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Old 11-18-2017, 03:20 PM   #1
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Alarm annunciators

I wanted to show what a high end, highly reliable alarm system looks like; In this case its a nuke gen simulator:



You can see the flashing lights on the annunciator up high, the analog gauges are down lower. A couple of years ago, I helped on a nuke site design, both the training system and 4 actual systems that are running in MN.

It can look pretty chaotic, but here is how it works.
All the alarm inputs are digital signals. Either on or off. A new alarm starts its labeled flashing light and powers an audible general alarm. You push a button to silence the audible, the light under the marked lightbox cell continues to flash. If you acknowledge the alarm, it stops flashing, but stays lit as long as the fault exists. Something like an Airbus is more sophisticated; a master alarm may be generated, and a LCD screen will start showing various parameters out of bed. But that would be over the top for a yacht under a hundred foot, I think.

So, where am i going with this? I'm sure that there are pretty good PLC controlled annunciator systems for large yachts, but I'm not familiar with them. I've only seen stuff from the basic Aquaalarm to dedicated engine alarms, or a dedicated high water alarm , etc. So, at least I have not seen a comprehensive vessel alarm off the shelf scheme to accomodate 30 to 60' boats. I have seen computer screens with lots of data displayed, I actually was in that business way back in the early '90s. I'm not trying to show tons of engine data on a PC screen. First of all, its being done by lots of companies, and it's not what I want to own. What I would want is a "master alarm" light and audible, that can be triggered by quite a number of different mechanisms. High bilge water, hot exhaust elbow, fire in the gally, no drive pressure, bilge pump stuck on, generator high water temperature, whatever you want, as long as its on or off. Basically, one stop alert point for all critical systems. Not to replace any gauges, but would only act as an alarm annunciator.

Does one exist? If not, what would be the desirable characteristics? I would envision simple LED lit cells that are made up for a particular vessel. Kind of like how electrical panels are labeled. It should fit at the helm, maybe up high out of the normal scan. In a gauge hole? gimble mount? If it could be a 6 x 12" matrix on a trunioun mount, does that seem appealing? This may be a marketing survey, if there is some consensis. Or, if it already exists, maybe its fine for my next boat.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:25 PM   #2
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And the event was DBA LOCA probably a Main Steam Line Break.

The system you want will require either programmable logic or old school control relays.
Anyway, a long time ago there was Square D NOR Logic Solid State Motor Control. You could build AND, OR, NOT, NAND gates out of NOR gates to do practically anything you wanted at a reasonable cost. No clue if that stuff is around anymore but I would bet there is something close. The problem is its pretty big for a boat. No problem for a factory floor.

Bailey Controls builds industrial alarm panels at big $$$.
Alarmpanels.com is another brand.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
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One thought, if you have 1 master alarm triggered by many source how would you know the source of your issue? For me yes it is great to know that you have a problem but better to know the cause. I would prefer a ramp of alarms light and each one from one source so you can quickly identify the issue and tackle it.

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Old 11-18-2017, 07:47 PM   #4
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Some of the engine builders and boat builders have developed some very sophisticated systems. MTU and CAT do now. I'm familiar with the MTU system, not the CAT. Yacht builders have their own. Then there are major companies such as Frankentek

Frankentek Yacht Security Systems

and Gost

https://www.gostglobal.com/

Now, also some of the smart home people are heavily involved with boats and so integrate the boat systems with theirs. I have seen Crestron systems that were impressive and I'm sure there are many more. Most of the smart home providers in South Florida are also in boats. While they're focused on A/V and on lights, shades and security, they integrate all alarms on board into their systems.

They all have some similarities to the system you show and some differences which are a result of them being tailored to a different use.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:20 AM   #5
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"So, at least I have not seen a comprehensive vessel alarm off the shelf scheme to accomodate 30 to 60' boats."

Not "comprehensive " but individual alarm gauges oil pressure ,water or tranny temp and all the rest have been available from Murphy Gauges for a number of decades.

These are mechanical units so still work when the electric stuff is Dead.

The delight is that each alarm can be set for whatever temp or pressure , high or low , interests you.

An engine secure package can shut down the engine (or just alarm) as you desire.

