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Thread: Remote satellite sensing of my woods

  1. #1
    Haynes Forest Products Guest

    Default Remote satellite sensing of my woods

    This will be my first year using remote sensing. Im going with the CDL system to monitor my woods and turn on my vacuum pump. Im 14 miles round trip from my woods so this should be a big help. Im always trying to fix the weak link and I hope this will solve my biggest problem to date. Last year I went with a high vacuum Airteck pump. That single pump has given me great peace of mind that all is well in the woods.

    Mother nature has a way of reminding us who is really in control along with Murphys law. I would go to the woods come sun up and crank up the pump and run the wood with the ATV to the 2 releaser stations. I would get the releasers up and running and free of snow and ice. I would manipulate them and get the vacuum up to n 28 HG's and hang around until I felt things were ready for the day.

    Then 2 hrs later a buddy would call and ask me my pump is off or there is no vacuum and my releaser sounds like a shop vac. I would drop everything and scream back to the woods to find ice is a flapper turning my 1700 tap woods into a gravity system.

    Then the real kicker is the farmer who I lease my woods from would take it upon himself to help me out. Now I rent the woods and pay his electric bill for the month But he likes to help. He is old school and tapped those woods for 35 years so he has history in making syrup. BUT he would shut my pump off because after I left he noticed the sap wasn't running that good. The weather was going to change and get cold so he shut the pump off. I would call and ask him to turn my pump on and he would wait till it got up around 40.

    My system will allow me to turn my pump on and off. Then I will have vacuum sensors at the 2 releasers so I can see what Im pulling at the wood. I'm not planning on tank level indicators yet.

    Now Im pretty good at sending texts to the wrong person and taking pictures of my thumb and Im wondering how well this will work on my smart phone. who else is doing this.

  2. #2
    amaranth farm Guest

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    Radio Silence.
    Last edited by amaranth farm; 04-06-2018 at 01:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Haynes Forest Products Guest

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    I agree with some of what you say. I do believe there should be a 7 day waiting period before you can take a smart phone home. I also have said from day one when I went from boiliong on a fish kettle to a 2 X 8 (3) pan set up that every new must have improvement only pushes the responsibility further down the line.

    Now Maple has been a passion/hobby of mine for 30 years so its not about the money........................BUT money is nice. Now the less I spend on my hobby the better and the more money I recoup also helps.

    To me its about the aggravation and knowing I drove away from my woods only to find out my pump tripped the breaker 5 min down the road is aggravating. being able to look down at my phone and know what is happening 7 miles away keeps me from worrying. I also do irrigation for a living and I couldn't do it without automation. Just think how far we have come in the last few years. I can go to Home Depot and get a smart phone compatible sprinkler clock that has the ability to operate 12 valves 3 times a day and in addition to that you can manually override the zones. Now if you have WiFi and 110 volt circuit by your vacuum pump you can make your own start and stop relay. you could have up to 12 valves on your mainlines so you could open and close them from the sap shack. I want feedback from my system so ill need the better sensors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    412

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    We are adding the CDL system to our sugar bush this year. We will use 2 tank sensors at the collection points. We have about 8 vacuum sensors to scatter through the woods for two reasons. One to measure the vacuum in areas to help trouble shoot leaks. The other is the CDL sensors act as repeaters, essentially creating a mesh network in the woods for better communication and data transfer. We also picked up a sniffer...a portable device to use in the woods allowing your cell phone/bluetooth device to communicate with the radio frequency of the system in areas where you do not have cell/wifi service.

    I think we would consider the pump control as a next step, but it would be nice to have a controller which is less expensive. I believe they are working on that.

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cabot Vermont
    Posts
    475

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    I have the smartreck system and love it. I have the vac. sensors on all the ends of the mains and love it. I know the temp in the woods and if the vacuum is on or off from the house. I don't have to drive over and check the two pump stations in the night.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

  6. #6
    Haynes Forest Products Guest

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    I'm only going with 2 sensors one per releaser. struggling to have consistent vacuum over the last 10 years I never know when low vacuum was my outdated tubing system or pumps. I have all new everything in the woods and a dependable pump. Last year I was able to look at the releaser gauge and I could tell if a few taps were out. Now Ill be able to see if the motor is running at a good amperage and see the vac levels that will save me 3 trips a day.
    Last year I got back to the woods late and found my tanks running over so I think tank sensors will be a must.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cornish,NH
    Posts
    712

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    This is good stuff! Anyone know what a CDL starter kit costs ?
    3x10 Dallalre, oil fired, Stainless steel.
    Steam hoods front and rear with preheater.
    1500 taps on vac, right to sugar house.
    900 on Gravity
    New Busch 3 Phase Vacuum. (2010)
    Lapierre 600 Turbo with 2 - 8" posts
    36 years of MAPLE ENJOYMENT!!
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...93710737313171

  8. #8
    Haynes Forest Products Guest

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    I ordered mine last year and believe just the basic internet hardware is $1500.00 . Then the sensors and motor starter are extra. I believe I will be at about $2300.00 Less than 2 drums of syrup at wholesale prices. I should save driving 1800 miles per season just to check my system and pump. Now with the tank sensors I will be able to better plan my day and when I will RO. I believe I'm better off letting the sap sit in the cold tanks in the woods if 'Im not going to cook it.
    were always trying to figure out how to make light syrup and its the little things that add up. If I don't have enough sap to start my evaporator then the less I touch the sap the better. with this system I wont be going to the woods and out of habit pumping out a 1/4 tank of sap. Airating the sap twice hours apart and then sitting overnight until the next day just adds to bacteria growth. I hope this system will help with that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cornish,NH
    Posts
    712

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    Thanks Chuck ! Think I will give CDL a call Monday morning and see what the price is this year!
    Had to chuckle at your story of the old Gentlemen you lease from shutting off the vacuum ! The bush I lease next door to me is own by an old timer (90 on next birthday), also from the old school of maple ! On more than a few occasion when sap wasn't running all that great we would be doing leak patrol. This tree got vacuum, next tree no vacuum! What the He''' ! Go down to the farm, guess who shut the vacuum off? Got to love them! So we buried a couple of 1.5" pipe a 1000' from his property to our sap house ! Now he doesn't know when vacuum is running or not!
    3x10 Dallalre, oil fired, Stainless steel.
    Steam hoods front and rear with preheater.
    1500 taps on vac, right to sugar house.
    900 on Gravity
    New Busch 3 Phase Vacuum. (2010)
    Lapierre 600 Turbo with 2 - 8" posts
    36 years of MAPLE ENJOYMENT!!
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...93710737313171

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cabot Vermont
    Posts
    475

    Default

    http://www.smartrektechnologies.ca/ Both systems are great but check out both cdl and h2o because the bluetooth on the smartrek worked better for me because of no internet at the pump stations. I was sold on the cdl system, but there was question of whether it would work for my situation. Cdl was willing to come out to check it out for me and see if it would work. They schedule an appointment to come out in a week or so. In the meantime, my cousin Thad bought the smartrek system and came up with his gateway sensors and repeaters and was able to send the signal back to my house from the other two pump stations. That is why I went with the H2O system instead of the CDL. I don't need internet to communicate with them, only at my house. It also works off the mesh system.
    Last edited by Brian; 01-28-2018 at 02:36 PM. Reason: William caught a whoops
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

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