StarFire Frequency Migration
02/23/2012
John Deere Service


Due to an industry reorganization of the L-band spectrum allocation, the StarFire™ network worldwide will migrate frequencies between January and March 2012.  All signals on the old frequencies will cease distribution on 23 March, 2012.  If the new frequencies are not entered into the receiver prior to that point using one of the approved methods(see DTAC solution), the receiver will not be able to receive StarFire corrections and will go to 3D WAAS or EGNOS and not navigate.  However, once the new frequencies are entered, receiver performance will remain the same as it is today.  The same differential corrections will continue to be broadcast, only on different frequencies.

All entities using this band in ag-related and other applications will be impacted by the reorganization.  Broadcast of StarFire differential corrections on the current frequencies will stop at the end of this migration period.  Users who do not update their receiver or power on their receiver during this timeframe will not be able to pick up StarFire™ corrections on the new frequencies.  Depending on the receiver model, the user may need to update software or manually input the new frequency.  Dealers should consult AMS DTAC for more information.  Producers may contact their John Deere dealer or the Customer Contact Center.

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Solution Summary: StarFire Frequency Migration and FAQ's

Publication Date: Feb 23 2012


**Paper copies of solutions may not be the most current solutions**

Complaint or Symptom :

StarFire Receiver cannot operate in SF1/SF2 mode and cannot get differential corrections. Receiver goes to 3D WAAS or EGNOS and will not navigate.

Problem or Situation :

Under no control of John Deere Company, Inmarsat (provides satellite bandwidth to broadcast StarFire differential corrections) will be migrating frequencies on all six of their satellites. This frequency change by Immarsat will effect John Deere and our competitors.

See StarFire Satellite Coverage Map.jpg for more information

Solution :

For SF3000 Receivers

  1. Start the SF3000 receiver up and lock on to the StarFire signal BEFORE March 23, 2012. This will allow the receiver to recognize and remember the new frequency without having to manually change anything.

  2. If the SF3000 HAS NOT locked on to signal prior to March 23, 2012, the receiver will only pick up WAAS corrections after that date. In order to regain StarFire corrections after March 23, 2012, (If you did not complete step 1 before that date) you will need to manually change the frequency according to the directions below. The new frequency you will input is listed in the chart below to the right of your old frequency.

  3. The SF3000 does not require a software update to the current version 1.52C (available with the 12-1 software bundle) in order for the frequency change to work. However, it is always recommended to run current software.

For iTC Receivers

  1. The iTC receiver will require the software be updated to version 3.73D (available with the 12-1 software bundle) in order to pick up the new frequency.

  2. If the iTC receiver has not been updated to 3.73D software, the receiver will only pick up WAAS corrections after March 23, 2012. In order to regain StarFire corrections after March 23, 2012, (If you did not complete step 1 before that date) you will need to either update to 3.73D software, or manually change the frequency according to the directions below. The new frequency you will input is listed below in the chart to the right of your old frequency.

For GEN II Receivers

  1. All GEN II receivers will require manual input of the frequency change. The new frequency you will input is listed below in the chart to the right of your old frequency. See below for directions on manually changing the frequency.

Directions to manually change frequency

  1. On Display go to Main Menu >> StarFire Receiver >> Setup.

  2. Uncheck the Use Default Frequency box.

    See SF_Default_OK.jpg for screen shot.

  3. Find the frequency shown on the display and locate this number in the Old Frequency column in the table below.

  4. Find the corresponding New Frequency and enter this frequency in the display.

    See SF change.jpgfor screen shot

  5. Return to receiver status page.

  6. Verify StarFire corrections are being received.

SF2 signal should eventually begin to build.

Additional Information :

Previous Satellite

Old Frequency (MHz)

New Satellite

New Frequency (MHz)

Start Date

Change Date

15.5W

1535.170

54W

1539.8425

done

March 23, 2012

142W

1535.153

178E

1539.8625

done

March 23, 2012

143.5E

1535.145

143.5E

1539.8925

done

March 23, 2012

98W

1545.545

98W

1539.8725

done

March 23, 2012

64E

1545.545

64E

1539.8725

done

March 23, 2012

25E

1537.453

25E

1539.8625

done

March 23, 2012

Frequency Migration FAQ

Migration of StarFire™ Frequencies

Due to an industry reorganization of the L-band spectrum allocation, the StarFire™ network worldwide will migrate frequencies between January and March 2012. All entities using this band in agriculture related and other applications will be impacted by the reorganization. Broadcast of StarFire differential corrections on the current frequencies will stop at the end of this migration period. Users who do not update their receiver or power on their receiver during this timeframe will not be able to pick up StarFire™ corrections on the new frequencies. Depending on the receiver model, the user may need to update software or manually input the new frequency. Dealers should consult AMS DTAC for more information. Producers may contact their John Deere dealer or the Customer Contact Center.

