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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been getting better and better at mowing my lawn. This past weekend I mowed diagonally and was impressed with the results. One thing though I was thinking about was how to get my lines straighter and looking more precise. Then it dawned on me, why not use a compass?

Maybe something like this that I would mount on the tractor:

http://www.thecompassstore.com/noname.html

Has or does anyone do this? I know this is OCD, however getting that first pass right really makes a difference on how the job turns out.
 

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ummm.... what can I say.... you could be off by 6" and end up with un-cut strips, and that compass wouldn't even move from the internal friction it has.

If you want to automate your precision cut, get a dual differential GPS that will map your positon down to a fraction of an inch. Then, follow a prescribed path that you map out on the GPS screen, or an external lap-top that you'd have to mount on a pedestal on your tractor...... or you could just "look" and have it going straight like the rest of us!

I like the compass though - it would add a touch of "sophisticated instrumentation" to your dash. An outside-air temperature display would be usefull... but the cake goes to: aircraft stule attitude indicator!


cheers!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was more thinking of the initial pass. I only bring this up because I find if I get th efirst one right, the rest are fairly easy to just overlap.

Some times there is a good land mark to line up with, but its not always the case.

It just needs to be a simple compass with degrees. So I can say, line up on 280 and follow that across.
 

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My guess is the compass would move around too much. If you don't have a landmark to drive toward, plant a flag and drive to it.
 

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1. Eyeball an object in the distance, like davidg said. This works well for me. And if there isn't a convenient object, just eyeball a spot on the ground at the end of the run.. should work just as well.

2. Mount a laser pointer on the hood. Keep it trained on something.

3. Use the force.
 

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How 'bout some of the neighborhood bikini-clad hotties standing at the edge of your property? I guarantee you'll drive straight to 'em! You could use your own "man compass" to use as a secondary system with this method. :ROF
 

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Hold a plumb bob on a 1' 4" cord out in front of the steering wheel. Or find an old second hand astrolabe in a junk store. The Vikings used a piece of lodestone floating on bark in a mead cup to find America, might work for striping lawns right.

If you can't get long straight lines done to your liking try my method. Mow 4', lift deck and drive 4', drop deck and mow 4' repeating in alternating rows until a nice checkerboard pattern emerges. After one pass of the photo satellite goofballs from England will be flocking to see your lawn and taking measurments.
 

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I have never had ANY luck with a compass,in an automobile,and I doubt a tractor would they work any better...seems every compass I put in a vehicle was either thrown off by magnetic feilds in the wiring harness,or pointed directly at the closest SPEAKER MAGNET ,not the north pole,90% of the time!...I can only imagine what one would do on a tractor,with the flywheel magnets spinning around at 3000 rpm,it would probably look like a whirlygig!..
 

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With the bumpy ride offered by most tractors, I just don't see the compass being very useable for steady directioning. I can also see the possibility of the operator getting visually fixated on the needle's movement and getting whacked in the head by a tree limb he didn't see.
 

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Make one pass, drink a beer
Make another pass, drink a beer
Make another pass, drink a beer
repeat
One way or another you will accomplish something.
 

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Make one pass, drink a beer
Make another pass, drink a beer
Make another pass, drink a beer
repeat
One way or another you will accomplish something.
I like this idea, plus even if it isn't straight by the time you are done making all the passes with a beer between each it will look straight LOL.
 

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How 'bout some of the neighborhood bikini-clad hotties standing at the edge of your property? I guarantee you'll drive straight to 'em! You could use your own "man compass" to use as a secondary system with this method. :ROF
Yes! In a thong bent over.. Bet you will get the center of the hood right where it needs to be! :sidelaugh
 

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On a pipeline construction job I was on we were doing a river crossing working from a barge that was positioned by four winches and cables to both banks. We used a high power laser to shoot a straight line that we could follow.
 
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