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TechnicalNotes

A field prepared (listed) at night using the AgGPS 214 High-Accuracy Guidance System

AgGPS 214
High-Accuracy Receiver
C E N T I M E T E R P R E C I S I O N I N A G R I C U LT U R E

Precision in agriculture reaches a new level with the Trimble AgGPS


214 high-accuracy receiver. Whether it is centimeter-level guidance along
crop rows, precise location of inputs, or high-accuracy field topographic
mapping, the AgGPS 214 makes all these tasks easy. High-precision jobs
are made easier, saving you time and money.

TECH NOTES

Competitive agribusinesses today focus on


improving their bottom line. Sub-meter
Differential GPS (DGPS) satisfies many
agricultural applications by improving
application efficiency, saving time and/or
reducing costs. But there are situations where
centimeter-level precision is needed to
achieve optimal performance and productivity. For example, to ensure all field operations
such as preparing seedbeds, planting, or
cultivating are performed as efficiently as
possible. Field topographic mapping also
requires centimeter precision. High-accuracy
GPS equipment that is rugged and practical
to use is pivotal to achieving these tasks.
Trimble has met this challenge by introducing the state-of-the-art AgGPS 214 RealTime Kinematic (RTK) receiver.

Trimbles highest accuracy AgGPS systems


have been designed with flexibility in mind.
An AgGPS system can be customized for the
type of job you have. For centimeter-level
guidance, the AgGPS 214 receiver can be
integrated with the Parallel Swathing Option
to allow precise positioning along straight
lines. Many agricultural operations can benefit from this exceptional precision for
guidance, navigation, and mappingsuch as
the laying of irrigation tapes, working
around drip irrigation, the preparation of
very straight rows or seedbeds and the
accurate placement of seed. In high-value
crops even the application of fertilizer and

crop protection materials can benefit from


high-precision guidance. For topographic
mapping and contouring, the AgGPS 214
receiver is combined with the AgGPS 170
Field Computer to log elevation data directly
onto Compact Flash data cards using the
ESRI (Environmental Systems Research
Institute) Shapefile format.
WHAT IS THE AgGPS 214?
The AgGPS 214 is a GPS receiver designed
specifically for Real-Time Kinematic (RTK)
operation in agricultural applications (see inset
for more information on RTK). The AgGPS 214
hardware design is based on the proven rugged
housing of the existing AgGPS receiver family.
The front panel and menu layout are similar to
those of all other AgGPS receivers to ensure
customer familiarity and ease of use.
The AgGPS 214 high-accuracy receiver can be
purchased alone or as part of a system designed
for precise guidance or topographic mapping.
Both systems consist of an AgGPS 214 receiver,
GPS dual-frequency antenna with 13-inch
ground plane, the TRIMCOMM 900M data
link radio, cables and manuals. For high-accuracy guidance, the system includes the Parallel
Swathing Option. For topographic mapping, the
system includes the AgGPS 170 Field Computer.

