Friday, July 22, 2016

Puppy update

The taken pup is t he one on the left.  

Update 7-23-2016:  The toppenish police department retrieved the pup and I picked it up last night.  The pup is happy to be back with its little friend after a week-long adventure.
  The man who took the dog "thought that it was a stray" and intended to keep it.  He didn't contact anyone about the dog or ask about it at the auction.  The police department said that since there's no footage of him opening the trailer that they're be a problem at trial, and honestly I'm just glad to have the dog back, so I think this will end it.
  And I'm going to get a tag for the pup and have him microchipped.

This is a followup to a previous post

A helpful person on the internet was able to figure out that the last 3 digits in the license plate; 23N  the 2 and 3 are pretty clear, the N is probable.

Turns out that someone at the auction knows who the owner of the truck is and provided the deputy investigating this with the name, address and phone number of that person.  I don't know that the owner of the truck is the person who was driving it that day, but it's a great lead.

The deputy is on her way over to the auction yard now, and I suspect that there will be some movement in the case in the next day or two.

Fingers crossed.

Puppy update

The taken pup is t he one on the left.  

Update 7-23-2016:  The toppenish police department retrieved the pup and I picked it up last night.  The pup is happy to be back with its little friend after a week-long adventure.

This is a followup to a previous post

A helpful person on the internet was able to figure out that the last 3 digits in the license plate; 23N  the 2 and 3 are pretty clear, the N is probable.

Turns out that someone at the auction knows who the owner of the truck is and provided the deputy investigating this with the name, address and phone number of that person.  I don't know that the owner of the truck is the person who was driving it that day, but it's a great lead.

The deputy is on her way over to the auction yard now, and I suspect that there will be some movement in the case in the next day or two.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Making the grade

So after making mistakes with previous tillage (which I talk about in this blog entry) I'm using a land-leveling device to make my field smooth and level.
The green and yellow thing is the land level device
So you plow up your land to loosen the soil and make it easier to scrape and move.  There's a laser on a tripod that isn't visible in the photo (it's a few hundred feet away) and there's a laser receiver on the top of the post (you can see a cord going up to it.  When the device sees that you are going above or below the laser it'll adjust the blade and basically what you do is drive in circles until the ground is level, and then move on.
broken and welded laser reciever post
 The post that holds the laser receiver broke, (you can see it broken in the picture with the tractor) and I had to bring it in and weld it.  I had a piece of rebar laying around, so used it to reinforce the original pipe.  This pic is before painted it.  My welding skills are farm-capable but not pretty.
the next problem I had was a hydraulic leak on the leveling cylinder.  Wasn't sure what the problem was, so took the whole thing apart and inspected it.  The valve is pretty interesting.  Just a pair of electromagnets, and inside the valve there's a little metal tab that slides back or forth based on the magnet.
since I wasn't sure where the problem was, i had the whole thing apart, but it turned out that it was an O ring failure
you can see the rubber o ring bulging out in the picture above.  the post that the electromagnet mounts on got loose, unscrewed a little, and  the pressure of the fluid forced the O ring out and eventually broke it.
this device works pretty well as long as you're dealing with a difference in elevation of about 16".  Bigger than that and the receptor on the blade loses contact with the laser and the blade freezes in the last position.  So I dealt with that by doing smaller moves.
to level 5 with a + or - 6" diffrence took about 20 hours of tractor time.  That seems like a lot, but this only has to be done once - EVER - so while it's a little slower than I would like, it's done.  I was able to see the level the next time it rained - the water didn't pool anywhere, just made a very flat pool when it rained hard, and then soaked in straight down.

I'm using it to make level fields, but it can be used to make two-axis grades by adjusting the sending laser.  So you can have a field that is flat in one direction but has a slope in another.

The operation was relatively easy, and I'm pretty happy with the final result.  The fields are flat and smooth.

I have a few hundred yards of composted manure that I'll be dumping on this field and then using this same laser level device to spread it evenly over the entire area.  I'll put down 1" of manure using the same laser technique as with dirt.