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Old 04-16-2019, 10:31 AM   #1
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Wireless engine LCD engine gauges.....

Hey guys. Iíve been working with Michael from https://www.theonegauge.com/

He has designed a way to transmit engine parameters wirelessly to a tablet or lcd screen. I know there are already similar products out there but they are pretty expensive.

What I love about his system is itís totally customizable. You simply install the sensor, wire it to the hub then the information is transmitted to the tablet. So no running wires all over the boat. And you can take the tablet with you from upper helm to lower with out having two separate lcdís.

So here are some things that I want monitored. Iíd love to hear your thoughts. And please let me know if thereís something that I havenít thought of that should be monitored.

The boat is a 1986 47í Marine Trader with two Lehman 225ís

Engines:
Oil pressure
Oil temp
Water pressure
Water temp
Boost
Transmission temp
Fuel filter vacuum

Boat:
Bildge pumps
High water alarm
Fresh water gauge
Holding tank gauge
AC and DC voltage gauges
GPS

The idea is Iíd be able to monitor everything via the tablet even when Iím away from the boat. I believe I should be able to also get notifications on my phone if something changes from the norm (high water alarm, shore power dropping off; boat moving (stollen))

What do you guys think? The most difficult part will be installing the sensors, but American Diesel should be able to help me with that.

Thanks guys!
Steve
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:44 AM   #2
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I've used the alba-combi on a pair lehman 120's that I installed in a customer's boat. I was able to piggyback on the existing sensors and it has NMEA 2K output as well as a built in web server through an ethernet port. With the addition of a $30 wifi access point, the customer can see it's built in gauge display from any tablet all over the boat, and it also sends data to all of his Simrad displays on N2K. For $399 it's a pretty good system.

The only trouble I had was with RPM. It wouldn't pick up the RPM signal from the original stewart warner sender, so I wired it to the tach output of the alternator and that worked fine.

By the time you get the unit you referenced and all the sensors seems like it's comparable in cost if not more, and it looks like you have to give up the original gauges or add a bunch of Tee plumbing to plumb in duplicates.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:04 PM   #3
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Steve - will it monitor RPMs?
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:11 PM   #4
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I've used the alba-combi on a pair lehman 120's that I installed in a customer's boat. I was able to piggyback on the existing sensors and it has NMEA 2K output as well as a built in web server through an ethernet port. With the addition of a $30 wifi access point, the customer can see it's built in gauge display from any tablet all over the boat, and it also sends data to all of his Simrad displays on N2K. For $399 it's a pretty good system.

The only trouble I had was with RPM. It wouldn't pick up the RPM signal from the original stewart warner sender, so I wired it to the tach output of the alternator and that worked fine.

By the time you get the unit you referenced and all the sensors seems like it's comparable in cost if not more, and it looks like you have to give up the original gauges or add a bunch of Tee plumbing to plumb in duplicates.
Yeah itíll be more than $399 but Iím also wanting to monitor much more. Does that system do everything I need?
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:14 PM   #5
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Steve - will it monitor RPMs?
Yes it could, but Iím not sure I want to waste the real estate on the display for that.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:25 PM   #6
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I'm installing a new Merc 6.2 litre motor. Real estate for my new MFD eats up space. When talking to the guys installing the new motor with my re-fitter guy attending, it was decide to use a tablet instead of gauges. The new motor comes with a harness that broadcasts blue tooth, so I purchased a new Samsung S 10.5 tablet which will be almost permanently mounted for display of my gauge information.

It was also decided to install some idiot lights with warning sound so that if the engine over heats and for whatever reason my tablet doesn't pick it up, I have back up. Bluetooth is great, but not that great. You have to be aware of the distance the blue tooth transmitter has to be so your tablet can pick up the signal, that distance is short.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:36 PM   #7
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I'm installing a new Merc 6.2 litre motor. Real estate for my new MFD eats up space. When talking to the guys installing the new motor with my re-fitter guy attending, it was decide to use a tablet instead of gauges. The new motor comes with a harness that broadcasts blue tooth, so I purchased a new Samsung S 10.5 tablet which will be almost permanently mounted for display of my gauge information.

