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G5 Universal Displays with Guest Jared Roelofs

21 Sep 2023  •  Tony Kramer

You can find past podcast episodes and view show notes by visiting our Podcast website

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Read the entire transcript from the latest episode.

Tony: Hi, I'm Tony Kramer your host of the Agriculture Technology Podcast, and I'm sitting down with agriculture technology and equipment experts to help you enhance your operation for today, tomorrow, and into the future. In this episode, I talk with Jared Roloffs about the new John Deere G5 family of displays. With that, let's jump into this episode. As I said, I am sitting here in the field. We are out at RDO's Technology Field Days. Got the opportunity to jump into this John Deere Gator with Jared Roloffs. We're gonna talk a little bit about the new G5 family of displays, some of the compatibility, kind of where displays have come from, where they've gotten to today. Before we dive into that, Jared, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, where you came from, and how you got to where you are today.

Jared: Well, thanks for having me on here, Tony. I can say, longtime listener, first time caller. That's-- I can say that on these? Okay. No, I guess, born and raised here in the Red River Valley. I got my start in ag equipment pretty young. My family owned and operated a farm equipment dealership. Three of them at one point. So that kinda started my passion for ag equipment, both working with it, operating it, just kind of always been there from a young age and has led me to this role I currently hold now. And just happy to work with it every day and help provide solutions for growers.

Tony: Yeah, absolutely. It's great to have you on board with RDO Equipment. You've got a long agriculture background in a few different avenues of this industry. Now, before we dive into the display talk, I wanna talk a little bit about this Gator that we're sitting in. So one of the new, I believe it's a 835 R Gator set up with the John Deere signature cab. We are enjoying the nice air conditioning and a nice quiet cab. But tell us a little bit about the significance of this Gator and how this Gator could potentially benefit a customer out there utilizing these technologies.

Jared: Yeah, so this one in particular is Auto Trac and Green Star ready. So that is a factory option now. You can can order that with your Gator. The Auto Trac ready is only available as a factory option, however, so there there's not a retrofit or a field install kit available currently. But essentially just allows you to have that Auto Trac and you know, documentation. Big driver is, you know giving you the capabilities to have accurate guidance lines and generate accurate boundaries with the importance of those moving forward. The other thing that this one does have is a JDLink modem. That is another option as well, so that you do still get your wireless data transfer capabilities similar to some of your other ag equipment.

Tony: Yeah, so definitely a lot of big benefit. We've talked before about the importance of boundaries and utilizing them moving forward with autonomy and some of our current autonomous solutions. So having this Gator, having these precision ag capabilities. Just plug and play, it's very simple. There's no aftermarket or dealer install. It's kind of, you get the harnesses you need. We've got that StarFire 7000 up top and we've got this G5 Plus display right here in between us. So, great benefit to utilizing these Gators now with the precision ag kinda ready kit or the precision ag integration. Moving forward, let's talk a little bit-- before we dive into the G5s-- let's talk just a little bit about the history of the Green Star display. You know, where we came from back in the late '90s, early 2000s, and how we got to where we are today.

