“StepOne is designed as an entry level system that brings DGPS accuracy to tillage, spraying, spreading and other broadcast operations,” says Lars Leckie, director of product marketing for AutoFarm.

“And, because StepOne is comprised of upgradeable AutoFarm components, it can be easily scaled up to the true sub-inch RTK accuracy that AutoFarm AutoSteer is noted for.”

The StepOne system is comprised of standard, upgradeable AutoFarm components that are combined with an external, third-party DGPS receiver and satellite correction system. Use of a third-party external DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) receiver gives the customer the flexibility to purchase the receiver and the correction signal that best meets their operational and financial needs.

There is no base station needed with the StepOne system. The external GPS receiver gets DGPS corrections from a satellite network instead of the local base station used with the high accuracy RTK systems.

“Depending on the type of receiver and subscription selected by the customer, StepOne accuracies of approximately 4 inches are possible, and, most important, repeatable,” Leckie adds. “StepOne does not give you RTK accuracy, but it can be easily upgraded to the sub-inch accuracy of RTK AutoSteer.”

This system allows the customer to reduce wide implement overlap to inches; extend operating hours to 24/7 or lengthen hours into night-time operations; speed planting time with faster operation and longer hours; eliminate foam markers and lightbars; reduce driver fatigue and allow the driver to focus on tasks other than driving.

The StepOne DPGS Steering System is comprised of five major components:

Touchscreen -- is the standard AutoFarm sunlight readable, bilingual (English/Spanish) display. Anyone who can use an ATM machine can learn the AutoFarm Touchscreen in minutes.

Cab Box – the central processor or “brains” of the system contains the computer, steering drivers and triple-GPS receiver. The cab box switch kit can be moved between tractors or other equipment in minutes and is compatible with hydraulic, electronic and CAN bus steering.

Roof Array – uses the AutoFarm patented triple-GPS antenna system that directly measures the rolling, pitching and crabbing of the tractor for steering corrections. Tractors and other implements run straighter, without overlaps and guess rows in heavy field conditions, low and high speed operations and on hilly terrain.

Steering Components – use standard AutoFarm vehicle installation kits to interface with tractor steering. These kits fit most major brands and models of tractors, sprayers and spreaders including John Deere, Case, New Holland, AGCO, Ag-Chem, Caterpillar Challenger, TerraGator, Ro-Gator, and others.

External Receiver – allows the customer to use the third-party DGPS receiver and correction signal that best meet their accuracy and economic requirements.

The StepOne system can also go beyond straight or parallel rows and follow complex patterns such as circles (for pivot-irrigated fields), box rows and fan rows.

For more information about AutoFarm, visit www.gpsfarm.com.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com