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Old 01-23-2018, 02:36 AM   #1
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Temp Monitoring Project


I have been working on a project and would like to share what I have done and what my intentions are.

I have read many posts over time with people using temp sensors to monitor engine room device using IR / Laser heat guns. I like the process but my engine room is not easily accessible while under way. I have installed a brace of CCTV cams to monitor but wanted a more detailed method for monitoring the environment.

I have looked at alarm systems but they are limited in scope and programmability.

Having a software and electronic back ground I have put together a prototype system using the following

Arduino Mega programable controller. $30
Digital one wire DS18B20 waterproof sensors at around $5 each in volume.
Data logging card with realtime clock. $30
Ultimately a ethernet or wifi interface less then $50.

My prototype also includes a LCD for displaying temps real time.
This is the probe using a digital thermos in a ss housing. Z6386 Stainless Steel Housing Waterproof DS18B20 Temperature Probe - Altronics. Not sure on the longevity of these but they are cheap to replace….

I record to SD card every min the reading from each sensor with a time stamp. The log file I roll over every day. The SD card has capacity for many years of logging. LCD display updates every 250ms.

The sensors can alarm at set points that I will determine after logging for a period.

Currently in my prototype I am using a cable tie to hold the sensor to the object I want to read temp from. Longer term I want to use some sort of 2-part setting putty to glue them as required. (not sure what at the point open to suggestions). I have used my IR gun to test the readings and they are very accurate.

The short list of sensor locations so far.
• Fridges
• PSS shaft seal
• Coolers inlets and outlets
• Exhaust mixers main and genset
• Power Steering pump
• Inlet water
• Outlet water
• Batteries.
• Etc

The idea behind all of this is I will have an extended log of temp that can be used a predictive for when items are requiring service or cleaning. I will have the ability to grab the data files from the SD card and use software the show trends over time (Excel). Once I have established base lines I will include alarms when over those base lines. These can be display visually on LCD with audio alarms depending on what is alarming.

Ultimately alarms could go out over the internet using existing onboard internet router providing for remote management.

I intend to also connect to the CAN bus of my engine package and record data from this for long term trend analysis. This will be timestamps to allow temp and engine data to be evaluated side by side.

The system is designed to give Realtime monitor and alarming with bonus of longer term logging. Am I crazy or does this seem like a worthwhile project.

PS happy to share code if anyone is interested. PM me
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:29 AM   #2
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No - not crazy

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Old 01-23-2018, 04:27 AM   #3
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I have been away from the forum for a while but can say that you are definitely not crazy!

I am also working on a similar monitoring system for Siesta, but I have not finished the prototype yet.

For me I am planning to use a GSM/GPRS card for remote access. Apart from that the hardware is the same. The cellular module will send daily updates via SMS, unless there is an alarm condition.

Some additional things I am looking to monitor are:

- Bilge pump status

- separate bilge alarm (sensor higher than the float switch for the pumps to indicate that either the pumps are not working or not keeping up)

- fresh water pump status and water flow (usage) (to estimate water tank status)

- engine RPM (I have an older Cummins B series engine, therefore no CAN bus data available), so need to get this from the alternator.

- I am also planning to have a separate GPS receiver so that the monitor can report if the boat moves when I am not there.

I have a number of other ideas and happy to share through the development process.


"To fish or not to fish, what a silly question. "
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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I have interfaced to GSM/GPRS for sms sending via serial modems (AT commands) sheild based connection I assume would be simular, I cant see that being any issue.

Currently I have system that works well for my bilge and shorepower alarms. Send via SMS and App. I am planning to use on of its input to send generic SMS alarm. It has a high water alarm I have modified to trigger when my emergency highwater pump activates. Boatcommand also does the GPS tracking with track logs nicely.

Using the Webserver shield and existing onboard router I will be able to connect and see what alarm is activated.

Anything you can get a sensor for as you know can be logged in this fashion.

Happy to help my coding is crude but effective.
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