Reach RTK GPS can now embed ground control points in imagery

From the blog of the Pixahwk-compatible high-accuracy Reach RTK GPS 

Reach was built with precision mapping applications it mind. One of the big challenges in UAV mapping is eliminating Ground Control Points which are time consuming and costly to place. Reach RTK can help achieve that by synchronizing with the camera shutter on sub ms level. I have written more about this in a previous post. All you need to do is connect hotshoe adapter to your camera and wire it to Reach port. Only two connections are required "GND" and "Time Mark":

At top is how @timvand did it with his Sony A6000.

During RINEX conversion on Reach you will see a new field that will show how many time marks have been collected. That should match the amount of pictures taken by the camera.

Those of you who have access to GrafNav can already start mapping and getting accurately georeferenced pictures. Thanks to @Stu74 we know that it parses time marks from RINEX and interpolates the post processed coordinates.

We have also implemented this feature in RTKLIB and will release modified RTKPost soon.

As usual new amazing features are brought to you by @efedorov's and @bulatov's countless hours of work

Emlid is going to make right what is broken about UAV mapping.

Views: 7569

Comment by Vladimir "Lazy" Khudyakov on May 7, 2016 at 7:28am

Nice solution, thanks for sharing :)

Comment by Daniel Perez on May 7, 2016 at 8:57am

Hello Chris, thats good news.

Could you share the link to purchase that hotshoe, I have Piksi RTK and I would like to try its accuracy with this solution.


Comment by Mike T on May 8, 2016 at 4:41am

very nice!

Comment by Roman on May 9, 2016 at 3:29am
Comment by Mauricio on May 9, 2016 at 8:30am

beyond experimentation and DIY, is there anyone already using Emlid Reach RTK consistently in real mapping applications and jobs that can share experience?

Comment by Steve Zeets on May 9, 2016 at 1:03pm

@Daniel Perez - I think it might be this one: Hot Shoe Adapter

Comment by RPM on May 10, 2016 at 7:19am

@Mauricio check out the Emlid Reach forum!

Comment by Jason K on May 10, 2016 at 8:37am

Roman thanks for your diagrams!

Can anyone explain what the hot shoe does electronically?

I get that it's meant to trigger external flashes. Does it do so by shorting the two pins together? I've got access to an oscilloscope through a friend but it's been a few years since I had to deal with those knobs and I'm worried about damaging my camera (an rx100 mk ii). Any info would be helpful! I've got a navspark NS-HP GPS chip which triggers with a TTL pulse.

Comment by Roman on May 11, 2016 at 10:38pm
Comment by Tim V on May 12, 2016 at 5:43pm

Here are the items I used depicted in the picture above.  Also noted and referenced here

Standard hot shoe Sony adapter

Promaster Sony/Maxxum to Standard Hot Shoe Adapter

Features:This Promaster adapter allows you to use a standard hot shoe flash or other accessory with a standard hot shoe on a Sony or Maxxum camera. Includes a PC outlet. (This shoe does not support TT ...


Dot Line DL-1530 12 inch Male PC to Female PC Straight Flash Cord, Black

Dot Line DL-1530 12 inch Male PC to Female PC Straight Flash Cord, ...

The Dot Line DL-1530 is a 12 inch Male PC to Female PC Straight Flash Cord.


Cut off the end on the above cable which does NOT plug into the hot shoe adapter. There are two wires, red and white. Using the DF16 6 wire connector on one end and the black plugs on the opposite end(part of the Reach kit), connect/soldier the red wire to the green wire in the wire loom from the kit. Connect the white wire to the black wire(ground) on the same loom. Once that is complete, plug into Reach and the hot shoe mounted on the camera, and you are good to go.

All shutter actuation's are logged to Reach, and are processed during log file download from Reach.

Good to go.


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