Re: Flakey Raven Smart Boom?
Thanks for the inputs guys!
Pettman: "The outer boom thinks it is heading to an unsprayed zone the other side of the fence so turns on when you make your turn. "
Mine does the same thing. I don't mess around with creating a no-spray boundry zone, kind of a hassle, so, like you, I simply shut off the SCS master switch when I get to the ends. The outer end boom section comes on in a turn at the end of a pass also, if I don't shut the master off. It may have something to do with the look-ahead times you set. Even with the % coverage reduced to 80% the outer end boom still comes on in a turn.... The end boom section which pivots on the inside of an end turn will sometimes spurt on/off also. My center boom section comes on quite often when it should be off on end turns. Its also very noticeable when starting out on point rows. Center section will be spraying when the others are turning on in sequence. Another flakey glitch: Though the booms don't actually quit spraying, individual boom section on/off indicators on the Cruzer display will momentarily flash that the section just shut off, then turns on again, almost instantly. Certain 5 section indicators will randomly twinkle red (off) and green (on) kind of like a dang Christmas tree while you are spraying your pass through the field. The Raven tech guys can't answer why that happens.
Christian: "... It's calculating lead-time into where it should be shut off, and that calculation isn't perfected yet."
Me too. My "look ahead" (lead time for booms on) time is 1.5 seconds. That way I don't have skips starting my passes. My "look behind" (lead time for booms off) is .5 seconds. Its a little too quick and I need to reduce it some more. I really noticed my lead time errors last spring spraying Chateau on alfalfa. The chemical burned the crop a little bit on the overlap and you could really spot the healthy skips where the booms shut off too early!!! Also, tweaking your fore/aft antenna settings helps too. I set mine to approx half of what the measurement really is. This fools the system into thinking the sprayer is shorter, thus reducing skip error when the booms shut off and still allowing plenty of margin for the look ahead. My motto is, growers never complain about overlap, but they always complain about skips!
mbfarmer: "Raven always seems to have little software clitches that ruin an otherwise great product."
Here is my take: I think Raven releases their new products into the marketplace prematurely without fully testing first. This is common with hi tech products. Prototype development to production lead times have substantially been reduced from years to months in the face of competitive pressures. For instance, look how quickly new gadgets, apps and features for cell phones get introduced to the market. We purchased Raven Cruzers when they first came out and had all kinds of problems, namely faulty hardware/connections. We own 6 of them and have sent most back at one time or another for warranty work. They seemed to work that out, plus firmware revisions have helped tremendously. I really like the Cruzers for guidance systems, despite the few remaining glitches... I've owned the SmartBoom for over a year now and bought mine when they first came out. Unless I made two outside perimeter passes, (undesirable in most fields since the ends are corrogated and rough) and didn't back up (it reversed the order of turning booms on), I couldn't use it. It was basically junk. The new revisions fixed those problems. Now I use it all the time and am reliant upon it. We run two Raven SmartTraxx auto steer units in the TerraGators and they are rock solid. We try to buy one per year since they are so pricey. I do agree though, I feel like a guinea pig sometimes "testing" my newly purchased Raven product in the hopes it is going to work properly. Fortunately, I've had decent luck with their tech support.