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Using agleader edge for starter fertilizer
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Posted 8/12/2017 07:59 (#6182044 - in reply to #6181498)
Subject: RE: Using agleader edge for starter fertilizer

Southern Minnesota Between Freeborn & Wells
If you wish to track varieties and also work with the starter a multi-product unlock is necessary. I don't recall the capabilities of the Edge as I always used the high end displays such as the Insight, Integra and now InCommand 1200. The Edge may be limited in some aspects of multiple products.

As far as the fertilizer situation on the planter, it is really no different than your sprayer. Currently your must have a switch box and Auxiliary Input Module in the tractor and a Liquid Product Control module either in the tractor or on the sprayer. You must also have a flow meter and control valve for the sprayer. All these parts could be moved or duplicated for the planter.

I have seen setups where all this equipment is mounted on the tractor. A plate containing the control valve, flow meter and section valves is sometimes mounted on the rear of the tractor with some quick disconnect couplers in the hose lines going to the sprayer. This would make it very easy to connect to the planter or sprayer. These were often situations where saddle tanks were used for both fertilizer and spraying.

Even with a pull-type sprayer, it should be possible to mount the components on some type of plate that could be easily moved from the sprayer to the planter.

The ground driven pump could be used and have it still deliver the fertilizer through the system. If rate control is desired, an electric control valve could be plumbed in a bypass configuration where the excess is returned to the pump or the top of the tank. With such an arrangement you would set the ground driven pump to deliver somewhat more than what is ever needed. That way the system can vary the amount getting to the ground by varying the amount that is returned or bypassed. In the configuration setup there is an option as whether you are using inline or by pass control.

If you are not concerned about controlling the rate so much, but are really more interested in monitoring or watching the rate, summary and mapping, a control valve does not need to be used at all. You would set the rate by adjusting the ground driven pump as you are currently doing. You would enter in your proposed target rate in the Edge. If the calculated applied rate does not match the target rate, the Edge would send signals to the non-existing control valve which doesn't hurt anything but obviously won't change the rate. If the rate was considerably different you would receive an off rate alarm message. You would then change the setting on the pump to get it more inline with your goals.

Although this last approach would not work very well for changing rates from field to field or within in a field, it could be very handy for verifying your rates. This might not be very expensive since you could likely reuse many of the components from the sprayer. Depending on your fertilizer rates, a smaller flow meter might be needed with a 6 row planter as the flow/minute would be rather low. A Raven RFM 15 is commonly used for planters. The one on your sprayer may be larger and might "stall out" on the planter.

You mention using an electric pump. Although this can be done, personally I'm not a big fan of them. With an electric pump, it is possible to set the Liquid module to produce a PWM signal to run the pump at varying speeds. PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation which in layman's terms means turning the pump power/ground ON and OFF very quickly so the "average" voltage that the pump sees varies from 0-12 Volts. This still requires a flow meter. If the system detects that the flow rate is too high, it changes the ratio of the ON time to the OFF time of the PWM signal going to the pump so that the average voltage is less. The pump in turn slows down.

With the PWM setup, it is often necessary to use an electronic driver box between the liquid module and the pump. The reason being that the liquid module can only produce a PWM signal capable of a 1 AMP load. Since most pumps require more than that, the driver box is needed.

The driver box has heavy wires going directly to the tractor battery. The liquid module's PWM signal goes into the driver box which produces a high current PWM output to the motor that mimics the input signal from the liquid module.signal to actually run the pump.

Edited by tedbear 8/12/2017 08:03
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