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Discussion Starter #1
I am wanting to get this started on our farm, farming around 350ish acres. I am leaning towards Trimble, seems to me they have a good system. I am currently using a waas signal on a raven light bar. This is the extent of my experience with gps technology. I want to do this for more than just having straight rows of corn and beans. I am looking for a system that wont be outdated the day after i buy it.

So here is what I am thinking of purchasing.

Trimble fm1000, with Ez-pilot for steering.
omnistar hp or Rtk. Rtk subscription cost of $600 per year
From what I have been hearing $2000 to unlock omnistar. Then another $2000 to unlock Rtk. Unless I can find A Used one that has the been unlocked. I would like to run my raven rate controller and planter monitor through the fm1000 to eliminate cab cluster, one screen instead of three. I would like to put yield monitor on the combine as well. Just not all in the same calendar year. My budget wont allow. Where is the best place to start?

Advice and opinion's are appreciated
 

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I am looking for a system that wont be outdated the day after i buy it.
Then my recommendation would be Ag-Leader. They still support the first yield monitors they sold in the 80's.
We have 3 Insight-Trimble setups (from back when there was some love between them) I can still get whatever I need upgraded or repaired for my Insights. Found out this fall that Trimble no longer supports their 252 receiver/radio, and hasn't done for a couple years. The part that really chaps me is when a dealer told me that Trimble requires them to destroy trade in units in order to get reimbursed.

If you're looking at doing any applying ie:spraying, seeding, fertilizing. Ag-Leader is pretty tough to beat. You can variable rate up to 5 different products at a time, and drive the machine with one screen. Everything is Raven compatible. With the hardware installed on the combine, you just swap the monitor from the tractor to the harvester, and you can drive the combine and map yield. With the SMS software you install on your computer, you can make more maps than Rand McNally.

A lot of the systems nowadays are capable of pulling many of the same tricks Ag-Leader has been doing for years, but for the parts and service they have provided me, Ag-Leader will have my loyalty for years to come.
 

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It seems that trimble stops supporting there stuff as soon as the new model is out. I like the sounds of the ag leader support as I mostly have trimble stuff that really only steers. I have a 750 with ez pilot and yield and moisture on it. Have yet to get any data out of it and have used it for two full years. Trimble experts around here are like Sasquatch sitings, I have heard of a guy that claims he thinks he saw one once. Good luck on your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten all about Ag Leader. I have since found an Ag leader Insight with auto-pilot, and auto-swath unlocked, Comes with the direct command switch box for $1,500 u.s. Seller sold the receiver that was unlocked to RTK. I Think this is a deal. Dealer tells me they upgraded their towers to 450 Mhz. If I do buy the insight which receiver should I look for? I would like to be Rtk capable even if I only ever run Omni-star. Then onto steering but Time will tell if I have to worry about that yet. Oh yeah almost forgot, I have tru count shut offs on my planter, can the Insight do this as well? What about the planter monitor which is the SM 3000 Dickey john that is branded agco?

Thanks for the replies
 

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Insight will control all that, you will need a new wiring harness for the planter. Not sure what receiver you will want. You will not be disappointed with ag leader, it is simple to run and support is excellent.
 

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What does an Ag Leader system generally cost? I know there is a lot that go into the systems so just looking for general "in the ballpark" figures. I was looking at their Seed Command system and the Integra and Versa displays. Seems like really good technology but I'm betting its really expensive. Are they fairly reasonably priced or are they on the high end?
 

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Integra 4000ish, versa 2500ish, seed command 1000ish, mods and harness vary per application.

Receivers: Paradyme 8000ish, gps 1500 800ish, geosteer?.
 

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If you're thinking of steering, I would double check to make sure the Insight is compatible with Ag Leader's newer receivers. The Insight will still control all the application functions you will ever need. However, the Insight is from back when Trimble was doing the steering portion. I think the Integra and Versa came out as a result of the split. I believe a 262 receiver from Trimble is the last model that will work with an Insight, as far as coupling the two systems together for steering.
You have to be a little careful buying the older Trimble receivers off the net. After time, they begin to suffer from "tin whiskers" and malfunction. You can find some pretty sweet deals on 252's, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you're thinking of steering, I would double check to make sure the Insight is compatible with Ag Leader's newer receivers. The Insight will still control all the application functions you will ever need. However, the Insight is from back when Trimble was doing the steering portion. I think the Integra and Versa came out as a result of the split. I believe a 262 receiver from Trimble is the last model that will work with an Insight, as far as coupling the two systems together for steering.
You have to be a little careful buying the older Trimble receivers off the net. After time, they begin to suffer from "tin whiskers" and malfunction. You can find some pretty sweet deals on 252's, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
Yes you are correct. I just got off the phone with a Trimble/Ag leader dealer and was told the same thing about the insight with the newer trimble receivers being compatible for steering. The receiver was the one thing I didn't want to cheap out on. I was looking for a 372 that had been unlocked. Now i am not sure. From the sounds of it they (the dealer) are not real pleased with the ontrac system. Wouldn't say for sure what he didn't like just that if I wanted one he had one on the shelf for half of new that has been collecting dust for the last year.

I am leaning more trimble way again, because there is more than just one Trimble dealer within a 30 mile radius. There are multiple Ag leader dealers, all about 60-70 miles away. Plus a lot of my neighbors are running Trimble to rely on for support as well. Gotta go with support and service.



Thanks for the replies
 

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Whatever way you go I would look at a hydraulic steering valve. Had an ontrac in the combine and only ran it one year, noisy, jerky, not as accurate. Sure the hyd system cost more but you will like it better.

If you are interested I have a used universal hydraulic valve that I would be willing to sell, used 3 years, half price of new.
 

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I'm interested in the steering side as well. I bought an integra this year and was hoping next year to get a gps 2500 receiver, unlock it to omni star and go with ontrac for steering. This way I would have a moveable system. Could use it in the planting tractor, then for haying/spraying and in the fall put it into the combine. Any thoughts on this?
 

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Ontrac works ok but it is an entry level system, will not perform as well as a steering valve. I understand what you are wanting to do with the mobility of it and saving some money. Will you be planting and spraying at the same time? It will work fine, but if you are going through the expense of Omni unlock, maybe look at going to the next level. Can always do in phases and sell the ontrac later if that works.

One word of warning is that autosteer is extremely addictive, worse than heroin. Once you have had it you want it all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just out of curiosity how difficult is a steering valve to install? I would be putting it on a JD 7800 and possibly our case 1666 combine.
 

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Not difficult. This one was on a 8920 magnum, just tee it into the steering valve and run the wires to it. It was installed as part of the order, but when I removed it only took 15 minutes or so.
 
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