The Useful Duck!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

My moment of fame is past

Only 10 visitors today. I am no longer famous.
Now I can go back to my old boring farming related posts.
Raked our Teff hay today. The Teff is not doing so hot this year. It just did not grow. Not sure the problem. Wish I knew a good soil consultant.
Have been getting ready to plant. I hooked up my eBay special Calc-an-acre SprayMate II so I can now have an automatic variable rate control for my liquid fertilizer on the GreatPlains 1500 no-till grain drill.
I also rebuilt my GPS computer. I found an Itronix ix300 rugged tablet computer used on eBay. I am upgrading to an actually halfway fast tablet. I'm thinking this will give me better guidance. The old Fujitsu 3400 would tend to get a little behind as the GPS unit was sending more info than the computer could process.
I have been using a program called FarmerGPS which runs on a PC and costs a lot less than a dedicated GPS unit.
I've manage to buy the tablet and GPS controller on eBay and save a huge amount of money. However, I've been hooking it all up myself so it is not quite a s pretty as it could be.
Then I suddenly ran out of money.
I decided to pay off the 2-155 white. I had one last payment which was due in December but I would save $400 in interest and get rid of the stress of that additonal payment. But then I had some unexpected bills. So I suddenly was broke. Had a little more stress then...
But, yesterday a fellow called me and wants me to work and plant some ground for him. So I today I went and checked out the field. Looks like a good job, hope he pays. Feast or famine is how it always seems to go.
First photo at the top of the page shows my very cluttered cab monitor system. Need to put the calc-an-acre and the spraymateII next to each other, the Loup drill monitor should go closer to the front so I don't have to turn my head so much to see it. The hydraulic speed control is the silver box and with a dial under the calc-an-acre. This controls the flow to the fertilizer pump. The little monitor screen is a car backup camera which is pointed at the drill level indicator as the fertilizer tank obscures my view from the cab.
The computer screen shows the FarmerGPS setup. You follow a line and there are arrows telling you to drive right or left. The little tractor arrow paints a map of where you have been. It has last pass, which guides you the width of the drill over from where you have just been on your last pass, and you can draw A-B lines to make straight rows. It works pretty good. I have wired up a magnet on the drill which trips a relay and puts the GPS, Spraymate, and Calcanacre on hold when the drill is raised.
It is a work in progress.

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