Tony Gilbert

Trimble Catalyst precision issues

Discussion created by Tony Gilbert on Oct 4, 2018

I'm interested your experiences of the Trimble Catalyst product. I purchased the DA-1 antenna and a Catalyst precision subscription six months or so ago and for me it's been less than awesome in its performance. The subscription allocation and activation model is woeful, but you get past it eventually (I cancel my monthly subscription if I don't see a project coming up that requires it, or I might go back to a cheaper option just for alignment purposes). The far bigger issue for me has been achieving the claimed accuracy of the precision subcription.


Trimble claims precision of "1-2 cm in optimal conditions" but I have yet to see this level of precision from my system. I have used it quite a lot now and the absolute best I've been able to achieve, sometimes waiting 5-10 minutes for a good satellite fix, is 3-4 cm precision. Even then it's fleeting, if you leave it a few seconds more while you get the pole properly centred it has become 6-7cm. And if you happen to be near powerlines, just forget it ... 20-30cm at best, even waiting 20 minutes or more and even though on the other side of the road you can get "3cm precision".


I'm in Australia, in south east Queensland to be precise, and perhaps there are local conditions that affect the precision here? I don't know. I have used it in city and suburban locations, in outer suburbs, in country towns and in rural areas and my experience has been fairly consistent. On one occasion (see attachment) I had reached 474 readings with 21 satellites and a vertical RMS of 4cm, but my horizontal RMS was still 1m which is commercially useless.


What's your experience been?