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  / RTK GNSS frequently asked questions


Additional Technical FAQs for the iG8 and iG8a can be found [ here ]

Considering upgrading to SurvCE / SurvPC Version 6.06 through 6.08?  [ Read This ]

IMPORTANT! SurvCE / SurvPC versions higher than 6.08 are no longer compatible with the iG8. [ Read This ]

IMPORTANT! The iG8 internal HDSP+ GSM modem will not be supported by ATT after February 2021.


1. What is there a difference between the iG8 and iG8a?

The iG8 has a 3.75G GMS Modem. The iG8a does not have a cell modem.
The iG8 has a Satel TR4 UHF modem. The iG8a has a Satel TR4+ UHF modem.
The iG8 has a 2-year iGage warranty. The iG8a has a 1-year iGage warranty.
The iG8a kit does not include a Hold-a-Pole, a SIM Card adapter kit or a SIM Card.

There are a limited number of iG8a receivers available. We expect we have a 5 to 6 month supply available. Then we expect to no longer be able to manufacture the iG8a because of additional part shortages.


2. Is there a difference between the iG8a Base and Rover?

No, they are identical. We typically choose the device with the lower serial number to be the Base when configuring Base/Rover pairs.

3. Are dual head boxes available?

Yes, currently ONLY dual head cases that hold both a Base and Rover are available. Check current status when you order.

4. What are the benefits of the iG9 over the iG8a?

The iG9/iG9a has a 4GLTE GSM modem.

The iG9 has IMU based tilt.

The iG9/iG9a has a BD990 engine, the iG8/iG8a has a BD970 engine. The iG9 tracks BeiDou B3, has more channels, has the MAXPro option which increases performance under heavy canopy.

What are the benefits of the iG8a over the iG8?

Other than the absence of an internal 3.75G GSM modem, there is no difference between these devices.

What are the benefits of the iG8a over the X91+ receivers?

Much faster data collector update (five to 10 times faster!)

Electronic level.

Dual batteries: 2x the operating time, hot-swappable, battery door easily opened with one finger. [ Expected Run Time ]

Better cell phone 3.75G, easier to deploy network based rovers. The iG8a does not have a cell modem.

Built in hotspot, so you can connect other devices to the iG8 for internet connectivity. The iG8a will not act as a hotspot.

Wi-Fi: Easier to do high level configuration via web browser on smart phone.

Front Panel Operation: Easier to configure as Base / Rover / Network Rover from front panel.

Cast magnesium alloy case is robust. The phase center of the iG8 is less affected by what is electrically 'under' the receiver's magnesium bottom.

iG8 weighs less (yes, the iG8 weighs less with two batteries installed than the X91+ does with one.)

iG8 is still water and dust proof with the battery door open (although the battery terminals will plate if you run it underwater with the battery door open.

The iG8 includes twice as many batteries and each of the batteries hold 50% more power. The iG8 comes with a quad-four-station charger.

The iG8 USB download cable is a standard USB-mini cable. You can purchase replacements from Amazon for $5.49 [ here ] or at any store that sells electronics (even Wal-Mart.) (This beats the special $125 cables on the X91.)

The iG8 Heavy Duty power cables are included with all Base and Base/Rover kits.

It is possible to download iG8 collected RINEX files via the Wi-Fi interface.

An iG8 will retransmit network corrections received from a network server, out over the UHF radio for other devices on site to 'share'.

If you are considering the purchase of X91+ receivers, please reconsider and purchase iG8 receivers. Call us if you have questions.

What are the benefits over the CHC i80 receivers?

Lower price, BD970 50Hz engine vs. BD930 20 Hz engine, larger ground plane and easier repairs.

5. How long can I record static data on the iG8?

A very long time. About 27 gigabytes of internal memory is available. You can collect data into 8 different 'streams' at extremely high rates.

You can use the supplied USB-OTC cable [ replacements: Amazon ] to expand with essentially unlimited external expansion memory if needed.

The iG8 will also automatically convert and directly store RINEX files.

6. Why the big iG8 lettering on the side of the iG8 receiver?

We want to make it easy to tell them apart in your site pictures. The iG4 has side lettering for the same reason.

With the logo lettering, you can tell which antenna model to use when submitting observation data from the site picture. That can't be bad.

7. What is the UHF radio range of the iG8?

The internal Satel radios are amazing. We supply an 18' long UHF extension cable for mounting the supplied UHF antennas on high poles for extending the Base UHF transmitting range.

