AshGPS: Feb 12 2011:

MobileMapper 100 / ProMark 100 / ProMark 200
A new service layer (Version 1.3.1) for the MM100/PM100/PM200 family has been released. The service layer primarily fixes some arcane issues with PSD (Packet Switched Data). Details on the update can be found [ here ]. The new service layers can be found [ here ].
Cad File Converter for FAST Survey
You may have noticed that there is now an option on the Map page of FAST Survey to directly import a DWG file (AutoCAD or IntelliCAD Drawing File). While the function is listed, it errors out with a note about a missing converter. I have been able to enable the functionality by copying the converter from a valid SurvCE version 2.52 installation to my FAST Survey installation on my data collector.
Friday, Ashtech posted the converter on the FTP site. To install the converter, just copy the [ cadfileconv.exe ] file into the folder where the fast survey executable is installed.
The converter allows you to directly import a DWG file into FAST.
There is an interesting option which will automatically build a Feature Code List from attributes encapsulated within a DWG file. You can play with this feature by exporting a DWG file from ArcGIS, then importing the exported file into FAST. All of the feature codes in the DWG will automatically populate your FAST job's FCL list. It is pretty darn slick, if you need this kind of thing.

The ProMark 500 Gets a Major Update

There is a new PM500 FAQ which can be found [ here ]. 
The ProMark 500 (PM500) receiver got a major firmware upgrade a couple of weeks ago (firmware S529GI23) which among other enhancements tuned Time-to-First-Fix down to 5 to 10 seconds and results in much better dynamic performance.
This upgrade also opened the door to a new PM500 hardware revision with a new antenna (ASH802129) and support for Galileo and L5. It appears that there will be no change in PM500 head pricing. The part number for the updated head is 990596A.
Ashtech has always claimed that they will support new technology when it makes sense, and I suppose Galileo may have as many as two preliminary SV’s in orbit in 2011. If Galileo pans out, then the new PM500 will be ready.
I also suspect that the new antenna shares technology with the 661 antenna used with the PM200. The PM200 antenna is a super high gain, highly tuned element that is responsible for some of the PM200′s quick time to first fix.
The new antenna NGS calibration is available [ here ].

Of note, the original PM500 receivers were calibrated with the UHF radio antenna facing north, while the new revision is calibrated with the OLED panel facing north.

The AshGPS Mail List

If you have any Ashtech questions, don't hesitate to email them to me. I will do my best to get you an answer and if the question is of a general nature, I will add them to the [ Question List ]

Hopefully you will continue to find these notifications a valuable resource, however if this message has found you in error, you can use the link at the bottom of this message to get off the list (really, it does work.) 

There is a complete list of all of the past notifications [ here ].

If you know of anyone with Ashtech equipment who might benefit from these update notifications you can add them to this list: [ Add or Delete a user ].

Good survey and mapping to you all!

Mark Silver,
Igage Mapping Corporation,, +1 801-412-0011