It was also decided to install some idiot lights with warning sound so that if the engine over heats and for whatever reason my tablet doesn't pick it up, I have back up. Bluetooth is great, but not that great. You have to be aware of the distance the blue tooth transmitter has to be so your tablet can pick up the signal, that distance is short.
The information for this will be transmitted via WiFi, not Bluetooth. I agree with having a the back ups. That’s why I’m leaving the stock gauges with the buzzer for water temp and oil pressure.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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The alba combi has Ethernet, NMEA2000, 6x voltage or resistance based inputs, 6 voltage based inputs, two RPM pulse inputs, 1 shunt input (current), 1 PTC1000 input (temperature)

I don't think a single unit would have enough inputs to do what you want. It does not include GPS.

With the One-Gauge, I think Bluetooth range on a larger boat will be a problem, once you get past a bulkhead and a deck it drops out quickly. Will be interested to see how it works for you.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:43 PM   #9
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The alba combi has Ethernet, NMEA2000, 6x voltage or resistance based inputs, 6 voltage based inputs, two RPM pulse inputs, 1 shunt input (current), 1 PTC1000 input (temperature)

I don't think a single unit would have enough inputs to do what you want. It does not include GPS.

With the One-Gauge, I think Bluetooth range on a larger boat will be a problem, once you get past a bulkhead and a deck it drops out quickly. Will be interested to see how it works for you.
It uses a WiFi signal, not Bluetooth.

Whatís nice about the one gauge, you can customize to what you want, even add sensors down the road.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sbman View Post
The alba combi has Ethernet, NMEA2000, 6x voltage or resistance based inputs, 6 voltage based inputs, two RPM pulse inputs, 1 shunt input (current), 1 PTC1000 input (temperature)

I don't think a single unit would have enough inputs to do what you want. It does not include GPS.

With the One-Gauge, I think Bluetooth range on a larger boat will be a problem, once you get past a bulkhead and a deck it drops out quickly. Will be interested to see how it works for you.
Their datasheet calls for RS232 for reprogramming. Ugg, try to find a modern laptop with 232. Also, it appears the inputs A to D convertors are set up for 0 to 32V. That immediately wastes 2/3 of the range with 12V systems. Ugg. They are not showing bits of resolution, etc. Not much of a datasheet.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:04 PM   #11
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Their datasheet calls for RS232 for reprogramming. Ugg, try to find a modern laptop with 232. Also, it appears the inputs A to D convertors are set up for 0 to 32V. That immediately wastes 2/3 of the range with 12V systems. Ugg. They are not showing bits of resolution, etc. Not much of a datasheet.
I never hooked up the RS232. It has a built in web server and all the configuration is setup through that interface using a standard ethernet cable and a web browser. The documentation is not great though. I found it to be pretty easy to setup with a bit of usage.

Even with the large input voltage range, I found it to be far more resolution than the old analog gauges and plenty adequate. You can scale the channels with a reference voltage, which I did.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:10 PM   #12
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I never hooked up the RS232. It has a built in web server and all the configuration is setup through that interface using a standard ethernet cable and a web browser. The documentation is not great though. I found it to be pretty easy to setup with a bit of usage.

