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Old 12-17-2015, 11:34 AM   #1
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DIY engine monitoring system

Is anyone interested in a DIY engine monitoring system based on the Arduino board? They're cheap and I can program them. Basically I'm thinking of having a board, a simple LCD display and a "next" button.

There would be set of sensors, such as tach, oil temp, water temp, boost, EGT, that you would need to install. Could even add things like raw water inlet temp, raw water oulet temp, etc...

I'd be happy to do the open-source programming and publish the schematics.

Boost and EGT are based on 1/4" npt sensor that needs to be drilled, tapped. Tach requires a bracket and 2 tiny magnets added to each side of the flywheel. Oil and water temps would have a few options, some as simple as using JB-Weld to bond the sensors to the hot and cold sides of the oil cooler. In those cases the values would be more for comparison and getting a baseline since they would not be accurate.

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

Base board:
http://www.amazon.com/arduino-org-A0...ywords=arduino

Temp sensors (5 for $12):
http://www.amazon.com/Vktech-DS18b20...erature+sensor

Tach sensor:
http://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-Effe...agnetic+sensor

EGT Sensor:
http://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-MAX6...o+thermocouple
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:11 PM   #2
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I'm interested because I love to see as much engine data as possible. I don't have turbos, but would like to see things like EGT, water flow, volts, amps, oil temp, trans temp, etc.

Ken
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:21 PM   #3
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I imagine the thermocouple could be used for coolant or whatever temp by threading into the appropriate passage. Or are treaded sensors available?
I don't like attaching to the outside unless there are no other options.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
I imagine the thermocouple could be used for coolant or whatever temp by threading into the appropriate passage. Or are treaded sensors available?
I don't like attaching to the outside unless there are no other options.
Basically there are two types of temperature sensors. The typical is the thermocouple, which uses the change in resistance to determine the temperature. The newer style uses an embedded silicon sensor. The newer style is very accurate and the reading is digital. The thermocouple reading is analog, and there is an added converter to digitize it. Thermocouples have a higher amount of variance however they can tolerate extremely high temperatures. The digital sensors are actually cheaper since they don't need a converter but can't tolerate more than about 240 degrees F.

It would be nice if there was a way to introduce a sensor underneath a hose at the hose clamp. This way you could easily add several temp sensors throughout the raw and fresh water circuits without having to drill/tap to get accurate readings. My guess is only the thermocouple style would work in that situation, and have like a flat ribbon cable so the hose wouldn't leak.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:55 PM   #5
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As this would be useful beyond boating I'd love to see open source design schematics.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by R_p_ryan View Post
Is anyone interested in a DIY engine monitoring system based on the Arduino board?

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

I'd be interested. Inexpensive enough, and sounds like fun.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:07 PM   #7
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I'm kind of concerned about your comment that thermocouples change resistance with changes in temperature. Did you mean RTDs?
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:29 PM   #8
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Engine data

I would be interested
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:02 PM   #9
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I'm in. I used a Noland that recently failed (board issue) so always wanted to replace it. This would not be networked, but then I only have one helm now so don't need a networked device.

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Old 12-17-2015, 03:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH View Post
I'm kind of concerned about your comment that thermocouples change resistance with changes in temperature. Did you mean RTDs?
Yes, he did. RTDs use resistance, TCs use voltage. But I'll excuse that...

I'm in. I've been putting off a monitoring toy like this for awhile. The flip side is, the longer I put it off the more resources there are and less expensive it will be.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:32 PM   #11
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Adapters that mount in-line in hoses are readily available made specifically to accept thread in temp sensors. This is one and there are others.

http://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Tempe.../dp/B00FY3A2PG

Ken
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:50 PM   #12
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An arduino board wont have inputs suitable for the various sensors. Its not impossible to design custom inputs that are compatible, just a pain sometimes.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:49 PM   #13
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The thermocouple I posted includes the converter board, so it should play well with an Arduino.

Regarding the resistance/voltage on a k-type thermocouple you are both correct! I respect the analog world, but I grew up digital.

Nice link to the hose coupling with the thermocouple adapter. That would fit nicely on my raw water side, but the FW side is 2". I don't mind tapping the steel pipe or brazing on a threaded fitting.

I looked around and didn't see any similar projects. I'd host it on GitHub, and probably start by using design for the tach: Arduino RPM Counter / Tachometer

I dunno if any of you are programmers and would be interested in contributing? With GitHub we can have as many people as we want to help out. Arduino uses a C style language and the IDE is free to download.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:47 PM   #14
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My apologies, I didnt take the time to look at all the info you provided. The serial interface is easy to hook up, so you should have little trouble. Well relatively little trouble, you know how new endeavors can go...
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:15 PM   #15
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I put together some thoughts on how to start up this kind of project. I put together a rough draft charter and would appreciate feedback on it if you are interested in either developing the kit or just interested in providing insights on ways to make it better.

