Been asked in the past by some of my Twitter followers about how I set things up in my tractor cab to make things go a little easier everyday. In the past I have been the guy that never gets to drive a tractor since I am the lowest guy on the seniority scale.
That also translates into being the guy that has to organise everything and have stuff ready when my “Senior Staff” parks the tractor in one field when finished and drives the pickup to next field where the other planter/drills/swather/combine is ready to go.
But this year a new to me Amity air drill behind a new to me Magnum 290 with a Trimble 1000 GPS system meant that nobody else wanted to figure out all those buttons and screens. Lucky for me, now I get to drive a tractor again !
To make things easier to run my online business, I have no choice but to carry an Ipad which I think is the greatest invention since auto steer. So since it is there, I might as well have my podcasts and movies and tv shows to kill the 12 hours a day. Nothing better than watching and listening to @GPHD , RealAgriculture, or US Farm Report while rolling down the field.
Satellite radio is also a must, especially now that their is a Rural Channel 80 that does a good job of giving an overview of weather and crop and market conditions across the continent. Although I can never understand why they give the weather for Thompson Manitoba everyday. Look it up on a map, then you will understand why it is irrelevant to agricultural producers.
Terrestrial radio has done such a poor job in many cases that I cant even be bothered to remember to listen at that exact 3 minutes everyday. Add a podcast feed like RRFN and make it easy for the listeners who are interested. Maybe even add a relevant commercial, farmers will live with that easy enough.
But the big problem with mobile audio has always been how to listen to something clearly without missing out on what is going on around us.
Getting audio into the radio speakers seems to always include some annoying wires and static FM channels, with more static through the tractor when more things are plugged into the power outlets.
The best thing I have found is this Azeca BTC008 Stereo Bluetooth In-Car FM Transmitter from Amazon. It also uses the Flexsmart name. This Bluetooth to FM device was originally designed for hands free cel phone use, but it also works flawlessly for transferring audio from any mobile device to any FM frequency you choose. Because it connects via bluetooth and has a strong FM signal, you can power it from any power point on your tractor without needing to access it regularly or have it in a “perfect” location
And very easily move it from one vehicle to another.
But it still doesn’t cure the problem of static backfeeding when charging other devices on the same cigarette lighter circuit. This is when an portable battery pack like this can come in handy to recharge your phone instead of the tractor. And you can use it anywhere as well.
Everyone always has questions about mounting kits for different devices, my only suggestion is a trip to the Ram Mount Website, everything you will ever need should be available there, although once you know what you want you can sometimes find a better price on Amazon
Looks like this spring I will be adding a Pro 700 to the cab and maybe add a tractor only wifi Ipad to use as a monitor for an Intelligent Ag wireless blockage monitor. Then I can use it also for an Agrimatics grain cart monitor to keep track of field yields.
When their is also an Agcam camera system in the cab too, you never want to start a field headland looking out the right side…..because you cant see a damn thing !
Tweet me your comments and pictures of your setups to @WebFarmer