Even with the large input voltage range, I found it to be far more resolution than the old analog gauges and plenty adequate. You can scale the channels with a reference voltage, which I did.
OK, I do see a 8 point cal setup for the A to D. I suppose that is either piecewise linear or some curve fit? Yep, it could be a lot more res than my 8 position magnetic tank level gauge!
I was part of a Mac yacht system design in 1991. We had the owner fill the tanks just 10 gallons at a time to cal the system. Over 1000 gallons later the system was dialed in.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:16 PM   #13
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OK, I do see a 8 point cal setup for the A to D. I suppose that is either piecewise linear or some curve fit? Yep, it could be a lot more res than my 8 position magnetic tank level gauge!
I was part of a Mac yacht system design in 1991. We had the owner fill the tanks just 10 gallons at a time to cal the system. Over 1000 gallons later the system was dialed in.
That's some time spent on calibration! I did calibrate the coolant temp sensors manually by putting the sender in boiling water with a good thermometer and letting it cool down, setting several points along the curve. I don't know if it's just several linear steps or what, but it worked pretty well. I was surprised how far off one of the engine's analog gauges was.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:07 PM   #14
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Analog gauges are horrible, usually. I spent some time on the phone with a production guy at the Stewart Warner Mexico factory, just trying to get a simple dash voltmeter to be within 1/2 Volt. To no avail, I might add..

OH, that 1000 gallons was spread between two mains and a day tank; so, not quite as bad as it sounds. Just pretty looong process.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:59 AM   #15
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It uses a WiFi signal, not Bluetooth.

Quick glance, their web page says Bluetooth.

Their links to some kind of sensor list don't work for me, but I infer it could be possible to piggyback off the existing wires that run to existing gauges... and if their sensor list includes those already in place... it could mean the installation -- for already existing data -- could be done mostly at the helm.

Just guessing, though. I wasn't able to get complete info from their site.

-Chris
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:01 AM   #16
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Quick glance, their web page says Bluetooth.

Their links to some kind of sensor list don't work for me, but I infer it could be possible to piggyback off the existing wires that run to existing gauges... and if their sensor list includes those already in place... it could mean the installation -- for already existing data -- could be done mostly at the helm.

Just guessing, though. I wasn't able to get complete info from their site.

-Chris
No youíre right, it is Bluetooth. My mistake.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:12 AM   #17
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Quick glance, their web page says Bluetooth.

Their links to some kind of sensor list don't work for me, but I infer it could be possible to piggyback off the existing wires that run to existing gauges... and if their sensor list includes those already in place... it could mean the installation -- for already existing data -- could be done mostly at the helm.

Just guessing, though. I wasn't able to get complete info from their site.

-Chris
The site is pretty clear that it cannot be used with existing sensors in place, it requires you to put dedicated sensors on the engine.

I'm curious to hear how this works on a large boat and how reliable the bluetooth connection is.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:35 PM   #18
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The site is pretty clear that it cannot be used with existing sensors in place, it requires you to put dedicated sensors on the engine.

I'm curious to hear how this works on a large boat and how reliable the bluetooth connection is.
Iíd want separate sensors anyway...shouldnít be too hard. I do it all the time for cars and trucks. There are almost always unused ports in the engine somewhere that can be used.

The owner of onegauge is looking into possibly using WiFi or something to get a strong signal to everywhere in the boat.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:22 PM   #19
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The site is pretty clear that it cannot be used with existing sensors in place, it requires you to put dedicated sensors on the engine.

I guess... but it also says:
Most sensors use factory-style senders, so installation is as easy as adding (if you want to keep your factory gauges) or replacing your current senders.
And when I finally watched the video -- at least the oil pressure sender looks like on off-the-shelf VDO model. The "hub" does the Bluetooth transmitting, so an off-the-shelf sender wired to the hub seems feasible (at least for analog sendors?).

Which may or may not play well with existing senders, but... using analog oil pressure or fuel level as examples, they're just simple "resistance senders"... and X Ohms is X Ohms no matter what sender sensed it as transmitted along a wire to a "hub."

Just speculating, of course... with very little clue...

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Old 04-17-2019, 03:39 PM   #20
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Is there much of a market for this type of homemade data system? I can see hobbyists wanting to play around with it, but will anyone else want to pick it up? I ask this because there is a long history of science project type systems that come and go. And when they go what do you do for support?

Have many of these been sold, is there a large enough installed base to support the business in the years to come or is this destined to become another orphan? I would want assurances that the company will be around in 5 years when I need support before I embark on all the expense and hassle of installation and set up.
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