I couldn't think of a cool name the system "Open Source Marine Monitoring System, "OSSMS", or something along the lines of monitoring or knowledge. I thought of "Eye of Sauron", "Owl", and "Oracle". I'm hoping somebody can find a better name.

Below is the charter.
Thanks,
RR

Oracle (or whatever we choose to name it)

Purpose: Build an Open Source DIY marine engine monitoring platform kit based on the Arduino Uno with a virtual team from Trawler Forum

Objectives
Publish the specifications, code, instructions and a bill-of-materials for the Maker to perform the build.
Skills needed to build the kit are limited to simple soldering and troubleshooting with a multi-tester
Design the platform so it can eventually handle any type of Arduino-tested sensor, display, or sound.
Keep the project cheap, fun, and easily to customize.
Keep the builders informed with design inputs from the Trawler forum
Architect the UNO in such a way so new feature may be added
Allow each builder to specify which sensors, switches, and LCD screen they want
Let the group grow so new people could contribute new features.

Approach
Use an Agile, iterative style to release a simplified version first and then continue to iterate and deploy more sensors and features. For Example, the exact versions and features are voted on by the whole team to change the priority
- Version 1.0 might only have a digital tachometer and a screen. Turn it on and the RPMs are shown
- Version 1.2 might add on four water temp sensors and a button to toggle through the data on the screen
- Version 1.3 might add on a pyrometer
- Version 1.4 might have boost
- Version 1.5 might have hot-oil and cold-oil readings from before and after the heat exchanger.
As we develop more features we can choose which ones to publish to the kit. For example we might not publish the kit until we’ve developed 1.3 and ran it for a few months

Team: Anybody who is willing to help is welcome. You don’t need to know programming or electronics to help.
For example, we need somebody to represent the user’s perspective with a fully installed system. He/she could help us design the “Look and Feel” of it, and the best way to present engine data. We would send you the pictures of the screen with engine data on it, plus a description of a button and how you would scroll through the different sensors. You would provide feedback on how appealing it is, and suggges===
Programmers: If you have ever done any C style programming then you can easily work on Arduino. The IDE is clean with sample code.
Electronics specialists/engineers: If you are familiar with the basics - like a pull-down resistor or how to debounce a switch then you would be helpful on the project
Diesel specialists / mechanics: You have information on where best to locate sensors around an engine to get the best measurements. Your feedback would be very helpful.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:40 AM   #16
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I would suggest looking at the ScanGaugeD - Advanced J1939 & J1708 compatible Vehicle Monitor for Diesel Pusher Vehicles : Linear Logic

This is a very handy unit and lots of rv'rs (including myself) have one. If nothing else it has lots of display pages that can be used as a template for presenting data.
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:36 AM   #17
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If I can ask guys why build specialized hardware, and specialized code.

Today, off the shelf you could buy a PLC and a display, program it, and have a "digital gauge package" to work with legacy engines.

There might even be a already programmed solution off the shelf.

Yes, it sounds interesting but workable solutions already exist, why reinvent the wheel?

I'll guarantee that if a HMI engine and even whole boat monitioring system were what a process control professional was after they could buy the off the shelf parts today and have a working unit very quickly.

Stat your search at places like automationdirect

I've worked in the SCADA and networking world for a lifetime, and although I do not want to put so many eggs in a single package, it would be relatively easy to do.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:02 AM   #18
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I've done sat control systems and such but on a boat, we already have several networks. Why not use NMEA 0183 or N2K to make it compatible with what others might already have.

What about SignalK?

I know maretron has tons of sensors designed for marine applications but their price is probably higher for one sensor than for the whole monitoring kit with an Arduino.

One thing I would make sure to check is opto isolation to remote sensors, and power management for the arduino. I would put a DC-DC converter on the arduino board, since starting an engine can put some amazing power spikes on the source. I would do this regardless of whether it is powered by starting batteries or house batteries. You might want to parallel two 18650 batteries on the arduino side to give you a few hours of battery backup.

I would support a wifi shield so you could use a tablet or phone as a remote display.

Stu
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
I would suggest looking at the ScanGaugeD - Advanced J1939 & J1708 compatible Vehicle Monitor for Diesel Pusher Vehicles : Linear Logic

This is a very handy unit and lots of rv'rs (including myself) have one. If nothing else it has lots of display pages that can be used as a template for presenting data.
Most marine diesels don't use OBDII.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:11 AM   #20
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Most marine diesels don't use OBDII.
"If nothing else it has lots of display pages that can be used as a template for presenting data."
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