Article

Ease of use key to new irrigation touchscreen controller

A touchscreen controller for Bauer Centerstar pivot irrigators is claimed to be simple to use, but sophisticated enough to handle multiple machines and variable-rate application.

The SmartTouch controller uses as few words on its display as possible; it relies instead on icons intended to make the control functions intuitive and therefore accessible to any operator regardless of language or literacy.

A menu guide aims to make the system easy to programme, with the display showing the position of the irrigator and its operating status, including the direction of travel.

Touchscreen icons include those for selecting irrigation park position, and forward and reverse movement under manual control, while selecting the set-up icon gives access to change sectors and precipitation rates at any time.

An 11cm (4.3in) display covers all essential functions, while the 25cm (10in) version can be used with Bauer’s Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) system, which responds to application maps transferred to the system by memory card.

It employs a Trimble real time kinematic (RTK) satellite guidance system with a base station providing correction co-ordinates by radio for precise section and/or individual sprinkler rate and on/off control by solenoid valves.

Up to 10 different irrigation schedules can be recorded in the SmartTouch unit, with a 3G modem providing basic alerts to a cell phone or remote access and more comprehensive alerts and reports via Bauer’s SmartRain web portal and mobile device app.

Product summary

Company: Bauer
Name: SmartTouch
Type: Pivot irrigator controller
Key feature: Intuitive display icons for simplicity and universal access but sufficiently capable to handle variable rate watering, remote access and multiple irrigator control
More info

Where multiple Centerstar pivot irrigators are installed, all can be controlled from one SmartTouch location through the network function.