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Old 03-22-2019, 12:23 AM   #1
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Re-power with engine with Blue Tooth

So I am taking out the old and putting in the new Mercury 6.2 350 hp gas stern drive engine and leg. When I and my refit guy were talking with the engine swap guys, it was suggested that instead of putting in all the tradition gauges, the engine comes with a harness that can broadcast Blue Tooth and have all the gauges displayed on a tablet, in essence I am just buying something like a $300 tablet dedicated to all the engine information. This seems reasonable to me but I thought I would put this scenario out there for feedback in case there is something important I haven't taken into consideration.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:45 AM   #2
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Tablets wash out on bright days. Nice to see a gauge that is viewable in bright light and can be dimmed down for night time. Tach, oil, temperature, amp meter and stern leg angle are ice to reference at a glance. Also, some tablets don't like colder weather.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:30 AM   #3
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Wait til the tablet gets dropped overboard.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:48 AM   #4
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Think I'd feel better with fixed gauges, or engine data on at least a fixed MFD. Probably wired, although a wired/wireless combo might be OK for something or other.

Tablets have been useful for some things... e.g., when I'm below and want to be able to monitor something on the bridge that I can't see from below... but that's been more useful for nav info, not engine data.

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Old 03-22-2019, 07:59 AM   #5
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Tablets work great for this. And a backup tablet is cheap and easy to stash.

Tablets are not bright enough for direct sunlight. Any kind of shade is adequate though. On our flybridge, as long as the Bimini is up the tablet is plenty bright. And then will dim down quickly and easily, and in most cases automatically if you enable auto-brightness.

We've been using tablets for navigation since 2015, including on our center console that is a much rougherlife than a typical trawler. Zero problems.

I would never spend the money for a dedicated marine display when a 10" tablet will perform the same tasks at 10% of the price.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:11 AM   #6
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I’d add some mechanical gauges maybe in the engine room. We didn’t trust our electric gauges after a rebuild so I added a mechanical engine temperature and oil pressure gauge. We also have a Balmar Smart Guage and a Link 10 that tell us what the charging system is doing for both banks.

I’m not sure I’d want to 100% reply on Bluetooth. A major thunderstorm could cause a bit of anxiety.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Commander Nomad View Post
I would never spend the money for a dedicated marine display when a 10" tablet will perform the same tasks at 10% of the price.
Being a gas repower, I'd guess all gauges are already there.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:16 AM   #8
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The old motor was a Merc 350 270 hp gas jobbie, so the instrumentation is from 1969... lol. I will have a new MFD but the guy said by spending more money I can hook up the engine to the Garmin display, but for the engine to talk to Garmin I will need to spend the money on the hookup gizmo's and then purchase the engine/Garmin translator so that they can be friends. The engine guy will do whatever I want but he felt everything is going over to Blue Tooth, why not be the first guy on your block to do it with this engine.

The boat is an express cruiser with no command bridge so my helm and instrumentation is inside so shade will be provided. Since the tablet is inside I only need to fear water exposure if the boat is sinking, then I think I will have other concerns on hand.

I can purchase a cheap 10.5 inch tablet but I'm thinking a cheap 12 inch type tablet. I already have a tablet which I bring along (Navionics on it) but I felt in a moment of senior's forgetfulness, I might forget and leave the tablet on the boat. I don't use it much at home but do use it when travelling. So I figured getting a cheap tablet that is permanently mounted would be the way to go.
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
The old motor was a Merc 350 270 hp gas jobbie, so the instrumentation is from 1969... lol. I will have a new MFD but the guy said by spending more money I can hook up the engine to the Garmin display, but for the engine to talk to Garmin I will need to spend the money on the hookup gizmo's and then purchase the engine/Garmin translator so that they can be friends.

Idea: If you have existing/old 2" wired analog gauges, maybe do the BT thing AND replace the gauges with either new analog or digital 2" wired gauges. That way you'd have fixed gauges and info on tablet, too.

FWIW, I've replaced all our 2" gauges with CruzPro digital gauges, so far using the original senders (although I've got a bit of a mis-match on the oil pressure, could replace that to get more accurate OP read-outs). Anyway, part of the reason I did that was because the analog gauges were only a mere guess at various values... and partly because most (all?) of their 2" gauges have user set-able upper and lower alarms and so forth.

-Chris
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:52 AM   #10
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I like using tablets on the boat.

Guess it's an old school vs new school thing. Yes they can be hard to read in direct sunlight but the pro's outweigh the cons in the end.

I have multiple plotters and depthfinders for redundancy and a couple that stream wifi to the tablet running navionics. You can buy a Samsung Galaxy 8" tablet brand new for around $99.

Concerns about dropping it overboard? @ $99 who cares.. Buy 2.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:43 AM   #11
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Put backup gauges on engine, and have fun with the electronics. Everything works until it doesn't. Can't go wrong with both.
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