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Old 08-08-2017, 07:59 AM   #8
Veteran Member
City: Waitamata
Country: Aotearoa
Vessel Name: Karinya
Vessel Model: Pelin
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 73
OK here goes.
This is what I did and it has achieved what I set out to do. But first I had better quantify that I have limited knowledge of various brands so am unable to offer any relevant advise on competing makes, so if I mention a brand or model number it is not an endorsement of one item over another but more likely that I already had it lying about, could get hold of it without too much trouble or that I didn't even know that something else existed. That said, it would be good to get feedback on where improvements could be made or anything that I have done that is just plain dumb.
The first hurdle is to convert the analogue outputs that you get from the sensors of your Lehman Engine into a message that can be displayed on a digital device. There are a number of ways to achieve this but I decided to use a device from a company called Noland.
Remember my opening warning about brands - well I chose this company as I thought that they are only across the pond from the Island I live on so it would be easier to get future support if needed. Very surprised to find out that there is a Melbourne in a place called Florida in the Americas and not just in Oz.
The module I got from this place in the Americas can be connected either directly to the sensors or piggybacked across the existing gauges. I used a combination of both methods and as well as the engine inputs, also connected the rudder position, battery voltages and fuel sender.
From here the module converts the analogue inputs into CANbus outputs that can be feed directly into the back of most multi-function devices. There is no need to have a full NEMA 2000 backbone system, the output can be thought of very much as a cable that sends the acquired engine data to the MFD. I think a lot of people get put off by the terminology or the belief that a full Mema system is required. It’s not that difficult the Noland web site can explain things wayyy better than I can.
Most new MFD have built in WiFi but my older unit doesn’t. Being on a budget I added a GoFree device to relay the now digital engine information to my Ipad and smart phone. As the newer MFD already have WiFi built in a lot of retailers are glad to discount GoFree units.
Calibrating the module is fairly straight forward via a lap top using a cable supplied with the unit. The gauge limits can be set along with colour segments and alarm set points for each gauge.
While the laptop is connected it is acting as a data acquisition system recording your engine (or other input) data.
The module and cables cost about $400 and the Gofree $200. So for $600 I can monitor my engine from anywhere on board, view via my phone and view make MFD adjustments via Ipad. Have an alarm inform me of an engine over temperature, low oil pressure, know which way the rudder is pointing, or any other input I care to configure like ensuring raw water is flowing or that the beer is at the correct temperature.
Let me know if you would like any additional info or pictures - hopefully the clever TF systems engineer types can tell us a better way but please keep it simple for us low tech types to follow.
At the end of the day it’s only an old tractor engine and Xsbank I hear you about only needing a temperature gauge – it’s possible to simplify things a little further by tying a bit of bacon to the manifold to get an idea of the engine temperature. But if you decide to do this you need to ensure that the bacon's dead first – bloody noisy otherwise.
BeeJay is offline   Reply With Quote