1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Automated Chopper Controls"We used air valves to automate hard-to-reach controls on our 1969 Fox Super 1000 field chopper," says Frank Cawrse Jr., Lebanon, Ore.
Cawrse says the manual controls on the chopper were especially hard to reach when using a cab-equipped tractor. His method of automation, he says, would work on other manually-controlled equipment.
Cawrse first installed an old auto air conditioner compressor on the chopper, powering it off a pulley he installed on the chopper pto shaft. The compressor works as a small but powerful air compressor, and stores its compressed air in a section of the chopper framework. Cawrse simply tapped into a piece of sealed-off heavy steel tubing. The make-shift storage tank is connected to electric solenoid valves, controlled from the cab, that channel air to air valves.
"We can control forward, reverse and neutral on the feed chain. It also engages the idler on the feeder pickup so you can stop the pickup while the feed chains still operate, which lets plug-ups feed through without picking up more material. That's a feature that we still don't have on our new self-propelled chopper but which we plan to add," says Cawrse. He also put an air valve on the tongue pin to swing in and out of transport, and automated the blower spout with a small hydraulic motor.
"We did it all at a very minimal cost compared to the $1,000 or more that manufacturers want for optional electric controls," notes Cawrse.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank Cawrse Jr., 35930 Providence School Road, Lebanon, Ore. 97355 (ph 503 451-2508).
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