How Do I Set Up My Base DirtMate On-Site?

To correctly identify the locations of the roving DirtMates on the job site, a base DirtMate needs to be set up at a known location. It is essential that the base DirtMate does not move. If it is disturbed or moved, the position of the unit must be re-calibrated. This will also negatively affect the data for all roving DirtMates.

To set up your base DirtMate select the DirtMate you want to install as the base DirtMate from the provided list in your app and tap NEXT. The selected Dirmate will have a green checkmark next to it.

Power on the DirtMate

Once the base DirtMate is selected, you can power on the DirtMate by pressing and holding the power button for 1-3 seconds until the power light turns on.

During the startup and initialization phase, the Dirtmate lights will flash from top to bottom, and vice versa several times. 

After a successful startup sequence, the power light will either remain solid or blink quickly if charging in sunlight.

The app will then wait for the DirtMate to connect to Propeller. The bottom light will blink quickly upon the connection of the DirtMate to the Propeller WiFi network. If the unit has not connected, move the DirtMate closer to the Network Gateway.

When the base DirtMate is connected to the Network Gateway a prompt will appear confirming the connection to Propeller. Tap NEXT to proceed.

When the base DirtMate is connected to the Network Gateway a prompt will appear confirming the connection to Propeller. Tap NEXT to proceed.

Placement of the Base DirtMate

To achieve a good GPS fix, the base DirtMate needs to be installed in a location that has a clear view of the sky (no obstructions greater than 30 degrees from the horizon, similar to AeroPoints) and where it will not be moved or disturbed.

It is recommended that the base DirtMate be set up in a secure, stable position that is also highly visible. If the DirtMate is installed next to the Network Gateway, it should not be located directly underneath the Gateway tripod, or within a 10ft (3.3m) radius of the tripod, as this will place it in the antenna’s shadow.

External power is highly recommended for the base DirtMate, especially if you are operating in areas of low sunlight. Use the charging cable supplied in your package to provide the external power. We recommend that the base DirtMate and Network Gateway be mounted adjacently. Where there is no option for fixed power, we recommend drawing power from the Network Gateway remote power supply using the supplied charging cable.

After the base DirtMate installation, follow these steps  to complete the base DirtMate setup:

1. Once you’ve installed the base DirtMate, the app prompts you to take a picture of the base DirtMate installation.

2. Tap NEXT once a picture of the base DirtMate has been selected.

3. Tap the setup method you want to use and follow the instructions in the DirtMate app carefully. The options include Propeller Correction Network and Manually Entered. “Propeller Correction Network” is an automatic process while “Manually Entered” requires a surveyed position with the Northing, Easting, and Elevation values. These help articles are focused on AeroPoint processing, but the concept for each is the same for DirtMate:

  • How to Process AeroPoint with the Propeller Correction Network
  • How to Process AeroPoint with the Known Point

4. Tap NEXT to continue.

5. You will then be asked to confirm the details of everything you’ve just activated including:  

  • Site
  • Network Gateway serial number
  • Fleet Name
  • Activated DirtMates
  • Base DirtMate

6. Tap CONFIRM to finish the base DirtMate setup.

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 support team may be able to help. You can contact our support team by emailing or by clicking the support tab on the top-right corner of the portal.