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AutoPilot, 332, Insight 8120 ILS
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Posted 5/10/2006 08:21 (#11030)
Subject: AutoPilot, 332, Insight 8120 ILS

Near Intersection of I-35 & I-90 Southern Mn.
This Spring we installed a Trimble Autopilot on my 8120 with ILS. This is my planting tractor for corn/soybeans.

The GPS source is a Trimble 332 running with Omnistar XP. The Autopilot Interface is Ag Leader's Insight which is also logging/mapping/monitoring my seed varieties and Starter fertilizer.

All in all, the complete package worked very well with an occasional quirk here and there. At this point I am very happy with the performance of the Autopilot.

As usual each situation does bring up some questions. I got an occasional Fault message on the Insight regarding the Autopilot. I got the Fault message indicating: Noisy 1 PPC with some other information. I got this message twice one day. This was while I was using the MP3/FM modulator device that I have discussed elsewhere. Since this device is actually an FM radio station, I thought that this might be the source of the electrical noise. I discontinued using the device and did not receive the Fault message anymore that day.

On the next day, moving down the road to a new field, I got the Noisy 1 PPC Fault message again. The MP3/FM transmitter was not in use and the GPS had been left on all night to maintain convergence. Once again I cleared the Fault and proceeded without problem.

The next day I got a different Fault message. This one indicated a FET failure or Open Coil. I assume this would refer to the Field Effect Transistor/coil involved with the steering valve. This Fault happened just after my seed monitor went off indicating low population in one row (I was purposely trying to run the boxes very low). The fact that this fault occured at this time may have something to do with the planter monitor and the fact that I was just stopping. Once again I cleared the Fault and proceeded on with no loss of Autopilot.

When I got down to the last couple of rounds, I purposely used the MP3/FM device to see if I could cause the Noisy Fault to reoccur. The Fault did not reoccur. I am unsure if the MP3 device had any relationship to the Noisy Fault situation.

Yesterday I was talking to Trimble Support and related the above situation. I got the impression that the Noisy 1 PPC fault has been showing up for other users. Apparently one customer had it occur very frequently. I understand that he put a filter in the power line going to the GPS/Nav Controller which helped but did not eliminate his Faults. It may help to run a new line directly to the battery with an inline filter rather than tapping into Deere's wiring.

My situation was very tolerable and I could certainly live with it.

Anyone have any experiences or advice?

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