WHAT IS RTK?
Centimeter-level accuracy can be delivered by Trimbles Real Time Kinematic, or RTK
solutions. Its a facet of GPS technology that extends the use of the GPS signals to get even
greater accuracy! The Trimble AgGPS 214 receiver is an RTK receiver designed and built
for agricultural applications.
Trimble pioneered the commercial use of RTK in 1992, and since that time has seen it
used on thousands of projects throughout the world. Thanks to RTK, these projects were
completed more quickly, accurately and safely than was ever possible using conventional
methods.
For an RTK system, you need to place a base station on a known, surveyed, point. In order
to obtain optimum accuracy, your mobile vehicle-based receivers must be within the range
of 10 kilometers (6 miles) from your base station. The base station transmits corrections via
radio to any number of mobile receivers you have operating in the field. A typical radio link
required for RTK is in the UHF, VHF or spread spectrum radio band. Radios operate best
within line of sight or with a repeater.
A Trimble RTK base station receiver, for example the AgGPS 214, transmits data once per
second. Using radios like the TRIMCOMM 900M, the data is transmitted in a format
called CMR. CMR stands for Compact Measurement Record. Its a dual-frequency data format invented by Trimble that transmits data in a more compact and robust way than other
formats. This makes data transmission to the roving receivers more reliable.
The GPS receivers used in Trimble RTK systems are dual-frequency receivers. Dual-frequency receivers are a must if youre doing any sort of task requiring centimeter precision. As well
as picking up the standard code and carrier phase GPS signals like all other GPS receivers,
Trimbles dual-frequency receivers track the second carrier phase signal. It is this signal that
enables the RTK receiver to lock into the higher accuracy. Since Trimble dual-frequency
receivers pick up two carrier phase signals, you can initialize quickly. Initialization is the
process a receiver goes through to get the information that it needs from the satellites to
generate high accuracy positions. One minute is typical for initializing to obtain centimeterlevel accuracy. Trimbles RTK receivers output precise data at rates better than one second
rates of five to twenty times per second are not uncommon!
To date, Trimble RTK technology has been used for many projects worldwide
spanning marine, survey, mining and construction applications. Agriculture can also benefit
from the use of centimeter-level GPS for precision guidance or topographic mapping. The
benefits include huge savings in time and money, plus greater accuracy.

TECH NOTES

MODULAR AgGPS
FIELD MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Trimble has a modular interoperable family
of products allowing you to create an
AgGPS Field Management System to suit
your needs. Select from the widest range of
AgGPS receivers as your foundation to the
AgGPS Field Management System.

TECH NOTES

Start with adding an AgGPS Parallel


Swathing Option for guidance, then you
can choose to add on an AgGPS 170 Field
Computer for a top-of-the-line precision
agriculture solution providing field mapping, record-keeping and site-specific
capabilities.
If high-precision work to within centimeters is your focus, select the AgGPS 214
as your receiver and then add on the
AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option to provide the most precise guidance system on
the market. Alternatively, include the
AgGPS 170 Field Computer to perform
field topographic mapping.
AgGPS Receivers

Trimble offers a number of AgGPS


receivers that have been specifically
designed for the precision agriculture environment. You can choose a receiver that
best meets your accuracy and budget
requirements. Contact your nearest Trimble
sales representative for more details about
Trimbles AgGPS receivers.
AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option

The AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option


lightbar provides clear and immediate guidance along swath lines. The lightbar has a
row of bright lights (LEDs) that indicate
the vehicles distance offline, and an eight-

character text screen to display user-selected


information such as swath number and
ground speed. It is easily mounted on the
dash or from the ceiling of any spray truck,
spreader, or tractor cab. The lightbars
bright LEDs ensure clear guidance in daylight. A dimmer feature enables the intensity to be reduced for night operations.
Text display

Approach LED

Lightbar Swivel Mount

Guidance LEDs

Connector

AgGPS 170 Field Computer

The AgGPS 170 Field Computer is a


rugged field computer with daylightreadable color display designed for agricultures environmental extremes.
By integrating the modular AgGPS 170
Field Computer with an AgGPS receiver of
your choice and the AgGPS Parallel
Swathing Option, you form an AgGPS
Field Management System. Software
modules run on the AgGPS 170 Field
Computer, designed for a range of precision agricultural operations such as guidance, record-keeping, logging, variable rate,
soil sampling and field mapping.
Benefits of the High-Accuracy
AgGPS Field Management Systems

The AgGPS 214 hardware is rugged,


ensuring reliability in harsh agricultural
conditions.
Save time with the AgGPS 214s easy
setup and configuration, using the same
proven and popular AgGPS receiver
front panel and menu user interface.
Applicable to a wide range of agricultural
tasks requiring the greatest precision

- Extend your operating hours. Work at


night, in fog or dusty conditions.
- Reduce operator fatigue and ensure
you cover the field efficiently with the
easy-to-follow lightbar.
- Minimize soil compaction using
precise guidance along the same
swaths for each field pass.

(for example, bedding, listing, planting


of seeds or trees, spraying, spreading, cultivating, variable rate treatments, etc).
Flexibility in your AgGPS Field
Management Systemsswap out the
submeter-level AgGPS receiver to use
the high-performance AgGPS 214 for
centimeter-level guidance and topographic mapping services.

