What's here? Information I'm learning about farming and Android apps I've created: Planter monitors. Field Notes. Soil Sampling. A DuoRate controller. Internet Of Things.

Project of the day: Flow meter for liquid fertilizer on my planter. Powered off seed sensor harness. Gallons per Acre sent through
Bluetooth to planter monitor. Now I need an enclosure.
Soil temperature and moisture probe: logging data to Thingspeak.com graph. Using a Particle Electron that communicates to the Internet via cell signal. Powered by Li-ion battery and solar panel. See IOT link above (Internet of Things) for temperature graph. I'm monitoring the soil temp remotely from my phone. April 23rd...last 2 nights the soil temp was at 40. When do I start planting? Can I track GDD's?

This is a new circuit board allowing one to control most any on/off device remotely via a bluetooth signal to the onboard relay. This is what controls my DuoRate device.

This is a video of my DuoRate controller to give variable rate planter populations. In 2016 I hooked my DuoRate into my planter monitor and had the prescription running on the same tablet as my monitor. Over the winter, I stripped out the prescription part of the app to just control the DuoRate. (Can't market my planter monitor due to patent regulations.) The video shows the prescription on the tablet and how it controls a relay to turn the DuoRate on and off. I am now marketing the DuoRate prescription app and control box. Availability will be limited for the Spring of 2017. Need a custom version of this?

Soil Sampling App
The planter App is an example of what is possible. This will be year 5 of using my own precision monitor:

Click here for frequently asked questions about my Planter Apps.


From Jim:
2016 will be my 7th year farming. We have a 180 acre farm north of Boone, Iowa where I raise corn, soybeans, and coneflower. I got into farming late in life. My dad taught school and farmed when I was growing up. I helped a little. Our farm was four hours away from home. When I was in my 20's, I asked my dad if he wanted me to farm or not. He told me to move to town and get a good job. So I spent 30 years in computer applications development. In 2008 we bought farm land about an hour away. I had a 1965 John Deere 3020 tractor and an old field cultivator. I bought a 1969 John Deere 7000 planter with some aftermarket precision parts on it and started to learn about modern farming. I am fortunate to have friends and relatives who introduced me to such things as auto steer and modern planter monitors. So I look at farming through the eyes of a computer guy. I want to be able to use the newest technologies that don't require spending big bucks for new equipment.

  Destinctive Difference

Poverty is the mother of invention. If you aren't a big farmer, you've got to use tools that you can afford. As a farmer desiring these tools that benefit myself, I'm building apps and monitors, and GPS equipment for the me as a small farmer, with smaller equipment, that I can afford.

  What I've been working on...

- Working on a RTK like system for getting accurate GPS data ( hopefully 2" - 3"). Around $500 in parts.
- Just completing work on a separate app to control the Duo-Rate device using a prescription map. App can be modified to control any on/off device by GPS based prescription.
- Just designed a circuit board with a power relay controlled by a bluetooth device. Used for my Duo-Rate but will make available for your projects.
- Internet of Things devices. See test link above. I've picked up my Particle Photon with WIFI connectivity and started playing with it. Uses: I've programmed it to send me an email when my garage door is left open after 6:30 pm. One could put any number of sensors on it and have it notify you via email or SMS message when conditions make it useful. Ideas: field conditions - temperature and moisture. Bin temperature and humidity. Drier malfunctions, Motion detection - intruder notification. The current device requires it to be in range of one's wireless router. I have a similar device called the Electron that has a cell phone like interface that would work without a router. I'll take a closer look at that in February.
- An Android app to use to locate soil sample locations. Available now on Play Store: here
- An app to take field notes for rocks, weeds, insects, crops while mapping their location with GPS coordinates. Available now on Play Store: here
- My planter monitor now controls a Duo-rate (TM) device to vary my planter population based on a prescription. See the Planter Monitor tab above.
- I gave up on 2015's winter's project to develop an inexpensive way to plant two varieties. At least for the time.
- I've got a solar panel on my workbench that I've connected to a cell phone and gadgets to do remote information transfer: Currently it has a temperature probe and moisture sensor hooked up.
© Out Farming 2017