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Heavy-Duty Camera System Mounts On Spray Booms, Combine Augers
An Iowa farmer's frustration at not being able to see the nozzle at the end of his spray boom led to development of the "Spray-Cam" - a heavy-duty closed circuit camera system that he says out-performs any other ag camera system on the market.
  Leonard Tranbarger had been living with skips and overlaps in fields for years. "No matter how good a spray marker you use, when you get booms up to 80 or 100 ft. wide it's a challenge to follow the marks exactly," he says.
  In addition to farming, Tranbarger is in the business of selling and installing security systems so he already knew a lot about closed circuit camera systems. He and his son-in-law, Steve Gus, designed a system with two cameras and a 5-in. monitor in the cab. They also came up with a switching system to turn off the camera on one end and turn the other one on.
  The boom-mounted cameras mount inside of a protective housings made from specially-shaped PVC tubes.
  After developing the camera system for sprayers, the men also started testing the cameras on combines, auger carts and even on a fertilizer applicator rig. On combines they use cameras to view grain tanks and the unloading auger. They can also set up a transmitter to send video from the combine to a grain truck or tractor loading grain alongside.
  On sprayers, Tranbarger figures the system has reduced overspraying in his operation to 1 percent or less. The savings in chemicals may be more than enough to pay for the system in a couple seasons or less, he notes.
  "This is a rugged, efficient system. We've sprayed more than 7,000 acres with it and have never even had to clean the lenses on the cameras."
  The camera system includes a power supply. Tranbarger explains that other systems wire directly to the tractor's 12-volt system but frequently have problems with shorting out. He says he's solved the problem with an independent power supply. "We won't sell our system without our power supply unit," he says.
  The system includes two camera units, a color monitor, and an AB switch for switching between cameras and wiring for 15, 50, 75 or 100-ft. booms. Sells for $3,995. You can use it on both a sprayer and combine (or other equipment) by wiring each piece of equipment and just moving the cameras between machines.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, ATS Enterprises, 33361 K. Ave., Beaman, Iowa 50609 (ph 515-366-9123).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #2