Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Field Throw Down!

We took the field sorter out to the flats today for the first time.  While Deniz and Taner bullraked for clams offshore, we set up the machine at the water's edge for sorting.  We took half bushels of rinsed clams and poured them onto the hopper and fired up the machine.  It worked very well sorting into runts, borderline and market-sized clams.  We were able to go through about six bushels of product in under an hour.
Feeding clams onto the rollers
  • Feed from hopper to rollers is easy and fast
  • Sorted product quickly and efficiently
  • No breakage of clams - used extruded mesh bumpers in crates to minimize impact between clams 
  • Battery provided adequate power for an hour of sorting
  • Wiring needs work: need to enclose battery, motor and wiring
  • Motor had enough torque to drive the rollers except when both rollers fully loaded-probably from belt slip (need adjustable tensioner) not lack of torque
Overall, we are very pleased with the first field test.  Tomorrow we'll take it out for a full-on harvest and see how it performs.  In the mean time, we have ordered some connectors for the permanent wiring and will work on the motor mount and belt tensioning mechanism.

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