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Create A Farm-Wide Wireless Network
You can stop paying for data plans for each wireless device you use on your farm or ranch, says Bill Moffitt, president of Ayrstone Productivity. With his “whole farm” network system, it’s possible to connect up to 9 1/2 miles away by setting up a series of 3 high-powered Wi-Fi boosters and a receiver. Even better, it’s possible to transfer real time data from devices in tractors, combines and other equipment with the company’s Cab Hub introduced this year.
    The Ayrstone system is specifically designed for the open spaces and larger distances in rural areas. The main hub is hard-wired with an Ethernet cable to a router mounted vertically outdoors and up high (recommended 20 to 25 ft. above the terrain) with clear line-of-sight.
    A single Hub blasts a half-mile of WiFi and, with meshing technology additional, Hubs can increase that range several times, according to Ayrstone. The Hubs are made out of UV-stabilized plastic and rated for -4 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The Hubs require an electrical connection, and up to 3 can be connected in a line for 7 1/2 miles of coverage. That can be extended another 2 miles with a receiver, Moffitt says. Receivers also bring the network connection inside buildings made of metal, stone or concrete that typically stop Wi-Fi.
    The actual range to connect to a Hub varies with devices - from 200 to 300 yards for a Smartphone to 1,000 yards for a laptop. Customers often use the Hubs to provide access in workshops or remote cameras or to remotely control operations.
    “One of our testers in Iowa built his own grain dryer controller. The grain dryer is 2 1/2 miles from his house so he has a Hub on his house and a Hub on the grain dryer. He can control the dryer when he is at home,” Moffitt says. “He has 5 Hubs on his farm, and he’s now testing the Cab Hub during harvest to collect data as he goes.”
    The Cab Hub is powered through the accessory power outlet (with a magnet-mounted antenna) and makes it easy to transfer data. No more manually moving it via a USB drive or paying for a data plan to do it, Moffitt notes.
    Cost to set up a farm wireless network varies according to the area covered. Each Hub is $375. Receivers cost $190; and the Cab Hub is $500. Even without technology experience, customers with basic mechanical skills can easily install the system.
    “There are situations it won’t work,” Moffitt says. “We can’t predict farm conditions, big trees, or nearby radar systems. So we have a 90-day money back guarantee.”
    Moffitt points out that while all kinds of customers have found interesting uses for the Ayrstone system, it’s really designed for rural areas.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ayrstone Productivity LLC, 855 Village Center Dr. 325, North Oaks, Minn. 55127 (ph 888 837-0637; info@ayrstone.com; www.ayrstone.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5