RTKBase - a tutorial

Afternoon all

My project to get a community network of base stations up and running is gathering some interest, so I thought I’d write a guide on how to set it all up. From “what do I buy”, to “message sets, wtaf?”

Interested in any and all feedback please!



Would it be possible to run this on a Pi Zero if using a uart connection to the GNSS receiver?

On the face of it, I would gamble with a pi zero, they’re cheap enough to make it worth a try. It also seems like you could use USB too. Note tho - the Pi Zero W includes wifi, if you need that. The zero has no ethernet or wifi that I can see.

Not seeing different OS builds for the zero and model 3/4 etc. Less powerful CPU, but plenty memory. I’d like to think it would be OK.

This sounds like an issue with the pi zero was squashed: RTKbase img for raspberry Pi Zero - GPSD issue · Issue #175 · Stefal/rtkbase · GitHub

So I’d say go for it - and let us know how you get on :wink:

The installation instructions should be largely the same, but if the pre-built image won’t boot, you could just use a standard Raspian image and follow the rtkbase manual installation instructions.

What configuration file is needed for F9P, for this base.

None! rtkbase will auto-configure it for you, that’s why it’s important to have it plugged in at first boot.


Thanks. F9P was connected when Raspberry started. Looked at the configuration of the module. How would all the settings correspond to the setting of the base. But here is Time Mode 3 0-disabled. Where can I read to check what the settings should be. Yes, module firmware 1.13. I didn’t update it. Just immediately connected a new module that was.

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You could connect it back to u-center and check settings are in there OK? Once it’s ran through the config in rtkbase, it won’t run it again (unless you tell it to from the cmd line - as far as I know!). Why it wouldn’t be in Time Mode 3 tho, not sure - that’s odd. I’ve a spare one here I might try it with later to see how it is. Is it working as a base regardless however?

In the evening I’ll try to run it with Rtk2.go. Then I’ll let you know.

It works with rtk2.go. The snip contains the database data.

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How can I change the router name and password in the settings? I opened the flash drive, and there is no wpa_supplicant.conf file where I wrote the data. I need to connect another router. How to do it. Or you have to reload the program for it to appear. Where can he be. I don’t want to redo the settings.

Connect over ethernet temporarily, and:

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Thanks, I’ll try.

The wpa_supplicant.conf file is moved at first boot by the way, so it’ll no longer be available in the root for Windows. A Linux machine could mount the drive tho. There aren’t that many settings tho, it doesn’t take long to reflash entirely and start from scratch.

Thank you. I found information on how to do this via an Internet cable, it’s easier to reflash everything from scratch.

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@andyinv Hey ,
So I am attempting to setup a base station using your instructions on github. I am using a raspberry pi 3b. Wondering if there is a more up to date file to use than jancelin. 2.3.1 for raspberry pi? I see that Stefal’s Orange PI zero is updated to 2.4.1. Thanks

Looks like Jancelin hasn’t updated one yet, but just install 2.3.1 and then you can upgrade to 2.4.1 from within rtkbase itself.


I just did install in raspberry pi last week and that went without any problems. Maybe update the os to the latest and plug your f9p in usb and run this in terminal.

cd ~
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Stefal/rtkbase/master/tools/install.sh -O install.sh
chmod +x install.sh
sudo ./install.sh --all release

Grab a coffee and relax.

I couldn’t get the provided image to work. It’s not very hard to just do it yourself with a fresh OS.

Use raspberry pi imager utility to put a fresh OS on the SD card. You can use a headless OS. Using the imager’s settings you can also set your wifi and ssh credentials.

Then just ssh to the pi and run the 4 or so commands.

Sorry guys you are speaking above my understanding. I have the similar setup as the tutorial instructions raspberry pi 3b, f9p, running via trendnet POE device. I have been unable to get a very accurate position for the base. When I send the log off to be processed the email I get back says they couldn’t calculate a position. The blue arrow jumps around in the approximate location but never narrows in on a constant position. What is my problem? What is the best way to update? I need very specific instructions. I dont know if you guys are talking about doing an update via a computer thru the ethernet or via taking the sd card out. I really need babied along with step by step instructions.

Did you follow the instructions at my guide? Also, the blue arrow will always jump around, it’s your crosshairs that remain static.