2011 Precision Product Review: Hemisphere GPS

For 2011, Hemisphere GPS will offer new Outback Guidance products that deliver the highest level of precision farming performance and an electric steering wheel solution that adds even more flexibility to its popular eDrive product line, says Hemisphere’s Jeff Farrar.

New features have been added to further enhance Outback eDriveX. The steer-by-wire solutions combine eDriveX electronics, an Outback S3 and cabling to quickly outfit automated steering ready vehicles with eDriveX functionality. Steer-by-wire kits were available starting in December 2010 for a variety of manufacturers, such as Case, New Holland, John Deere and Challenger.

The new eTurns automated turning feature for eDriveX will allow customers to perform turns at the end of their rows with the touch of a button.

The A320/A321 Smart Antennas offer low cost and portable positioning solutions with centimeter-level accuracy, says Farrar. They are powered by the Hemisphere GPS Eclipse II GNSS (GPS and GLONASS) receiver technology in rugged, all-in-one enclosures. Including Hemisphere GPS’ survey grade A52 antenna element, these durable units contain the receiver, antenna, and optional radio modems, all in one package. With dual-serial, CAN, and pulse output options and support for GPS and GLONASS RTK, OmniSTAR HP/XP/VBS/G2 and SBAS, the A320/A321 Smart Antennas can be used for a variety of applications, says Farrar. The performance is upgradeable through authorization codes so users can choose an entry-level version of an A320 and upgrade the performance in the future.

“With Hemisphere GPS’ patent-pending SureTrack technology the A320/A321 improve GNSS performance, particularly with RTK and GLONASS applications,” he adds. “The A320 Smart Antenna is designed to be mounted on a variety of roving machines and vehicles for kinematic positioning and navigation applications. The A321 Smart Antenna, on the other hand, can be used as a portable base station mounted on a tripod or riser. Additionally, the A321 Smart Antenna has a full graphic display with menu selection keys, and can log data to a standard USB flash drive.”

On the automatic steering front, added flexibility and portability is now available with eDriveVSi. “eDriveVSi’s electrically controlled steering wheel adds to the versatility and ease of automated steering as it can quickly be added to a variety of swathers (windrowers),” says Farrar. “Growers will appreciate the automated steering performance and reduced fatigue associated with eDriveVSi.”

Coupled with an Outback Guidance system, eDriveVSi delivers decimeter-level steering control accuracy ideal for swathing applications. “eDriveVSi complements the existing eDrive product line as it provides a portable alternative to the eDriveTC hydraulic-based steering system and eDriveX, a centimeter-level steering system,” notes Farrar. “eDriveVSi automatically steers the vehicle along straight lines or free-form curved patterns. The electrically controlled steering wheel replaces the existing steering wheel in the vehicle and interfaces with eDrive to support farm machinery where hydraulic steering interfaces are not practical.”

eDriveVSi is currently compatible with the eDriveTC console and Outback Sts. It will be compatible with Outback S3 in the future.

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