For Topographic Mapping


- Save time with easy file transferall
data is recorded in Shapefile format
on handy CompactFlash cards.
- Field data collection is automated,
providing accurate records of the job
done and assists with staff timesheet
collection.
- Save time by setting up and collecting
topographic data faster.

For Guidance
- Save time and money throughout
listing, bedding, planting, and other
field operations by ensuring
consistently straight parallel rows.
- Avoid accumulated driver errors from
one pass to the next.
- Reduce the need for experienced
drivers. Even inexperienced operators
do a great job with very little training.
- Eliminate guess rows.

Available in AgGPS 170 Version 3 software.

AgGPS 214 FIELD MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

+
_

NEXT

MENU

ESC

ENTER

AgGPS Parallel
Swathing Option

AgGPS 214 RTK


receiver and
TRIMCOMM 900M
radio

AgGPS 170 Field Computer


* Base Station receiver and radio not shown

TECH NOTES

HOW TO USE THE AgGPS 214 IN


AGRICULTURE
Trimbles AgGPS products are highly interoperable. By combining the high-performance
RTK AgGPS 214 receiver with the AgGPS
Parallel Swathing Option, you create an AgGPS
Field Management System for centimeter-level
precise guidance. Alternatively, by combining
the AgGPS 214 with the AgGPS 170 Field
Computer, you create an AgGPS Field Management System for field topographic mapping.
(See diagram on page 5.)
Equipment Setup

panel, 2-line, 16-character LCD display showing


all the status information of the GPS receiver,
including: position, altitude, speed, heading,
PDOP, HDOP, VDOP, satellites used, position
mode, differential RTK status, and status information of the received base station data. The
keypad and the display can be used to configure
all of the AgGPS 214 receiver settings and the
input/output (I/O) selections, including the
NMEA messages and the Parallel Swathing
Option settings. An office computer software
program, Remote Controller, provides another
way to configure the AgGPS 214.

Base Station and Radio Setup: Initially

TECH NOTES

select a base
station location which has a clear, unobstructed
view towards the field you will be working in.
The AgGPS 214 base station should be within
10 km or 6 miles of the area you are working.
To ensure maximum range of the radio at the
base, keep the TRIMCOMM 900M elevated as
high as practical.

AgGPS 214 Setup: The AgGPS 214 has a front-

If you require absolute accuracy in your field


mapping, where the horizontal positions and
elevations are tied to known, absolute reference
points, you need to set up the base station
antenna over a known, surveyed location.
However, if only relative accuracy is required,
where your horizontal positions and elevations
in the field are computed at centimeter-level
precision relative to the base position, then you
can set up the base station at any convenient
location (maintaining, of course, the clear views
to the sky and field of interest). Be sure, in this
case, to keep a record of starting position (latitude, longitude, and height) of the base station,
including the antenna height above any point
you may mark on the ground. If possible,
mount the base station permanently so that you
can perform all your high-accuracy operations
without repositioning the base each time.

The I/O ports on the AgGPS 214 may be


configured for the lightbar, NMEA, DGPS
corrections and CMR corrections (CMR is
transmitted from the AgGPS 214 base receiver).
Connector Port A has one pair of receive and
transmit lines. Connector Port B has two pairs
of receive and transmit lines. In addition, each
connector has an independent CAN bus port.
High-Precision Guidance
Most chemical applicators require Differential
GPS (DGPS) with sub-meter accuracy to
improve their application efficiency. Such tasks
can be performed using the AgGPS Parallel
Swathing Option combined with a sub-meter
DGPS receiver of choice (e.g. AgGPS 124 or
AgGPS 132). In situations such as growing highvalue crops and managing very high-cost inputs,
the demand for higher precision guidance goes
up.
By incorporating the AgGPS 214 with the
AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option, the accuracy
of field guidance and product placement attains
a new level. Now you can achieve very precise
guidance along crop rows and pre-marked
straight lines.

