Precision farming specialist Patchwork unveiled an entry-level BlackBox vehicle guidance and area measurement system costing less than £1,000.


The BlackBox 505 has the same housing and 7in touch screen as the 510 model, which has more software features. For steering guidance, the 505 displays a graphic view and lightbar.

“Like our other BlackBox products, the new version is easy to use and at £995 is ideal for farmers and contractors wanting to take their first step in GPS technology,” says Sue Davies of Patchwork.

Boom section control is a new option for the BlackBox 510. It can operate Patchwork’s own SC8 spray valve controller to shut off and switch on up to eight spray boom sections as appropriate at headlands and where tramlines converge in irregular-shaped fields. A software upgrade is available to operate this function on Vicon sprayers.

“Apart from making life easier for the operator, significant savings can be made in crop chemical and liquid nutrient products using the system,” notes Sue Davies. “It can also control left and right shut-off on a broadcaster spreader to reduce overlaps with mineral fertilisers.”

Omnistar GPS correction can be added to the BlackBox 510-S auto-steering function for accuracy at +/- 2in. The steering system combines Patchwork and Topcon technology for a combination of accuracy and easy use.

Patchwork’s first iPhone app enables subscribers to the company’s Webtrack online farm data service to view field area and boundaries overlaid on Google maps and to email this information from any location.

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