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Old 08-10-2018, 11:24 AM   #1
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Helm vs Flybridge Engine Panel

Please excuse the REALLY DUMB questions:


We have twin diesels with main instrument panels at the lower helm and much reduced panels on the flybridge. The helm position and panels include gauges, tach, alarm sounder, four idiot lights, keyed ignition switch, stop button, fuel gauge, and hourmeter, shifter and throttle. The flybridge position and panels include tach, alarm sounder, four idiot lights, start button, stop button, shifter and throttle.


How do you use these things? If on the flybridge, you couldn't start the engine w/o the key being on, and if it was on, the alarm sounder would be making a racket. If you're chugging along, the engine probably won't stall from any cause you could fix from the flybridge. So, if you needed to start the engine it would only have been stopped if you'd stopped it for some other reason.


As for stopping the engine from the flybridge, you would have chosen to for some emergency, pick up a person overboard, a pot warp around a propeller. And you'd be listening to the racket until somebody got the person aboard, or you got below, dealt with the problem and turned the key off. Only if a person below dealt with a short problem, would you need a start button on the flybridge.


All seems rather peculiar to me. But arranging true interchangeability between lower and upper helm would have been wonderfully complicated and expensive in the good old days of wires, relays and switches. I suppose it'd be a relative piece of cake with modern digital doohickeys.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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I have key, start/stop push button and all gauges in both places. Only thing that is on lower helm only is radar display and one idiot light.
Provided key is on either at the helm or at the flybridge I can start/stop the engine from both places.

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Old 08-10-2018, 11:48 AM   #3
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DH, my system is similar to yours other than there is no alarm when the key is in the on position. I rarely start or stop the engine from the flybridge, but when I do stop it there, I don’t have to worry about any alarm.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:09 PM   #4
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I also must have the lower key on in order to start the engine from the bridge.
I also don't really see a reason to have the start/stop buttons up there other than to make me try them once a season to make sure they still work.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:18 PM   #5
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What's a key?
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeckrotte View Post
Please excuse the REALLY DUMB questions:


We have twin diesels with main instrument panels at the lower helm and much reduced panels on the flybridge. The helm position and panels include gauges, tach, alarm sounder, four idiot lights, keyed ignition switch, stop button, fuel gauge, and hourmeter, shifter and throttle. The flybridge position and panels include tach, alarm sounder, four idiot lights, start button, stop button, shifter and throttle.


How do you use these things? If on the flybridge, you couldn't start the engine w/o the key being on, and if it was on, the alarm sounder would be making a racket. If you're chugging along, the engine probably won't stall from any cause you could fix from the flybridge. So, if you needed to start the engine it would only have been stopped if you'd stopped it for some other reason.


As for stopping the engine from the flybridge, you would have chosen to for some emergency, pick up a person overboard, a pot warp around a propeller. And you'd be listening to the racket until somebody got the person aboard, or you got below, dealt with the problem and turned the key off. Only if a person below dealt with a short problem, would you need a start button on the flybridge.


All seems rather peculiar to me. But arranging true interchangeability between lower and upper helm would have been wonderfully complicated and expensive in the good old days of wires, relays and switches. I suppose it'd be a relative piece of cake with modern digital doohickeys.
I had the same setup with the lower helm key switches and just a stop and start button on the flybridge. I operate from the flybridge 99.9% of the time so I found it very annoying to not be able to shut off the ignition power from the flybridge for the same reasons, alarms etc..

My solution was to rewire the bridge by removing the stop button and replacing it with an ON/OFF switch wired in series with the lower helm key switch.

On a Californian the stop button basically opens the circuit to the fuel solenoid so I just removed the stop button and looped the wires together under the console. Turning off the switch is like turning off the key so no need for the stop button.

I used Allen Bradley 800T-H2A Switches
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:08 PM   #7
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One thing I really liked about my old Hatteras was that both helms had exactly the same, extremely complete, functionality. Anything I could do, control, hear or look at was the same either place. I'd be really uncomfortable having it any other way.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:11 PM   #8
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The only non duplicated functions are the on off ignition switches. I am not willing to give up the ability to kill an engine from the fly bridge. Just last week I sucked a bag in the intake. Soon as temp hit 210 the alarms went off. Was able to kill the engine immediately. Maybe 10 seconds doesn’t matter but the buzzer was the least of my concerns.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:37 PM   #9
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I feel like I want equal helms in every way. Instruments, switches, guages, screens for charts and radar and anything else on the boat. I feel like if any helm station needs it, then both do. I also feel like if one has less, then I may use it less.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:55 PM   #10
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I don't use keys. Anybody with a basic knowledge can bypass a key system. So what's the point? Any diesel can be started at the engine. Even with old style gauge setups, is easy to have the same gauges, start/stop functions anywhere you control the boat. Relays or additional senders allow additional stations and I wouldn't be without start/stop ability.

I once had a transmission stay in fwd while entering a lock. Without a stop function it could have been nasty. Stopped the boat with a ready spring line.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:24 PM   #11
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I have this same issue and its got to be fixed rock fishing, salmon fishing with one motor sometimes, doing drifts ext I want to be on FB but have to go up and down to get the buzzer/key turned off every time. I'm considering installing a toggle to turn the buzzer off from the FB so I can leave the keys on without the buzzer. Worry is I forget to turn the buzzer back on, but I have ways of making sure I don't forget. I haven't looked at it yet but hopefully the buzzers are wired in series, so I can just toggle switch them up top.


Leaving the key on should be ok right? The only thing that's being on with the key turned are the gauges and buzzer?


Timely post I'm seeing here as I was considering posting the same issue. I feel your pain.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:35 PM   #12
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Leaving the key on shouldn't be a problem with diesels. No points to weld.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I don't use keys. Anybody with a basic knowledge can bypass a key system. So what's the point? Any diesel can be started at the engine. Even with old style gauge setups, is easy to have the same gauges, start/stop functions anywhere you control the boat. Relays or additional senders allow additional stations and I wouldn't be without start/stop ability.

I once had a transmission stay in fwd while entering a lock. Without a stop function it could have been nasty. Stopped the boat with a ready spring line.
When it works, I like that arrangement.
I had a key for each engine master switch in the ER. A little bit of theft prevention.
With old school diesels, you just need a momentary stop and stop button at each helm location.
But, it gets more interesting if you want engine alarms and/or electric gauges. Or, you have electronic engines. If you have a keyed ON/OFF at each location, which position wins the ON-OFF argument? Now, for simple wiring, they both would have to be OFF to shut off the alarms at shutdown. Rather noisy/painful if you started at lower, and later found yourself at upper ... Unless you had 3 way switches.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:11 PM   #14
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My gauges, alternators, etc., come on and off controlled by an oil pressure switch. My theft protection is me, my dog and a couple 12 ga signaling devices.
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