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Old 12-21-2015, 07:42 PM   #41
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Well it didnt take long to run it off the rails so to speak. And we havent even priced in design creep yet.


"Total price for the board and a few sensors would be less than $100 and you'd get it all from Amazon."

"Attached is the bill of materials and Arduino Uno pin mapping. Cost for the components, including all sensors, display, power supply, enclosures, etc is about $170 plus shipping from a few vendors. I did not yet find a connector strip for the external connections. So probably around $250 by the time it's all done."
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:11 PM   #42
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Well it didnt take long to run it off the rails so to speak. And we havent even priced in design creep yet.


"Total price for the board and a few sensors would be less than $100 and you'd get it all from Amazon."

"Attached is the bill of materials and Arduino Uno pin mapping. Cost for the components, including all sensors, display, power supply, enclosures, etc is about $170 plus shipping from a few vendors. I did not yet find a connector strip for the external connections. So probably around $250 by the time it's all done."
For my purposes (my engine gauges and alarms on the iPad) and low skill set I'm going to try the DMK approach first, then let a tech play if we must. This looks like a lot of functionality when you get the iPad display gratis.

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Old 12-22-2015, 01:37 PM   #43
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We can definitely keep version 1.0 below $100 if that's the wish. Using serial break-out boards and having two thermocouples pretty much doubles the cost. The benefit to the serial boards is simplifying the code and reducing the number of pins used. For example, a base 16 X 2 display is less than $10, however the serial version is $25. Also, the two thermocouples adds about $50. We can re-arrange version 1.0 to keep it under $100, in this case it would have a tach and five water temp sensors, and the display would be mounted on the arduino board. But after getting into the design that seems "penny wise and pound foolish" since it would limit the expand-ability.

Ultimately I'm all for consensus on the project since the more adopters we have the stronger it will be.
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:30 PM   #44
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Keeping it cheap is part of the fun but perhaps a better way to sort out the needs of the base system is number of engines supported. Folks like Northern Spy and I have single engine boats without gen set. Some members have twins with three generators. I'll step out on a limb and say that last category of user has no interest in a homegrown project. So I'll edge a bit further out on the limb and assume a user with twin engines and a single gen set will probably represent the user needing the most data points so recommend expandability stop there. Of course those with multiple engines can also use multiple independent systems as an option but that seems clunky to me.
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:01 PM   #45
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I have a single engine trawler and I've been thinking there is an independant system for each - just as there are separate dashboard guages for each engine.

I think I should put together a poll to determine which features, as well as dual engine support should be included in V1.

I've never done a poll before - would somebody like to put a poll out there to help us understand which features are in most demand.

Thanks,
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:27 PM   #46
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There are bundled kits that include many of the components we need, and they are significantly cheaper.

For example, this board is significantly more powerful and has more pins, which means we can connect more sensors. If we wanted to support two engines this would be a better choice than the Uno. It's $45: SainSmart MEGA, ATmega2560 + Sensor Shield V5+IIC/I2C/TWI 1602 Serial LCD Module Display For Arduino UNO MEGA 3D Printing, Arduino, Robotics | Sainsmart
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:42 PM   #47
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DMK fits the bill of a purpose built, bolt-on marine-grade monitor. It's great solution but it's less flexible than the Arduino and doesn't really have the same "Maker" appeal (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maker_culture. for more information

Check out all the sensors you can wire into an Arduino: SENSORS 3D Printing, Arduino, Robotics | Sainsmart. For example, they have a flame sensor for less than $5.

For some of the more advanced features, like wifi, nmea integration, integration with an iPad we might consider adding a Raspberry Pi. This provides a linux system on top of the Arduino, so you could add a web server for the iPad - or anything with a browser. You could even use a ChromeCast to view data from a flat-screen TV. This might be more like a version 4 or so.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:51 PM   #48
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For those of you who are interested in building the system please complete this anonymous survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V7DTYLG

It basically asks about what features you want and your comfort level of working on this type of project. I am using the responses to help guide the design. If this type of project is new to most people then I'll lean towards keeping it as easy as possible.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:44 PM   #49
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Five people completed the survey so far. Attached are the results. From looking at the results:
  • Tach, coolant temp, and water flow are the most requested sensors
  • Most people want a monitoring system, and want to make something useful while learning about Arduino
  • Everyone is comforable that the system is not to be relied upon for safety reasons
  • The majority of people are willing to spend up $300
  • Everyone has some degree of experience with electronics
  • Most people have not worked with Arduino before, but some have
  • Most people have little or no programming experience

These results indicate the following designs:
  • Spend a little more on breakout boards because it significantly simplifies the programming
  • The steps to download and install the software onto the Arduino should be well documented and easy to follow
  • The first version should have: tach, water/coolant temps, and a water flow indicator
  • Most people plan to use it while underway, so the display should have a separate enclosure mounted near the dashboard.

My next steps are to revise the design and come up with a new bill of materials. I suspect the water flow indicator is about the same cost as the two thermocouples so we are still in the $200 ball-park.

