***Why are there multiple products for this service that all look the same?***
This 'product' has a unique username and password attached to it that will allow access to our NTRIP Caster service. When someone purchases it, it will no longer be available for anyone else to purchase. So, don't worry about which one you should buy because they will all give you the exact same thing (just with a different username and password)!
What is this Service?
Our NTRIP Caster allows you to connect your own RTK base station to the internet, and then receive the RTK corrections at your rover(s) (e.g. your tractors) via a cellular data connection instead of a traditional radio link. It's similar to a CORS system, but in this case you are connecting to your own base station rather than the nearest one on the CORS network.
The advantages of using NTRIP over 900MHz radio include significantly increased RTK coverage from a single base station (typically you'll get good accuracy up to about 25 miles / 40km away from wherever your base station is installed), and no issues with line-of-sight interference (because the RTK signal gets delivered to your tractor GPS via cellular data instead of radio waves).
While we've mainly targeted this service to farms looking for better RTK range, it will work for anyone wishing to network their RTK base station, including surveyors, engineering firms, and construction.
Our NTRIP Caster is hosted on Amazon AWS cloud infrastructure hosted in central North America and is always available. We have found that a cloud-based Caster is a much more reliable solution when compared to others that are hosted on a physical server (such as many CORS systems) - these tend to go down often and if that happens during evenings or weekends there may be nobody there to reboot them! Our Caster runs 24/7 365 days a year in the cloud.
What will I receive?
You are purchasing a 12 month subscription to connect one base station and an unlimited number of clients (e.g. your tractors) to our NTRIP Caster. Immediately after you complete the checkout process, you will be able to download a PDF file that contains the credentials needed to connect your base station and clients (e.g. tractors) to our Caster. A link to download the PDF file will also be emailed to you.
These credentials contain the following:
- The IP Address and Port Number of our NTRIP Caster (you'll need this info to setup both your base station and clients)
- A unique Mount Point Name for your base station(this is the name assigned to your base station on the Caster that you setup your clients (tractor GPS) to connect to)
- A unique Password for your base station (so that only you can connect your base station to your reserved Mount Point)
- A unique Client Username and Password (this is the 'login' for your clients so that they can connect to the Caster)
The PDF also includes detailed instructions for setting up Trimble Ag base stations and FMX/TMX displays using the credentials provided. For other brands, such as John Deere, Outback, Ag Leader, TopCon etc we suggest checking with your local dealer, or locating a reputable local dealer for Intuicom Bridge Modems as these can be used at both the base and clients side to connect to our Caster with the supplied credentials.
Do You Offer a Free Trial? What if it Doesn't Work for me?
Our costs for operating the Caster are directly related to the number of accounts we have running on it. Therefore we are unable to offer free trial accounts because these accounts would still have a cost associated for us.
In the event things don't work out for you, please contact us via the Contact page within 14 days of ordering and let us know. We will cancel your subscription and issue a full refund back to your original payment method.
Who Is This Service For?
Our NTRIP Caster can be used by anyone looking to connect their base station to the internet in order to deliver RTK corrections over cellular data link rather than traditional radios. Farms with existing base stations are the primary audience we created this service for because many farms have grown and a single radio base station no longer reaches new fields that are further away.
Our Caster is a standard NTRIP Caster so there's no reason it cannot be used by any other user however!
We provide detailed instructions for setting up Trimble Ag-542 base stations and in-cab TMX-2050 or FM-1000 (FMX) displays as these have NTRIP capability built-in and are fairly simple to configure (just follow our instructions to the letter!). For other brands, you'll probably need to use an NTRIP modem, such as the Intuicom Bridge, so we recommend you either do your research on how to configure your setup, or make sure you are working with a dealer/consultant that knows how to do it.
How it works
The Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol (NTRIP) is a protocol for streaming differential GPS (DGPS) data over the Internet. It is an alternative method to using radios to transport the data (GPS receivers don't know how the data is delivered to them, nor do they care!).
- RTK base stations are connected to the Internet, and act as NTRIP Servers in that they 'serve' data to an NTRIP Caster.
- The NTRIP Caster acts as an intermediary, receiving RTK data streams from the connected base stations, and passing the requested stream to NTRIP Clients.
- NTRIP Clients are the field units, e.g. tractor GPS, that connect to the Caster, request the required stream, and then receive it.
Couldn't I host my own Caster?
Yes you could! But it's not as simple as you may think. You'll need to get a static IP address from your Internet provider, which typically means getting a business account that costs significantly more. You'll also have to configure your internet router for port forwarding to allow incoming traffic through to your base station, and add the required exceptions to your firewall. Even done correctly, this could expose your home/office network to cyber attacks. If you are comfortable with all of that then you don't need to be here!
When you connect your base station to our caster you do not need a static IP address, so you can use any internet connection. You will not need to configure any settings on your router or firewall, and you will not need to allow any inbound traffic to your home/office network.
Our Caster will receive and pass on any data format it receives from the base station, and is not limited to RTCM. Therefore it can be used with any brand of GPS/GNSS equipment and any message format.
What It Doesn't Do
This is not a subscription to a CORS network - you must have your own base station and a way to connect it to our Caster via the Internet.
You must also have the required hardware (e.g. cellular modems or equivalent) to connect your base station and client receivers to the Internet.
You will still require RTK accuracy unlocks/licenses on your hardware. We cannot provide hardware-specific support for you to connect to our Caster.
In the event of an issue with the Caster please get in touch with us via the Contact page to open a support ticket.