FIELD SETUP FOR HIGH-ACCURACY GUIDANCE


Base Station
GPS Antenna
T

Base Station Radio

GPS Antenna

Rover Radio

Lightbar

External
Keypad

AgGPS 214
Rover Receiver

TECH NOTES

At critical times of the year experienced operators can be hard to find. At other times field
work must continue at all costs. The AgGPS 214
with Parallel Swathing Option lets everyone,
even the inexperienced operator, perform very
straight parallel lines for seedbed preparation,
planting, precision application, and even harvesting. Hours of operation can be extended
into low visibility conditions such as at night, in
fog or dusty conditions. Field work gets done on
time and soil structural damage is reduced by
controlling field traffic.
Specialty crops can require the formation of very
straight rows with raised seed beds, followed by
accurate placement of fertilizer into the seed
beds, and finally the crop is planted as close to
the fertilizer and center of the raised bed as
possible. Guidance using the AgGPS 214
receiver can ensure the straightest rows and the
most accurate positioning of material possible
from one pass to the next.

Some operations are costly to repeat each year


such as the laying of irrigation tapes or drips in a
field. These tapes can be mapped as they are laid
down, so operators in subsequent field passes
avoid damaging the existing tapes. To obtain
guidance along pre-mapped lines or curves, from
one pass to the next (for example, irrigation tape
lines), simply combine the AgGPS 170 Field
Computer with your AgGPS 214 and AgGPS
Parallel Swathing systems. This lets you record
swath patterns, crop rows or lines and save these
as Shapefiles on the data card. Reload these
mapped features into the AgGPS 170 Field
Computer for guidance in field operations next
year or next season.
Setup and Equipment: The

high-accuracy guidance

system includes:
AgGPS 214 receiver and dual-frequency
antenna with 13" ground plane
TRIMCOMM 900M data link radio
Cables and mounts

Manual
AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option (which
includes a lightbar, external keypad, cable,
and manual)

bar, you will keep the vehicle on the swath


centerline. A user-configurable text display
provides key information such as swath number
and distance offline.

You will also need an AgGPS 214 base station


and an additional TRIMCOMM 900M base
station radio.

TECH NOTES

Once the AgGPS 214 receiver, base station and


radio link are set up, securely mount the AgGPS
Parallel Swathing lightbar, GPS and radio antennas on the agricultural vehicle being used for
guidance. The radio and GPS antennas must be
mounted on elevated points on the vehicle to
ensure reception of signals from the base and
from GPS satellites in the sky. It is recommended to mount the GPS antenna in a central
location on the vehicle (for example, the center
of the cab roof).

Guidance: Centimeter-level

guidance is easy with


the AgGPS 214 and the AgGPS Parallel
Swathing Option. Simply set your swath width
to that of your equipment width, then drive to
your A and B points to define a straight A-B
line. Guidance relative to this line is then provided across the rest of the field. Alternatively,
drive the field boundary and get headland or
end row guidance.
Throughout the field operation, the lightbar
shows how far you are from the swath centerline. By centering the row of lights on the light-

Field listed at night using the AgGPS 214


High-Accuracy Guidance System

Topographic Mapping of Agricultural Fields


Field topography is a major driver of crop yield,
due to its effect on soil properties and drainage.
For this reason, precise centimeter-level field
topographic maps are an essential site-specific
layer in a farmers precision agriculture
Geographical Information System (GIS).
Topographic maps can also be used for leveling
or improved drainage.
Collecting elevation data for topographic maps
of agricultural fields has never been easier! By
integrating the AgGPS 214 RTK receiver with
the AgGPS 170 Field Computer, you can collect
centimeter-level three-dimensional position
information (that is, horizontal position and
height data) into an ESRI Shapefile. The daylight-readable color display of the AgGPS 170
Field Computer lets you map the field to be surveyed and record where you have already driven.
The AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option lightbar
can also be used to provide guidance over the
field, so the operator can be sure to evenly cover
the extent of the field. Back in the office, the
topographic data can be processed with a number of GIS mapping programs to create a threedimensional topographic map of the field

surface. Alternatively, a portable computer can


be configured to record the field topographic
data from the AgGPS 214.
The AgGPS 214 topographic mapping system equipment includes:
AgGPS 214 RTK receiver and dual-frequency
antenna with 13" ground plane
TRIMCOMM 900M data link radio
Cables and mounts
Manual
AgGPS 170 Field Computer System (which
includes the computer, cable and junction
box, CompactFlash data card with PC card
adapter, shock resistant tilt and swivel pole
mounting bracket, manual, and ESRI
ArcExplorer GIS software on CD-ROM).
Setup and Equipment:

