Pre-harvest Preparations: GPS & Steering
Sitting on my back porch watching the sunrise every morning, I have begun to notice the crops have started to turn and fall is right around the corner. As the corn dries, it is important to remember to prep your precision equipment just like you do the combine and grain cart. Some things to keep in mind when prepping your GPS equipment are rather basic, but following up on these preventative maintenance steps could prevent downtime in the field this fall.
Displays Install the display in the cab and start it up. If the display hasn’t been used since last year, it’s time to install the current firmware version. You can check the current firmware versions for all of our monitors on our knowledge base. It may also be time to start a new season of crops if the monitor is only used for yield monitoring; you should be prompted by the display to do this.
The reason for creating a new season is to separate data for use in analysis software, such as SMS. GPS Receivers The receiver should power on with the display if it’s an Ag Leader receiver, such as the GPS 1500 or GPS 2500. After a short wait – given a clear view of the sky – the GPS icon should show that the GPS is tracking satellites and is locked on to the set differential source. If you are using an OmniSTAR subscription, make sure you are up to date on your dues to avoid any delays as the harvest season gets going.
Now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the information in the GPS Information area of your display. You can reference the owner’s manual for details on the information provided in this screen. OnTrac2 Make sure the system is set up properly in the cab of the vehicle. If it’s being moved from one machine to the next, mounting the ECU securely will be very important.
Also, if the OnTrac2 was used on a different machine prior to going into the combine, it will be necessary to change the active vehicle to the combine and verify the calibration is up to par. Even if the system performed to spec last spring or fall, it’s always a good idea to double check your calibration.
ParaDyme Like the OnTrac2, it is a great idea to start the harvest season off by verifying the active vehicle is set properly and the calibration is still operational. If it’s a new installation, a trained dealer who has been to classes at Ag Leader Academy to prepare them to best serve you should perform the calibration and setup.
Beyond the setup and calibration of the steering system, you will also want to make sure you have active subscriptions to your differential source provider. If you had a 4 month RTK Ready Connect unlock this spring, there is a chance it is now expired. Contact your dealer to renew this subscription. Also, if you are on a private NTRIP network or using OmniSTAR, your subscription to these services may be up for renewal, too.
For NTRIP users I recommend either you or your dealer setting up several connection options. This will allow you to change your connection based on the current conditions. I hope this information helps prepare you for the fall harvest season.
If you have questions on this or any other topic related to Ag Leader’s products I invite you to give us a call at 515-232-5363; our tech support team would be more than happy to explain anything to you.