Saturday, April 21, 2012

Four Tenths

We got .4 inches of rain last night according to my NEXRAD rain report from Spatial Rainfall Consulting and Bill Northcutt. It's a handy resource you can subscribe or look up yourself on his website.

Electrical and other problems have been rearing their nasty heads thanks to Murphy With "19 computers and 1.2 miles of wire" in a new John Deere tractor, these problems will not go away. Technology has really hit the fields.

"Ninety percent of all electrical problems are bad grounds." A man with a good volt ohm meter and experience on farm equipment is invaluable on today's farms. A young man with these skills plus GPS and related equipment modules can name his price!

This week, getting the Kinze planter talking to the computers inside the AGCO tractor was a problem. The main culprit was the "speed sensor," a small black plastic coil that goes onto the planter shaft. When the fertilizer pump turned on, it pulled the voltage down enough to cause the wrong impedance in the speed sensor and it erratically sent about half the normal speed to the computer. When the right one was matched up, the readouts started making sense.

Otherwise, the planter was planting but you couldn't see how much or how fast in the cab. Rusty and corroded connections is the main culprit on most machinery and even dielectric grease won't work on some connections that are badly pitted, even after cleaning. This wasn't the problem on this deal, it was all new stuff.

Then, the White planter folded out wouldn't fold back up. The folding solenoids clicked but the planer wouldn't fold. This friend offered this advice on Machinery Talk:

"Not familiar with that model, but the cartridge valves on my 6182 worked better after pulling them out and cleaning them with a shot of brake cleaner. The solenoid passed the screwdriver test mentioned in the other post, but the guts of the cartridge weren't moving.

Did White improve the electrical connections on the newer models? Seems like corrosion at the spade terminals is my biggest problem no matter much dielectric grease is used after a good cleaning."

So I use technology to fix technology! From Bill's electronic rain gauge to posts on AgTalk, I get information I need.

Murphy and Mother Nature are in charge of the show and I have to figure out how to respond.



  1. My loupe planter monitor uses a networking protocol of some sort to talk to the sensors. When the fertilizer hose blew on top of the weatherpac connector I started having problems. I solved it by cutting off the old connector and putting on a new one.
    Of course there are only three wires with the networking type.
    Perhaps it will all be better when it all goes wireless-or not...

  2. Oh how I appreciate my old (mostly) manual controlled equipment when I hear of the electrical and computer related problems on the new stuff. Wireless? Might be the simpler way to go but what are all those wireless waves doing to our bodies?

  3. Working on cars and comm equipment, grounding problems pop up when you don't expect them. Lots of "Duh" moments.
    Good post.

  4. Thanks for the great replies! Today I was able to get LuAnn a new set of Michelen's for her Buick for $16 a piece! Tire Discounters fired the old crew at the local store and hired a new crew who called BFG/Michelen and got her "new" BFG's, now with 15,000 miles on them replaced by a new set of Michelens!(made in the same factory in North Carolina) Now if I get the transmission in it serviced, I might just have the road vehicles road worthy!