PinPoint RTK

High Accuracy GNSS Receiver

Introducing VineView’s PinPoint RTK, your trusty companion for adding precision to vineyard management. This rugged, waterproof, offline-capable device seamlessly connects with the VineView app on both Android and iOS, allowing you to take and track notes with remarkable accuracy (up to 3 cm). With programmable buttons, accurate field scouting becomes a breeze.

What is RTK?

Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) is a sophisticated technique used in GNSS to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems. This method uses one or more fixed base stations that transmit signal corrections to a mobile receiver, significantly improving accuracy from meters to centimeters in real-time.

How does it Work?

RTK works by having one or more base stations, located at known coordinates, receive GNSS signals and calculate error factors. These factors include discrepancies caused by satellite orbit and atmospheric disturbances. The base stations then transmit corrections to a mobile receiver, which uses this information to adjust its own calculated position, achieving high levels of accuracy.

RTK Correction Data


A typical RTK setup involves at least one base station and one rover (mobile receiver). The PinPoint RTK can connect to the PointPerfect
TM RTK network by u-blox (subscription required) and receive corrections either via internet or directly via satellite (default). Alternatively, you can connect to a custom RTK provider in the VineView App using NTRIP.

Switching between satellite and internet RTK corrections


The VineView Mobile app allows you to select which data stream to use. In the “
GPS Device -> Settings” tab you can choose to turn “RTK via Internet” on or off. When turned off, the device will automatically use satellite corrections when available. For corrections via the internet to work, your mobile device needs to be connected to the PinPoint RTK by Bluetooth.

If internet access is available, we suggest using this option as it is often easier to receive and maintain high precision this way.

Overview of the Unit

Antenna Reference Point (ARP): This is the spot on the antenna where GPS signals are received.

RTK Fix: When the device has pinpointed its position accurately using corrected GPS signals.

RTK Float: When the device is still refining its position using GPS corrections but hasn’t yet achieved full accuracy.

Getting Started

Install VineView Mobile App

Login

Turn the Device On

Connect

Device Settings

Settings Menu

In the “GPS Device -> Settings” tab, you will find several settings:

Buttons: This is where you assign what data you would like to collect. Tap the button label fields to assign your own labels and press save. The button labels are now stored in the PinPoint RTK. Whenever a button is pressed, the associated label will be saved along with the location. You can save button templates by pressing “Save as Template.” To use a previously saved Template, press “Choose Template.”

Button Sound: Button sounds can be turned on or off.

Overlay GPS info on Map: You can toggle this option on or off. Users with this option ON will have GPS Accuracy info featured on the top of their screen.

Accuracy Warning Threshold:  Select a distance to receive a warning when you drop below selected accuracy.

Advanced Menu

In the “GPS Device -> Advanced” tab, you will find several settings for advanced users:

Use NTRIP:

This section allows a user to select a custom NTRIP provider for RTK corrections via the internet. You will need the following information from your provider:

  • Host (URL or IP address)
  • Port (typically: 2101)
  • Username and Password
  • Mount Point

Performing Field Observations

Assigning Button Labels

You can save button templates by pressing “Save as Template.” To use a previously saved Template, press “Choose Template.”

Recording Observations

Importing Data

On the VineView mobile app, select “PinPoint import” from the dropdown menu. Select the data you would like to import and press Confirm. 

Charging Your Device

To charge your device, plug your USB charger into the USB port on the left side of your PinPoint RTK.

PinPoint RTK operates with a lithium battery; do not open the device.

Firmware Updates

In the “GPS Device -> Advanced” tab, it will show if a firmware update is available for your device. To perform an update, follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure your device has sufficient battery or is connected to external power
  2. Ensure the location has good access to a WIFI connection
  3. Enter the WIFI login details so the PinPoint RTK can connect to the internet
  4. Select ‘Update Now’ and follow the instructions

[Note: There have been reports of incompatibility with certain WIFI routers. If the device is unable to connect to WIFI, please check the settings and ensure WIFI strength is sufficient at your location. If it continues to struggle, please connect with support@vineview.com to discuss alternative options for updating the firmware]

Serial console message: This option shows the raw data output from the PinPoint RTK GNNS receiver. It is only used for advanced troubleshooting

How To Get the Most Out of Your PinPoint RTK


Understanding Fix and Float in GNSS Systems


When using a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver, you might encounter two types of positioning results: fix and float. These terms describe the accuracy of your location data.

Fix Solution: A fix solution is when your GNSS receiver determines your position very accurately, usually within a few centimeters. This high level of precision happens when the receiver can perfectly calculate the distance to the satellites.

Float Solution: A float solution is less precise. It gives a good estimate of your position, typically within 10-30 centimeters, but it’s not as exact as a fix solution. This usually happens when there are obstacles like buildings or trees that make it harder for the receiver to get a clear signal.

In simple terms, a fix solution is like having a very clear and exact map of where you are, while a float solution gives you a pretty good idea of your location, but with less precision.

RTK Performance

To get the best performance from your RTK receiver, consider the following:

Hold the Antenna Upright: Hold your RTK receiver’s antenna upright to get the best signal. If the antenna is tilted, you may get weak signals and less accurate data.

Ensure a Clear View of the Sky: A clear, unobstructed view of the sky is essential for accurate readings.

 

Troubleshooting

Factors that may impact signal quality:

 

Trees: Groups of trees can block satellite signals and reduce accuracy.

Sources of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI): Electronic devices, power lines, and industrial equipment can interfere with your RTK receiver. 

Tall Buildings: Tall buildings can block or reflect satellite signals, causing errors. Use your RTK receiver in open spaces or on rooftops to ensure a clear view of the sky.

Hills and Mountains: Hills and mountains can block satellite signals. For best results, use your RTK receiver in flat, open areas where you have a clear view of the sky.

Weather Conditions: Bad weather, such as heavy rain, snow, or thick clouds, can weaken satellite signals. While your RTK receiver will still work, severe weather can reduce accuracy.

Solar Activity: Solar activity, such as solar flares, can affect your RTK receiver. High solar activity can cause signal delays. Keep an eye on solar activity reports to anticipate any potential issues.

To check current solar activity and monitor conditions that might affect your GNSS or RTK receiver, you can visit the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). This site provides comprehensive data on current solar activity, forecasts, and alerts. You can access it here.

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