FieldBEE RTK GPS system
Name: Lieven Dewaele
60 ha of fields
Agricultural crops: grassland, winter wheat, sugar beet, maize
Hobby: interested in all things about new technologies: computers, smartphones, … and eFarmer
eFarmer user since March 14, 2016
Last December, when we were running a pre-order campaign for our new GPS RTK system for farmers, we got an email from our user – Lieven. He told us that in Belgium there is the free RTK correction service – FLEPOS and asked us whether FieldBEE will work with this signal.
The answer was YES.
One of the benefits of FieldBEE is that it can be upgraded to RTK accuracy in 2 ways:
- by purchasing RTK BEE station
- by connecting to an RTK provider
Lieven was the first customer from Belgium who has pre-ordered FieldBEE. And now we want to share the story of the antenna tests with FLEPOS – RTK service provider.
Lieven owns the picturesque farm in Veurne, West Flanders province in Belgium. He grows winter wheat, sugar beet, grass and maize. The grass and maize are for his dairy cows.
He is working together with his beautiful wife. I was impressed by the work-life balance that he managed to achieve.
Awesome Belgian government
It appeared that Belgium government supports farmers a lot. Besides building free correction network, a couple of years ago they provided subsidies to farmers on purchasing tractor GPS navigation systems. Thanks to that many farmers have bought submeter accuracy systems from Trimble, Leica etc. at the price of 1,500-2,000 Euro. But the accuracy of those systems turned out to be not sufficient. A lot of farmers are not using those systems at all.
It was interesting to know that 20-30 cm accuracy of tractor GPS is not enough for farmers in Belgium. We are happy that FieldBEE RTK system provides the highest accuracy of 0-4 cm at the price of old submeter GPS antenna.
Real life tests of FieldBEE RTK GPS system with FLEPOS – RTK correction service provider
To test the system with Lieven we have placed FieldBEE antenna on the top of his old David Brown 1394. I was happy to see that with navigation system from eFarmer every tractor can become smart:) Lieven used Samsung Galaxy S6 with the eFarmer application.
To start we had to connect FieldBEE to FLEPOS. As we created special installation app, it was very easy to do.
For setting up we did several steps:
- A few days in advance Lieven registered the FLEPOS account on https://overheid.vlaanderen.be/aan-de-slag-met-flepos
- With FieldBEE configuration tool we set up server address port, login and password. Selected mount point.
- Shared a WIFI Hotspot on the smartphone.
- Connected FieldBEE to the mobile Hotspot.
- Selected as external Bluetooth antenna FieldBEE in the eFarmer app.
After applying those steps, FieldBEE had connected to the FLEPOS via mobile Hotspot and immediately received Float RTK correction. After 5 minutes it received RTK fix.
And that’s it. We got 4 millimetres accuracy at Lieven’s farm. Everything worked perfectly. It was a wonderful moment. I think Lieven couldn’t believe his eyes:)
“I was very excited when Alexey came to my farm to test the free FLEPOS signal.
The test results are very good: we got the accuracy of 0.004m (=4 mm)!!
I am very hopeful to receive the FieldBEE and start using it for my daily work on the field! I think it is a very good solution at an affordable price. You can use it on every equipment in combination with your smartphone or tablet. It is easy to move it from one machine to another because you don’t have to remove a lot of cables.”, – says Lieven.
FieldBEE works perfectly with NTRIP providers of correction signals. You should check the availability of such service in your area. Maybe you will be as lucky as our Belgian customers.
If not, don’t get upset. In the next article, we will share with you the use cases of our customers in Finland. Where farmers are purchasing RTK BEE stations together with neighbours to share the costs and to create FieldBEE RTK network.
Thank you for your attention.