Category Archives: MM6

MobileMapper Field 3.0 and MobileMapper Office 4.0

I am really excited about this latest release! It is a big deal and every single issue that I have reported or requested is fully addressed. It is my opinion that MMField 3.0 is the best all-around tool for collecting precision GIS data available. It is easy to train new and inexperienced users, easy to use in the field and produces the most accurate data.
I have already completed a four-video training suite for this updated product! You can link to the videos (on YouTube) from [ here: video link ] In the videos, I cover installation, setting up template jobs, collecting data in the field, exporting (using data) and post-processing. I am quite sure the videos will save you time, if not bore you to death.
Here is a link to the ftp site folder:
  [ folder link ]
Here are direct links to the new User’s Manual:
  [ English: MMF / MMO User Manual ] [ Spanish ] [ French ] [ German ]
it is worth the read!
There are a lot of files (841MB) and if you are not familiar with FTP downloads, you will have difficulty getting the whole file set. I have provided a single ZIPed file:
  [ here: ZIPed File ] << Best link if you are inexperienced with FTP!
MobileMapper Field Changes
If you used MobileMapper Field and MobileMapper Office in the past, here are the new changes in Version 3 (MMO V4):
  1. Large virtual keyboard, click in an entry and use the full screen keyboard. (Small embedded keyboard still works too.)
  2. Single setting for English / Metric.
  3. Magnetic variation is taken into account for improved e-compass accuracy.
  4. Improved units management (single setting now).
  5. Crazy elevations in foot display fixed.
  6. Enhanced voice guidance (reporting distance and turn direction in MobileMapper Field  “go to” mode; reporting one major distance and direction to move in “go to” mode instead of two distances and two directions.) Voice guidance is now available in French, German, and Russian languages besides English.
  7. AXF improvements (supported limits for attribute values, text attributes can now contain quotation characters, performance/refactoring.)
  8. MMO: Office program allows re-projecting results into another export job folder. So data collected in one projection, and optionally post-processed, can be exported to a new folder in another projection.
  9. MMO: Office program now allows exporting to .GPX files. (In addition to .KML and .CSV files.)
  10. MMO: Office program does not crash when post-processing files that crashed previous versions.
  11. MMO: Office program now imports ATOM files directly as reference RAW data.
  12. Improved “go to” mode for close navigation in MobileMapper Field
  13. ECW background map format support.
  14. RTK initialization in MobileMapper Field.
  15. Possibility to re-occupy and update existing point feature coordinates with GPS position in the field. (Points only, not polylines or polygons.)
  16. Records raw data to the job folder (the same folder where the .MAP file is located) in MobileMapper Field.
  17. GPS metadata (STATUS, Number of SV’s, PDOP, HRMS, VRMS) as feature attributes in MobileMapper Field. These values are filled in automatically when new features are stored.
  18. Vertical offset in MobileMapper Field. Allows storing inverts to features from measurement point.
  19. Attribute editing during feature logging in MobileMapper Field. You can now edit feature attributes while averaging is active.
  20. Low memory warning in MobileMapper Field. When you nearly fill up the destination storage location, a warning is shown.
  21. GPS status display during averaging in MobileMapper Field.
  22. Showing GPS status when PDOP filter is being applied.
  23. Stop logging confirmation in MobileMapper Field.
  24. GPX data file recording in MobileMapper Field. Checkbox is found under ‘Options: Recording.’ (When enabled, GPX data is stored to \My Documents\Ashtech\gpx.gpx.) Setting is persistent when MobileMapper Field is restarted.
  25. Possibility to stop averaging early in MobileMapper Field.
  26. Reduced application startup time when using OSM map (loading it in background.) Yeah!
  27. Displaying coordinates of a location that user tap on a map. When you tap on the display screen, the coordinates where you taped are shown.
  28. Position status voice information.
  29. Reference station ID display, when using real time corrections.
  30. Displaying current RAW data file path/name in “Options: Recording” screen. Makes it easier to associate the correct RAW file with collected data.
  31. RAW data file is now automatically placed in the project folder, making it easier to keep raw data files with a project.
  32. International feet support
  33. OK soft key on the logged point screen
  34. L2 SNR display.
  35. …and much, much more!
Again, watch the videos and read the manual, they will save you time.


Filed under MM10, MM100 - PM100 - PM200, MM6

FAST Survey vs. Carlson SurvCE

Today’s release of new firmware for the ProMark 500 brings up an interesting consideration:

Is it better to pair FAST Survey or Carlson SurvCE with Ashtech equipment?

