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    Instrument Replacment, and NMEA addition.

    I will be replacing the original standard instruments/gauges this year. My question is, are there currently available inexpensive NMEA hubs fully compatible with the normal analog measurement designs?

    I guess I will state here what I wish to avoid
    1. if there is a problem with the NMEA interface, it must not disrupt the dash gauge measurements.
    2. easily interfaced with multiple devices. PC, Android, ipad via Bluetooth, WiFi, and possibly LAN.
    3. propriety interfaces. I don't want problems connecting, and monitoring using whatever device(s) I choose. I want everyone to get along nicely.

    Is there such a thing at an affordable price?
    '89 3888
    "RUM AWAY"

    #2
    Affordable is all relative.
    Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

    iBoatNW

    1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

    Comment


      #3
      The problem you are going to fact is still being able to se your old gauges

      The reason is that some of the gauges like fuel level, temperature, and oil pressure use a system where there is a voltage source where current goes through the fauge, and the sender is really a variable resistance.

      Paralleling that requires a NEMA sender specifically meant to be paralleled.

      What I would do is to buy NEMA senders for the values you want to read and put those senders on your engine as separate units.

      KEVIN SANDERS
      4788 LISAS WAY
      SEWARD, ALASKA

      Comment


        #4
        Try these . . . I imagine you're looking at a NEMA0183 network and one of the guys just finished installing one of their units . . do a search cause my memory just ain't that great
        http://www.actisense.com/products/ BOC member egbauman was the one doing the upgrade so search on Actisense or on his name.
        Last edited by Dadrock33; 01-25-2018, 06:25 PM. Reason: I did the search
        1998 Avanti 3685 - "Dad's Dream" w 454 Mercs - just a rockin' an'a rollin'
        Former - "Home Aweigh" 2003 - 2452 Bayliner Cierra Classic Hardtop Cruiser
        WQQM835 MMSI: 338147209
        James H. Stradling

        Comment


          #5
          adding an engine interface makes the gauges obsolete... and everything you connect to the interface unit reads out on a screen and not the existing gauges.

          to turn an analog signal from a common sensor into a nmea signal, only to carry it forward and turn it back into an analog signal so it shows on the existing gauges would be counter productive to the efforts and expense of installing an nmea system....

          but.... the common senders can be used with an nmea engine interface and the interface calibrated to give accurate readings on the screen.

          some interface units have options to add other NON engine related senders, but the interface still needs to be calibrated to read the signal correctly from those senders...

          its much easier to replace the common senders with nmea senders and connect directly to the backbone.... no calibrating needed, just plug and play. and if the signal ever fails, its an easy troubleshoot, rather than wondering if the sender failed, the sender wiring is faulty or the interface unit itself has a problem....

          but for connecting the engine itself into the system, an interface is usually the best, and sometimes the ONLY option


          NU LIBERTE'
          Salem, OR

          1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
          5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
          N2K equipped throughout..
          2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
          2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
          '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
          Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

          Comment


            #6
            I am pretty much convinced the Chetco Sea Gauge G2 w/WiFi option will be the preferred approach for my objectives.

            From what I can gather, some portions of Actisense's calibration programs are incompatible with the sensors we use in the US. To explain, the temp/ press vs. resistance are inverse of what we typically use in US. This creates a layer of problems I don't wish to deal with.

            I also spoke with NoLand, and one of the major problems I see is they don't have an integrated approach to communicate with the outside world, and it appears their calibration approach is somewhat limited also. The NoLand reps I spoke with just didn't have good answers to my questions.

            I spoke with Chetco, and they seemed to fully understand the objective, and the hurdles that must be overcome. Such a parallel connection to existing gauges and not having enough resolution for meaningful measurements. Their response was, I will still have several volts span to work with, I believe that will be adequate. And the addition of the Sea Gauges input impendence to the existing circuit skewing the readings of the old gauges. Chetco indicates that should not be a problem, I am not totally convinced that it wont change the readings, but it probably is insignificant considering the accuracy of the gauges to begin with. The WiFi option will provide communication to Android, Ipad etc. The second port will be NMEA should I decide to connect to existing chartplotter etc. Chetco indicated my biggest challenge will be calibration. However I have a long background in industrial instrumentation, and have access to NIST traceable calibration sources. And the Chetco calibration program has the ability to use a 256 point curve if needed for non linear sensors. Probably wont be an issue for my purposes, but could be very useful if measuring a non rectangular tank level for example. They also offer thermocouple amplifier/isolators, current sensors, and various other bits and pieces. I don't want to get into building buffer amplifiers etc., and hopefully I wont see isolation/ground loop problems.

            The bottom line is I am no more willing to discard the analog gauges, than I am to throw the paper charts overboard. And I think the Sea Gauge will work.

            '89 3888
            "RUM AWAY"

            Comment


              #7
              So far this is the plan. The existing gauges will be replaced with new.

              The Sea Gauge G2 has (3) pulse inputs, two will be used for tachs.

              (12) Analog inputs to be assigned as follows.

