NH3 Anhydrous bar with flow issues? Try this fix

by Chris Saxe, Assumption, IL 

I received a  call today about a JD NH3 2510H ammonia bar with a Raven control system that was not getting flow to the applicator.   I walked the operator through the energize system check, then confirmed the settings and it was getting the correct speed. I then verified that the implement switch was working and the operator could also manually open the Raven valve.  The operator said the rate was bouncing all over the place, but he was still was not getting any flow.   The operator was pulling double tanks and one was 50% full and the other tank was empty.   A rate level that fluctuates wildly up and down is often the sign of an empty tank.   I then directed the operator to shut off the empty tank,  which was allowing vapor to spin the flow meter.   I also asked him to shut off the second tank that was 50% full and then to open the valve slowly.  The excess flow valve snapped shut on one tank when both tanks were at 50% so he continued to run until one tank went empty. By shutting off the tank and opening the valve slowly,  it allowed the excess flow valve in the withdraw valve to reopen.  He started running again but said it still didn’t work.  At that point,  the entire bar was drained empty so I told him to keep going and it charged the bar and it then went back to working perfectly.  Tank % gauges are known to stick, so if you have a similar issue where everything on the monitor and on the bar seem ok, have the operator shake the tank to see if it feels full or if float gauge bounces.  The gauge may be broken or stuck in place.  Be safe out there.  NH3 is dangerous stuff.

Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 20 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Learn more at www.sloans.com


Convert a Cultivator to a Side Dress Applicator

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

The weather has been pretty hot and dry up in Northern IL.  The corn is looking good in most of the area. A lot of spraying has been going on along with side dressing. I have had the opportunity to install Rate Controllers on customers bars this year for ease of operation and/or running prescriptions. A couple of customers have found a good use for their old row crop cultivators that they aren’t using anymore. They have taken the old cultivators, removed the row units, and installed Yetter or Blue Jet coulters with knives. Then add a tank to the bar or side mount tanks to the tractor and have the proper set up to control flow. Most customers have gone with a Raven Flow meter, standard control valve and 3 boom section valves to run with their Rate Controller and Section Control. If you need some help or would like to install a Rate Controller on your side dress bar, call your Sloan’s Product Support specialist and they will be glad to help.

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Sloan Support is written by the product support team at Sloan Implement, a 19 location John Deere dealer in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Learn more at www.sloans.com

Sloan Winter Technology Expo in Atwood, IL Feb 3

You are invited to attend Sloan’s Sprayer Clinic on Tuesday March 3 at our Atwood, IL Training Facility.

Classes will begin at 9 am and finish at 2 pm.

Our sprayer experts will provide training on the following topics:

  • Set-up and operation of Spraystar monitor
  • Section control and Documentation
  • Solution system changes from 30 series to R’s
  • Service and maintenance
  • Sprayer walk around
  • And answer any questions you might have about your John Deere sprayer
  • You can view more info and register at sloans.com by clicking this link

You can view more info and register at sloans.com by clicking this link.

Sloan Winter Technology Expo in Atwood, IL Feb 3

You are invited to attend Sloan’s Winter Technology Expo on Tuesday February 3 at our Atwood, IL Training Facility.

The expo will begin at 8 am and end at Noon.  Stop in at any time.

Our product support specialists will provide training on the following products:

  • Field Connect, Machine Sync, & Shared Coverage maps
  • MaxEmerge 5 planters
  • MaxEmerge XP planters
  • Planter Test Stand and Seed Meter Inspections
  • Gator Mapping and RTK Boundary Service
  • Sprayers
  • New Generation 4 Command Center
  • Myjohndeere.com and JD Apps
  • Seedstar 2/XP Simulator, Swath Control, Documentation
  • Accudepth for Field Cultivators
  • Autotrac Controller & Rate Controllers
  • Sloan Call Center

You can view more info and register at sloans.com by clicking this link.

NH3 Applicator Maintenance, Rate Controllers and Section Control

New Rate Controller Installed for NH3 Application

by Josh Zuck, Lanark, IL 

Most customers are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for harvest season in Northern IL. A few customers are done and a lot will be finishing very soon.  A lot of chiseling is going on before the ground starts to freeze. The weather next week isn’t looking good with snow in the forecast for Monday and cold temps coming our way. Yields have been really good and most customers are running out of storage.

Some guys have started NH3 this past week now that the ground has reached the lower temps. I have done a few Rate Controllers on NH3 bars. One of many nice things about the Rate Controller is that you can run with only one monitor in the cab, your GS2 or GS3. Another is that more and more guys are working with their local agronomist and they are starting to write more prescriptions. With the Rate Controller you can run prescriptions and put the nitrogen where it is most needed. This also helps saves you money in product costs.  Another nice thing is that it is capable of running Section Control (as long as you have the Swath or Section Control activation) allowing you do reduce overlap, and in turn saving you money on product and also less burn to the corn where there is too much nitrogen applied.   Most guys run two sections on 17 knives or less and three sections on 19 knives or more.  We can install a rate controller on any bar that uses Raven or Dickey John.  If you are interested in pricing, call your local Sloan Implement AMS Specialist.

Some maintenance to remember on your NH3 bars before season is to make sure to have your screens cleaned out behind the coolers.  A plugged screen with cause an erratic flow and the Rate Controller will show that. Also, if you run N-Serve in the Fall and Spring, make sure to take out your flow meter and clean out the impeller with brake cleaner and make sure that the impeller is turning smoothly. N-Serve is very sticky and will cause erratic reading if the flow meter is off balance. Also remember that NH3 is a nasty chemical to be around, make sure to also wear your gloves and goggles.


Rate Controller Configuration & Using a Raven Console with a Deere GS 2630 Display

by Lucas Veale, Assumption, IL 

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.

Atwood Update, 2510H setup, & GS 2630 Fixes

by Matt Sweitzer, Atwood, IL

All field activity around Atwood has came to a halt due to rain. We have several customers completely done, but a lot still have a few acres of beans to plant yet.

Last week I went to Lanark, IL and Montfort, WI to help get guys started in corn.  I believe most guys up there just got started last week so they were a little behind Central Illinois. This was mostly due to cold weather. It was good to get to see those stores and some of their customers to get an idea of how things operate up there.

Here in Atwood I have been setting up a 2510H for the field. This mainly involves running all the hoses and mounting all of the Raven components. We have had some issues getting the dual cooler mounted due to getting the wrong brackets with the kit. We are working to get this resolved now. The kit comes with a set of universal instructions so they are not much help when it comes to installing them on a 2510H.

I have had a few issues with GS3 2630 displays. One customer had his swath control icon disappear. A cold reboot fixed this issue. Another customer had a SF3000 lose its TCM calibration. This caused the steer “on/off” button to disappear from the display. After calibrating the TCM and rebooting the display the icon came back. Other than that we are just waiting on the rain to stop. Hopefully we will get back to the field next week.