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Fine tuning your DirectCommand system

by May 14, 2010DirectCommand®


I hope all of you have had a successful spring and the crops in your area are up and looking good.  Now that the spring planting season is nearing an end, it is time to start thinking about post-emergence application and preparing your sprayer.  Here are a few steps to prepare your sprayer for another season, as well as a few commonly used terms in DirectCommand applications.

When it comes time to pull your sprayer out of the shed and get ready for a new season, it is important to fill the tank with water and run a test of the system before going to the field. To do this test you will enter in a manual ground speed similar to your application speed so you are able to apply product without moving.  This setting will be entered under Setup – Configuration Setup – Speed Input, and will require creating a new region for the change to take effect.  Once you have a manual speed entered you will be able to select a field and begin application.

While performing the test, set Target Rate to all of the different rates you will be applying during operation.  This will verify the system will be able to perform as expected at all rates. At this time you will want to test all of your boom sections and verify they turn on/off and correspond with the sections on the screen.

Lastly, you will want to verify the Flow Meter Calibration number. There will be a tag on your flow meter with the calibration number that should be entered in the Controller Settings of your display.  Once you have verified your system is working as expected you are ready to fill with product and begin spraying.  Note:  If you have a Raven flow meter you will want to divide the Flow Meter Calibration number by ten.  Raven's number is in pulses/ten gallons and Ag Leader uses pulses/gallon.

Below are some common terms and settings that may be adjusted when fine tuning your DirectCommand system.

Flow Meter Cal – Calibration value representing the number of pulses that equal one gallon of product flow through the controlling system.

Valve Response 1 – Determines the speed of the servo valve when product control error exceeds the Response Threshold setting.  Valve Response 1 is used when large rate changes are needed.

Valve Response 2 – Determines the speed of the servo valve when product control error is less than the Response Threshold setting.  Valve Response 2 is used when small rate changes are needed.

Response Threshold – Determines where the control channel switches between using Valve Response 1 and Valve Response 2 speed settings. The default setting is 3. Leaving all other valve control settings at the default value and making  small adjustments to this setting is usually all that is required to fine tune system performance.

Decreasing this value will speed up servo valve response.

Increasing this value will slow down servo valve response.

PWM Gain – This setting determines how aggressively the control valve responds when making rate adjustments with a pwm valve. The higher the value the more aggressive the system response is.

For more specific information on these settings, consult your display's user manual.  Good luck as you finish up planting and head to the field in the sprayer!

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