FieldNET Radio Bridge Has You Covered
POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2012
Holt County, Nebraska,Radio Network Bridge
Holt County is one of the largest counties in Nebraska. It also has the highest number of irrigated acres—nearly 340,000 (137,593 ha)—of any county in Nebraska.
Now, thanks to FieldNET by Lindsay and one of the first radio network bridges of its kind in the world, virtually all of the pivots in Holt County can be managed from any computer or cell phone with access to the Internet—even if there’s no cell phone coverage in the area.
Kracl Irrigation of O’Neill, Lindsay’s local Zimmatic dealer, recently completed installation of an extensive radio network bridge that allows growers to monitor pivots with FieldNET—including many of the non-Zimmatic brands.
“There are some very sparse areas in our county, with limited or no cell phone coverage,” says Tim Cahoy, general manager at Kracl Irrigation. “The radio bridge is an inexpensive solution to pivot monitoring and control then cell communication and it can be more reliable during times of peak cell phone usage.”
In operation less than a year, Kracl’s radio network bridge has more than 100 pivots connected to it already. Growers have their own secure accounts.
“Our FieldNET bridge has been very popular and we see usage tripling in the near future. We have customers calling us every day for it and some farmers who live outside of our service area want to put up their own network. Cahoy says.
FieldNET Wireless Irrigation Management allows growers to manage pivots remotely. The user-friendly Web portal provides a quick view of every pivot, information on location, status and water usage. It also provides details on pivot runtimes, speed, direction and water and chemigation use.
How It Works
Cahoy explains how the Kracl Irrigation radio network bridge works.
A radio RTU (remote telemetry unit) is installed on the pivot. A Growsmart by Lindsay computer panel can be installed on the pivot as well if more control is needed.
The radio RTU then sends information to a strategically placed radio repeater which serves to extend the range of communication and send it to a FieldNET bridge.
The bridge is connected to an always-on Internet connection via a radio receiver attached to the bridge in the office.
The key to the whole network are repeater stations which are strategically placed on grain legs or elevators to cover any pivots in the area within a 10-mile (16-km) radius.
“The radio repeaters allow us to provide coverage for most of Holt County,” Cahoy says. “We did it as a service for our customers who couldn’t get cell phone coverage and who needed a more reliable option for managing their pivots.”
“Lindsay has the lead in wireless irrigation technology with FieldNET and we predict use of this technology will only grow in the future. It’s a great way for farmers to be more efficient and save wear and tear on their vehicles. It pays for itself in no time.”
(This story originally appeared in the Spring 2012 edition of Lindsay’s “Irrigation Advances” magazine.)