New RTK GPS Base station

I’ve been running an RTK GPS Base station and feeding the data to since early 2018.  I was initially using a UBlox Neo-M8T which only worked on L1 frequencies, but earlier this year I upgraded it to a UBlox ZED-F9P receiver which receives L1 and L2 frequencies which allows for far quicker and more accurate RTK fixes.

My base station was on the roof of my house.  It has a clear view of the sky, but the roof is getting old and we plan to replace the roof within a year.  I decided it was time to move the base station to a new location.

I decided the best location was a corner of a permanently located shipping container we use for storage.  It’s solid, and unlikely to move any time soon.

The new home for my GPS base station

The location was a little bit rusty, but it was easily fixed up with a wire brush, rust killer, cold galvanise paint and a top coat of matching paint.

After a touch up

Most Survey/RTK GPS antennas have an imperial 5/8 UNC thread.  After a little bit of investigation, I was able to find suitable stainless steel bolts, nuts and washers at a specialist engineering shop.

I used two pieces of steel angle to make a custom clamp/bracket and installed it.

Ready for the antenna

I needed the antenna connector (TNC female) to line up with the hole when it was screwed in tight. This was achieved using a thin piece of copper (from stripped wire) as a crush washer/spacer. I also used a small amount of loctite to make sure the antenna was firmly attached.

Antenna attached and ready to go

I now need to survey this new location by averaging 2-3 days worth of data against other base stations in the area.

Uncorrected GPS Position plot of the base station. Grid squares are 10x10cm
Once I’ve surveyed the new base station location, I expect to see results like this. Grid squares are 1x1mm!

I’ll report back once I’ve calculated an accurate position for this base station

You May Also Like

About the Author: John

1 Comment

  1. Hi John,

    Interesting article! I’m down in Christchurch and I’m also keen to make a M8T base station. I can’t justify the cost on a M9F at the moment! Where did you source your M8T chip or board from?

    Cheers, David

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *