AB line distance to boundary countdown


Hi, I’m new, I’ve downloaded the program, I believe it’s version 4.3, watched the version 4.6 demo video, played with the simulator. I’ve confirmed this program will meet all of my needs and I’m almost ready to buy a Dual XGPS160 bluetooth receiver but I’m missing one thing - the distance to boundary countdown.

Hopefully my picture uploaded, that’s the distance to boundary that appears when U turn is activated. But I can’t get that distance to boundary counter to appear unless auto steering is also on. I won’t be using auto steering in my application but I do very much want to see that distance to boundary counter.

Is there a way to see that distance to boundary counter without using auto steering? I don’t even need the U turn function, I just want to see the distance.

Alternatively, and assuming the distance counter is not available without auto steering on, in the real world when I have my gps receiver and can work outside the sim, can I turn auto steering on even though I don’t have auto steering? Will the program work that way if auto steering is on but I’m manually steering? Just to see the distance to boundary counter.

I know that’s a long question so I apologize for that and thank you for your time.

Yes just press autosteer on. It will work.
Why to buy that receiver ? It’s 2.5m accurate. F9p is a bit more expensive but 2cm accurate.

Thanks very much Damien. So I can just turn auto steer on and have the ab line to boundary countdown showing even if I’m doing manual steering. Fantastic.

About the XGPS160 - the guy that sells gps at my local tractor dealer says he uses that unit personally and will find himself 6 inches off or so at the end of an hour, he says he plants clover with it and is pleased with it. It’s an enclosed unit with a case and when used with a tablet it’s a cable free system - just place your XPGS, place your tablet, connect via bluetooth and go. No power cords, very easy to switch the entire system between tractors.

I’m very new at this. This is one of the recommended f9p units I think (along with another unit from digikey I think). https://www.ardusimple.com/simplertk2b/

  1. I’m not technically savvy enough to even understand what I’m reading on that page.
  2. If I get stuck there’s no one local to help me.
  3. That unit needs a case.
  4. I think that unit needs an external antenna.
  5. It needs a power cord and an antenna cord I believe.
  6. Most of the antennas I’ve seen that attach to that type of board also look like they need a protective case.
  7. Even if I do get this unit, the description says it’s only 1 meter accurate unless used with paid correction signals OR with two units used in full blown rtk mode, which will require radios and radio antennas, so it doesn’t seem a whole lot more accurate than a simple bluetooth gps receiver like XGPS160.
  8. I don’t have time to become an expert, I need to spread fertilizer very soon and my business partners will not allow me a budget to experiment with things I cannot guarantee will work (I know the unit will work but I can’t guarantee I can get it to work with my limited knowledge base).

My old gps unit was a Cultiva, maybe 15 or 20 years old. It did everything I needed. My choices now are a commercial unit like Outback Rebel or a program like this on a tablet with a gps receiver.

My dealer said the XGPS160 would be about as accurate as the Outback Rebel package he could sell me for $3400.

PLEASE if I am off base or completely wrong about any of this let me know. I’d like to do this right the first time.

At this time we have no desire to compile a full blown RTK system with base station and rover, it’s just way too much cost if we go commercial and way to complex if we go piecing together our own system.

I appreciate any feedback, thanks very much.

The XPS160 receiver is not any more accurate even if you could find a $10 000 device equally accurate. It still is a single band EGNOS (WAAS) capable receiver only. Advertised GLONASS support makes no difference as EGNOS only covers GPS (GPS with EGNOS is more accurate than GPS + Glonass in autonomous mode).

The F9P is a dual band multi-constellation receiver. It would be much more accurate even as a standalone receiver.

EGNOS is good enough for fertilizer spreading though and with steer guidance one would not manage the RTK accuracy anyway.

The Ardusimple receiver would need a case, a few dollars. It can stay in the tractor cabin, no weather proof box needed. The ANN-MB antenna does not need any case.

I’d consider a cordless receiver a drawback. You need to take care of battery charging every now and then.

The Ardusimple receiver is not much more expensive than the XPS160. Even if you would not need RTK at the moment, you would have the upgrade path for the future.

Thanks very much NorthernFarmer, I will have to research a bit to fully understand all that you are telling me but I definitely understand the broad strokes. We were really excited at the prospect of a cable free system because our gps will be shared by a number of tractors so it’s going to be moved around a lot but I now understand the f9p based unit will provide better accuracy even when a single unit is used.

The only unit I have previous experience with is the Cultiva ATC and it worked well enough for us but I can’t tell if it’s accuracy was more similar to the XGPS160 or the f9p. That would greatly help me to decide what I need.

From the Cultiva ATC manual (published September 2004, it’s an old unit) -
From the overview -

  • Differential GPS or DGPS is used to achieve accuracy better than three feet (one meter).

From the Specifications -
Accuracy - sub meter (relative accuracy)
Protocol - NMEA-0183 ver 2.0 $GPGGA, VTG
Baud rate - 9600 Baud
Data rate - 5 hz

There’s not much for specs there but I thought the XGPS160 would have comparable accuracy to our old Cultiva ATC but I don’t fully understand the specs. Does DGPS mean dual band like the f9p? Was my old Cultiva system more accurate than XGPS160?

Thank you guys so much, I appreciate it.

Not familiar with this Cultiva ATC but sounds like it does not support any SBAS correction signal but only differential corrections. That would be a bit like RTK but working at code differential level instead of at carrier phase. Would expect about 30 cm accuracy.

Did you have a correction signal for that ATC? If not, then it would have very poor accuracy, both absolute accuracy as well as pass-to-pass.

If this Cultiva ATC was accurate enough for you, the XPS160 should be good too as it provides similar pass-to-pass accuracy but lower absolute accuracy than the ATC with differential correction signal.

I have no experience with F9P on anything else than RTK. Someone here at this forum reported similar or better accuracy in autonomous mode as with SBAS (EGNOS). It could be true because of dual band and multiconstellation operation while SBAS works on GPS only and L1 only.

Dual band means L1 and L2 for GPS and it gives a significant advantage. XPS160 is L1 only. You would make use of GPS satellites only while F9P would support GPS, Glonass, Galileo and Beidou.

Agreed with the portability of the XPS160.

Looks like the XPS160 supports WAAS, so it might support EGNOS too. It’s not too expensive, so if you think it will work for your purposes, have at it. Being wireless it’s easy to try it out and it’s turn key.

The F9P is a fine receiver, but it’s certainly not turn key! Although you can buy some products based on it that are turn key, but they are quite a bit more expensive, over $1000 per receiver.

Thanks for the replies NorthernFarmer and torriem.

To answer, the Cultiva had no correction that I know of. The manual doesn’t mention anything and we didn’t supply anything that didn’t come right out of the box. It mentioned DGPS a few times but didn’t explain what that was or any details.

If I could step back to my original question for a moment, after spending a bit more time with the simulator, it appears the U turn countdown distance may not be what I need. What I’m looking for is a distance to boundary or distance to headland counter, either would work. But I think the U turn distance counter won’t work for that, it appears to be just counting down the distance until a U turn is initiated, and that appears to be based on turn radius and stuff. I’m looking for something to visually tell me when I need to manually raise and lower my implement. The old Cultiva notified us when we were a set distance from headland to implement and counted down the distance until we needed to raise the implement at the headland and when to lower the implement on the return pass.

Does such a thing exist in this program? Or do I have to just set a headland and raise my implement when my implement avatar reaches the bright yellow headland line?

Maybe use section control. Raise / Lower point adjustments and using Machine Functions to control relays
Use the magnifying glass up right and search for headland or section

Yes headland, you should watch video from youtube. Especially FarmerBrianTee video. You will learn a lot’s about agopengps.

Thanks very much to Damien and Larsvest for pushing me in the right direction. I watched a bunch of the videos but somehow missed this one, this one shows exactly what I want to see. Headland Hydraulic Lift - YouTube


In the red circle it shows the distance until section turn off. That is exactly what I need. I just can’t figure out how to turn it on in the sim. I read the thread Larsvest posted but it doesn’t help me turn this feature on.

At this point I’ve been trying to figure out how to see a countdown to headland for 4 or 5 days. I realize I’m extremely new at this but I’m getting frustrated. I’m going to take a break and resume research on section control.

Nice you got a bit further, but maybe the feature you circle in video back from 2019 does not exist anymore.
I was thinking you could use the function in auto section, when it crosses an area that was already treated, it turns off “the color on screen” by itself.
Like this : drive with manual section at the headland to mark where you must press raise button, then when you do the field you can watch the screen to see when.

Thank you so much Larvest, I appreciate the input. I know my questions are extremely basic, I just wish there was a manual to answer these basic questions.

I figured out how to turn on section control, it’s the button on the right with a line attached to 3 downward arrows. There’s a number underneath the symbol on the button, I have no idea what that number means. It took me literally hours to figure out how to turn section control on, watched numerous videos (maybe the wrong ones) but it’s just a simple button click. I really wish there was a manual.

I watched the section control theory video here - Section Control Part 1 - Theory - YouTube which was posted Feb 2020 and as you mentioned it looks like the distance to headland counter that I circled in the last picture I uploaded is no longer in the program.

The only visual cue the section control seems to provide is an UP (green) arrow which changes to DOWN (red) and the implement color changes and it turns worked area on and off. I was really hoping to see the countdown to headland distance that apparently was part of the program a few years ago but I guess it’s not there anymore.

Our old unit made this super simple. While we set our swath width (implement width) it would ask how far from the boundary we wanted to be notified. Then when we got the set distance away it would give an audible alert and start counting down the distance to the headland (implement up). And when we turned around it would count down the distance back the the headland (implement down). We had assumed this was an extremely basic feature that all ag gps software would have but apparently not. It doesn’t seem to be in this program and it wasn’t in any of the dozen Android ag gps apps in the Google Play Store.

I’m going to have to discuss this with my business partners to see if we can live without the distance to headland countdown. We relied on it pretty heavily.

If there’s any other way at all to have this program produce a countdown to headland please let me know. If there’s a way to trick the U turn countdown distance to come to zero feet right at the headland please let me know. I suspect the latter might be possible if I play enough with the settings but I’m not sure.

The reason the countdown to headland is so important and the reason we relied on it so heavily is because there’s a LOT going on approaching and leaving the headland. I’m watching the actual field through the windshield as I turn, I’m watching the lightbar and arrow on the screen to line up my turn, the distance countdown was an easy way to see at a glance how many feet I was from the headland (implement on/off).

OK thanks to everyone that helped me. I think I’ve found the answers to my original inquiry and I’ll note them here. My original question should have been worded “Visual cue for distance to implement trigger at headland” I guess, it’s more clear than the original title.

Visual cue 1 - The implement avatar crosses the headland line. At this point it’s too late to manually raise/lower the implement assuming you are moving. A bit of advance warning is nice.

Visual cue 2 - Turn on ahead/turn off ahead will give visual cues by changing the avatar implement color between green and red 0 - 5 seconds and 0 - 3 seconds respectively before the implement reaches the headland. Section control has to be on for this to work. There’s no precise visual countdown to this trigger other than watching the implement avatar and it’s look ahead lines as it approaches the headland line and 3 seconds warning isn’t much when traveling towards the headland in higher speed applications, but the 3 second warning is still useful.

Visual cue 3 and audible cue 1 - If manual steering is on you have access to U turn, which will give a beautiful distance countdown to the U turn trigger process (picture in my first post). Apparently as per Damien’s post, even if you are steering manually you can turn on autosteer and U turn just to see the distance countdown. This shows both the distance in feet to the U turn trigger point AND it provides an audible alarm about 50 or 60 feet before you reach that point. This would be ideal for my purposes except the U turn initiation point is in a different point than the headland, so you would either have to live with a countdown where the headland is not exactly at 0 feet on the countdown or you would have to play around with the U turn settings so that the U turn initiation happened at the same place the headland line is. Additionally the countdown doesn’t work to guide you to your work from outside the headland. While you are in the field working and approaching the headland it will count down your feet to headland, and as you cross the headland it starts counting negative distance. But as soon as you get straightened out and headed back to the field (before you get to the headland) it stops counting the distance to the near side headland (which is still a few feet away) and starts counting to the far side headland on the other side of the field. This is a minor issue, as you still have visual cues 1 and 2 to rely on when approaching the headland from outside the field.

Visual cue 4 - I was hoping the hydraulic lift look ahead would provide a visual cue (something visual changes) at the set look ahead time but it doesn’t seem to work like that. When turned on and turned to maximum look ahead time nothing visual happens when the look ahead line crosses the headland. Nothing visual changes until the implement crosses the headland line when working and approaching the headland. At that point the arrow part of the tractor avatar changes green and the big red arrow on the right side of the screen turns green. All it does is change color when the implement crosses the headland. On the way back in to the field it changes back to red well before the implement reaches the headland, and that might have been a useful cue if there was a visual cue when approaching the headland from inside the field but there isn’t. To be clear it’s doing what it’s supposed to do but what I’m looking for is a warning several seconds before I hit the headland.

In conclusion, visual cue 2 and 3 when used together should be enough to provide similar functionality to our old system. If I mess with the U turn boundary/initiation distance and get it to correspond with the headland it will give a beautiful countdown in feet to show the distance to the headland and provide an audible alarm 50 - 60 feet from that boundary. Then the look ahead function will visually show me when I’m 3 seconds from the headland by changing the color of the implement avatar.

And I think that’s all there is in the way of showing distance to headland.