Effingham Update, Documentation, & Kinze Sensor Issues

by Matt Dehlinger, Effingham, IL

Field work started back up again this week and planters are rolling as hard as they can.  If we don’t get any rain in the next 5 days several guys will be getting close to finished up.

I have received several calls about documentation not working on planters because of multiple tabs being open under the documentation page or because the tab wasn’t completely filled out.  Remember to only have one tab open under your documentation icon on a GS2 or GS3. You do not want multiple tabs open unless you are doing multiple operations at once, like planting and putting on starter.

I also had a KPM III monitor that said that half of the planter was not planting.  I had the guy check the shaft speed sensor and it had moved out of place.  I had him move it over and secure it on the shaft with a zip tie on each side of it.

I also had a Kinze ISO planter that would not plant and the height sensors were out of adjustment and would not tell the planter it was down.  There are two of these sensors on the planter on the parallel arms of the back rank of the planter and the easiest way to check them is to stick a screw driver next to them with the planter raised and the electric clutches should click on.

AMS Report 4.14.2014

by Lucas Veale

A few planters began to roll last week as farmers tried to take advantage of the nice weather in the area.  Most were not in a huge hurry due to the upcoming cold weather, but it was good to get the planter in the field to make sure everything was set and ready to go once the weather stays nice.  Planter operation and clutch setup were the main opportunities for training customers.

AMS product sales continue to remain strong.  Several customers have switched to RTK or upgraded to 450 MHZ from their current 900 radios.  Customers seem to be willing to upgrade once they learn of the extended range of the 450 MHZ radios.  Rate controllers have also been a hot item.

There’s good news for farmers using Android devices and John Deere’s Apex farm management software.  Mobile Farm Manager is now available for your android smart phone and tablet.  It can be downloaded for free here at the Google Play site. (Picture below)


Mobile Farm Manager has been compatible with Iphone/Ipad since its inception in November 2012.  It gives farmers remote access to their Apex data and performs several functions like field maps, historical reports, GPS tracking, field navigation and soil sampling grids.   Having this agronomic information literally at your fingertips will make it much easier to analyze field data like application and fertility maps, soil sample grids, and crop product data directly from the field.  Mobile Farm Manager also makes it easy to share this agronomic information with ag service providers, farm managers, and other advisors.

Customers looking to activate Mobile Farm Manager will need to download the latest version of Apex, 3.6.1 here at stellarsupport.com.

The GoPlant App for iPad is now available for download.  This app has several nice features that show how to operate the SeedStar monitor as well as other features on setting up your planter.  Check it out on the App Store. (Picture below)


Jared Wheeler, Product Support Specialist at Assumption, reminds you when searching for an ITC receiver on stellar support, be sure that you use an “02” in the serial number rather than the “01” that is actually there when activating a subscription.  For example, if the serial number is PCGT01C123456 then you should enter PCGT02C123456.  Otherwise, you will likely not be able to find the receiver in the system.

Josh Thornton, Product Support Specialist at White Hall, has had a little time with the new R-Series Sprayers.  He mentioned that there is a box for you to check when using the orifice valve and to check the dual flow meter box if your sprayer is set up that way.

Matt Dehlinger, Product Support Specialist at Effingham, found that an XMC callibration will fix an 6R tractor that is holding on to one side.

Justin Bickel, Product Support Specialist at Virden, had issues with the new GS2630 software update.  For some reason it can put the Starfire receiver in boot lock which requires the receiver to have the software manually forced to it.  The LED on the front of the receiver will flash red.  Others have reported this issue as well.

Dylan Vickers, Product Support Specialist at Atwood, had a CIS system that would not allow him to complete the calibration of the main system.  It wound up being the display was the faulty unit.

Matt Sweitzer, Product Support Specialist at Atwood, reports that several machines show the receiver, designated by the small white triangle, being located on the pivot point of the planter.  DTAC solution 98351 addresses the complaint. Others have reported the same issue.  This will negatively impact the performance of section control.

Lucas Benning, Product Support Specialist at Vandalia, has a customer who is really pleased with the direct injection system on his 4940 sprayer.  He says the system was very accurate right out of the box, but he would like to see the ability to change the direct injection while on the go.  Currently you must stop the sprayer and turn off the spray pump to change rates.

Jared Matthews, Service Manager at Assumption, said that if you are constantly having dead battery problems on your JD Link enabled machines, then you need to change the JDLINK shut down voltage to 12 volts rather than 11 or less.  This is done in address JDL 156.

I had the opportunity to start a Kinze planter that we had converted from KPM II to ISO and added Kinze electric clutches.  It went very well and the customer was very happy.  He said “This really was not that big of a deal.  Kind of a non-event.”  I have to agree with him.  The system worked great and was easy for him to understand and operate.  I highly recommend that if you have customers with a Kinze planter and a GS3 display that you have them make this upgrade, especially if they would like to add section control to their planter.

I also installed two of the four new RTK base stations in his area, and I will be erecting the other two as time and weather allows.

Until next time, good luck with your planting season and let us know if you need our assistance.

AMS Report 4.7.2014

by Lucas Veale

The rain has stopped any and all field work across Central Illinois and customers are anxious to get to the field.  We have seen very high interest and sales this past week with AMS as customer are anticipating a narrower planting window.  Rate controllers and RTK seemed to be the hot ticket this past week.

