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Stackyard News May 2012

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Major Expansion of Claas RTK Network

CLAAS UK has embarked on a considerable expansion of its UK RTK (Real Time Kinematics) signal network, that will ultimately result in the company being able to provide unrivalled coverage over 60% of England’s arable area.

CLAAS RTK network

CLAAS RTK network

In addition to this expansion in the base station network, CLAAS is also taking the opportunity to increase the signal strength, which will provide a stronger signal, ensuring consistent connection.

Currently, the CLAAS RTK network covers major parts of Lincolnshire and the eastern counties, using RTK masts erected on either dealer or customers’ buildings.

The expansion in the network has been made possible following an agreement that will give CLAAS access to a wider range of existing structures, such as television and wireless masts, on which to mount its base stations.

At the same time, CLAAS is also introducing a new base station that will provide an open signal that can be accessed by any RTK receiver using CMR+.

“The one great advantage of being able to use structures such at TV masts is their height,” explains CLAAS Efficient Agriculture Systems (EASY) product specialist Edward Miller. “By being able to mount the base station high up the mast, this provides far greater coverage.”

“As part of this network expansion, we are also substantially increasing the signal strength from the current 25 watts up to 2kW. This will be a big benefit as it will provide a stronger, more reliable signal.”

As previously, the positioning of the new base stations will ensure that there is a considerable overlap between areas, ensuring that there are as few dead spots as possible, so that contractors or farmers are never out of range of a mast.

When complete, this will virtually guarantee coverage over initially 60% of England’s arable area from Yorkshire down to the south coast as west to Swindon. Due to the signal strength and use of higher masts, users in this area can be confident that they will be able to receive a consistent, high strength signal, regardless of where they are, or the terrain. Ultimately the aim is to provide coverage throughout the whole UK.

To access this new, high strength signal, the annual licence fee is just £450 per machine, plus for those using non-CLAAS RTK steering equipment there is a one-off charge of approximately £500 to convert their equipment to receive the signal.

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