Will this change affect receiver performance?

All signals on the old frequencies will cease distribution on 23 March, 2012. If the new frequencies are not entered into the receiver prior to that point using one of the approved methods(see DTAC solution), the receiver will not be able to receive StarFire corrections and will go to 3D WAAS or EGNOS and not navigate. However, once the new frequencies are entered, receiver performance will remain the same as it is today. The same differential corrections will continue to be broadcast, only on different frequencies.

Why is this change happening?

Multiple entities use the L-band spectrum to broadcast different types of information around the world. In addition to precision agriculture differential corrections, other industries using this band include aeronautical, maritime and construction companies. This spectrum is fixed in size, but the number of users is increasing. As a result, there is a concerted industry effort to more efficiently organize the distribution and allocation of frequencies within the spectrum.

How is John Deere affected?

John Deere broadcasts StarFire differential corrections using bandwidth in the L-band on satellites operated by Inmarsat. Due to the reorganization of the spectrum, Inmarsat’s available frequencies are being consolidated. StarFire receivers need to know which frequencies they should listen to so they can receive SF1/SF2 corrections. This information can be entered into the receiver either with over-the-air almanacs, by updating software or by manually entering the frequency in the setup pages.

Is this reorganization a result of the proposed 4G wireless coverage for the US?

No. Many companies have used this spectrum for several years, and for many purposes as described above. This frequency change is independent of any proposed future use of the spectrum.

Have we ever had to do this before?

Yes, we have had to change satellites in different parts of the world which required users to manually enter a new frequency in their receiver in order to pick up StarFire corrections. The difference this time is that the frequencies are changing on all six satellites simultaneously, rather than one or two.

Will the new frequencies be any more or less susceptible to issues we’ve seen in the past with possible interference from other devices on the machine?

The probability of interference on the new frequencies is no different than on the old frequencies. If a customer did not have problems before, they shouldn’t have problems with the new frequencies either. In addition, most of the interference issues observed in the past concerned L1 and L2 GPS signals, not the L-band signal carrying StarFire corrections. The L1 and L2 signals are not impacted by this frequency change.

Are RTK receivers affected?

Yes. RTK receivers use the SF2 signal to generate and apply localized RTK corrections. Both the base station and the rover need to be updated.

Will dealers be compensated for updating customers’ receiver software?

No. This change is not a warrantable failure or defect on the part of John Deere. As with any other regular software bundle, dealers will not be able to claim reimbursement for time or travel to update customers’ equipment.

Will we have to do this again in the future?

There will always be a chance that these frequencies will change at some future date as technologies evolve. Additional uses for any given broadcast spectrum will be developed over time. However, the purpose of this spectrum reorganization is to mitigate any impact of future changes to existing users. The industry is trying to be more proactive and structured in assigning available bands.

If I update a SF3000 receiver to 1.52C software, will the frequency change on its own after the update is complete?

Currently the satellites are sending both the old, and new, frequencies. If the SF3000 has pulled SF signal in the last month, which allowed it to load the new almanac, and then software is updated outside on the machine, than the receiver will not change frequency. If the receiver is updated indoors, it will switch over to the new frequency until the SF3000 is started outside and pulls in SF signal. Since both the old and new frequencies are being broadcast at the same time, the receiver will be able to pick whichever frequency it likes.

Inmarsat will start changing the new frequencies over to the primary frequencies in the near future. When this happens, the receiver will switch over to the new frequency on its own, as long as it’s pulled SF signal, or loaded with 1.52C. The old frequencies will continue to be broadcast until March 23, 2012, as secondary frequencies.

Bottom line, as long as the SF3000 has pulled in SF signal (LED light blinks green) before March 23, 2012, or updated to 1.52C software, then the new almanac is loaded and the SF3000 will change frequencies when it needs to.

If I update a iTC receiver to 3.73D software, will the frequency change on its own after the update is complete?

Yes, the frequency will change on its own after updating to 3.73D software. If the iTC is updated in your office, then the frequency will change on its own after the receiver pulls SF signal outside.


AMS StarFire 3000, AMS StarFire iTC, AMS StarFire Orig.


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