Do it Yourself Troubleshooting Before and During Harvest

Kurt Lawton

Insights WeeklyAs the heart of the Corn Belt is cranking up harvest, I’m guessing combine prep is done. But if not, perhaps some quick troubleshooting tips to keep your harvest data flowing into your monitor may help.

I talked today with Nick Ohrtman, Technical Support Supervisor for Ag Leader Technology, and he mentioned some of common tech support topics they hear this time of year. And some of these issues can be resolved with some simple troubleshooting.

First, check your firmware. Hopefully you’ve got the latest firmware versions installed in all your components—from your display to the connected modules and the GPS unit. It’s important because different versions contain unique features, which help technicians troubleshoot. “Almost every tech support call we get we end up having to check the firmware,” he says.

Is the light green? Most modules and GPS units have an LED light showing its current status. Green means power is on and it is communicating with attached modules. If yellow, the power is working but it’s not talking with other devices. And a red light means the module is in program mode. “Take note of the color by module, which will help the technician troubleshoot your issues.”

Disappearing maps. Another common call during harvest deals with coverage maps that do not show up on the display. Different scenarios can cause this to happen. “The most common is when the operator loads a field on the run screen while at home with the combine head lowered to the ground,” Ohrtman says. “The monitor then logs that point as harvested and it is actually miles away. As the operator drives to the field the onscreen map will zoom out to keep the point that was logged at home. It also keeps the combine’s current position on the map screen. By the time the operator arrives at the field the map is zoomed out so far the field is no longer visible on the display. The short-term fix is to press the ‘clear bounds’ button that re-centers the map over your current position. The long-term solution is to create field boundaries for all of your fields.”

Moisture sensor haywire. If the moisture sensor on the combine clean grain elevator is not giving you readings or is providing the same exact reading, check the proximity sensor in the elevator mount unit. If not adjusted right you won’t get a full clean grain sample to monitor because the cleanout auger isn’t running properly. Simply remove the electrical cover, find the small screw that adjusts the sensor, turn it clockwise until the cleanout auger runs continuously, then turn it back counterclockwise three full turns.

Chewed or loose cables. One other common malady is forgetting to visually check all the cables leading from the display all the way back. Rodent damage is more common that you think.

Visit these links for more information.

Troubleshooting Tips – http://www.agleader.com/2010/04/23/troubleshooting-tips/

Q & A from Hardware Training – http://www.agleader.com/2010/07/22/more-q-a-from-hardware-training/

Ag Leader, Displays, Education, Equipment, Harvesting, Insights Weekly, Software