Previously in this blog, I spoke about CORS and other 3rd Party RTK networks that are compatible with Slingshot. Today I want to elaborate on this subject, and specifically how the Slingshot CORS experience exceeds that of our competitors.
At one time or another, everyone has likely heard the old saying, “You get what you pay for…”
Another more modern phrase can also apply to this discussion, “What have you done for me lately?” When it comes to obtaining RTK corrections from CORS networks, both of these phrases are very applicable, and growers should be aware of several items when shopping for the best solution.
Slingshot does several things “behind the scenes” to ensure a quality experience using a CORS network. Subjectively, several of our competitors charge a fee for access to CORS networks and in exchange seemingly do nothing to improve the experience. Unfortunately, Slingshot is guilty by association and many people assume Slingshot is also using CORS as an excuse to take more money out of the farmer's wallet with no benefit in return. This is untrue. Here are some examples of what we do to ensure your CORS experience is the best it can be.
“You Get What you Pay For…”
1. Easier Setup. There is no need to take the modem out of the tractor or install/learn any software programs on your office computer. Simply contact the Slingshot dealer you purchased the hardware from, and advise them of your desire to use a CORS network, and be prepared to provide your username and password for the CORS network of choice. You dealer will make the change quickly on our secure user-friendly website. To be fair, some competitive field computers have introduced CORS network configurations to their menu system, which also makes for an easy set-up, but this feature is typically reserved for their most modern and top-of-the-line computer. Is your older guidance system capable of RTK but doesn’t contain this menu? If so, Slingshot is a great solution to breathe new life into these older GPS systems on the market.
2. More Robust Message Delivery. Although both our competitors and Slingshot effectively use the same message delivery protocol, Slingshot's unique server-to-server infrastructure that connects our servers with the CORS networks servers results in a more reliable connection to the source of the RTK corrections. The result is reduced instances of the RTK fix failing, and faster re-acquisition/re-authentication. The result is more operating time for farming.
3. More Efficient Message Delivery. Another advantage of our server-to-server connection with the CORS networks means we can manipulate the data into more efficient protocols before sending them over the cellular network. The result is lower data usage on cellular networks, which benefits the farmer with lower cellular data bills.
4. Near Real-Time Status Updates. In the event a CORS network is experiencing technical issues beyond the control of Slingshot, a proactive email is sent notifying customers on the specific network of the issue. This value added service is intended to help stop the head scratching that occurs in the field by a grower wondering what is broken now, and who to call to get it fixed. A subsequent follow-up email is sent out once the network has resumed normal operations.
5. Internet Access. This is less of a key feature, but a nice option. Our competitors only allow for the delivery of RTK messages. Slingshot field hubs have an open ethernet port, identical to what is on your computer, which can be used as an internet access point to check weather, markets, or otherwise surf the web. The grower is paying for a cellular data plan. Slingshot simply lets them benefit from it more than our competition and get what they pay for.
“What Have You Done For Me Lately”
Although the CORS solution offered by Slingshot today is highly reliable and offers considerable value to the grower, we continue to invest money and engineering talent to further enhance this experience. We are constantly working with next-generation cellular network technology to understand their benefits and limitations. Our team constantly evaluates and considers CORS networks all around the world for reliability and compatibility. The result is our on-going and proven ability to bring cutting edge yet highly reliable, value-added connectivity solutions to the market ahead of our competition. It is exactly this ongoing investment that separates us from our competitors.