A GPS rod is essential when you want to do GPS land surveying. So when you want to land survey with a GNSS receiver you need a GPS rod.
But there are many different options and variants in GPS rods. The best rod depends on how you will use it. So the options you have for a GPS rod are:
- connection type
- amount of sections
Length of GPS rod
For a GPS rod the length is very important. The normal length is 2 meters. That is the normal length because then the complete GPS rover kit is manageable. You can move it easy. And the distance between the GNSS receiver and the location where you hold it is not that big.
That means there is not much effort needed to move with the complete GPS rover kit.
Also with a length of 2 m the horizon that the GNSS receiver can receive satellite signals from is kind of big. Sometimes that is not enough though. There are locations where you even need a bigger horizon to be able to receive enough satellite signals.
And that is possible with a higher GPS rod. With a higher rod you increase the horizon. Even with an extra 20 centimeter the position given by the GNSS receiver can improve from a Float RTK to an RTK fix. So that can be a reason why the longer rod might be worth it for you.
Material of GPS rod
Then there is the material. The type of material of the rod tells you how strong the rod is and how light or heavy it is. In general there are two options:
From origin the aluminum rod was used a lot. Because it is strong it is still used in heavy conditions. So it is a good material for a GPS rod. But it is heavier than its alternative. And the alternative is carbon.
A carbon rod is lighter than the aluminum one. And that means it is easier to work with it the whole day. Of course the carbon rods are also strong. They are good for normal conditions.
So the choice is up to you.
Besides the material and the length there is also an option in the connection method. That means the method how the rod makes the complete length. There are two options. And they all have their benefits.
The nice thing of the screwable GPS rods is that the length when you are not using the rod is small. Usually it is around 1 meter or even smaller. That means that this type of rod is easy to store. Besides that the srewable rods are easy to set up in the field.
But there is also the telescopic option. This type of rod always exist of one piece. You can extend the rod by turning the screw and then lifting the piece that is inside the bottom part of the rod. This type of rod is even easier to set up in the field. And usually they are more easy to change the height of the rod. To do this you don’t even have to remove the GNSS receiver.
And that is a big plus, because you are more flexible in the field.
Amount of sections
So the telecopic rod comes in one piece or section. That is not always the case with the screwable rod. The amount of sections depends on the length of the GPS rod and on the length of the sections.
When the sections are shorter, there are more sections of the rod. That is easier to transport. In the field it will take a bit longer to set the GPS rover kit up.
So as mentioned the choice depends on the purpose you need the GPS rod for. If you have to move a lot from project to project then one with shorter and more sections might be the choice for you. But if you are usually working on just one project on a day then you don’t need that many sections.
Brand of GPS rod
Of course there are different brands in GPS rods. Almost every manufacturer of GNSS receiver also has its own GPS rod. And a rod of the same brand as the GNSS receiver would make a great combination.
But it is not necessary. Because as already mentioned the type of rod depends on the purpose you have for it. Maybe you want the GPS rod to be of aluminum, but the manufacturer won’t have a GPS rod in that material.
The same is valid for for example the length or amount of sections of the rod. Besides a GPS rod of one brand can be cheaper than the one of some other brand.