Monday, May 25, 2015

Rain has not helped out this project, nor my attitude.

One important thing-- never start an outside project expected to take multiple weeks in rainy lousy crappy weather.  I am not a weather guru, but, I figure we have had to have received the most rain in a month in my entire life.  It has been raining cats & dogs for most of the month.  My fields are under water, as are most of the neighbors.  My wife's garden is a pond & we could probably plant fish in it for a while. The yard is also a mess, mud and standing water all over the place.  I am ready for it to be over.  We are the better part of 2 weeks behind on planting corn & if the rain does finally stop today, it would take a week before we could work some of the fields.  I am not happy about all this dang rain.

I feel like the rain has made my hair grow faster than normal.  I wear a hat dang near 100% of the time when I am at the barn, & usually have a pen behind my ear, or stuffed up inside my hat.  With the "Marty Deeks" style hair I currently sport, I pull a wad of hair out on the clip of the pen each time I pull the pen down to write something.  I hope these robots get going smoother so I can get my hair cut.

On a bright spot- the cows are flowing through the robots better.  I am still irritated at the movements that the robots make at times.  Charlie told me not to try to figure them out; it will just baffle me & that I am better off knowing they will do their job, if I keep the maintenance up on them.  My daughters and I did the daily maintenance today. I taught them which screens to get into to move the arm into the correct "service" position for daily cleaning, checking milk cups, hoses for cracks, and cleaning the screen the laser shines through.  I also had them move the "mothership" button so that we could loosen the milk cups to thoroughly inspect them.  Brin did the cleaning, I did the teaching and Ad did the final touch up & cleaned the laser screen & put them back into normal operation mode.  It is not that bad of a job when the kids are there to help me do it.  It had been boring the last few days, but with the kids there today, it went much faster and was a lot more fun. 

Overall I am impressed with the ease the cows are going through.  I am just not content with the irregularity of their visits and the milk production is down a long way.  On the milk production, I had expected it to be down, but not this far.  I had also expected it to start to pick back up within a week.  It is a week tomorrow and I am not seeing the increasing in milk yet.

Overall a good day, a decent end to the weekend yesterday, & hopefully DSC can get the cell modem hooked up so that I don't have to continue to sleep poorly and check to see if a robot has failed every few hours during the night.  If any of you ever put in robots on your dairy-- make sure the cell modem is in place prior to starting.  That single thing could get me a bunch more sleep.  Crap, I would probably even get to sleep in my own bed if I didn't have to go check the robot barn every few hours.

1 comment:

  1. Just read your entire blog so far, beginning to end! Thanks so much for documenting your experience.

    Having remote monitoring will definitely put your mind at ease. How far is it from your robot barn to your house? You could possibly use Wi-Fi instead of cellular, it would have more bandwidth and no recurring costs.

    With directional antennas (i.e. Ubiquiti AirGrid) and good line of sight, you can set up 20+ mile Wi-Fi links.