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Empty Sensor on Western Tornado

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by mikeyt4e, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. mikeyt4e

    mikeyt4e Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I just got a western tornado installed and when its empty theres no sensor to signal its empty. Ive used it once this season so far and it didn't work then. What could be the reasoning to this.
     
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    What do you mean "it didn't work?" The non-existent empty sensor didn't work or the sander didn't work?
    You are right about one thing, there is no sensor per say to indicate it's empty. The sander mutiplex decoder / control module (under the black cover behind the spinner assembly) senses many things based on current flow. When the conveyor is jammed or overloaded it takes more energy to make it move so the motor draws more current which shuts it of and provides an alarm and error code. The same will happen when the hopper is completely empty and the current drops below a certain threshold. This condition generates another error code but does not shut off the conveyor. If your hopper was empty but didn't give a beep and a code then something is dragging it down making it work harder than it should keeping the current above the threshold. Perhaps your conveyor is to tight or your bearing need grease. Maybe you just have to run a few loads through to break it in and loosen it up. Look in the owner's manual and read the table that lists the error codes. I believe there are 9 of them, some for the conveyor and some for the spinner.
     
  3. mikeyt4e

    mikeyt4e Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the input. So if the salters empty and I run it, it shouldn't beep. That would be normal.
     
  4. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Yes if the unit is empty and not binding for some other reason it will give two beeps & the controller light will flash twice, then pause and then twice again repeating until you shut it off or resolve the error.

    There are actually 11 error / message codes. Not all are errors, some like the empty hopper code are just information not an error.

    Here is a link to the Tornado user's manual, look at page 16.
    http://library.westernplows.com/westernplows/pdffiles/94211.01_081513.pdf

    Some of the codes listed are ambiguous. Like #1: communication error. When the big 100 Amp main fuse is blown there is power to the controller via the ign fuse but no power to the sander module so it doesn't answer the commands. It would be better if it actually flashed a #4 error which says "no power or main fuse blown." I have repaired many blown fuses but always see the #1 error, have never seen a #5 when the fuse is out.

    One of the most common "come backs" I see with Tornadoes is when the big cable is routed to low in the back and it get's sandblasted until the little communication wires get damaged. Make sure the big wire is out of the path of the spinner's throw. On pickups I like to push them between the bumper and the body not under the bumper.
     
  5. mikeyt4e

    mikeyt4e Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Ok just so I have this straight. When I turn on my spreader which is completely empty, should the two beeps indicting it's empty go on
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    If everything is right yes an empty spreader will turn on and after the module detects the low current, after a few seconds it will give a code 2 indicating its empty. This code 2 also happens when the conveyor is empty because of bridging. That is what happens when the load is solidified and fails to fall on its own. Same thing, no load on the conveyor, low current. Sander module thinks it's empty.
    However, many plows never display the empty message.
     
  7. mikeyt4e

    mikeyt4e Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Yeah mine isn't beeping twice when it's empty I'll try greasing the bearings. Why else can it not being beeping? Cuz it's new
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  8. viper881

    viper881 Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    Run a few loads through it and you will start getting the 2 beeps when its empty or close to empty. I had the same thing except I didn't know I was missing the beeps at first! After roughly the 5th salting when it was empty it started beeping.
     
  9. bliz&hinikerDLR

    bliz&hinikerDLR Senior Member
    Messages: 471

    The empty code is also sensitive to the conveyor speed setting. Mine does not register as empty if it is on the lowest 1/5 of the dial.
     
  10. mikeyt4e

    mikeyt4e Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Yeah I test it on the highest conveyor setting and still no empty sensor. Ran my 3 or 4th load today and still nothing. You think the dealer would know?