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GPS receiver unlocks RTK precision

System avoids base station unlock fees because it was designed to work with any base station that surveyors use.
The Agra GPS CRG receiver is RTK capable and includes a JD-Bridge that allows John Deere displays to autosteer different brand machines including Claas, Agco and CNH.

WESTERN PRODUCER — Farmers that need RTK precision have another option with the launch of the Agra GPS CRG receiver.

Andrew Clayton of Agra GPS said the new receiver is the first receiver outside of John Deere’s products that is compatible with Deere’s GPS system.

“It supports all four satellite systems and comes with RTK, without any unlocks. It also includes a JD-Bridge which allows the CRG to enable John Deere displays to autosteer machines including Claas, Agco and CNH,” Clayton said.

Agra GPS broke into the agriculture market when John Deere stopped supporting StarFire ITC a few years ago, which left hundreds of thousands of farmers around the world with receivers that no longer worked, Clayton said.

“We basically went in, since we know John Deere’s code so well from creating the CRG (GPS receiver/bridge) over so many years. We went in and found the line of code that basically blocked them (farmers) out and created a little box that you can connect to your receiver to make your ITC work again. So that kind of put us on the map worldwide with, I believe 11,000 units sold in six months,” he said.

The company still sells this product, but Clayton said its primary use was as a temporary fix for growers who were happy to use the wireless analog sensor platform (WASP) connection.

Agra GPS provides much higher accuracy.

“It plugs right into the Deere display exactly how that SF6000 or SF3000 would plug in, and it is fully unlocked with RTK. So right out of the box, there’s no unlock fees, no subscription fees, and no licensing fees,” Clayton said.

Users will still need a correction signal for RTK guidance.

However, Clayton said Agra GPS works on industry standards Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) to provide growers with more options.

“Whereas with John Deere you would need to get a John Deere base station and you would need to unlock that John Deere base station with RTK and pay all of these unlock fees, we run on industry standards, so any base station surveyors use would work with our device,” Clayton said.

He added that some states provided continuously operating reference station (CORS) networks to receive the RTCM correction, which can be used by any receiver that outputs standard RTCM corrections.

Clayton said Agra GPS has a love-hate relationship with John Deere, because he said the John Deere sales department would like to sell more receivers.

“But John Deere Corporate actually came to us wanting us to build more bridges for them and different products because they kind of have a conflict of interest to do it themself,” Clayton said.


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