1988 - Volume #12, Issue #2, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
On The Go Moisture Tester For Hay BalersYou can test moisture on-the-go with this new sensor that mounts in the bale chamber and sends a constant readout to a monitor mounted on the tractor.
"If I hadn't been lazy, I never would have invented it. We bale at night and I just got tired of climbing on and off the tractor to test hay being baled," says inventor Grover Black, Lightning "B" Industries, about his on-the-go monitor. "If you're baling in a low-lying area where the moisture content is too high, you can back off and work dryer areas. In the same way, you can avoid hay that's too dry to prevent leaf loss."
Black's moisture sensor consists of a 5 by 12-in. hard plastic plate fitted with two 8-in. by 1,2-in. stainless steel bars. The sensor mounts in the sidewall of the bale chamber (by drilling three small holes) so it's pressed tightly against the side of the bale as it's formed and ejected. Moisture is measured by determining the resistance of electrical current between the two bars. An average of 32 readings taken every second is stored in the memory to update the number displayed by the tractor monitor.
Black says the moisture reading is updated every 4 sec. and rounded off to whole numbers (from 10 to 36%). "Although the monitor is taking continuous readings and averaging them, the operator just looks at the one number, which changes slowly enough to make it easy to read," he says, noting that it took a lot of experimentation to fmd the correct design for the sensor.
Sells for $300 and fits any square baler. Black is working on a model for big round balers.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Grover Black, Lightning "B" Industriies, Box 240, Rt. 3, Cheney, Wash. 99004 (ph 509 235-8558).
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