Friday, March 06, 2009

Monitor console

Monitor consoleHere's the engine monitor console I've been working on. The figures you see are just test data by the way.

The idea being the console provides a summary version of the streams of data I'm now collecting from the engine. The three key gauges are shown, along with status indicators for the various data feeds.

Easy for anyone to read and assimilate, even at a distance.

For running the engines all day and all night, I figure this all most skippers would want to know anyway - is everything ok, or not.

The charts and history are always available if needed, on another tab of course.

I'll also program in a hi/low alarm capability for each of the pressure and temperature sensors, and relate this to the engine RPM sensor.

Ultimately, the status indicators will show green for ok, red for an alarm condition and blue for a sensor fault.

I'll also have a few free slots on the PIC16F88 chip I'm using, so will probably also show some green/red status indicators on the control box itself, independent of the PC - just in case.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:15 PM

    I would also recommend a couple of other fault detection measures. The electronic system should control a normally-closed relay and allow the relay to close on detection of any fault or if the electronics lose power. The relay should be part of a purely analogue circuit, with an idiot-light style oil pressure sensor (switch with a pressure setpoint) and a similar analogue thermostat. This analogue circuit should control fault indicators and a siren, both in the wheelhouse and in the engine room -- or somewhere else it would draw attention. Ideally all running on a different power source from your main electronic setup.

    That way if anything goes wrong with your somewhat fragile electronic monitoring system, you will get enough warning to do something about it.

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  2. Great job Tim! In my world (Theme parks) the rides always have a "Handshake system" (in the old days based upon a ladder diagram) but laterly twin computers, so that when either failed the other took over and the operator was notified. I guess that a set of ordinary guages would do in this case so you could check if it all "fell over"?

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  3. Great idea, a virtual console to monitor the engine, would be great if it could be set to be used via a web browser for remote problem diagnosis etc...

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  4. Hi Anonymous

    Good thinking. Thanks for that.

    It makes me think I could relatively easily re-introduce the long disconnected Amot switch, which monitors oil pressure and freshwater temperature, as a completely independent backup.

    In the meantime, the electronics are no real replacement for the manual checks, done as part of the required regular oiling procedure.

    I have a check-list for this, so nothing should get overlooked.

    Regards

    Tim

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  5. Hi Rob

    The ordinary analogue gauges are there, and the key ones do work correctly!

    There is just no substitute for proper regular manual checks, especially with a big old simple engine like my Industrie.

    Regards

    Tim

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  6. Hi Composite Panels

    The plan is to make this available via the boat's intranet, so any PC on the boats network can display this data in one form or another.

    The intention is to also include other boat statuses, such as gas, smoke, CO and bilge alarms from throughout the vessel, as well as battery states and whatever else seems sensible to monitor.

    To extend this to the Internet is a relatively trivial process, assuming there is some kind of internet connectivity available wherever Lady Jane goes.

    Regards

    Tim

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  7. Absolutely! Tim ! Nice job though.

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