Jared: Yeah, no. Most guys, if they've been around the green equipment for a while, are pretty familiar with the brown box. That was like the OG started it all. It's been around since the Grand Canyon was just a ditch, Tony, so... It's been a while, '97 actually. But that started all pretty simple, basic, you know, it was a non-color display, no internal memory. You know, activations and whatnot were sold on a key card. Like a, I don't know, five and a half inch display or something. Pretty small, but still. Although they are sundown and we still have a lot of guys using them. And I mean, if you're just straight tracking, it works. I mean, and you know, nothing too in depth as far as you're not running adaptive curves or things like that. But anyways, they're still around. That kicked it all off and kind of moved into that 2600 or GS2 display. That was kind of, I believe 2006 era. And that was our first color-- well it was our first touchscreen, I should say. The 1800 was color as well, I suppose. But 10.4 inch screen, That was on compact flash disk. So, not USBs. That was an ISOBUS and display, but we did not have our wireless data capabilities out of that. So, cannot run an ethernet cable into that one. If you do throw a modem in an older machine and you're running a 2600, we can do that documentation, we just are transferring all that manually, which is not that difficult to do. Moving on from that, we jump into that, you know, GS3, that 2630, that was in that I believe 2010 timeframe. Color as well, 10.4, that one had like 800 megabytes of internal memory I believe, and that was a USB data port and then we had wireless data transfer capabilities with that if you were using a JDLink modem. So, you know, you can RDA into that as well. ISOBUS compatible and three video inputs were kind of the big drivers there. We did start to move into some of that, you know, precision activations and products that could be run with that. You know, where you could run your iGuide and iTech Pro, Surface Water Pro Plus, things like that. Your section control, RowSense, all those fun things in addition to auto tracking. So that was kinda-- and there's still a lot of them around. I mean, and that one is not Sundown by Deere. The 2600 as of last fall was. Just kind of a call out there. But then we moved into the Gen 4 platform in 2014. Similar size, more internal storage, 32 gig out of that one. 10.4 inch color touchscreen. US data is what-- or, USB. Sorry, correct myself there. USB data port. RDA and wireless data compatible as well with that modem. ISOBUS. And then there, we kind of started introducing the apps, as far as like, tractor apps, planter apps, things like that. It was a little more intuitive from a user standpoint. You know, similar to your tablets that you'd have around the house or things like that. And that's when we really jumped into this Automation 4.0 activation, or subscription, kind of depending, and you know that's where we kind of get into the ATTA, your Auto Trac implement guidance machine sync. You know, our data sync or infield data sharing and some of that more precision product offerings.

Tony: Yeah, absolutely. And now here we are today. We are talking about the G5 family of displays, the latest software-- latest display, not software. But, well I guess the software comes with the display too, but the latest family of displays that John Deere has introduced. So let's just start out kinda brief coverings of, you know, what display sizes, what makes the G5 display different than the Gen 4, 4600s, 4640s that we've been used to in recent years.

Jared: So one big thing you'll notice right away is just how slim this new display is. It is not as big and boxy as some of its predecessors. So you'll notice that. It does have a much higher resolution display. It's 1080P HD, so it's, you know, pretty clear, pretty crisp. It looks the same as far as user interface as the Gen 4. So if you were used to that platform and used to that layout as far as, you know, your menu and apps and things like that, it looks identical in that aspect. It is larger. Well, can be larger. Then we have-- I guess I should back up, we have a G5, we have the G5 Plus, and then we also have the G5E as well, which, that one in particular is replacing the Bale Trak baler monitor. So that's what that one is doing, just kinda got released here with the new 1 Series Round Balers, so that's kind of exciting there. Kinda that Bale Trak monitor we ran for a while, and now, you know, the big thing with those larger round balers now is we're documenting and we have that capability. But the G5, I should say, is 10.1 inches. That G5 Plus would be a 12.8 inch screen, so we're like, 35% larger. So more real estate, just larger screen able to, you know, with your layout manager, kind of configure those run pages the way you want them, see what you need to. And there is the G5 and G5 Plus in the universal options as well. So if it's not a integrated or a command center model that would be, you know, in your armrest of your machine or of a new machine, you can still get that as a universal option as well. And the G5s do have capability for a extended monitor as well, like you may have been used to or may have used with a Gen 4 platform.

Tony: Yeah, so there's a few different options, not just that G5 Plus, that 12 inch display you're talking, or roughly 12 inches. But there's also just the standard G5, and each one kind of comes with its benefits. What are some of the differences between that G5 and that G5 Plus when we talk kind of base model options?

Jared: So one of the big ones is with the Plus, whether it's a command center or a universal, we did move section control back into a base option. So with that Gen 4 platform, section control moved into the Premium 3.0 and then automation, you know, was included in Automation 4.0, so that was a-- it was bundled. Deere kind of pulled that back out. And in the Plus platform, that does come in base. In the G5 nonplus, that would be an option. So you can add that permanent license after the fact with that. Otherwise, a lot of the capabilities are pretty similar, other than just some of the base offerings. And then obviously display your overall screen size is another big one there.

