How to Maintain Your DirtMate Site

There are four aspects to keeping a site successfully running and capturing real-time surface data: 

  1. Ensure the base DirtMate remains on, undisturbed, and in range of the Network Gateway.
  2. Ensure the Network Gateway remains on and connected to the Internet. 
  3. Ensure DirtMates remain on, in their original mounted position on the machine, and in range of a Network Gateway. 
  4. Monitor the system for outages.

Daily Site Maintenance

For DirtMates to capture data reliably, they must maintain sufficient battery charge and have an unobstructed view of the sky. Obstructions can cause incorrect GPS readings and a loss of GPS fix, resulting in incorrect DirtMate layers.

Worksite equipment can get dirty quickly, exposing your DirtMate to the same elements. The solar panels on your DirtMate are designed to be extremely durable; however, if they are covered with dirt and mud, their charging capabilities will be dramatically reduced, which may cause a low battery and/or loss of connection.

We recommend inspecting your DirtMate during the machine’s daily pre-start to ensure it remains clean and reliable in recording and transmitting data. 

The following tasks should be completed during machine pre-start.

  • Remove dirt and debris from the DirtMate and solar panels.
    • Wipe with a rag daily to help keep panels clean. Use a broom and bucket of water if the DirtMate is in a hard-to-reach position.
    • Ensure the DirtMate is dry before any dust from working settles on the unit again and sets in place with the water.

  • Check that the DirtMate indicator panel and charging port are clean and the lights are visible.
    • If using the DirtMate solar panels for power, ensure the black rubber cap is over the charging port.
  • Check that the DirtMate has not moved from where it was originally installed.
    • It must be placed back in the original position if it has been moved or rotated.
    • If the original position cannot be achieved or you are unsure, new measurements must be recorded using the DirtMate app.
  • Ensure that the DirtMate is charging.
    • The top light will flash when the machine is on if connected to auxiliary power. 
    • If using solar power, the top light will flash when sunlight is bright enough to charge the DirtMate. To test this, use your hand to create a shadow over the solar panels. The top light will stop flashing and become a solid light when shaded.  

Monthly Site Maintenance

Aside from the daily pre-start maintenance, it’s important to check the site infrastructure monthly to ensure the system operates at peak efficiency. 

  • Check that the remote-power solar panel is clean and free from damage and vegetation shading the panel.

  • Inspect the Network Gateway and cabling for damage. Examples of damage include:
    • Corrosion on antennas or mast
    • Loosened tripod/brackets/staking
    • Ethernet cable damage
  • Confirm the base DirtMate is in good, clean condition.
    • If connected to external power, the cable is still securely plugged and screwed into the DirtMate.
      • If the Dirtmate is connected to external power, ensure the external power source is functioning by looking for a flashing power light. Using the shade method above, will this time see the power light continuing to flash.
    • GPS sky view is good, with no objects or vegetation near the base DirtMate
  • Inspect the power supply for damage and check that cabling is in good condition and secure.

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, the Propeller Site Support team may be able to help. You can contact our support team by emailing