Community Forum

Tractor installation advice welcome

(Mr337) #81

Nice picture!

I’m reworking my V2 of my mower and wiring sucks. I should have gotten a bigger box and got DIN rails to clean things up.

Also for the kill switches, since you are in open farm land have you considered going cellular? https://www.digi.com/products/xbee-rf-solutions/embedded-rf-modules-modems/digi-xbee-cellular

I’d be curious on the range of the LoRa. Haven’t used them personally but keep hearing good things about them.

(Kyler Laird) #82

I use cellular for my main controls (for now). I have a timeout so that the tractor will stop if it loses communication. (I had that disabled until a few minutes ago. Fortunately I was sitting inside the tractor when I realized it.) I want a separate channel for the kill switch.

LoRa range is over a mile with 3" wire antennas, 20+ miles with decent directional antennas. Plenty for me.

(Kyler Laird) #83

I am going to keep watching Navio/Reach. I hope to use it in the future. In the meantime, it feels more appropriate to post my progress in a ROS forum.

(larryrauen) #84


I plan on using a cellular connection for my farm project because I think it will give me a more consistent connection than a simple set of serial radios. When the leaves are on the trees I found the serial radios can not give long range control if there’s a grove between the radios.

I had a cell link for one of my tractors Trimble auto-steering and it was a lot more consistent than the 900 MHz Trimble radios. My 900 MHz base antenna was on an 80-foot tall tower. Of course, if there are only a few cell towers in your area your experience may be different.

(Alistair) #85

Hi Guys, really enjoying reading this thread and it’s quite inspirational.

I have a farmer friend who is seeking to automate most things on his Cattle/Avocado farm here in far north Queensland, Australia. I was using my Reach RS base and Rover on his farm recently to map a few things and he got chatting about improving the auto-steer system on his JD tractor.

I need some help and maybe you can share some good advice for me:

He is looking to upgrade his JD tractors autosteer, by establishing a base on a hill at his farm and setting an RTK receiver on his machine. He currently has a GNSS antenna feeding into his Case FM-750 auto steer (manufactuired by Trimble), however it is uncorrected and is great for relative positioning in one session, but he can’t go and have lunch, come back that arvo and have it continue to align parallel runs.

He has the Auto-steer black box unit connected to a Trimble EZ-steer motor which flips onto the steering wheel to auto-steer the tractor.

I’ve seen Emlid are partnering with Sigro Pilot, however I see that the main issue will be connection and instructions to EZ-steer unit… Therefore I see best system is to give good RTK positioning to farmers existing
FM-750 auto steer unit.

The way I see it, if he has a Reach RS Base sitting on an existing known control point, and a Rover on his tractor, the Rover can compute RTK solution using correction from Base, so the Autosteer blackbox only requires one input (as per wiring diagram below for his actual Autosteer device). However the Autosteer blackbox requires a standard TNC co-axial cable plug for RTK input.

Is it possible to adapt an EMLID Reach RS RTK output to the left hand TNC plug, so that the standard TNC existing cable in the tractor can be used to feed RTK position to AutoSteer blackbox?

One issue I see is that I think the co-ax plug on the Reach RTS Rover unit is used to acquire the correction from the base. Can any of you suggest how the above might work?

Thanks for any clues you can give me on how best to exploit a REASCH RS Base & Rover for this application, or alternative solutions that either terminate in the TNC connector, or integrate with the EZ-Steer system.

(Kyler Laird) #86


I just received my REACH RS and haven’t used it yet, so I don’t have good REACH-specific information to share with you. I do want to address the RTK corrections, though.

I use RTK corrections on my Deere equipment. Then I used Piksi with its SBP corrections. These experiences lead me to think of RTK corrections being complicated.

My NVS-NV08C-RTK-A changed all of that. It takes (and generates) standard RTCM. I get it from the Indiana DOT CORS network over NTRIP. Once I found all of the tools, it became trivial to use - just run an NTRIP client and send the RTCM to the receiver. It’s remarkably straightforward.

Using a TNC connector for fairly low-speed data like RTCM seems very strange to me. The Reach RS has a circular multi-pin connector. Is that what you mean? The other connector is SMA for the wireless network antenna.

(John B) #87

Hi kyler.

I’m replying over here as the ROS forum won’t let me reply to your thread any more. I’m too new of a user.

Per the imu plus gps suggestion.
Kyler -

Any pointers on how to throw an imu in the mix? I’ve got a tinkerforge imu2.0 brick. Doing the fusion with the gps and this is something that I haven’t figured out. I know it was a topic for you too. Did you use built in ROS stuff or home brew?

Ultimately, I need to output corrected NMEAGps messages to the app that giving me the guidance lines.

Also, I find the reach unit to be very simple on corrections from the DOT. Just enter in the correction server info and give it wifi (I use a wifi hotspot device in the tractor) and voila, it works.

(Kyler Laird) #88


I’m planning to use ROS fusion and I have some code that’s waiting for testing. For now, however, I’m using both my GPS heading (real heading, not course) and IMU. Basically, the navigator says “Steer 10 degrees left” and then the IMU takes over, turning at an appropriate rate to make the IMU heading 10 degrees left of where it was when the navigator gave it the command. (My GPS updates at 10 Hz but my IMU at 100 Hz or so.)

I tried this algorithm with a single antenna but didn’t get it. It was easy with two. I’m still planning on getting down to one, though.


(Mr337) #89

I’m in the same boat on the GPS and IMU fusion. I think I lucked out with a faster GNSS output of 20Hz, but for my tolerances I can only go about 3-4 mph. Anything faster and I need an IMU.

One issue I’m worried about is vibrations messing up my IMU data. And I see much action on the ros forum. :slight_smile:

(Hesam) #90

I have the NVS-NV08C-RTK-A and have problem with it
the antennas distance is about 30cm and the heading data is not really good and stable.
I used Tallysman 1421 antennas that NVS recommended that
please help me!

(Kyler Laird) #91

Good luck, Hesam. I no longer recommend the NVS. I hope I can soon recommend the Tersus BX316.

I switched to the mini survey antennas sold with the Piksi. (http://store.swiftnav.com/s.nl/it.A/id.6260/.f) My remaining RTK-A has been working fairly well since I switched.

(Denis Ghil) #92

impressive work!

What is the pinout connection of the delphi sensor?
Vcc pin?
gnd pin?
signal pin ?


(Kyler Laird) #93


Here is what I use for the Delphi ride height sensor:
A: +5
B: signal
C: ground

I’m looking for one that provides PWM output.


(Denis Ghil) #94


thanks for the info.

I guess that ABC is from left to right when looking in front of the connector?



(Kyler Laird) #95

I’ll need to go look, but I thought that they’re labeled in the connector.

(Kyler Laird) #96

That Kinze story I mentioned about it hitting a semi? Complete garbage. I recently met the guy who headed the Kinze project and told him what I’d heard. We got a laugh out of it.

(Kyler Laird) #97

In case anyone stumbles across this and is interested in more information (a lot more information), please take a look at ROS Agriculture.