At first glance, both pieces of software are identical other than the initial splash screen. But release dates and versions expose an important difference: Carlson SurvCE releases do not match firmware updates in Ashtech equipment.

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Filed under FAST Survey, MM6, MMCX, PF500, PM500

GNSS Solutions 3.6, PM100 FAST Terminal, End of Sales MMCX/PM3/MM6 and more…

There has been an interesting development in the WAAS PRN 135 saga, Intelsat regained control and command and is working to place it back into useful orbit. There is a pretty good article at GPSWorld [ Rouge WAAS SV ] with all the details.

GNSS Solutions V 3.6

GNSS Solutions V 3.60 has been released. Detailed information is available [ GNSS Solutions V3.6 Information ]

You can download V3.60 from the ftp site (290 Meg, 62 folders, 282 files ) [ FTP Link ]

I have provided a single file, ZIP Archive on the mirror [ GNSS Solutions V6 Archive ] it should be much easier to download and install than grabbing the individual files via FTP.

I have installed this new version and checked it out with my standard jobs. the new version produces higher confidence intervals (better) and addresses some issues with CORS download. I think it is worth the download and install time.

ProMark 100 Field Terminal

A dedicated part number (PN 800981-12) for a ProMark 100 Field Terminal with FAST Survey is now available. The kit includes a ProMark 100 data collector with Internal/External GNSS FAST Survey, the standard accessories (battery, cradle, power supply, USB cable) and a pole bracket. The MSRP is $3,995, which is a pretty good deal.

This new product release is comprised of these existing part numbers:

MobileMapper 100 990631 $3,295.00
FAST Survey 990645 $1,000.00
FAST Survey External GNSS 680634 $500.00
Bracket for Pole Mount 802124 $75.00
Total if Purchased Separately $4,870.00

A savings of $875!

However, it is not quite as inexpensive as a MMCX with FAST Survey (PN 800981-11), which it is replacing, at $2,750.00. (We do have MMCX receivers and MMCX FAST Survey terminals in stock!) The MM6 with FAST Survey may not be available any more.

I just finished testing the latest FAST Survey (2.5.1) on a MobileMapper 100 with a Bluetooth Connection to a ProMark 500 receiver. This latest FAST version really works well. It is… well, really fast.

ProMark 500 on CDMA (Verizon/US Cellular) Networks using Mobile Hotspot!

The MM100 with FAST 2.5.1 handles using WiFi to deliver network NTRIP and Direct IP connections seamlessly. (The MMCX could never accomplish this, it was too slow!) This used to theoretically be possible using Bluetooth, but it did not work well. The MM100 makes WiFi connections automatically, the range is exceptional (with the SpecTec SDIO card) and the MM100 is fast enough to move the data around.

To use a WiFi configuration, you connect the MobileMapper 100 to a WiFi hotspot (think iPhone with Mobile Hotspot on the Verizon network, Droid, PalmPre or a construction site trailer). The MM100 makes the connection to a GPS network through the WiFi connection and passes the corrections up the Bluetooth link to the ProMark 500.

It is a great CDMA solution for the ProMark 500 and it saves having to pay to enable the GSM modem on the PM500 Receiver (this means you don’t have to purchase “PN 680528 GSM/GPRS Activation”: saves a cool $990.00!)


Release Notes are now available for the 2.5.1 FAST Survey Release [ Notes ]

Camera Application Note

There is also a new ‘Camera Application Note’ that details a shutter issue on the MM100/PM100/PM200 device: [ Note ].

In a nutshell: When you push the center button to take a picture, the MM100 makes a clicky noise, then waits 3 seconds, then takes the picture. The note promises a solution and recommends holding the camera/GPS still for a couple of seconds after pushing the button.

End Of Sales: MMCX, PM3, MM6


The MobileMapper CX, Mobile Mapper 6 and ProMark 3 are allocated and available in limited quantities. There are still a few available, and the replacements (PM3 -> PM100; MMCX -> MM100) are more expensive.

Remember that ‘End of Sales‘ does not mean ‘End of Life‘!

I suspect that the ProMark 3 static receiver will be sorely missed. You can’t touch the performance / price without spending an extra $1,000 for the ProMark 100. We still have plenty in inventory, but don’t delay if you are thinking about getting a third receiver or a RTK Pair because factory allocation means they will be hard to get.

Ashtech will continue to support these devices for a minimum of three years after they are declared ‘End of Life’, and if the continued factory support/service of the Z-Surveyor is an indication, perhaps for a very-very long time after that.

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Filed under FAST Survey, MM100 - PM100 - PM200, MM6, MMCX, PM500