Camera crop row guidance integration with AgOpenGPS - Page 2 - The Combine Forum
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by adsinaus View Post
Are you wanting to do it purely via steering or are you better off doing it via a side-shifting toolbar? Ie gps for tractor and camera on toolbar for implement control?
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That's what we want to find out. It seems not a lot have tried and perfected direct steering of the tractor by camera for this application, maybe for a good reason, maybe not. In essence we want the hoe in the front and keep it simple.

If it really doesn't work (not accurate, reliable, ...) another idea of my colleague farmer is to have the hoe with camera and steering discs or sideshift, just like in existing examples but everything in the front. And then have a horizontally flexible parallellogram link between the hoe and tractor front. So the hoe steers itself and the tractor just pushes it (tractor should not even have RTK or autosteer, as long as you steer it in between crop lines). I should make a sketch.

Wilbert, that is crazy expensive stuff but it works flawlessly for bed-planted crops. The dream!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 08:32 AM
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Also came across this, same idea, bigger scale...

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 10:25 AM
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Here are a few thoughts to consider and a few reasons why the front cultivator mounted systems are not more commonly used:
- cultivator width is very limited because the wider you go the more the cultivator steers the tractor instead of vice versa
- the cultivator debt need to be adjusted perfect and only working rel. shallow otherwise again the cultivator becomes "un-steerable"
- if there is just a slight unevenness in the soil (planter track etc.) of rolling ground the cultivator pulls the tractor to that tougher side and just to stay straight you need to over-steer to the opposite side
- speed is limited (in a second pass you often want to go relatively fast (8 - 12km/h) to move some dirt into the row to cover up newly emerged weeds)

- because of all of this you need an oversized tractor in relation to the cultivator used
- narrow rows are not possible in a width of over probably 3 meter because you need some room to steer the cultivator and very narrow rows are not possible at all

We did use a front mounted 9m wide 12 row cultivator for awhile in organic corn & soys but needed to use a big 200+ hp tractor and still had lots of problems as the cultivator moves the tractor in an uncontrollable way and you always had to over-steer in the opposite direction of where the cultivator pulls the tractor. Just a slight adjustment of the cultivator had huge implications for the way it is steerable. The speed was limited to about 6 km/h, and that was often too slow for a second or third pass. So then we used the smaller tractor (95 hp). Another big disadvantage of the front mount cultivator system is the tracks the system leaves behind and the weeds germinate right away there again. Even in 75cm rows he tractor would stay not straight enough in the row to use a track eradicator at the back (because of the over-steering)

At the moment we cultivate 18 rows 50 cm row width and 24 rows 25 cm row width with a 90 hp front wheel assist tractor on 9" tires and it is a very smooth operation. Sometime I wish the tractor would be also steered by a camera mounted in the front (25 cm row width is too narrow for RTK gps based on my experience).

We finally went to a camera guided system at the rear 3pt hitch which works flawlessly in almost any condition as long as the camera or the crop feelers can detect the row.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Marcus, thank you for your sharing your experience! We have discussed some of the points you make. I think our situation is slightly different from yours in these ways:
-width of 3m is fine
-depth is as shallow as possible, we try razor blading the top cm's of soil rather than cultivating. So force on the equipment is small.
-we use vertical plates and other small implements for pushing ground into the row, high speed is not necessary

The front implement causing sideways disturbance in steering is something we will probably have to overcome but we're hopeful it is doable in our situation. In my experience of manual driving so far, it is only noticeable when driving on a slope. The autosteer software could probably take this into account as Agopengps does now with the 'draft gain' parameter based on the roll.
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