Tony: Right. Now, of course the next question we're gonna get asked is how different is this from Gen 4? Do we have a whole new layout like that jump from GS3 or the 2630s to the Gen 4? We know there were a lot of big changes in the user interface. What does that look like for the G5 family of displays?

Jared: It is identical-looking to that Gen 4 platform. I mean your main homepage, you still have your shortcut, you know, buttons on the bottom that you can reconfigure. You still have your menu, machine settings, applications, and system. You know, very-- well not very similar, it's the same. So as far as it's not a whole new system you're having to learn. It'd be very, very similar to that GS2 to GS3 that the guys had. You know, they were very similar that way. What it comes down to is, it's a 35-- and in the plus side, it's a 35% larger screen, some more real estate, three times faster processing power. So that's a big one. And then just the 1080P HD display, higher resolution. It's very clear and crisp to look at.

Tony: Yeah, absolutely. That's the one thing that is definitely catching my eye right now as we look at the display here in this Gator is, it is crystal clear. It is like a television, a late model television that you'd have in your home where a lot of these traditionally, a lot of these agriculture displays or precision ag displays, they were a little pixelated, they weren't quite a crystal clear picture. But man, this G5 Plus display. This has a clear picture. It looks like a current computer monitor or TV that you would have in your home today. So, very exciting, very easy to see, very easy to read. And you also mentioned-- so we talk about the user interface-- this is just like that GS2 to GS3 leap going from the 2600 to the 2630. Same user interface, the display, the hardware, some of the internal components are different, but the user interface, the layout, is all the same. Now, next, moving on to the next piece, of course the second question we're gonna get is, what can I put this display in? So let's talk compatibility here, Jared. How far back can we go in equipment? Is there certain equipment that we can be in? Is there certain equipment that it's not gonna be capable in? Let's talk compatibility.

Jared: Yeah, so it's-- not to sound like a broken record-- but it is very similar to that Gen 4 compatibility. So if you had implements that you were running. or machines, I should say, that you were running, that universal Gen 4, so that 4640, if you were running that in something that, this universal G5 or G5 Plus should mate up very similar to that. I mean, we're going back into... I think all the way back into like 8000 series tractor, if I'm not mistaken, like 250 series combines. 30 series or 20 series sprayers I believe, back in that '04 timeframe. So, if there's more in depth questions on exactly what model you have, you know, get with your local dealer, come talk to your account manager, your product specialist. We can really dive into those compatibility guides and just make sure that is something that we can make work for you.

Tony: Yeah, absolutely. And that brings me right to my next question. You know, Jared, if somebody wants to learn more, who can they go-- or where can they go, not who can they go-- where can they go, who can they talk to to learn some of the specifics about their machine, some of the licenses, the permanent or the renewable licenses and the differences there, where do they go or how do they find out about this stuff?

Jared: Yeah, so, being a product specialist, come and talk to us. I mean, that's what we're here for. Answer those questions, walk you through that. Obviously work with your account manager as well or talk to your local dealer to get in touch with those people. If you're a little more remote and are afraid of going into the dealership, the sales manual, John Deere sales manual, has a lot of good guides and compatibility charts, things like that. Deere does also do a pretty good YouTube channel with some of this information. I think they do have a pretty decent video out there on the G5 family displays. We do have our Precision Ag Answers YouTube channel for RDO as well. That's a good one. And you know, this podcast. We can hopefully shed some light on some of the questions anyways.

Tony: There we go. Yes, absolutely. Go back and listen to other questions or other episodes. Hopefully we can get some of those questions answered for you. Now, before I let you go, Jared here, I wanna play with this G5 display a little bit. So, of course we're sitting in the cab of this Gator. We had talked about at the beginning of the episode the importance of boundaries, things like that. Why don't we go through-- and yes I know this is a podcast, this is audio not visual, but we do also post this on YouTube. So why don't we go through, just walk through real briefly, the basic steps that we need to take in order to record a boundary with one of these Gators.

