The capabilities of sprayer technologies that link GPS navigation systems with sophisticated by-the-nozzle controls continue to expand. Now, if you want a sprayer that can handle odd-shaped fields as well as a high-end planter with by-the-row shutoffs, aftermarket providers are leading the way.

 

PinPoint’s pulse technology 

PinPoint from Capstan Ag Systems builds on the blended pulse-width modulation (PWM) technology used in the company’s SharpShooter system, as well as AIM Command, available on 

Case IH Patriot sprayers. The system uses pulsing solenoids at each nozzle body to provide constant spray pressure independent of speed, while allowing a range of application rates from a single spray tip.

 

While still using PWM, PinPoint is a totally new system that uses controller area network (CAN) wiring and associated microprocessors to control individual nozzles. The tiny microprocessors arrayed along the boom — each of which controls nine nozzles — are connected to a hub at the back of the sprayer. In turn, the hub is connected to the PinPoint controller in the cab, which can run the system independently or integrate with an existing rate controller.

 

“The

system will not spray an area that already has been covered,” says Jeff Grimm, Capstan. “And whenever the sprayer is turning, the sprayer puts out more flow at the end of the boom than at the center, so the effective rate is the same.”

 

The price for PinPoint on a 90- to 120-ft. boom is $25,000 to $30,000. Systems also are available for anhydrous ammonia and liquid fertilizer applicators. Call Capstan Ag Systems at 855/628-7722, or visit capstanag.com.

 

Controller application

In 2012, Harrison Ag Technologies and Altek International, based in Germany, unveiled a prototype Smart Nozzle spraying system built around a CANbus-controlled quadruple nozzle body and sophisticated software that operates each nozzle independently. With the recent introduction of a controller application for an Android tablet computer, the system is ready for the market.

 

The Android application independently controls an unlimited number of spray tips, allowing rates to be varied along the boom for turn compensation, plus by-the-nozzle on/off control. The app also can drive map-based prescription applications. The tablet can be integrated with an existing rate controller or run as a stand-alone controller.

 

Varying rates along the boom is tied to Altek’s Multi-Spray DC (direct control) quadruple nozzle body, which uses solenoids to turn various combinations of spray tips on and off as needed. With 16 nozzle combinations at each nozzle body, operators also can customize spray particle size to emphasize drift control or maximum coverage. Single CANbus actuated nozzle bodies also are available.

 

The price for a single nozzle body system is $15,000 for a 90- to 120-ft. boom. A quadruple nozzle body system retails for $20,000 to $22,000. Call Harrison Ag Technologies at 605/845-2433, or visit h-agtec.com.