Rate controllers have been the hot topic the last few weeks. Customers have been using them to apply liquid fertilizer or NH3 in a side dress application. If you have a FAST valve with no master on/off valve then you need to have the control valve setup as a Fast-Close configuration. If you have a FAST valve with a master then it needs to be configured simply as a FAST. The default control valve number is 743 for a FAST valve. If you have some surging or hunting symptoms, change the control valve number to 303 and that should reduce the hunting. If you have a standard valve then the control valve number is 2123. For the raven flow meter cal number there should be a tag on it that will read “700” or “730” or something similar. This is the number that you will want to use. If so, make sure that you set the flow meter units to 10 gal and NOT gallons. Also make sure that you check the actual N box when entering your rates with NH3. There may also be another number on the tag that says NH3 -“187.” Do NOT use the 187 or similar number for NH3 or liquid. This number is for a Raven SCS console because you cannot change the units to lbs per acre nor can you change it to actual N in the Raven console. They use a factor to convert the flow meter number to get actual N. Remember, a flow meter can only read in a liquid format so that is why they have to use a different number for NH3 in the Raven console. This is not true for the rate controller.
If you are using a Raven console and using the field doc connect wiring kit (PF90363) to connect to GS2/3 to record your application or push prescriptions to the Raven, there are a couple steps you need to do to make sure that the two displays will communicate:
1. You will need to make sure that the Raven console “Data Menu” is set up. The 4 items you need to check are the Baud Rate (9600), trigger value (1), trigger units (sec), and data log (on).
2. Go back the GS2/3 display under the Equipment tab and find the “COM Port” button. Fill out the drop down boxes as necessary. Make sure the one that says “connection type” is set to “field doc connect” and not serial port. Once you have completed these steps you should hear 4 loud beeps from the Raven indication that communication is complete.