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Fixed base for private network solves UHF interference on site for Ascon Survey and Drafting


Ascon Survey and Drafting specialises in engineering surveys: civil, roads, pipelines, council works.

Ascon Survey and Drafting specialises in engineering surveys: civil, roads, pipelines, council works. Director, Mathew Mattaboni found that when his team was working on site, his instruments were being interfered with by other units working in the same area.

“More and more we’re relying on GNSS and I was finding that whenever we rocked up to a job site a lot of the time, with the older UHF technology, it was getting interfered with by other units within the area so I needed something that was reliable that I could fall back on to keep projects rolling forward,” said Mr Mattaboni.

“There wasn’t really a lot of options, it was either go and talk to the person on site that was interfering with you and see how long they’re going to be there or come to some kind of arrangement. You probably could have gone to an older unit and gone to spread spectrum instead of UHF but that just limited you on range and technology. Or you would have pulled out your total station, which from some small projects is of overkill.”

Fixed base in private network the long-term, cost-effective solution

This led Mr Mattaboni to Aptella and to create a private network solution. After consultation with the team at Aptella, Mr Mattaboni decided on this fixed base network solution.

“I did a fair bit of research and it seemed to be the more long-term, cost-effective method. We’re setting ourselves up and investing in ourselves.” Said Mr Mattaboni.

“To set it up initially it cost a little bit more but it will pay us back within months, whereas other things might have had recurring costs or longer terms costs, but this option won’t because it’s all paid for and owned by us.”

fixed base network solution

One of the benefits that Mr Mattaboni appreciated about the fixed base from Aptella is that he can have as many team members working on it as needs!

“In theory, it’s unlimited with how many people I can have in the field working off it.
If we needed to get within mm’s then we would need to set up our own equipment on site but for the more general, 10-20mm projects than this is more than capable,” said Mr Mattaboni.

Fixed base has unexpected benefits

Mr Mattaboni was surprised by the range realised by the fixed base, with it covering most of the Perth CBD and metro area!

“We didn’t expect it to work as well as it does at the ranges that it does. Up to 70km away, we’re getting really accurate results, especially for the tasks that we’re trying to undertake with it. It’s actually quite exciting the results that we’re getting. I’m planning, in the near future, to implement a second one in a different area so I’ll have my own mini network running,” said Mr Mattaboni.

“It’s really saved us time with finding control points when we’re going to new projects, it’s really cut down that time of looking for information on site because we get there straight away and there’s no guessing.”
Mr Mattaboni has also found that the solution offered by Aptella works with all brands and has integrated into his existing workflow seamlessly: “Once it’s set up you just say ‘talk to this’ and it talks to it!”

Service and Support crucial factor in decision making

The service and support offered by Karl, Customer Success Manager and the team at Aptella is crucial to Mr Mattaboni’s decision making process when purchasing new instruments and equipment.

“If something goes wrong, you want to be able to get it fixed quickly. It might even be operator error that you can’t fix quickly then you’ve lost what you’re trying to attain,” said Mr Mattboni.

“Karl’s been great! He’s quite knowledgeable and gives me all the pros and cons. He’s got access to things that I can’t see on my side. When people are trying to sell you things they always tell you the good stuff but you need to know the bad as well, if you only know the good then you might try and use it for a task that it’s just not suited for. It’s good to know both sides of the story.”

“If you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, then go down and have a chat with the different people at Aptella,” said Mr Mattaboni.