2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3, Page #32[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Made-It-Myself" Foam Marker
"Several years ago, FARM SHOW ran an article about a foam marker made with 12-volt air compressors. We looked it up last year and made one for our field sprayer," says Brady.
Like the one in the original article (Vol. 18, No. 3), they used a couple of 12-volt air compressors set up to pump air into a pair of 5-gal. plastic pails. Flexible, clear plastic 1-in. dia. tubing is fastened to the pour spouts on the pails and runs to the end of the boom.
When the foam solution runs low in the pails, they simply unscrew the ring holding the pour spout in place and refill through that opening.
Air enters each pail through a length of 1/4-in. brake line inserted through the vent hole in the top of the pail. The brake line is cut, fastened and sealed just short of the bottom of the pail, so air blowing into the marker solution creates a build-up of foam inside the pail. After the pail is full of foam, it's pushed out through the tube to the end of the boom.
"It doesn't take much pressure or air volume to push foam out of the bucket and through the tubing," Brady Hodgson notes.
The Hodgsons wanted to leave a visible mound of foam in the field, so they made foam accumulators at the ends of the booms by running the plastic tubing into 1-liter plastic soft drink bottles with the bottoms cut out. They put a rigid gray PVC elbow in the end of the plastic tube. "It fits over the top of the soft drink bottle and you can clamp it on with a hose clamp or even a piece of wire," Kent Hdgson says.
"When foam in the bottle gets heavy enough, it drops out to the ground," Hodgson says. He says they use plastic quart oil containers. If there's too much space between the foam drops on the ground, he says you can shorten the distance by cutting off more of the bottom of the bottle. The size of the mark will be reduced, however.
They wired the compressors into the tractor's electrical system and put toggle switches for each one in the cab. They can easily switch on either or both pumps as needed. Because the compressors aren't made for dusty field conditions, it's a good idea to cover them or mount them where they'll be protected from dust and debris.
"The original idea in FARM SHOW used a tubeless tire valve inserted though a hole in the bottom of the bucket. We buy all our cleaning solutions and soap in 5-gal. containers with pour spouts and vent holes in the top. We figured we could seal the brake line in the vent hole and save the price of the valves," Brady says.
The Hodgsons say if they were doing it again, they'd use the tire valve. "It takes time to pressurize the system using these small compressors. With a tire valve, you could pressurize it with a shop compressor before going to the field."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brady and Kent Hodgson, Hodgson Farm Reg'd., 24 St. Henri Rd., Ste. Marthe, Quebec, Canada J0P 1W0 (ph 450 458-5508 or 450 458-0027).
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