Jared: Sure. So I guess components that'll be needed, you will need your display, you'll need your receiver. So those are the big ones. Obviously we're in this one with the Auto Trac capability. I mean, if a guy has a either non Deere side by side or a older model that they're wanting to really get out and do those accurate boundaries with, we can still get you set up at doing that. We just won't be auto tracking. You know, you can hand steer it and use your light bar and things like that. But yeah, so I guess base components, that's what we need. This one, I guess we do have that modem as well, so we're sending it wirelessly back to our op center. So that is a pretty nice feature to have in this as well. So those are the bare minimum we'd need. We need that receiver and that display, and proper harnessing. But I guess to come in here working on this one, or on very similar, layout on your Gen 4, if you go into the lower right hand corner you got your Menu icon there. And then we'd go down to our Applications, and then we jump to the tile that says "Field and Boundaries." And so in there, if we don't have a boundary yet, we can go, there's big yellow plus there for create boundaries. And so we can do that off existing coverage map or today we're gonna drive our standard boundary, and so select that, move forward and pull up a window here where you can either enter your offsets. So we have a three-foot offset to the left right now, just to bring it over to the driver's side. And then essentially, we're just gonna start recording. And so from that we can put our machining in gear here and drive the boundary on whatever we're wanting. One recommendation I may have, might get a little noisy in here. I would, with that offset, I'd like to set it to the driver's side. We have some guys even that'll, you know, hang a indicator. You know, whether it's a rope or, you know, something off the side so you can maybe stay a little off of something as you're driving that boundary. But to really just get an accurate boundary there. So as you can see on the display here, it's gonna show your kind of pink or magenta line there in whatever manner you're driving. And just run a quick loop here, got the red recording light there. If we gotta pause and go around something, there is that button, so you can hit pause, you know, drive around that ditch or log, or you could map out your ditches as well. That is a very helpful thing to do. Then if you hit resume, it'll just snap to where you are then at as well. Whenever you're done, we can just end this here, and just stop and hit Save. So, pretty straightforward, pretty easy to do.

Tony: Yeah, absolutely. I think even I could record one of those boundaries. So, not a hard process. And to utilize tools like this Gator, whether it's a G5 display, a 4640, this user interface, it seems really simple and the benefits that you can gain from having those good, clear, precise driven boundaries is gonna carry on through your operation. So yeah, you said it doesn't have to be one of these brand new R Series Gators with the air conditioning in the cab, but man, I would highly recommend it. I am very comfortable in here right now.

Jared: Yeah, it's nice. Cuts back on the dust too. Have the windows closed and AC rolling, it's pretty nice in here.

Tony: Absolutely. So, yeah. Very easy walkthrough, very nice features on this new G5 Plus display and the whole G5 family of displays. So, great walkthrough, great information. Jared, I just want to thank you for taking the time out here at our RDO Technology Field Days to jump in this Gator, drive around a little bit, and tell our listeners a little more about the G5 family of displays. So thanks again for doing this.

Jared: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Tony:Please take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. If you haven't already, you can subscribe to the show on the many different podcasting apps that we're streaming this out to. It's on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast as well as many others. While you're out there, drop us a review. We'd love to hear what you think about the show. And finally, make sure to follow Audio Equipment Company on Facebook, Instagram, and X, or formerly known as Twitter, and catch all of our latest videos on YouTube. You can also follow me on X, again, formerly known as Twitter @RDOTonyK.

Tony Kramer

Tony Kramer is the Product Manager of Planting Technology and a Certified Crop Advisor at RDO Equipment Co. He is also the host of the Agriculture Technology podcast. If you have any questions for Tony or would like to be a guest on the podcast, you can find him on X at @RDOTonyK.

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