Also, it is possible to configure a base to both transmit corrections via the UHF radio and through the internal cellular modem to APIS, which will extend operation to 'where ever you have cell data service.'

We also have very reasonably priced high powered repeater packages.

A FCC license is required to use the iG8/iG8a in the UHF Base mode. We highly recommend [ FIT ] to help obtain a license.

8. Will the iG8 work with xxx software?

The iG8 works best with GeoMax X-Pad.

The iG8 works great with Field Genius.

LandStar7 is a great solution for GPS / GPS + TS work.

The iG8 works with SurvCE and SurvPC version 5.08 through 6.08. iGage receivers are not supported by Carlson SurvCE and SurvPC versions higher than 6.08.

The iG8 can be completely configured by the Web User Interface via Wi-Fi, so you can configure 'everything' with the web browser on your phone. It may be possible to completely configure a base or rover with your cell phone and then connect 'most' survey data collector software packages that accept standard NMEA streams.

Another iG8 bonus is you can configure it to just 'go online and connect to the network' after it boots. So if you are using a network rover, you don't have to do anything other than push the power button--a few minutes later you have a fixed solution and are ready to survey.

9. How come iGage has the best prices for RTK in the United States?

Really? Well, we have the best support, factory service and User Manuals too.

See [ why iGage: price ]

10. Does the iG8 generate G-Vectors in Carlson and X-PAD?

Yes. G-Vectors are generated starting with V5.08 through V6.08 of SurvCE and SurvPC. (Don't feel bad if you don't know what they are, very few people need or care.)

X-PAD exports G-Vector equivalents in GVX format.

11. Does the iG8 have an IMU for tilt measurement in addition to an electronic level?

The iG8 has an electronic bubble. Tilt compensation requires a compass for heading and this feature is not available on the iG8.

12. Are the batteries standard?

Yes, the battery form factor is a standard size. They are available from Amazon and most online battery vendors. Some are as little as $12 / pair delivered. These 2nd market batteries will work great in the iGx however after a few charge cycles you may find that the capacity is reduced. If you purchase non-factory batteries, please read this [ Note on other Batteries ].

We are currently shipping the highest capacity and quality batteries that we can procure. They are 3,400 mAH cells and they hold nearly their full capacity after many charge cycles.

After using our high capacity batteries you will probably be very disappointed with other batteries. However, we know you can find hundreds of compatible battery offerings on Amazon and eBay.

For safety reasons, please don't use our chargers to charge non-iGage supplied batteries for you system; don't charge iGage batteries in 3rd party chargers.


13. Will the iG8 Base run without internal batteries?

We strongly recommend that you have at least one, charged, battery in the iG8. This assists in providing enough startup current when the device is turned on. In addition the batteries slightly change the antenna phase center. The iG8 antenna was calibrated with two batteries in the case, so heads with batteries won't match those without as well. That said, the difference is only a few millimeters, which might not be a big deal for your application.

14. How does the iG8 compare with other receivers under moderate and heavy canopy?

We believe that the GNSS engines that we use in the iG8 is the best engine there is. In our head to head testing, both in matched base rover pairs and VRS Network evaluations, the iG8 is as good as any other receiver.

Part of the comparison is fully enabled engines, the iG8 is fully enabled to track Galileo, L2C, L5, GLO-L3 out of the box. If you compare the fully enabled iG8 to another device with the same internal GNSS engine that is not fully enabled, the iG8 will probably be better because 'more satellites is more better.'

Your local canopy will make a difference too. To really know how well the iG8 is going to perform, you need to do a head to head comparison. (We can help with this, give us a call and we can send you an evaluation receiver.)

15. Pictures?
[ Yes ]


16. How fast can the iG8 update measurements on a data collector?

5-Hz is the fastest update rate. Check out the display update videos [ here ].

17. Can the iG8 be used as a network base using cellular data sim cards?

Yes, [ APIS ] and [ NTRIP / DIP ] configurations work well.

iG8a: No. You must use DCI (Data Collector Internet) with the iG8a.

18. Is a cigarette lighter plug available for the battery charger?

Any 5.5 mm x 2.5 mm barrel adapter with 12 V + center will work. [ Amazon ]

19. Will the iG8 work as a GNSS sensor (GPS) with ESRI

Please purchase an iG9 or iG9a for use with ESRI Collector. See http://ig9.xyz


the iG8 is export controlled: [ details ]

iGage Mapping Corporation
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Salt Lake City UT 84105 USA

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