Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

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WayWeGo
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Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:43 pm

One of the electronics upgrades I have long wanted to do is to be able to display my engine gauges on my chartplotter. Part of the reason for this is convenience and backup to the actual gauges. Even more important is being able to set alarms that will let me know if there is a problem.

After looking into options ranging from using a small computer like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino to buying a purpose built interface, I selected the Noland RS11 to implement on our boat. There are other options including Maretron and Actisense, but the features and price of the RS11 made it look like the right one for me.

The RS11 has six analog inputs plus two counters. That allows you to have a tach and three gauges for each engine on a boat with twins. Four of the analog inputs include current sources so they can be connected directly to a sensor without needing a gauge to provide the current to the sensor. The RS11 also has a USB port that is connected to a computer to configure it and then it is capped off.

I configured the RS11 to provide NMEA data for engine coolant temperatures and oil pressures, as well as tachometers. Later, I will be adding exhaust temperature sensors downstream from the elbows, which will warn of raw water pump failure or clogged strainers.

The configuration went well until the AC Delco temperature sensors were not compatible with the RS11. I was getting temperatures ranging from absolute zero to 615 degrees F! After trying many experiments and consulting with Noland's technical support multiple times, we determined that the voltages I was getting at the gauges were above anything they had ever seen and actually above what their program could accommodate.

The input impedance of the RS11 input was 13Kohms, so I added a 10Kohm resister in series with the wire to the temperature gauge, which brought the voltage at the RS11 down to an acceptable value.

Here is what the gauges look like on my Simrad chartplotter. Only the port engine was running when I took the photo.
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1975 F-36 Convertible
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prowlersfish
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by prowlersfish » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:01 pm

Looks nice . I had thought about it but I cant see tying up a1k MFD on engine gauges . One question why is the starboard oil pressure gauge back wards ?? Leave it to me to notice :mrgreen:
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:12 pm

The resister is in the wire going from the terminal block to the RS11. Since the impedance of the temperature sensor is much lower than the input impedance of the RS11, adding even more resistance has almost no effect.

That's hilarious about the backwards gauge!
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by prowlersfish » Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:24 am

WayWeGo wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:12 pm
The resister is in the wire going from the terminal block to the RS11. Since the impedance of the temperature sensor is much lower than the input impedance of the RS11, adding even more resistance has almost no effect.

That's hilarious about the backwards gauge!
If this is a repily to me , I meant I could see tyeing up one of my $1OOO Displays (MFD) for gauges lol . Now with a bigger boat/helm (and wallet ) hell ya .


But with that said you got me thinking .
TROJAN F36 Conv.
6BTA Cummins diesels
Life is to short for a ugly boat :D
2009 TROJAN RENDEZVOUS
Port Kinsale 2010 & 2011. Solomons get together 2011.

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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:54 am

That's the beauty of this type of solution -- you don't have to tie up the MFD. Because you can set alarms, both on the RS11 and the MFD, you can be warned whenever the gauges would show a value that you don't like. I have to do some more work on this aspect, but it is the driving force for my project.

On our F-36, the flybridge helm gauges are in front of the other seat and not in my direct sight when operating the boat. I have to lean over to see them, so they tend to be overlooked when I am busy. Usually, if there is someone in the other seat, I tell them where I want the gauges to be and ask them to look at them often and tell me if we have a problem. Most of the time, that works, but not always. With the MFD monitoring the gauges also, that increases the possibility of finding out about a problem before it gets serious.

My chartplotter at the flybridge helm is a Simrad NSS Evo2, which makes it easy to check the gauges. I have to push two buttons to switch between the gauges and the radar (my most often used screen). My primary navigation is done on an Android tablet running Navionics, which gets data from the NSS Evo2 by wifi.
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by prowlersfish » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:14 pm

Does the Noland RS11 talk to your MFD using nmea 2000 ?
TROJAN F36 Conv.
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:05 am

prowlersfish wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:14 pm
Does the Noland RS11 talk to your MFD using nmea 2000 ?
Yes, the RS11 outputs CAN Bus sentences which are compatible with NMEA 2000. Any device on a NMEA 2000 network can see them, including ones connected by wifi such as a tablet. My chartplotter is older, so I had to add a wifi adapter to my network, but it also comes in handy for software upgrades. Newer chartplotters and some other network devices, such as AIS transmitters, often have built in wifi capability.
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by RWS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:51 am

I am too old school for this, however it is a great example of how we can bring our boats into the 21st century.

Was at the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show this weekend

Most new boats are going in this direction - even the outboards !

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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by mikeandanne » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:24 am

I have a question. How can you verify the accuracy of what you are seeing ? The reason I am asking is because you changed a value, how did you know what it would produce.

With old instruments there was a voltage range/air pressure range etc.,you could test the linear accuracy, but this stuff baffles the heck out of me. I do like it though, had some stuff hooked up to a Garmin and loved it, although expensive to buy all the pieces.
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:43 am

mikeandanne wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:24 am
I have a question. How can you verify the accuracy of what you are seeing ? The reason I am asking is because you changed a value, how did you know what it would produce.
Good question! I was using a high quality infrared thermometer on the thermostat housing to get temperatures and recording them with the voltages I saw on the RS11 configuration utility. Since this type of temperature sensor is not linear, you have to record a range of temperature/voltage pairs and pick two in the area you are concerned with. In this case, I picked values at 105 and 180 degrees F. You input these into the configuration utility and it calculates the equation of the line that passes through these points and sends that to the RS11 so that it can calculate temperatures from voltage levels.

To check it, I used my helm gauges as a rough test to make sure I was in range. They are only graduated in 40 degree increments, so not that precise. Also, my chart plotter can display actual readings through its settings menu so I could verify that the temperatures it was seeing corresponded to my infrared thermometer readings.

Here is a photo of the configuration utility:
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20191018_125920.jpg
20191018_125920.jpg (67.33 KiB) Viewed 1828 times
And here is a photo of the data display in my chartplotter's settings menu:
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20191018_142956.jpg
20191018_142956.jpg (56.84 KiB) Viewed 1828 times
As you can tell, these photos were taken with only the port engine running and were before we resolved the issue with the AC Delco gauge voltage levels.
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by mikeandanne » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:32 am

Aha, it actually looks like something I could actually do :wink: maybe. Does this RS11 connect directly to the gage wiring with no interfaces then ?

That would be great considering all the drama ( extra boxes,data backbones etc.) with some other providers.

Mike
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:13 am

mikeandanne wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:32 am
Aha, it actually looks like something I could actually do :wink: maybe. Does this RS11 connect directly to the gage wiring with no interfaces then ?

That would be great considering all the drama ( extra boxes,data backbones etc.) with some other providers.

Mike
The RS11 connects directly to a gauge, or even to a sender that is not connected to a gauge. As far as I know, it is only with the AC Delco gauges that you need to add a resistor or other "bandaid" to get it to work. We are still working on that aspect, as I am seeing a bit of fluctuation in the voltage levels on that particular line and need to stabilize it so the virtual gauge on the chartplotter doesn't bounce so much. That should not be a problem, but each step I take involves a three hour round trip to the boat...
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Re: Displaying Engine Gauges on Chartplotter

Post by WayWeGo » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:53 pm

Looking over this thread, I realized that I never described how I connected the RS11 to the physical gauges. The RS11 is mounted behind the lower helm and the connections are all made to the terminal strips installed by Trojan.

The photo is rotated 90° and I will fix later when I have access to a computer.
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