Managing Spares

We recently introduced some new concepts to help manage spare IPC’s.

IPC Service - refurb and repairs

The three new concepts are:

  1. Spare units
  2. Out of service units
  3. Points of interest.

Spare units allow you to hold extra stock of IPCs on your farm site with the details (e.g. serial number) already registered in IMS so that if you need to replace a unit in the field you can do so using IMS on your phone. Spares can be created in two ways: a) a brand-new unit can be added and marked as a spare, b) an existing unit on a farm can be changed to a spare. Spares may be used for quick replacements but it is recommended that if the battery of a device in the field is at the end of its life it is preferable to replace the battery if it is field replaceable rather than swap out the unit. This means that no changes to IMS are generally required.

Out of service units show up as pink dots (like spares or posts temporarily without controllers on) and once marked as out of service, their status does not affect the overall dashboard figures for low battery or out of contact etc, thus spares marked out of service will not distort the condition of the site.

Points of interest was previously known as placeholders. We are still polishing this feature but one farmer has tried it out so that he can also mark drain points on his sprinkler map. Points of interest are placeholders  that simply let you mark a place on the map that has no other purpose other than to help you find things on the farm block.  Old post or pod positions can be left as point of interest to show that the post  (or pod) is still there but not used.

Good Practice for Spares:
When you create a spare it is good practice to get it completely ready to go out into the field so that the physical replacement process relies only on you having you phone on you when you make the swap.

To get it completely ready make sure that the IPC is on the correct radio channel and FarmID before you store it in the shed. Follow application note AN40 (on the support page) to set up the radio channel. Always make sure you programme the correct FarmID and channel . Otherwise the device will not communicate with IMS.

If your spare is ready to go then as long as it’s battery is charged you can replace the old unit , make the swap on your phone and send the unit its schedule.

Its good practice to leave spare units in the sun for a few days with the storage magnet removed before use, so that the battery is in good condition, ready for use.

For more information read these app notes in the support page.

  • “AN45 – IPC Status Indicators in IMS”
  • “AN 43 – Working with IPCs using IMS”
  • “AN 40 – Swapping IPCs in the field using IMS”

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