Thank you for completing the survey. If you are planning to build the system and have not yet completed the survey please do so.
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File Type: pdf DIYMarineDieselMonitoringSystem.pdf (255.3 KB, 32 views)
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:08 PM   #50
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DMK fits the bill of a purpose built, bolt-on marine-grade monitor. It's great solution but it's less flexible than the Arduino and doesn't really have the same "Maker" appeal,
I cited DMK as a reference solution, production form factor and retail price - but certainly appreciate the "maker" mood that is part and parcel of it. In fact, I was thinking of installing mine with steampunk whistles for alarms.

Just cruising. Still...as the philosopher Sting said "I'll be watching you..."
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:26 PM   #51
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There are four more replies to the survey and the new results are similar to the ones noted in the earlier post.

Need some advice on the water flow sensor.

Aqualarm makes nice, marine-grade water flow indicators (Cooling Water Flow : AQUALARM, Warning Systems For Land And Sea). I've seen some resellers with prices in the $60 - $70 range.

However I'm striving to keep things as non invasive as possible, and the Aqualarm product is a tube that is spliced in with a paddle indicator. I'm not wild about the design since it seems vulnerable to fouling and is expensive.

A non-invasive solution is available however it is complex and there are no reference examples with an arduino. It uses two ultrasonic transducers to detect water flow, and it can even determine the the flow rate. Knowing the flow rate is attractive because it lets us understand how our impellor is working and if the raw water system is becoming fouled. The sensors and companion chip are relatively cheap - probably around the same cost as the Aqualarm product. However this solution would be a first in the arduino world and would likely be error-prone since it's not a mature design.

I'm thinking the water flow indicator should be a version 2 feature because it's complicated, expensive and the demand is lower than tach, coolant temp, and other temp sensors.

Please let me know if there is water flow solution. I've looked at the paddle-wheel style and turbine style but I don't think they'll hold up to the environment. I'm concerned the "invasive" sensors could do more harm than good.

Currently version 1.0 is looking like:
  • Arduino stack in project box in engine room
  • Small LCD enclosure on the dashboard wired to the Arduino
  • Tachometer
  • Engine coolant sensor
  • Several temperature sensors, up to 240f, for things like raw water temp in/out, engine room temp, etc

Here are some of the options for version 2.0:
  • Raw water flow meter/detector
  • Add a communications stack for wifi, web server, NMEA, etc. This would probably be implemented with a second processor like a Raspberry PI
  • EGT
  • Oil temp
  • Boost
  • Fuel flow rate
  • Bilge water level
  • Fluid level in a tank
  • Water pressure in the raw water circuit
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:49 PM   #52
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If you have inbound and outbound cooling water temperatures, you have some idea of the flow. If the inbound temp warms up, that will indicate slower water flow, and the outbound water temp will go up. So, the code can watch for a rise in inbound and outbound temp and warn of water flow loss...

Stu
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:16 PM   #53
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If you have inbound and outbound cooling water temperatures, you have some idea of the flow. If the inbound temp warms up, that will indicate slower water flow, and the outbound water temp will go up. So, the code can watch for a rise in inbound and outbound temp and warn of water flow loss...

Stu
Yah, as will just an outbound temp, thus the reason for single temp sensors. Empirical measurements will define the norm and anything hotter is a problem. "Surely you know your boat"

No need for double sensors causing complexity.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:24 PM   #54
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If you have inbound and outbound cooling water temperatures, you have some idea of the flow. If the inbound temp warms up, that will indicate slower water flow, and the outbound water temp will go up. So, the code can watch for a rise in inbound and outbound temp and warn of water flow loss...

Stu
That's a good point. Some exhaust elbows have a thermocouple after the water injection. I would really like to know the flow rate though.

Based on the feedback in the survey we are able to omit the thermocouples and their break-out boards. The DS18b20 temperature probes can handle up to 257 degrees F, and they are very cheap. There are now enough pins left on the Arduino to directly control the LCD, so we don't need the serial converter. The bill of materials has gotten cheaper and is +/- $100 based on the enclosures chosen and whether you need to purchase some CAT-5 cable. I have all the components on order.

DS18b20 sensors come in many different forms. I just ordered a pack of five - each sensor is encased in a stainless probe with a 10 foot cable - for $17: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KUNKR3M

