This is a GNSS antenna receiver. It is very simple to use to the point of turn it on and that’s it. It has an array of lights to inform you of Power, Satellite visibility, Modes, Bluetooth connected and battery life. It really is a switch on and go GeoLocation device which is easy to connect to, the same as pairing a phone to a handsfree device.
But lets continue….
Attachment to the pole is by means of a simple screw fit and is assembled in about 30 seconds. There are 3 sections to the pole which are 2 carbon rod sections and 1 steel point. These are all interchangeable and replaceable if anything should happen.On test the battery lasted a whole day (8 hours) with plenty to spare. These are not hot swappable but to power down the unit change battery and power up took 2 minutes to complete.
On test it was used with the Ranger 3, Ranger 7 and Samsung Tab S2 (using the free Spectra Space app). It connected effortlessly to all 3 devices.On test the usage ranged from marking road layouts to point (topo ss) surveys.
The longer you remain stationary – the better the accuracy although it tracks its position constantly and as soon as you have the pole straight, its ready at generally low teen mm’s.The only issue with pole mounted receivers is if you throw it on your shoulder so its tilt is approx 30 degrees relative to the ground, it can’t see enough satellites for a good location but it lets you know that via a flashing light on the SP60 device and constant accuracy via the connected device. The Spectra app I used on the Ranger 7 and Ranger 3 chimed a bell when this occured but the collector app just showed a red background to the accuracy reporting square.
The user accuracy of the reported position on the rig I tested relies on centering a spirit bubble, on the pole, to tell you the pole is vertical so there is a possibility of parallax read error, of the spirit bubble, if care is not taken to position yourself verticaly over the spirit bubble. This whole setup seems aimed at portability but I personaly would prefer a spirit bubble that extruded slightly further away from the pole but this is more related to the rig I was using, and generally pole mounted receivers, not the SP60 receiver itself.
Other issues found on test is the length of pole is suitable for Ground surveying and can also test shallow access holes (depth measurement is dependent on how many 1m sections of pole you connect) but can be obstructive through doorways and corridors when entering buildings. I also used it in 1m height (1 section of pole) and was much more manageable but requires the use of one hand to steady so any non pole mounted device will need a one handed operation (fortunately the Rangers where pole mounted) but this was a challenge when paired with the Samsung Tab S2 Tablet so I constructed a simple Quick release mount fashioned from a Tablet car headrest holder for approximately £10.
The accuracy of the unit was consistent and ranged from 8-21mm Horizontal and 13-25mm vertical with RTK correction and as reported by the SPace application.
The best device I tested with was the SPECTRA Ranger 7 with Windows 10 but at the time of testing, there was an issue with ArcGIS Collector getting the SPace app location which was a known issue with the collector app for windows10 and which has possibly been resolved now.
The other option was to upgrade to the more advanced SP80 receiver that connects in a different way, not just Bluetooth, and is not much more money. Having said this, all the SPECTRA apps integrated fine across all devices but definitely worth contacting the SEP support team, who were magnificent at resolving my issues quickly and honestly, as to compatibilility
This device is rugged and very easy to use with nearly no training. Once set up it auto connects to the receiving device to be used as required with flexibility of end user interface hardware. It takes little user training and is compatitible with a range of devices that are Bluetooth capable and able to install the SPace app.
If you want to speak to someone regarding a trial or Demonstration then please use the contact form below. THE DETAILS YOU PROVIDE WILL BE SENT DIRECTLY TO A REPRESENTATIVE OF SEP Engineering Products who are a UK distributor of SPECTRA Equipment and have been kind enough to loan this device for review.