Since many diesels will operate without electric till the fuel is gone , why not have gauges and engine protection that is similar?
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
One thought, if you have 1 master alarm triggered by many source how would you know the source of your issue? For me yes it is great to know that you have a problem but better to know the cause. I would prefer a ramp of alarms light and each one from one source so you can quickly identify the issue and tackle it.

L
You could build a "first out" alarm system where the first alarm tripped seals in an indicator light and subsequent alarms of other parameters do not seal-in. Designing such is not that hard with control relays.
As far as I know, there are no alarm systems off the shelf like this for smaller boats. All custom engineered.
To me all this is not necessary unless the monitored equipment is complex.
The alarm comes in, quick scan of gauges shows the culprit, analysis complete.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=diver dave;610742]I wanted to show what a high end, highly reliable alarm system looks like; In this case its a nuke gen simulator:

I lived in one of those rooms for 24 years and a smaller version for 4 years before that.
Sounds like you want the Starship Enterprise for a boat. The idea sounds cool. The first 5 years of owning the boat I was always coming up with another mod. I think I like working on things so I found cool stuff to work on. Having graduated from the 12 step program to rid me of my "boat modificationidus". I have grown out of working on my bright ideas to add to the boat. Good luck and let us know what you come up with.
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:17 AM   #8
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Let me develop this a tad more and answer a couple comments.

Each input gets its own 'light cell'. An example for a single trawler:

ENG Hi Temp
ENG Lo Oil
ENG Lo Volt
ENG Hi Exh
GEN Hi Temp
GEN Lo Oil
GEN Hi Exh
GEN Lo Volt
HOUSE Lo Volt
BLG Hi Water
NAV Lt Out
COLLISION
FREEZ Hi Temp
REEF Hi Temp
FUEL Lo
FUEL Water
FUEL Filter
AC Lo Volt
BLK WATER Hi
FSH WATER Lo
SYS OK

THis is 21 points for a single engine boat. Of course, which points to monitor is a buyer selection.
Each point gets its own 2 x 1 inch light cell with a LED behind it.
There is local noisemaker and a silence button.
There is a lamp test button.
There is an easy, one wire connect to attach a 2nd unit for the second station, a 3rd unit for the masters cabin, etc.

FF; yes, its electric, but a small internal backup battery maintains full functionality during any reasonable failure, including total DC bus failure. Yes, I have even heard of diesels that use Zero electrical energy, even for starting, but I haven't yet seen such a rig on the boat of the size targeted (compressed air start)

So, maybe there is a 20, 30, 40 point box available. About 6x9" display head for the 20 point box. I hope to have a mockup soon. Or at least a pix.
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Old 11-19-2017, 11:24 AM   #9
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I know this is not what you would like to read but in this sizing (6x9) I would better see it as software based with a 7 inches tablet as the display that would display you the master alarm with the source(s) below. Best thing it could be extended to the infinite based on what alarm you need to support.

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Old 11-19-2017, 01:38 PM   #10
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The lcd is a good input. It offers a number of great options. Labeling and sizing are programmatic. If only one alarm was announced it could be made very large. The last new hydro plant i worked with had 4x 60 inch LCD screens in the control room.
Another input i got was no display at all. Run the data to a wifi source and now any personal device can get the data.
So now we can socialize those 3 options. Fixed lamps, LCD, and a wifi port. To make it simple lets assume that the $ is the same for each option. Likely not far from the truth. Note also an option for fixed plus a wifi.
While on options, lets touch on electronic diesels. I envision a small interface box that takes the engine data, CAN, DDEC, or whatever, and makes that available with no on engine wiring mods.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:38 AM   #11
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"but I haven't yet seen such a rig on the boat of the size targeted (compressed air start)"

For some engines a Hyd kit is available and for others a wind up spring (no kidding) is the energy force.

Most will be found under lifeboat gear , as they are not inexpensive, and hardly needed where Sea Tow is a phone call away.

All these systems have the ability to be manually re energized .

An unparalleled range of non-electric starting systems ... - IPU Group

https://www.ipu.co.uk/wp-content/......ew-2016-11.pdf


Safe and Reliable Engine Starting Systems ... IPU provide non-electric starters and custom starting .... currently maintain your lifeboats, fire pumps, generators.

Sorta like a CPP , great idea for mental contemplation , but cost is a reality.
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