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  • 1.  Nomad 5

    Posted 04-18-2022 09:44
    Hi all -

    My firm recently purchased a Nomad 5 unit with the EM-100 module for submeter accuracy. However, I have yet to be able to link up to any satellites using the module. Are there tips/tricks that I'm not aware of? 

    As this unit is to be used for GPS's a major problem. I haven't figured out how to log points on Terraflex yet, either (which obviously I can't do if it's not functioning as a GPS unit...)


    Corinne Steinmuller

  • 2.  RE: Nomad 5
    Best Answer

    Posted 04-19-2022 20:21
    Edited by Tom Harrison 04-21-2022 03:56
    Hi Corinne

    I've just done a check with a factory-reset Nomad 5 and EM100, I didn't have any problems.  Here's what I did:
    • Installed TerraFlex v5.6.1.1 from Play Store onto the Nomad 5
    • Ran TerraFlex, logged in using TID
    • Under TerraFlew Settings / Location Service, selected Internal
    • Confirmed that TerraFlex / Location Status got positions from the internal GNSS receiver within a minute
    • Attached an EM100 to the Nomad 5
    • Got a prompt from TerraFlex saying EM100 had been attached and asking if I wanted to change to the EM100, accepted this
    • Within about a minute, TerraFlex got positions from the EM100

    Additional information:
    • The EM100 is more accurate than the Nomad 5 internal GNSS, but it's also more sensitive to GNSS signal quality - in my office near a window the internal GNSS will give me a (terrible accuracy) positions but EM100 will not track any satellites at all.  Try to work outside in good open-sky GNSS conditions if you can, to check that EM100 is working.
    • If it's the first time you are using the EM100 or if you have loaded new firmware, the EM100 can take a few minutes to track the first satellites even in good conditions.  Not more than 5 or 10 minutes, though.
    • If you have any problems of any kind, it's always worth restarting the OS to see if that changes the behaviour
    • If you have an external mini-patch antenna from an R1 or any antenna and cable suitable for Geo7x / Geo 6000 / Geo2008, etc, these will work with the EM100.  That would rule out a bad antenna in the EM100 unit.
    • There are a few configuration options for the EM100 which you can get to via the pre-installed Empower Hub application, by opening the hub and clicking on the "EM100 Settings" icon.  Most users will never need to change any of these.
      • The EM100 is power up automatically when the Nomad 5 OS is started or woken from a sleep state
      • To save power, the EM100 turns off after 1 minute (default) if it is not being used by an application, you can change this behaviour
      • When the screen turns off, the EM100 keeps on running to allow applications to collect position data even though the screen is off
    Edit:  The above was done on the original Android 8.1.0, build number 20190603-0229.  I realised there was an update available so I updated to Android 8.1 build 20191030-0602 and then to Android 9 build number 20200331-0239, TerraFlex still connects to EM100 and gets positions.

    Norman Smart

  • 3.  RE: Nomad 5

    Posted 04-25-2022 05:24
    Hi Norman - 

    Thank you for your response! The issue seems to be fixed now.

    I do have another question, which you may not be able to answer. I was sold the EM100 as being submeter accuracy. IN the field the other day, however, it seemed to read consistently between 2-3m accuracy when I took points. I've yet to upload my data yet, but is there a way to correct this? I wonder if I need to but another attachment in order to get true submeter accuracy, or if it's just that much more sensitive than the Geo7x.

    Corinne Steinmuller

  • 4.  RE: Nomad 5

    Posted 04-25-2022 15:47
    Hi Corinne

    The electronics of the EM100 GNSS receiver are very similar to the GNSS receiver fitted to the Geo 7x, the antennas used are different types but have similar performance, so I'd expect to see similar performance and similar accuracy estimates if you operate them side-by-side as long as they are configured similarly.  One difference is that the EM100 was generally sold as a single-frequency receiver so the best accuracy it will give is sub-meter, while Geo 7x was sold as a single-frequency (with sub-meter accuracy) but it also had options for dual-frequency operation with decimeter or CM-level accuracy.

    To get sub-meter accuracy on either device you need to be using real-time corrections (SBAS or NTRIP or RTX, etc.) - the real-time correction options are the same for EM100 and Geo 7x, except that EM100 supports satellite RTX which is not available on Geo 7x.

    Norman Smart

  • 5.  RE: Nomad 5

    Posted 04-25-2022 16:01
    I have the same question, but a little different.  Could we confirm the following?

    I was told the EM100, was the same engine and antenna as the R1, a SIRF chip, sub meter WAAS but with RTX capacity.

    Can the R1, when "as you stated, when configured the same", spit out and SSF file, as the Geo7x is designed to do?
    In otherwords, say on a TSC7, with an EM100 module, can a user run Terrasync and pp with an SSF from the EM100.  That would be the apples to apples comparison that I think the original poster is referring too.

    Thanks for the opportunity to barge in.

    Joel Cusick
    GIS Specialist
    Region 11 - Alaska Regional Office
    240 W. Fifth Ave.
    Anchorage, AK 99501-2327
    cell:907 280-9724  wk:907 644-3549 

  • 6.  RE: Nomad 5

    Posted 04-25-2022 16:34
    Edited by Norman Smart 04-25-2022 16:45
    Hi Joel

    EM100 electronics are more like Geo 7x GNSS than R1.  Antenna is similar to R1, most definitely different from Geo 7x as can be seen by the shapes of the products.  The GNSS in these devices uses proprietary Trimble hardware (Trimble Maxwell™ 6 according to the Geo 7x datasheet).   None of these uses SiRF - from memory, the last products which used SiRF were Nomad 900 / 1050 and Yuma 1.

    I don't think TerraSync was updated to support EM100 - EM100 isn't listed as a TerraSync Supported receiver in the MGIS Compatibility list - so there's no way for customers to get an SSF file. 

    Post-processing of EM100 data may be available using TerraFlex, but I have no experience with TerraFlex and post-processing.

    Norman Smart