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Old 02-11-2006, 16:56   #1
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Electronic Controls

I hear those new electronic engine controls are the go, but are they reliable. Being a ludite at heart I think I'd feel more comfortable with mechanical cables, but routing a wire over cables would be a whole lot easier.And the electronic ones have a few nice features as well.

Mind you the morse cable option is a whole lot cheaper and is well proven.

We are having a fly bridge on the newie so was wondering how the electronic ones stand up to a drink of water occasionally?

Dave
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Old 02-11-2006, 17:42   #2
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A true Luddite would not need to ask.

Consider the cost of installation. It adds up. Electronics have never been better or cheaper to install and mechanical parts have never been manufactured as well and take as long as they always have to install. As a whole it really is all about the installation cost.
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Old 02-11-2006, 18:00   #3
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Hi Pblais, So,..... seeing as I will be doing the install myself, so no labour cost as such, was that a for or against electronic controls ?

And your right , I can't possibly be a true luddite , I've got a bloody computer. But only had it a couple of months, drive a 1980 Chrysler valiant, only had a mobile phone a year but don't really want one and don't even have a micro-wave oven. Does that count ?

Thanks for the quick reply

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Old 02-11-2006, 18:03   #4
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NEMA 2000 the the current cat's meow. Not saying something else is on the horizon, but i'd go for it in heart beat.
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Old 02-11-2006, 22:04   #5
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Cat man, if you believe the airline industry and The Gummint, you'd better not use that cell phone while aboard the boat. Surely, if a cell phone can cause the electronic controls on an airliner to fail...Using it on your boat, with electronic controls, would start an Irwin Allen movie.<G>

On the other hand, the only way a cell phone can interrupt cable controls, is if you wedge it into the steering quadrant and of course, we all know that's why steering parts are installed in inaccessible places where cell phones aren't likely to be found.<G>
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Old 03-11-2006, 13:17   #6
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The fine folks at Morse are quick to point out that the electronic controls that they sell for boats are the same as they install in 747's. Of course a 747 is not as wet a setting as a boat ..... hopefully As for installing it yerself, they were equally as quick to point out that doing so would void all warranties .... something to consider!

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Old 03-11-2006, 17:49   #7
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I second the Simpson's reference. They're my favourite resource, where I get a lot of my information, especially that I post here ...
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Old 03-11-2006, 18:27   #8
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I've never heard of lightning taking out a morse cable.
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Old 03-11-2006, 23:53   #9
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Morse cables can break too. It's not common but it happens. So what's the difference. Electronics are reliable and becoming more so. It depends on how it's made at the end of the day. Aircraft depend on it now. And I can gauranttee that the makers of these new electronic controlls need it to be right. If they get a failure, they can kiss good buy to a very large market potential and income.
Hellosailor, it is well tested that cellphones infact do not cause issues on aircraft. But no one wants to take a risk. I mean, you can't just pull over to the side of a cloud and call the AA.
Some Airlines now allow you to operate laptops etc once airborne, but still ask that they are turned off during takeoff and landings.
I remember a Homer Simpsons episode where Homer or Bart (can't remember who) was talking on a cell ph and they stewardess asked that it be truned off. So he turns it off and the plane imdiately dives to the ground and the Stewardess screams that he turn it back on again, in which the plain levels back out.:-)
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:31   #10
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Soul Searcher s comment's made me remember the lightning strike I had a few years back and his single coment has swayed me considerably. It would be disasterous to lose engine control, especialy if toughing out a storm in restricted waters. The strike we had toasted every thing on the last boat, what a mess.

Thank's Soul Searcher

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Old 04-11-2006, 14:30   #11
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Good point. I wonder if a question was posed to say Volvo or one of the other electronic controll manufactureres, what there reponse would be to a lightening strike. Having said that, even engine management today is heavily electronic controlled. One hit and you are dead in the water.
Nottyboys, there may be an advantage to hanging out washing to make you go afterall ;-) :-)
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Old 04-11-2006, 16:02   #12
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Lightning has it's own mysteries. A good strike might blow out a through hull. A direct strike could kill you. It could blow up the the TV or burn you dinner. It might travel down the control cable and do all sorts of damage. Then again it might just miss you and hit the other guy.

So far my lightning strategy has been to use the slip where two boats down is a mast taller than mine. So far he has been hit twice while I've been spared. being next to a taller mast is not good enough as a near miss could hit you.

I think you have to be a little more realistic in the scenarios. A true Luddite would have a hand crank to start the engine in case the battery failed. I really doubt Luddites would actually travel by boat in the first place. Since they have no reason to leave home. For any solution there is always a scenario for failure. Most serious accidents are a result of human control systems.

It also helps if there is only a foot of water under the boat when you tie up at night.

Electronic controls are pretty conventional these days. You can't buy much that doe not have them. All cars do today and it started to be common 15 years ago. My washing machine has one too.
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Old 04-11-2006, 20:14   #13
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Both my work boats have electronic engines. My new boat has electronic conrols as well I'm not to thrilled about it but thats what the bosses wanted latest and greatest. I now have an mcim communicating with
an egim a tvim a mim and a ecm x 2 It took a week to mount all the boxes and wire another week to get it all working correctly 4 morse cables would take one day and be just about bullet proof.
I got hit(old boat) the best way possible,In the slip. actually the shore power line got hit it fryed 21 out of 26 sensors both ecms and both batt cargers. but I could still shift and the engines would still crank and idle.with all twenty four alarms going off. I know personally people who have been hit with micro commander and ddecs and neither boat would function after the stike both strikes were 20 miles off shore and they were towed back. I figure if your out there enough it's not if you get hit its when. Ill stick with low tech on my sail boat. esspecially when it comes to my engine. I wonder if they have a ddec tech in the toamatus. I dont have a problem with technologie but I do have a problem with being towed .
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Old 04-11-2006, 21:37   #14
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Paul-
"A true Luddite would have a hand crank" Nice theory but a little weak in concept. I've attempted to use the hand crank on two diesels. One, I don't remember what, in a Frers45, probably a 35hp size modern engine. We finally wound up being able to start it with three people: The two strongest grinders on the handle, and a third reaching it to release the compression lever. Yes, it took three people and those two guys cranking it were exhausted.

The other, an older Volvo MD7, nominally what, 18hp? And I've seen a number of people try to crank the heck out of it...and not be able to spin it up fast enough to start. (And it starts very nicely with the key.) That one also seems to need at least two people, one for the compression lever and another for the crank, unless you can get Superman to spin it up then clear the crank handle and grab for the lever.

Dunno, maybe it needs the extra inspiration of "Honey if we don't get it started we're gonna die out here" to make it work.<G>

Anyone been successful with engines 15hp or larger, hand started solo?
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Old 04-11-2006, 21:58   #15
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i reckon its just one more complicated thing to die mysteriously, give you hassles or corrode away quietly in an inaccessible place
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