Had a Farm
that farm he had a Walton Eclipse
Looking for a needle in a haystack
is apparently a bit of a challenge. Stacking bales of hay
isn't much easier, unless you are using a Walton Eclipse.
Next time you are
driving through the countryside, look for a free-standing
stack of hay bales. If the stack is beautifully
symmetrical and could stand up to a force 12 hurricane,
it was probably built by a Walton Eclipse.
Hex was approached by John Walton for a control system
for this highly innovative and complex piece of machinery.
Unlike other stacking systems, the Eclipse rotates the
bales before turning them onto the stack. To the
uninitiated this may not sound exciting, but it gets
farmers happy as a pig in muck. Designing agricultural
control systems is a bit of a swine. The supply voltage
of nominally 12V can reach 30V when the farmer puts his
welly down. There is no esigning earth connection (thanks
to four enormous tyres) and everything gets covered in
cow sh-you can guess what!
Hex designed a customised PCB solution based on their
Fusion concept. The controller has an inbuilt text
display, and connects to a series of function keys on a
membrane keypad. With some ingenious software, the
operator can seamlessly switch between automatic and
manual modes to deal with misshapen bales.
extensive field and meadow trials, John Walton made the
following comment, "The Top Hex controller has
proved to be rugged and reliable. Their engineers have
put a great deal of effort into developing the software
and I am very pleased with the end result".