Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

February 10, 2002 - 10:43 p.m.


This is something that I never imagined I would accomplish in my former electronics career. But alas, I have something to live on beyond me, or 20 years, which ever comes first. I invented a concept, and the lawyers lobbied it into a patent.
Don't let that Phillip G Spear name throw you off. He drew it for me. It was my idea.
Back when I was a whiz bang EMC Engineer for Case Corporation, we made these cool devices that would ride inside the tractor or combine cab and give the farmer realtime data on yields as he harvested in the field. The coolest thing about these devices is that they would take on the personality of whatever it was you plugged them into. When plugged into a combine, it became a yield monitor. When connected to a planter, it became a planter controller. Plus it talked to the DGPS signal mounted on the machine, so it knew exactly where it was in the world, within a few meters. The farmer could take his yield data and with software we invented, devise a fertilizer prescription for next years planting, and the controller would make the planter apply the right stuff at the right time in the field, because it knew where it was in the world.
This is what Case was doing when Fiat bought them out, and started gutting the company.
All that RISC processing power makes RF noise, and my job was to try and suppress it. The patent you see above describes the "unique approach" I came up with to shield the back of the display to keep the noise from squirting out of the case. The front half of the case was designed like a die cast baking pan, and the display rested inside that pan, facing out. This design blocked the RF noise created by the humming electronics on the main board from shooting right through the display, which was mainly plastic.
I don't know if they still use this design. I beat a hasty retreat from the place when they decided to sell off the lab I spent five years and one million dollars building. I figured my job was next. Smart move. They laid me off at the place I jumped to.
But at least I got my name on a patent.

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