Posted 1/11/2021 07:19 (#8741729 - in reply to #8739775) Subject: May need relays to run the half width clutches
Don't call it a 'gator, it's a Ranger
I'm not certain of the "mechanical" abilities or limitations of the Deere clutches although it would seem that they should be fine since they should handle 6 rows each.
There should be some concern about the "electrical" capabilities of using an Ag Leader Module to control them. This concern may apply to other brands of controllers as well. All brands of row or section clutches operate on the principle that electricity is used to STOP planting. This is the opposite logic of controlling a spray valve on a sprayer or other common activities. I capitalize the word STOP to emphasize the need to realize this is opposite of common thinking. It is rather easy to get confused with ON versus OFF when talking about seed clutches.
When the system decides to STOP a row or section from planting it completes a circuit to the row or section clutch causing it to disengage. To do this a coil somewhere in the clutch is utilized. Ag Leader chose to do this by providing a constant hot or 12V source to each clutch and completing ground to the clutch when it decides that the section or row should STOP planting. Other brands may provide a common ground and switch the hot.
This in itself is not necessarily a problem although it is something to be aware of. A problem can come about if the electrical load imposed by the clutches exceeds the current handling capabilities of the Clutch Control Module.
The solution involves using relatively Heavy Duty Relays to do the work of activating each Clutch. One of these relays is required for each clutch or section. The relays are used to carry the heavier load of the clutches rather than having the module carry that load it self. As the name relay implies, it hands off the task from one circuit to another.
Here's how they can be wired. One side of each relay coil is wired to the Ag Leader 12V lead that normally goes to each clutch. The other side of each relay coil is attached to the section control wire from the Ag Leader Clutch Module. This means the appropriate section control lines will be connected to their own relay coil. It is important to use the exact number of relays required and that they are wired to the proper section outputs. If not, the Ag Leader system will show an error message warning that it did not find an exact match between the number of sections in the planting configuration and the coils that it detects. This is one reason why they wire the coils with a common hot and switch the ground. It is also important that the installer insures that these outputs go to the correct relay and clutch. Otherwise the system may decide to STOP section 1 but planting STOPS on a different section due to a wiring error. Some say "Oh the map would show that" no, the map will assume that the wiring is correct. It can only detect if there is a mismatch with the number of clutches or relays.
A good heavy Ground from the battery can be split and lead to each clutch. Some clutches use the frame as ground but a real wire is best. A good heavy 12V source from the battery with appropriate fuse, splits and leads to the Common terminal of each relay (#30), A heavy wire leads from the Normally Open relay terminal (#87) and leads to its Clutch. If the relay has a terminal marked #87A, it is not used.
With this wiring arrangement the load of the clutch disengaging is carried by the heavier wires leading from the battery. The circuit is complete when the Clutch Control Module decides that a section should STOP planting. Rather than directly running the clutch, the task is passed to the relays.