Kinze ISO and clutches continue to also sell well.  Customers like using their John Deere screens for everything in the cab.  We are currently installing a complete SF2 autotrac, ISO, swath control, and clutch system in a JD 4640 and a 2006 model 16/31 Kinze 3600.

For customers with row clutches you need to make sure that the dimensions are correct for the machine and implement.  Start with a turn on time of 1.0 sec and a turn off time of .6 sec.  This should get you within the first row and you can fine tune it from there.  However, don’t chase your tail too long.  If you get within a ½ row of perfect, just leave it alone.   It is also important to check the position of the white triangle on the tractor indicating the position of the Starfire receiver.  It needs to show on the front of the cab.  If it shows it near the front of the implement  (which we have been seeing a lot of this) you need to switch the fixed axle position from rear to front and then back to rear.  If this is not checked it will really throw off the swath control.

(See picture below)

ams picture

KPM III monitors could potentially not show any speed or the incorrect speed.  Check the speed cal number to make sure it hasn’t jumped way high.  Also, when using a radar adapter, the Kinze monitors must have at least three pins populated.  It will not work with only 2 pins.

If you are using Stellar Support for any updates or activations it is recommended that you use Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer or just call the call center.

Deere just announced a new GO PLANT APP available for download on itunes (iPad only).  It has a lot of nice features and is handy for showing a customer the new Seedstar monitor as well as other planter items.

The Seed Meter test stand is still running at full capacity trying to get caught up.  We now have the adapter to run pro-meters with Tru Count clutches.  Please make sure that if a customer wants their meters ran they need to send at least a full bag of seed.  A coffee can full of seed will not cut it.

On April 1, 2015 we will no longer support 900 MHZ RTK radios.  We will leave them active as long as they continue to work, but we will not repair them if/when they fail to operate or cause our 450 MHZ units to fail.  The technology of the 450 MHZ radios far exceeds the 900 MHZ and is the direction of the industry.

Pre-season planter visits continue to be in full swing for those customers who purchased planters for this growing season.  Most have gone smoothly and we have found/fixed some minor issue prior to the customer going to the field.

All 2009 and 2010 model Seedstar 2 planters MUST be on version 10 software to work with the latest GS3 (3.22) software update.  It will partially work but items like swath pro will not be present or could be intermittent.



AMS Report 1.10.2014

by Lucas Veale

We continue to see success in selling the Kinze ISO monitoring system to customers who currently own a GS2 or GS3 display.  They appreciate less cab clutter and can run everything with one display.  They also like that the documentation is automatic and in the proper map format.

A few stores are reporting that they are selling JD planters to customers with late model red or blue tractors.  This requires an $1150 harness.  We should instead consider selling them an autotrac controller system as it includes most of the needed harnessing and allows the customer to run autotrac with the GS3 and uses the existing OEM valves in the Case tractor.  This kit is $2250 and only requires the implement connector harness to make it planter ready.

Lucas Benning, Matt Dehlinger, and Josh Thornton are currently expanding our RTK network to the South.  They have had very strong interest in it now that the word is out about the new network locations.

Jared Wheeler has added some more reference guides to the sloans.com website.  They are also available via the Sloan Implement App.  The new items are for Seedstar planters.  www.sloans.com/ams/

Most of the AMS team has been checking over planters that are sold to customers when they are not installing or selling AMS equipment.  We have noticed many late model planters that have gauge wheel arms that are badly worn due to lack of grease.  It takes about $40 per row in parts to repair this item.  This is something to look for when evaluating trade in planters.  You can check it by grabbing the gauge wheel at the bottom and moving it in and out to check for slop.

AMS Report 12.9.2013

by Lucas Veale

Field work has pretty much come to a standstill due to weather conditions.  Last week a select few farmers were trying to finish up tillage or NH3.

We converted a Kinze planter from a KPM monitor to an ISO configuration for use with a GS3/GS2.  It was quite simple to accomplish and does not take a lot of time.  The kit is around $2000 and it really cleans up the cab clutter.  The customer can then also do mapping and variety locator.  FYI, It does require the initial configuration of the monitor.

Jake Pippen has signed up several baler inspections.  If you have customers that you would like for Jake to call about a baler inspection, please let him know. He also has contacted several customers about the net wrap sale in December.   He also commented that he is seeing a relatively high failure rate of the net wrap brake pad.  It would be a good part to have on hand for baling season.  He also commented that many times the brake pad had an improper torque setting.  Sixty lbs is the proper setting.

If customers are using a Harvest Tec applicator on their baler, they will need a different set of brackets when going to the 9 Series baler.  Approximate price is $600 for the new bracket kit.

We have been going through several used planters the last couple of weeks.  There is nothing too unusual to report.  Probably the highest wear item on 5+ yr old planters is the gauge wheel arms.  We have seen several of these that are really worn from lack of grease.

We are working on expanding our RTK network to the South.  Lucas Benning and Matt Dehlinger have been actively seeking locations for network towers.

Autotrac controllers in Case tractors have also seen an uptick in popularity.  Customers are using the existing Case autotrac components and running it with a GS3 display.

The mapping service has really been a hit with customers.  They like the data they are receiving and that they don’t have to know how to operate Apex to get it.  More and more customers signing up as they are seeking new ways to use their data as a management tool.

Don’t forget the GS3 incentive runs through the end of January.