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Anyone else running a new Magnum AFS Connect tractor with Ag Leader ISO steering?
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Posted 1/7/2022 05:38 (#9424361 - in reply to #9423853)
Subject: Something very similar with my Deere 8310R

Southern Minnesota
I have what sounds like a similar problem with Ag Leader steering on my Deere 8310R. I have had the Ag Leader Steer Command system in this tractor for a few years now. I am using an InCommand 1200 with Ag Leader's Steer Command (not Z2) that works through the tractors CAN bus for steering.

I have another InCommand 1200 with Steer Command ECU in an older 8120 and also an older 8310. Those tractors use an external steering valve and work fine. The steering on those older tractors is not involved with the tractor's CAN and only uses the diagnostic sensor as a way to disengage steering.

When the communication between the various components on the 8310R is established, the steering works very well. But like the original post above does not happen every time. I believe that upon initial startup, some communication between the InCommand, the SteerCommand and the Tractor should take place. Like the OP, I believe some type of handshake needs to take place which is not always happening. Sometimes this happens as it should but more and more often it does not. This lack of acknowledgment or communication is exhibited in several ways.

One way to determine if things are good or bad upon startup is to observe the Steer Command ECU. It has a series of LEDs on it showing various information. If upon start up, the top LED is green and the other LEDs are jumping around, communication has been established and auto steering will be fine. If on the other hand only the top LED is green (indicating good power) and the others are OFF then auto steering is not going to happen. This is also confirmed by looking under the GPS status. On good days, I will see a tab for Steer Command under the GPS stats. On bad days, that tab will be missing. It as if the InCommand is not acknowledging the presence of the Steer Command ECU.

Like the post above, some days this is fine. Other days we need to go through a gyration of steps of shutting down, restarting etc. The ECU is powered via its own fuse on some pink wires. For a while, I thought the answer was to pull the fuse, wait a bit and then insert the fuse again. If the LEDs on the ECU start dancing then we know that steering will be successful. Again once we get past this point it works very well. My Ag Leader salesman suggested purposely turning off steering in the InCommand, restarting and then turning the steering back on. This has worked sometimes.

In frustration, I've decided to trade the Steer Command in on a Steer Command Z2. This requires that I get yet another third party steering unlock in the tractor from Deere. I believe this unlock game for the tractor itself is only necessary with Deere tractors. The tractor has the third party unlock from Deere for a Trimble system for a lease situation prior to me taking ownership of the tractor. I had the Ag Leader third party steering unlock installed for GeoSteer which was installed in this tractor. Later when I switched to Steer Command, that Steering unlock was usable. Now with Steer Command Z2, yet another unlock is required. My Deere tech says that my tractor now has 3 different third party unlocks in it.

My Ag Leader dealer is currently waiting on the arrival of the Steer Command Z2 and wiring. It is my understanding that part of Ag Leaders problem for the Z2 is a lack of a certain chip that is used when the Z2 is used with an external steering valve like my old tractors use. This chip is not needed when the Z2 is used with CAN steering so the Z2 will be shipped without that chip or capability to those of us who do not need to use the external valve.

Those of you who have followed my posts and replies through the years know that I'm a big fan of Ag Leader but I'm really getting frustrated about this steering situation. This tractor is used with our planter which has many other Ag Leader modules besides steering and generally works very well. This problem of not communicating seems to be getting worse.

Edited by tedbear 1/7/2022 05:48
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