Thursday, March 05, 2009

Oil pressure sensor

Oil pressure sensorThe first of the pressure sensors, the oil pressure, is now connected.

I would say installed, but it's only held in place with tape at the moment, pending the creation of a proper bracket to hold it permanently.

The oil pressure sensor had to be 'teed' into the copper piping which runs up to the wheelhouse, as the engine has no place for me to otherwise connect the sensor.

As it happens, in the picture, you can see the places where the turbo, in the foreground, and the freshwater pressure, where the old switch is, sensors will be mounted.

Fitting the oil pressure sensor did not exactly go according to plan as the threads were all the wrong sizes.

I remembered seeing Fred from Marine Systems Engineering building a panel with exactly the same copper piping as that you see in the picture, for a marine gas installation. A quick visit or two to Fred for parts and advice, and everything came together beautifully.

With Seb cranking on the main engine manual oil pump below, and comparing with the wheelhouse oil pressure gauge, I could see the sensor was working perfectly. No leaks either.

Just a bit of programming on the microchip, a PIC16F88 for those who are interested, and on the PC and I'll have the pressure, temperature and RPM engine sensors all working together beautifully.


  1. Fred (WWR)11:52 AM

    This looks like a great tool and will reduce the necessity of running around checking gauges while actually under way.

    I'm sure this is all ready in your thinking but just in case I thought I'd say it. It has been my experience that mechanical gauges are much more reliable from a functional stand point. I know I'm some what of a retro thinker on this, and that electronics is all the rage, but just don't eliminate the mechanical gauges, electronic sensors have a way of going South just when you need them. I'm sure you are doing this to have the convenience of having the readings at one location. Are you going to have some software that can interpret and give warnings?

    Of course you are going to keep some spares on board, right. :)

  2. Hi Fred

    I'm a strong believer in "If it ain't broke - don't fix it".

    The mechanical gauges are all staying & depending on what I see on the new electronic versions, the iffy ones will get replaced with new ones.

    The long term plan is to have all kinds of sensor data collected continuously, whether the engine is running, or no, and have a console to manage all the statuses/alarms, including CO2, gas, smoke, bilge etc. The list of potential candidates goes on and on.

    Being PC based, this provides the means for people to access this from anywhere on board, or even via the Internets.

    What was originally a seemingly impossible grand design is actually starting to take shape.