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Photo-Electric Row Guidance System
"My beet harvester came equipped with a mechanical row finder, but I was never re-ally satisfied with its performance. The mechanical switches have a tendency to wear out quickly and as they wear, their sensitivity changes and reaction time slows way down," says Keith Brohaugh, who built a sophisticated photo-electronic guidance system for his planter and sprayer.
He put the system together with off-theshelf parts available at any electronics store.
It consists of a lightweight log chain that runs in the planter's row mark. The chain attaches to a shaft, which swivels with the chain as it moves left or right.
A sealed control box is attached to the shaft. It emits a light beam that turns as the shaft turns. When the beam hits one of two photo-electronic switches, one on each side of the shaft, it closes an electric circuit.
When used with Brohaugh's Deere 71 flex planter, the electric current activates a set of indicator lights on the tractor dash-board. The lights tell the driver which way to steer to get back on the row. The system is set to warn the driver if the tractor moves more than 1/2-in. off the mark.
When used with his 24-row (22-in.) sprayer, electric current triggered by the guidance system shifts the sprayer back and forth by activating hydraulic cylinders.
"I've been able to cut my spray band by 3 in., from 10 to 7 in.," he says. "So the system has paid for itself many times over since I built it five years ago."
Brohaugh estimates he has about $1,000 invested in the system. He now plans to try the system on his beet harvester.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Keith Brohaugh, Rt. 1, Box 81, Shelly, Minn. 56581 (ph 218 886-6615).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3