Lights, Cameras, Action!
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    Lights, Cameras, Action!

    It started out as a very simple project. I was working late with the tractor several nights in a row, and I was getting back to the garage after dusk. Each time, it was too dark to back into the garage. I had to get off the tractor, turn on a light in the garage, then get back on the tractor and back it in. A backup light would sure be nice.

    So I obtained a couple of LED lights and started planning their installation. Then, I thought it might be nice to have some work lights. Sometimes when you work into dusk, you run out of light with just a little work left. With these, I could finish what I had started.

    While still pondering this growing project, I had a close call plowing on our main road. The tractor needs more visibility, especially when working perpendicular to the traffic flow. When you are turned sideways in the road to clean out a driveway, none of the standard lighting or reflectors are visible. So I added 4 high intensity LED strobe lights at strategic locations. These lights could also double as marker lights if the strobe wasnt necessary.

    Then I had a day with a lot of backing, and ended up with a sore neck. I have a harder time twisting around as I age, and Ive worried about missing something behind me. So a backup camera system made its way into the project.

    The plan is shown in the attached photo and pdf. Ive now implemented the vast majority of it.

    The backup lights are triggered by the 1025Rs internal switch on the reverse pedal. Initially, they flash for a couple seconds in a unique pattern to warn of the reverse motion, then go on solid. There is also a switch to turn on the backup lights to use as secondary rear work lights.

    The work lights turn on from their own switch; they are not linked to the other lighting on the tractor. Both the work lights switch and the rear lights switch are located on the right side console where they can be reached from either seating position.

    The strobe switch is on the front console along with a programming button to change the pattern on the strobe lights.

    The camera system was challenging. I wanted a camera mounted up high so that I had a birds eye view behind the tractor. Im pleased with this capability and Ive been using it in recent projects. And I think Ive satisfied the big challenge of finding a place for a monitor on an open station tractor that is clearly visible without blocking any critical views.

    I will begin posting photos and more details about each aspect of this project over the next few weeks. Ive been doing some real world testing to make sure everything is solid. There were times I regretted the ongoing expansion of the project, but now that its close to completion Im glad I did it all. I have a few minor issues to resolve that emerged during final testing and actual use. Im getting to those as quickly as I can. Yes, more ACTION is still necessary. A project this big is tough to complete when you use your tractor regularly. Laying in all the new wiring harnesses is time consuming and really disables the tractor while it is being completed.

    Keane

    Click image for larger version.

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    mjncad's Avatar
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    Very good! I had the same idea about 8-years ago. I'll be curious as to what camera(s) and monitor you end up using. The camera system is disappointing for me as the amount of glare on the monitor washes out the picture, and the narrow angle camera is defective. That's what I get for buying cheap Chinesium crap off of Fleabay.

    Lights, Camera, ACTION! - Google Photos
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    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    Quote Originally Posted by keane View Post
    While still pondering this growing project, I had a close call plowing on our main road. The tractor needs more visibility, especially when working perpendicular to the traffic flow. When you are turned sideways in the road to clean out a driveway, none of the standard lighting or reflectors are visible. So I added 4 high intensity LED strobe lights at strategic locations. These lights could also double as marker lights if the strobe wasnt necessary.
    Nice job. I had the same concerns with my 2720 so I put a Class-1 LED strobe light up top. That gives 360-degree visibility to surrounding traffic.
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    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Would to see pictures on the strobes and if you could tell us what equipment you used. I really need some strobes on mine for visibility. I drive mine on the road to my Fathers house to take care of his property

    Edit: Sorry did not see that you had already posted photos above
    Last edited by Flyingbrian; 09-20-2018 at 10:42 AM.
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    gtmedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingbrian View Post
    Would to see pictures on the strobes and if you could tell us what equipment you used. I really need some strobes on mine for visibility. I drive mine on the road to my Fathers house to take care of his property
    Not sure what OP used but I would highly recommend LEDs by Feniex. Multiple patterns, color options, mounting options. I am building a custom bar for ROPS with multicolor light heads between 40 and 180 using feniex light heads and mini 4200 switch.