You will also need an AgGPS 214 base station


and an additional TRIMCOMM 900M base
station radio. You can choose to include lightbar-aided guidance throughout the topographic
mapping process by purchasing the AgGPS
Parallel Swathing Option.

Once the AgGPS 214 base station receiver and


radio link are set up, securely mount the AgGPS
170 Field Computer, AgGPS Parallel Swathing
system, AgGPS 214 rover receiver, GPS radio
and antennas on the agricultural vehicle being
used to perform the mapping. The radio and
GPS antennas must be mounted on elevated
points on the vehicle to ensure reception of
signals from the base and from GPS satellites in
the sky. It is recommended to mount the GPS
antenna in a central location on the vehicle (for
example, the center of the cab roof).
Real-Time Data Collection: Data

collection involves
setting an appropriate vehicle swath width,
driving the field and logging. Throughout the
process the color AgGPS 170 Field Computer
displays on-screen coverage logging on the map
display or Plan View Map. This allows the
operator to monitor how much of the field has
been completed or identify any gaps via the
coverage logging. You can add the optional lightbar for guidance across the field to ensure you
evenly cover the entire topographic area.

FIELD SETUP FOR TOPOGRAPHIC MAPPING

Base Station
GPS Antenna
T

Base Station Radio

GPS Antenna

AgGPS 170
Field Computer

Rover Radio

AgGPS PSO
Lightbar

AgGPS 214
Rover Receiver

TECH NOTES

Useful information is displayed on the AgGPS


170 Field Computer including the quality of the
RTK GPS position and number of elevation
points recorded. All information is recorded
onto the CompactFlash data card in the AgGPS
170 Field Computer using the Shapefile format.

10

TECH NOTES

AgGPS 170 Field Computers Plan View Map


while collecting elevation data points

you have completed the collection of the elevation data, simply remove the
CompactFlash data card from your AgGPS 170
Field Computer and load it into your office
computer. You can select from a wide range of
GIS software to read ESRI Shapefiles for contouring or interpolation. Examples of suitable
software include:
ESRIs ArcView with extensions Spatial Analyst
and 3D Analyst
SST Development Groups SSToolbox or
SSToolbox Lite
Agriss AgLink

Antenna WGS84 latitude & longitude


position
Antenna height (Height Above Ellipsoid, HAE)
Ground height (HAE)
Mean Sea Level (MSL) height
Heading
Left-hand boom size
Right-hand boom size
DOP (Dilution of Precision) as a measure of
GPS position quality
Number of GPS satellites
Swath number
Correction age
Units
Offline distance
Along line distance
Using any dBase editor such as Microsoft Excel,
you can easily edit the dBase file to retain only
the columns you need.
Note: It is recommended to use Mean Sea Level (MSL) height for
topographic maps.

Data Analysis: When

The detailed logging Shapefile contains a point


feature for each data point collected at a onesecond interval. For each point, the following
attributes are collected in the dBase (.dbf) file:
Software version number, date and local time
GPS status
Ground speed (km/h or mph)
Logging status (on = 1 or off = 0)
UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) Time

SUMMARY
The AgGPS 214 RTK receiver presents new
opportunities for those agricultural applications
demanding ruggedness and reliability of equipment while dealing with such high-precision.
The Trimble AgGPS 214 seamlessly integrates
into your AgGPS Field Management System.
For guidance you save time and money by being
able to form consistently straight and parallel
crop rows, ensuring subsequent field operations

are more efficient. This also avoids damage to


costly irrigation tapes or drips. For topographic
mapping you have an automated system that is
very easy to set up and use, providing elevation
data in the popular Shapefile format.

