Probes FAQ

There are a few things that you can do/check.

  • The first thing to check is the battery voltage of the probe. This can be done by clicking on the picture of a battery on the top toolbar of Probe Utilities. This brings up a list of all your probes, their voltages and the last time they communicated to the computer or server. Normal voltage is 3.6V. If your battery shows 3.5V or 3.4V the battery needs to be changed.
  • Visit the probe in the field. Is there damage to the probe? Is the probe sealed correctly? Damage to the probe could likely be the reason why it has stopped sending data.
  • If you are using a long range radio system, check that all the radios are still on their poles and that the office roof radio still has good battery voltage.
  • If you are using a GPRS system, check to see if the cellphone reception is still good at the location of the probe in case there has been changes at your local cellphone tower.
  • If none of the above helped, contact DFM as soon as possible and we will send out a consultant to sort your any issue you might be having.

This error message means that the serial port where your logger or server is connected to your computer is incorrectly identified in Probe Utilities. To change your port that the software will use to download the probe data, select the picture of a hand pointing from the toolbar and select the port number you want to use (represented by a "com #").

The probe type you should get all depends on how you want to use the probes on your farm. It is recommended that you talk to one of our consultants and they will be able to give you the optimal recommendation for your particular situation.

The DFM probe is a high quality and durable product. The probe has a lifespan of 5 to 10 years if maintained, serviced, monitored and protected correctly. DFM recommends a yearly service to ensure the probes are maintained correctly.

It is always a good idea to protect a probe with a probe cage to prevent accidental trampling or being driven over by a bakkie/tractor.

Your probe batteries should be replaced every season.

For replacement / new batteries:

  • Store in a cool area with no direct sunlight
  • Install within 30 days from date of purchase
  • DFM Technologies will not be held liable if installed after 30 days

If you want to remove your batteries because the device is no longer in use, follow the same guidelines as above for storage. However, for prolonged storage you will need a battery reset tool that will allow you to wake up the cells of the battery. Please contact us for more information on the battery reset tool.

If you have not received training on probes and probe utilities, then it is best to get in touch with a consultant to assist with the setting of your lines. Crops can be damaged/lost if lines are set incorrectly.

Under optimal conditions (line of sight, no trees, etc) we can easily do 2km - 3km of communication using long range probes. However, using our Hopalong System, we are able to extend the probe distance to whatever is required.

GPRS probes have no range limitations, as long as they have good signal from the cellphone towers.

The number of probes per hectare will depend on the number of irrigation blocks that you have in that hectare. The ideal is to have one probe per irrigation block, but starting with only a probe in some blocks is also acceptable.

It is very easy to change the batteries, and in the service manual that is supplied by us it explains on a step by step basis how to change and service the probes.

A short range probe system can be upgraded to a long range probe system by adding a repeater per probe and installing a central point server to receive the information from the field. A short range probe can also be upgraded to use GPRS.

In case you haven't found the answer for your question please feel free to contact us, our customer support will be happy to help you.