How to Calibrate Your RTK GPS System

To say that we have come a really long way in the equipment we use to survey and measure would be a gross understatement. While ancient civilizations did have quite a few different tools they used for surveying, many of which were surprisingly accurate, they were nothing like the stuff we have today. We have equipment that can remotely link to a network of satellites in near-Earth orbit. We have systems that can be operated entirely by remote, thus removing the dangers of physical surveying. We have drones and bots and wireless and so much more. It’s a great time to be in the surveying industry, though it can also be a confusing time.

If you don’t know much about an RTK GPS system, for instance, then it might all seem like Greek to you. Sure, you can purchase a high-end system from one of the most reputable vendors at, but that doesn’t mean you instantly know how to calibrate the device. When it comes to the calibration of these sophisticated devices, we have a few words of advice for you below.

Always Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

The best we can do is tell you to read the specific manufacturer’s instructions when you want to calibrate your device. You can find YouTube videos and quick online guides that are full of people who are calibrating these devices, but there is no guarantee that they’re working with the exact device you have. Here are some reasons why you should lean on the instructions that come with your device.

Reasons to Read the Instructions for Calibration

Theodolite With Surveyors in Background - Stock Photo

1. Most Systems are Different

As mentioned briefly above, you might be calibrating your system based on how someone else is calibrating a different device. This is like having an Android phone and watching a video on someone resetting an iOS. They’re just different, so whatever they’re doing for their phone won’t work with yours. The same definitely goes for these sophisticated surveying devices. You want to make sure that you’re calibrating your device specifically per its intended settings. The instructions are there for a reason.

2. You Could Break Something

Not correctly calibrating your device could cause different components to break, or you could set something so badly by mistake that the measurements you’re taking aren’t even close to being accurate. At best, this leaves you having to re-calibrate the device, again and again, until you get it dialled in correctly. This can take a lot of time and effort, and you could end up ruining the device or some of its components.

3. It Might Void the Warranty

When you shop your surveying equipment from the best vendors around, the pieces are protected by warranty. If something breaks, it can be fixed or replaced. However, you have to live up to your end of that warranty by ensuring the things you do to your device are manufacturer suggestions and not just things you decided to do on your own. So, if you’re calibrating new equipment the same as old equipment, and something goes wrong, there is no guarantee the warranty will cover it.

4. There Might be Specific Functionality

You might know how to use an RTK GPS system and are very familiar with the devices, though that does not mean that your newest device is going to calibrate the same way as a device to which you’re accustomed. There could be specific functionality here for horizontal and vertical, and you might have to change settings with which you are entirely unfamiliar. This is why these devices come with thorough instructions from the manufacturer.

The best move you’re going to make when it comes to surveying equipment is first ensuring that you’re starting out with the best equipment you can get, bought from the best company around. When you start out with high-end equipment, the calibration features are going to be much easier to use, to begin with. So when you’re in need of any surveying equipment, make sure you start off on the right foot by shopping from the best vendor.