              (2) engine temp The engine temp, oil pressure, and voltmeters will rely on the voltage drops across the analog dash gauges, the remainder will be stand alone measurements
              (2) oil pressure
              (2) voltmeters
              (2) transmission temp
              (2) transmission pressure
              (2) fuel pressure/vacuum between the primary filters and engines

              (12) Digital inputs i.e. on/off assigned as follows

              (1) Fwd bilge high level
              (1) Aft bilge high level
              (3) Cooling water low pressure, one for each engine, and one for the generator, I am uncertain of what range to set these. 5-10 psi?

              So I have (8) remaining digitals. Do you guys have any clever ideas on how these could be used?
              '89 3888
              "RUM AWAY"

              Comment


                #8
                Tank levels?
                1998 Avanti 3685 - "Dad's Dream" w 454 Mercs - just a rockin' an'a rollin'
                Former - "Home Aweigh" 2003 - 2452 Bayliner Cierra Classic Hardtop Cruiser
                WQQM835 MMSI: 338147209
                James H. Stradling

                Comment


                  #9
                  Maretron makes the TLM 100. I was just looking at them at the boat show. ($200 and will read any tank up to 40" deep)

                  https://www.westmarine.com/buy/maret...EaAozTEALw_wcB
                  Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

                  iBoatNW

                  1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Dadrock33 View Post
                    Tank levels?
                    Unfortunately all analog channels are used. This means it would have to be something like a low level switch.

                    If this project works out well, I might be considering adding a second Sea Gauge for tankage, and electrical power management.
                    '89 3888
                    "RUM AWAY"

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by SomeSailor View Post
                      Maretron makes the TLM 100. I was just looking at them at the boat show. ($200 and will read any tank up to 40" deep)

                      https://www.westmarine.com/buy/maret...EaAozTEALw_wcB
                      If you have a network installed, and a device that will display that info, it might be worth considering. I looks like it would install in the hole where your resistive sender currently resides. I am not sure how it is calibrated.
                      '89 3888
                      "RUM AWAY"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Brian1e View Post

                        Unfortunately all analog channels are used. This means it would have to be something like a low level switch.

                        If this project works out well, I might be considering adding a second Sea Gauge for tankage, and electrical power management.
                        if all the channels are used, and still not all necessary levels have been integrated thru the interface, then one will have to get a nmea compatible sender to install, and then connect it directly to the backbone


                        NU LIBERTE'
                        Salem, OR

                        1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                        5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
                        N2K equipped throughout..
                        2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
                        2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
                        '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
                        Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sounds like you have a fun project there. Keep us up to date as you progress.

                          I am going on my 2nd season now with the Noland RS11. The RS11 replaced an AlbaCombi unit that I sent back -- RPMs simply would not work. I have it connected to my current analog gauges and currently monitor:

                          2 x RPM
                          2 x Engine Temp
                          2 x Fuel Tanks
                          1 x Voltage
                          1 x Black water tank

                          I send all this data via NMEA2000 to my Simrad and Lowrance chartplotters. I farted around sending the data via WiFi etc but really saw no benefit in my situation. The digital readings are much more accurate and granular than the old analogue gauges on the boat. RPM in particular is very helpful in keeping both engines in sync. Its been a very useful addition. I have not noticed any difference to the analogue gauges -- they work as they did before. If you were to use the RS11 you'd need a pair of them for all the input sources you need -- they do sell them in a 2 pack if the Chetco option doesn't work out.

                          If you really want to get fancy -- build yourself a webserver so you can monitor your bilge levels, voltage, temperatures etc.. from home. And, if you want to get really fancy, build in some alarms -- for example if the bilge pump runs for more than 10 minutes, have the system send you a text alert.... And then, explore the world of LoRA sensors and gateways.
                          Terry
                          1999 Bayliner 3388
                          Twin Cummins 4BTA
                          Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
                          Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TenMile View Post
                            Sounds like you have a fun project there. Keep us up to date as you progress.


                            If you really want to get fancy -- build yourself a webserver so you can monitor your bilge levels, voltage, temperatures etc.. from home. And, if you want to get really fancy, build in some alarms -- for example if the bilge pump runs for more than 10 minutes, have the system send you a text alert.... And then, explore the world of LoRA sensors and gateways.
                            What with technology moving as fast as it does, and all the new gadgets and the capability to do so much remotely, it may not be long before we are able to find all the time we want to use our boats... everyday of the week if we choose to....
                            we will be able to spend all of our weekends working overtime at the office earning money (rather than spending it), or, just setting at home in front of our TV's, or having a bbq with the in-laws, while we remotely send our boat out for a weekend adventure all by itself.... it will be able to report back to us via the internet with all the sights and sounds and fun (or miseries) thats happening, in real time.... there will no longer be an excuse for our boats not getting used and just setting there at the dock being a "marina queen"..... such a time saver it will be when we are able to multi task that way ;-)



                            NU LIBERTE'
                            Salem, OR

                            1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                            5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
                            N2K equipped throughout..
                            2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
                            2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
                            '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
                            Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

                            Comment

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