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Quick-Start Guide to Using Ditch Assist

While we strongly advise reading the entire manual for the best user experience, if you’re in a hurry, here are the key steps to get Ditch Assist up and running as swiftly as possible:

  1. Install Ditch Assist Hardware: 
    1. Connect the Power Harness directly to the tractor battery terminals
      1. Please refrain from connecting it to a trailer power connector or an in-cab power strip.
    2. Position the Ditch Assist Control Module
      1.  Attach the module on the implement using the provided magnet mounts, ensuring a clear line-of-sight between the module and the cab.
    3. Position the PWM Valve
      1.  Install the PWM valve on the implement or the rear of the tractor using the supplied bracket, or you may fabricate a custom mounting bracket if preferred.
    4. Set Up the RTK GNSS Antenna
      1.  Attach the antenna on the implement at a location that moves up and down with the blade or cutting point. 
      2. The antenna should have an unobstructed view of the sky from all operating positions from 10 degrees above the horizon.
    5. Configure GNSS Settings
      1.  Set the GNSS to output GGA and VTG messages at 5Hz or 10Hz, with a baud rate of 38,400.
    6. Connect Components
      1. Use the Ditch Assist harnesses to connect all parts.
        1. Connect Power Cable: Attach the power cable to the main harness.
        2. Connect GNSS: Use the GPS-specific cable for your device to connect GNSS to the main harness.
        3. Connect Hydraulic Raise and Lower Connectors: Attach these to the solenoids on the PWM valve (direction is not crucial at this point).
        4. Connect Main Harness: Attach the main harness to the Ditch Assist Control Module (connectors will only fit into their corresponding ports on the controller).
        5. Protect the Control Module: Use the provided plug connectors to seal the two empty ports on the Ditch Assist Control Module. This step is important to prevent dirt and moisture from damaging the controller electronics.
  2. Connect Tablet to Ditch Assist Control Module
    1. Ensure that the Control Module is switched ON – you should see the LED lights glowing on the module.
    2. Download and install the Ditch Assist App onto your tablet.
    3. Go to your tablet’s wi-fi settings and search for a wi-fi network name that starts with DitchAssist.
    4. Connect your tablet to the DitchAssist wi-fi network using the password 12345678.
    5. If your tablet alerts you about the network lacking an internet connection, select the option to continue with the connection.
    6. Open the Ditch Assist app. Tap Connect WiFi. Confirm that you’re connected to the Ditch Assist Control Module. This can be confirmed via the Status details on the upper left corner of the screen (it should state that you’re connected to DitchAssistxxxx, with xxxx representing the unit’s serial number).
    7. Ensure that the GNSS info panel is filled – it should display details about your current positional coordinates, number of satellites, fix status, etc. If this panel remains empty, refer to the GNSS settings and troubleshooting parts of this user manual.
  3. Verify Implement Hydraulic Control from the Ditch Assist App
    1. Identify the hydraulic remotes that are connected to both the bypass and the valve – manipulating the bypass controls will result in the implement’s elevation and depression.
    2. Adjust the valve hydraulics to detent mode, which allows for a steady flow.
    3. On the Ditch Assist App, access the Grading screen by tapping on the Grading tab button.
    4. Press and maintain the Implement Raise and Lower buttons on the tablet screen – the implement should correspondingly rise and descend.
      1. If pressing the raise button results in the implement lowering, switch the cable connections to the valve solenoids. Then, retest to confirm the correct operation direction.
  4. Begin Operating (see appropriate chapters for information)
    1. Run a survey and then use Slope-IQ to design a best-fit or customized drain profile, or
    2. Import a 3D landforming design from your desktop software, or
    3. Enter a straight grade or target elevation to perform simple grading or leveling