    They are class 1 and super cheap compared to whelen, federal signal, etc. but way better quality than eBay/amazon vendors.


    2018 1025R TLB (120R/260B), 54" MMM auto connect/mulch, 54" rear snow blower (SB1154), 60 FEL mounted snow blade (AF10F), iMatch, Heavy Hitch and bolt on toothbar, Ken's bolt on hooks, diff lock, seat springs.
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    Lighting and Camera Additions to ROPS

    My design goals for my up-high work lights were as follows:

    1. Keep everything inside the ROPS to minimize the potential damage from trees.
    2. Mount the lights as high as possible to reduce shadows beyond the front implements.
    3. Get as much separation between the 2 work lights as possible to reduce shadows.
    4. Utilize the same light fixtures for both forward and rear illumination.
    5. Have the fixtures easy to switch from forward to rear and vice versa.
    6. Produce enough light to facilitate work but dont scorch the earth.

    I came up with a concept to achieve these goals and then implemented it in a wood 1:1 scale model. On a temporary basis, I wired the lights into the 12V socket on the right console. Then, I took it out in the dark to see if the positions of the lights would provide the illumination that I wanted. (Nothing surprises my neighbors anymore.) The inexpensive LED fixtures really did a great job of lighting up my property. There was no shadow from the operator unless the operator leaned far forward. Im 62 so this was a concern for me.

    Click image for larger version.

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    So then I implemented the model in metal. The support for the lighting and camera consists of 2 clamps that dont compromise the ROPS, a 1 foot long, 2X2 stainless steel tube, and a piece of C-channel.

    The foot-long metal tube serves the following purposes:

    1. A spacer to move the C-channel down below the curves of the ROPS.
    2. A place to mount the forward and rear high-intensity LED strobe lights.
    3. A place to hide all the wiring connections and protect them from the elements.

    Although I made every effort to make the inside of the tube moisture proof, I know it is not likely in some of the horizontal blizzards that I work in. So I used waterproof connectors and cut drain holes in the bottom of the tube. They are hidden by the C-channel piece and the camera bracket. The tube shouldnt rust since it is stainless steel.

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    The mounting bolts on the work light brackets are spring loaded. I can pull down on each light and rotate it between facing front and rear. The edge of the bracket locks against the edge of the C-channel and keeps each light in the position that it is placed in. Plastic edging is glued to the edges of the light brackets so that no metal-to metal contact exists. There is no rattling or paint damage during use.

    Heres a video of changing the lighting direction:



    I couldn't think of a situation where I would need the work lighting in both the forward and rear scenarios at the same time. But I can always face one light forward and the other back if I need to. Each of these lights provides significant illumination.

    Click image for larger version.

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    The camera between the work lights has an optimal view for backing up and connecting to implements. There is significant visibility not only behind the tractor, but to the sides as well. Ill demonstrate this in a future post.

    The next 2 photos show the mounting of the backup lights, the side strobe lights, and the direct rear-view cameras. These cameras look straight back and let me monitor traffic approaching behind me when Im in the road plowing. I need both of them because I occasionally plow against traffic. Also, if the backhoe is on the tractor, both views can be necessary to compensate for the blind spot created by the backhoe. There is no good central location on the tractor to mount just one rear-facing camera.

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    Ill provide more detail about the function of each of these lights and the video system in subsequent posts.
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    1025R SCUT
    H120 FEL
    260 Backhoe
    54D MMM
    54 Snow Blower
    54 Front Blade
    JD I-match
    10P Dump Cart
    Heavy Hitch: Receiver hitch w/rack, 2" receiver 8-Weight Rack, 2" front & rear receivers, synthetic blade
    Ken's BOGH: Grab Hooks/ Clevis Mounts, Oblong Ring Slings, Differential Pedal, backhoe step, etc.
    Everything Attachments: Pine Needle Rake, Aerator
    Bxpanded: Ripper Claw, Trenching Bucket, Quick Change for 260 BH
    Artillian: 3K fork frame & 36" tines
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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    I'm as motivated to do tractor related projects to excess as most folks here.

