Yes, you absolutely can have RTK without subscription for a low price in 2022! I supply affordable agriculture GPS guidance systems, including packages such as the Ultimate RTK and Ultimate+ RTK (auto-steer ready) which come with your very own RTK base station. This means you can have RTK sub-inch accuracy without subscription. In my opinion, this is the way to go in 2022! It makes no sense to pay for an expensive subscription when you get the system for one fairly affordable price of between $2-3K including the GPS guidance display, base station, rover, and the radio link between them. Please contact me if you’d like to get your own setup today.
CHEAP RTK without subscription: kits I offer with my systems
- $1250 Centimetre accuracy (sub inch) RTK: two antennas and 10 km (6 mi) radio link.
- $300 increase the RTK radio link range to 50 km (31 mi). *popular*
- $800 Additional tractor RTK receiver. Adds an additional rover antenna, including the configuration to use the same base station. You can run virtually unlimited tractors from the included base station.
- $125 External vehicle mount high gain radio link antenna with 2 m (6.5 ft) low loss cable. Looks like this. This option is for RTK radio link, not GPS signal. Some people like to buy two of these, or one per tractor with the multi-tractor kit. *popular*
- $150 plastic cases for both of the GPS receiver boards in the RTK kit. *popular*
- $300 RS-232 output adapter for GPS receiver – to pass NMEA location to a second device, such as a screen you already have. This is not needed to run my units.
- $150 GPS custom configuration service to make signal work with another device you have. This includes NMEA sentence type, baud rate, update rate (Hz), etc.
- $50 RS-232 male to male (M/M) or male to female (M/F) cable.
COMPLETE RTK guidance packages: screen & base station
- $2050 Ultimate RTK sub inch precision without subscription. *Popular*
- $2525 Ultimate+ RTK additional upgrades & auto steer ready. *Popular*
- $3075 Everything 30 RTK range upgrade to 50 km (31 mi) & even more options.
RTK without subscription advantages
- Your base station is closer than if you subscribe to someone else’s. Therefore, accuracy will be better!
- No yearly costs ($1000-2000) that you have to pay. Just a one time payment.
- All the advantages of RTK such as
- Saving fuel and machine wear.
- Repeatable precision year to year with no signal drift.
- Minimal overlaps, saving fertilizer and other materials.
- Removing the accuracy of GPS signal from all consideration – never worry about it again!
RTK without subscription: share your base station with neighbors!
One base station can support virtually unlimited rovers, as long as they are in range. Therefore, if you get your neighbors on board, you can split the cost. Each additional rover needs to be configured to listen to the right radio band (if this is the way you’re sending corrections) and I can get that setup for you. Please contact me to discuss.
Can you run RTK without a base station?
Basically, no. Having a base station that is (1) stationary, (2) is linked to your rover GPS via some method such as radio or internet, and (3) is close to where you are using the rover (i.e. within around 20 km which is 12 mi) is necessary to achieve sub inch accuracy. Therefore, you either rent one from someone and pay them big bucks, or set up your very own. I advocate for the latter, of course. The cost is reasonable and it’s not a year after year money sink that dealers want to place you in.
Other sources of RTK without subscription
Some of these are so ridiculous that they don’t even want to post a price online. They want to sweet talk you into spending tens of thousands 😉 Trimble – the cheapest stuff they offer is like $5000-7000 USD, and I’m pretty sure that’s just for one antenna not the whole kit. John Deere – I don’t see a price posted, but I reckon it’s close to $10000 just for the rover receiver without a base station. These guys think it’s 2002, not 2022. No way, Jose. The time has long come for cheap RTK!