When the Husqvarna EPOS released in early summer 2021, it came on a tide of excited buzz. After all, it’s the first Husqvarna Automower model that’s completely wireless. (Sayonara, pesky perimeter wires!)
But the pros know: the Husqvarna EPOS isn’t for everyone, and the technology still has some kinks to iron out.
This article is for anyone who installs the Husqvarna EPOS. We will review “must-knows” about this cutting-edge machine, essential tools for installation, and tips to make installation as painless as possible.
What’s so Cutting Edge about the Husqvarna EPOS?
EPOS stands for “Exact Positioning Operating System” and is a breakthrough technology for the professional lineup of the Husqvarna Automowers.
This satellite-based technology allows mowers to work within virtual boundaries (instead of physical wires). This eliminates problems such as boundary line breakage and improves flexibility for area management. (Changing the installation area will be much, much easier.)
The mower “communicates” with a reference station and a GNSS satellite to get its bearings and to know where to mow.
This new system will significantly improve flexibility and agility for these machines, and will increase the professional applications for robotic lawn mowers.
Another reason the EPOS is such a big deal? It can handle much larger boundaries and larger installations. Unlimited boundary size allows for huge installations (think: football fields! College campuses!), whereas physical boundary wires are limited to 2,625 feet in length.)
A caveat: while the EPOS boundary is larger than ever, the battery life may still be a limiting factor. Because of this limitation, you might want to consider running multiple robots in the same installation area. This way, you can keep a large area mowed without having to wait on a robot’s battery charging.
Who is the Husqvarna EPOS for?
Right now, the Husqvarna EPOS is best suited for professional organizations that have large, open lawns and fields they need mowed.
This could mean sports fields, medical campuses, airports, educational campuses, commercial properties… anything with large, open spaces.
The Husqvarna EPOS requires large, open spaces. Which leads us to our next point…
What are the limitations of the Husqvarna EPOS?
As with all new, cutting edge technologies, the Husqvarna EPOS has some limitations for the time being.
In general, place the virtual boundary away from trees, tall buildings, or any other tall structure that could obstruct the satellite signal. The mower, the charging station, and the reference station must all have uninterrupted sky views in order to work properly.
In a nutshell, the technology is still a bit too new to be error-free enough for homeowners. Excited and interested homeowners should bide their time – it’s only a matter of time before this technology will be more refined for the home front.
If you’re still interested in installing the Husqvarna EPOS, keep reading!
Tools You Will Need to Install the Husqvarna EPOS
This section is for our installers. What do you need in order to successfully install the Husqvarna EPOS?
Wire ties of all sizes.
Wire ties help you mount the reference station on large posts, if necessary (like fence posts or a telephone pole, for example.) This allows for a cleaner, more professional finish with well-mounted, tucked wires.
A T-bar and aluminum fence post
If there are no posts in sight on which you can mount the reference station, you’ll need to bring your own post. Why? Place the reference station as high in the air as possible (in most cases.)
Telescoping speaker holder
This is great for feasibility tests. It’s portable and can help you adjust height easily for the reference station.
Generator or inverter
Again, these also for feasibility tests. You might want to test an area that doesn’t have easy access to power.
Tips for Installing the Husqvarna EPOS
Here are some tips for making the Husqvarna EPOS installation as painless as possible.
Make sure the reference station is in direct line of sight to the robotic mower.
If the reference station can see the robotic mower, you won’t have any problems. Once the mower leaves the reference station’s line of sight, things can get iffy.
The greatest limiting factor: the radio signal. For the most part, the satellite coverage is pretty good, but the radio signal has trouble getting through buildings and dense trees.
Place the reference station in an appropriate location for the property’s unique needs.
Again, we’re working with a radio signal that needs to be high enough to not get stuck behind buildings and trees.
However, if the main obstruction is a large tree canopy, lower might be better for the reference station. This way, the signal doesn’t get stuck high up in the tree canopy.
Another consideration: satellite constellations are typically in the southern sky. When placing your install, a clear view of the south will likely be necessary.
You might have to play around with placement a bit.
Our pro installers tell us: they’ve placed mowers and reference stations where they thought would work, and it hasn’t.
Likewise, they’re placed the installation in areas where they never thought it would work in a million years, and lo and behold, it works like a charm.
Be prepared to move around the charging station, robotic mower, and reference station to see what works. You might be surprised.
Keep in mind too: you might need to take a few separate trips to the installation site so you can monitor the install for a few days. Set expectations with the customer that adjustments may be necessary to ensure a stable installation with few errors or hiccups.
But once the station and mower is set up and placed correctly, installation is quick and easy.
The reference station needs to be placed at least 10 feet away from the mower’s charging station.
If the reference station is placed too close to the mower’s charging station, the mower will get “confused” and won’t dock.
Placing the reference station further away from the charging station helps you avoid too much signal overlap and possible docking errors.
Overall the process is easy and intuitive to set up. All of our installers have caught on very quickly, and training has been a breeze, for the most part.
Tell us: if you’re a robotic mower installer, have you had a chance to install the Husqvarna EPOS yet? What was your experience?
I believe this robotic mower would work well in my front and back yard, as we have no trees or buildings around, and a clear line of site to the southern sky from both lawns. I would buy two of these units tomorrow if they were reasonably priced.
No explanation of the 550 series, are they all EPOS capable? all EPOS equipped? do I just pay extra for the reference station, or do I pay extra to have the EPOS “option” turned on (activated). I have not seen this addressed anywhere in any literature or media or articles. There is a big information gap. Also, can you put 2 reference stations, if your house is right in the middle of the property, so both sides get coverage? Wilson
Hey Wilson, thanks for reaching out with some additional questions. I will do my best to address them and fill in the knowledge gap. Question, “Are all 550 (500 series) mowers EPOS capable?” Answer, No. Only the 550/550H EPOS (with EPOS being the signifier of the wireless line) and CEORA are currently capable of wireless installation. This means, 550/550H, 520, and 535 are standard buried wire installation models. In short, 550 ≠ EPOS, but 550 EPOS = EPOS. Question, “Do I pay extra for the reference station?” Answer, yes. The reference station would be sold separately from the mower itself. Question, “Do I pay extra for the EPOS “option” to be activated?” Answer, No. As outlined above (but for clarification), the mower model is EPOS and it cannot be activated on anything other than that. EPOS is both the technology and the the product name. Think of it like 535 AWD/435 AWD where AWD is both the technology and a name differentiation. Question, “Can you install 2 reference stations?” Answer, not likely in the example given. When multiple stations are used, there needs to be minimal overlap of signal or it could cause communication problems.
Part of the reason for informational gaps in regard to the 500 series & EPOS is the products intended market. The 500 series and wireless are currently oriented towards larger-scale commercial properties. We tend to recommend that the 400 series residential models are more well suited for a standard homeowner. And there are situations that may not allow the release of a commercial product to a residential customer. That being said, the market is already changing and the wireless technology is becoming more stable and cost effective. Even in the past year, communication stability between the mower, reference station & satellites has greatly improved and we are seeing fewer and fewer problematic areas and fully anticipate this trend to continue.
I hope that we were able to answer some of your questions. We will continue to produce content and improve what we do have in an effort to answer questions like those you had posed. Should you like to follow up directly, please feel free to contact us. Thanks and have a great day. – Autmow