this product. Even using a Base station 50 miles away, I am able to get RTK fixes with 20 - 25mm accuracy. I mounted mine on a 2-meter SECO rod with bipod supports. The recommended brackets work perfectly with this monopole, and allows me to handle my tablet without moving the antenna. I would definitely buy this again.