You can also just purchase the bare sensor for less than $1 each and make your own probe (Amazon.com: 5pcs Ds18b20 18b20 Thermometer Temperature Sensor: Home Improvement ). They are very small and you can drill some material out of a drain plug and epoxy one in (don't drill all the way through). You'll have three wires coming out of the sensor that should be bedded in the epoxy. I wouldn't recommend trying to get oil temp from a DS18b20 because they degrade above 257F.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:25 PM   #55
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I have "homemade" monitoring systems on both my boats. They "monitor" by sounding an auto horn at each steering station if raw water stops going into the exhaust elbow, oil pressure falls below 7, water temp rises above 200, 2nd (higher) bilge pump runs, or wet exhaust hose +250. All wired to one relay which sounds both horns. Momentary switches cancel while starting up.
My gauges will tell me where the problem is but this system will warn that there is a problem when no one is looking at the gauges which is 95% of the time. Each system has saved my butt.
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Old 12-25-2015, 09:14 AM   #56
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I have "homemade" monitoring systems on both my boats. They "monitor" by sounding an auto horn at each steering station if raw water stops going into the exhaust elbow, oil pressure falls below 7, water temp rises above 200, 2nd (higher) bilge pump runs, or wet exhaust hose +250. All wired to one relay which sounds both horns. Momentary switches cancel while starting up.
My gauges will tell me where the problem is but this system will warn that there is a problem when no one is looking at the gauges which is 95% of the time. Each system has saved my butt.
The PO did something like that on my boat as well. He said if you ever hear that, look at these.
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Old 12-26-2015, 04:41 PM   #57
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I have "homemade" monitoring systems on both my boats. They "monitor" by sounding an auto horn at each steering station if raw water stops going into the exhaust elbow, oil pressure falls below 7, water temp rises above 200, 2nd (higher) bilge pump runs, or wet exhaust hose +250. All wired to one relay which sounds both horns. Momentary switches cancel while starting up.
My gauges will tell me where the problem is but this system will warn that there is a problem when no one is looking at the gauges which is 95% of the time. Each system has saved my butt.
Alarms are definately in scope but increase the programming complexity. I think once we have the basics of cooling temperatures and tachometer we can venture into alarms. It probably makes sense to include a red LED and a buzzer in the on-dash enclosure.

While searching for flow meters I came across this little gem. It senses diesel and gasoline flow and is only $12.90. Scroll down to "2.0 to 30.0 L/hr Diesel and Gasoline Flow Sensor" about halfway down the page at Flow Sensor. With RPM and a fuel flow meter you could dial-in that efficiency sweet spot. I think the typical older-style diesel would need two flow gauages: one to measure the rate coming from the tank and other measuring the return rate.

While the components are being delivered I'm working on a design for pipe that would be spliced into the raw water line just before injection to the elbow. The pipe would have a flow meter/detector and a temp sensor. The pipe would be about 6" long and have barbed fittings on each end so you could splice it in easily. The pipe would also be oversize, so if your raw water circuit using 1" ID plumbing this would be 1.5" ID, with a reducer at each end. I'm thinking a piece of schedule 40 bronze pipe or something with a wall thickness that is large enough to drill/tap NPT threads into it. A DS18B20 sensor would be embedded somehow in the pipe along with some way to measure flow. The flow measurement might just be relative instead of actually know the GPH rate. A strain gauge and a small tab sticking into the flow would give an indication of the rate.

For the pipe, what are the acceptable marine-grade materials? If there was a glass-reinforced plastic with 1/4" thick wall that would be perfect. I've heard there different flavors of copper and only some types are suitable due to work hardening.

Thanks,
RR
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:04 PM   #58
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I ordered one of their water flow totalizers maybe a year or two ago. Seemed like a good way to keep up with water consumption. After a couple of months I cancelled the order and got a refund. No response on why the unit never shipped.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:52 PM   #59
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Alarms are definately in scope but increase the programming complexity. I think once we have the basics of cooling temperatures and tachometer we can venture into alarms. It probably makes sense to include a red LED and a buzzer in the on-dash enclosure.

While searching for flow meters I came across this little gem. It senses diesel and gasoline flow and is only $12.90. Scroll down to "2.0 to 30.0 L/hr Diesel and Gasoline Flow Sensor" about halfway down the page at Flow Sensor. With RPM and a fuel flow meter you could dial-in that efficiency sweet spot. I think the typical older-style diesel would need two flow gauages: one to measure the rate coming from the tank and other measuring the return rate.

While the components are being delivered I'm working on a design for pipe that would be spliced into the raw water line just before injection to the elbow. The pipe would have a flow meter/detector and a temp sensor. The pipe would be about 6" long and have barbed fittings on each end so you could splice it in easily. The pipe would also be oversize, so if your raw water circuit using 1" ID plumbing this would be 1.5" ID, with a reducer at each end. I'm thinking a piece of schedule 40 bronze pipe or something with a wall thickness that is large enough to drill/tap NPT threads into it. A DS18B20 sensor would be embedded somehow in the pipe along with some way to measure flow. The flow measurement might just be relative instead of actually know the GPH rate. A strain gauge and a small tab sticking into the flow would give an indication of the rate.

For the pipe, what are the acceptable marine-grade materials? If there was a glass-reinforced plastic with 1/4" thick wall that would be perfect. I've heard there different flavors of copper and only some types are suitable due to work hardening.

Thanks,
RR
I would use a bronze fitting if it has contact to sea water. You can probably find one that is a double ended hose barb close nipple. I don't think you'll need to penetrate the pipe unless you want to add the flow sensor. In most cases, you can clamp a thermometer sensor to the injection port and get a good temp reading. If you lose water flow, that will be a quick hot spot.

Stu
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:41 PM   #60
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Bronze it is.

Attached is a diagram of flow meter that I've been considering. The sensor changes resistance as the flow rate increases. I doubt you could determine GPH, but it would you tell you if the flow rate is lower than normal. This could also have the temp sensor onboard.
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