    But, why not just buy a remote key fob and wire the garage lights to turn on and off with it from the tractor?

    And for visibility, a magnetic flasher or strobe light that plugs into the 12V outlet?


    BTW, does your ROPS clear your garage door when you back in, or do you have to get off and fold it?

    I like the installation.
    Last edited by RetiredDoc; 10-04-2018 at 11:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    I'm as motivated to do tractor related projects to excess as most folks here.

    But, why not just buy a remote key fob and wire the garage lights to turn on and off with it from the tractor?

    And for visibility, a magnetic flasher or strobe light that plugs into the 12V outlet?


    BTW, does your ROPS clear your garage door when you back in, or do you have to get off and fold it?

    I like the installation.


    As I mentioned in the opening post, it was a snowballing project that probably got out of hand. I don't think I'll ever tackle a project this big again. Electrical work is very hard on the hands. But, I am very pleased with the results as I continue to test them with actual use. I'm working to put together all the details for posts that will answer most of these questions.

    Unlike you, I do use my tractor at night. When I was working, it was always dark during the winter when I was home from work and therefore most of my plowing was done early in the morning or at night. I'm retired now, but I still have constraints that have me plowing at night occasionally. If we get a snow that's coming down very hard and fast, sometimes I have to plow at night just to keep up with it. I've even mowed at night several times when time contraints required it. It is much cooler and it's not hard to achieve a smooth job with the basic lighting on the tractor.

    Backing into the dark garage triggered my awareness that backup lights would be handy, but that's not my only reason for wanting them. As I get around to posting full details on them, you'll see that they also serve as a visible backup warning device and as secondary work lights for behind the tractor. The warning system is especially important when I'm working on the public road off my property. And, I enjoy the challenge of complex projects like this one. My tractor is certainly not "factory" at this point, but I sure hope it looks that way. The later years of my career were in management. I didn't get much of this kind of "hands on" creative work.

    My ROPS does not need to be lowered to get into my garage. But I did design these additions to my tractor such that the ROPS can still be lowered. In fact, I lowered it to install everything at the top because it was much easier. However, I recently had an incident where for some reason my garage door did not fully open when I was backing in and I hit the door. Fortunately, I was going very slowly. But there was still some damage. Now I'm trying to figure out if this qualifies me for membership in "the club". I'll probably need some sort of ruling to find out.

    I'll get more details posted as soon as I can. I know there are big gaps in my posts so far. I'll work on backup lights next.
    mjncad, PaDave, Levi and 6 others like this.
    1025R SCUT
    H120 FEL
    260 Backhoe
    54D MMM
    54 Snow Blower
    54 Front Blade
    JD I-match
    10P Dump Cart
    Heavy Hitch: Receiver hitch w/rack, 2" receiver 8-Weight Rack, 2" front & rear receivers, synthetic blade
    Ken's BOGH: Grab Hooks/ Clevis Mounts, Oblong Ring Slings, Differential Pedal, backhoe step, etc.
    Everything Attachments: Pine Needle Rake, Aerator
    Bxpanded: Ripper Claw, Trenching Bucket, Quick Change for 260 BH
    Artillian: 3K fork frame & 36" tines
    Miller Tire: R4 tire chains

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    martincom's Avatar
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    Soooo, the deer will no longer be able to say they didn't see you, officer, when you pull them over and right them a citation for poaching dinner from your garden and your pine buds.
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    if u hit the garage door whether backing in or pulling out.............then ur in the club now. sorry u had to join ---just wait till u do it again.

    don't ask me what my number is -ok.

    pst. number 2
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    jim

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