Performance Characteristics

GPS Receiver
General
Update Rate

Dual 12-channel, dual-frequency


Carrier phase receiver
10 Hz Standard; 20 Hz Optional
with MS750 upgrade package

Carrier Phase Position Accuracy

AgGPS 214 EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS


Standard Features

Centimeter accuracy
Real-Time Kinematic processing
Receives 9 L1 channels and 9 L2 channels
External CMR or RTCM correction input
RTK Fixed, RTK Float, and DGPS modes
Three programmable RS-232 serial ports
Positioning based on dual-frequency carrier
phase processing
1 PPS output
Configuration via front panel and keypad
5 meter antenna cable
Dual-frequency antenna with 13-inch ground
plane and integral magnetic mount

Options

AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option


AgGPS 170 Field Computer
Physical Characteristics
Size
14.5cm W x 5.1cm H x 23.9cm D
(5.7" W x 2.0" H x 9.4" D)
Weight
1.0kg (2.25 lbs)
Power
12 VDC/24 VDC, 9 Watts
Operating Temp
20 C to +60 C
(4 F to +140F)
Storage Temp
30 C to +80 C
(22 F to +176 F)
Humidity
MIL 810 E, Meth. 507.3
Proc III, Aggravated,
100% condensing
Vibration
MIL 810 D, Tailored
Random 3gRMS (Operating)
Random 6.2gRMS (Survival)
Mechanical Shock MIL 810 D
+40g Operating
+75g Survival

Time to First Fix


NMEA Messages

1 cm + 1 ppm baseline distance


<30 sec, typical
GGK, GGA, VTG

Dual-Frequency Antenna
Size
Weight
Operating Temp
Storage Temp
Humidity
Casing

33cm diameter x 7.2cm


(13" diameter x 2.85")
1.695 kg
40 C to +70 C
(40 F to +158 F)
55 C to +85 C
(67 F to +185 F)
Fully Sealed/Weather Proof
Cast Aluminum

ORDERING INFORMATION
AgGPS 214 receiver complete
AgGPS 214 upgrade to MS750

Part Number 39374-00


Part Number 40083

AgGPS 214 Guidance Package


Part Number 40104-00
(includes AgGPS 214 rover receiver, 13" ground plane antenna
with magnetic mount and solid mount, manual, and cables)
AgGPS 214 Topographic
Mapping Package
Part Number 40104-10
(includes AgGPS 214 rover receiver, 13" ground plane antenna
with magnetic mount & solid mount, manual, cables,
TRIMCOMM 900M data link rover radio with magnetic
mount and an AgGPS 170 Field Computer System)
AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option
Part Number 34623-00
AgGPS 170 Field Computer System Part Number 38381-00
TRIMCOMM 900M Rover Radio
Part Number 34411-10
AgGPS 214 RTK Base Station
Part Number 38860-50
TRIMCOMM 900M Base Station Radio Part Number 34411-50

For related AgGPS information see:

AgGPS 214 Data Sheet


AgGPS 214 Frequently Asked Questions
AgGPS 170 Field Computer Technical Notes
AgGPS Parallel Swathing Option Data Sheet
AgGPS Precision Agriculture Solutions
Interactive CD

TECH NOTES

11

12

TECH NOTES

Trimble Navigation Limited


Corporate Headquarters
645 North Mary Avenue
Post Office Box 3642
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
http://www.trimble.com
email: precision_ag@trimble.com

TRIMBLE AUTHORIZED DEALER

Precision Agricultural Systems


9290 Bond Street, Suite 102
Overland Park, Kansas 66214
Phone: 1-800-865-7438
Phone: 1-913-495-2700
Australia
Phone: +61-7-3216-0044
Europe
Phone: +44-1256-761-130

Copyright 2000, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. The Trimble logo with Trimble and AgGPS are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited registered in the United States Patent and
Trademark Office. TRIMCOMM is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. TID11843A (03/00)