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Old 12-06-2014, 15:04   #1
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engine data for NMEA 2000 - noland/Actisense

I am considering installing a Noland RS11 or and Actisense EMU-1 to monitor engine RPM, temp and oil pressure. Does anyone have any experience with either of these products?

I don't have much experience at an installation such as this but I seem to need to do it myself as no electronics dealers seem interested in learning either of these products.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:08   #2
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Re: engine data for NMEA 2000 - noland/Actisense

I just installed the RS11, so that's the only one I can speak to.

You need a laptop to connect the USB cable to, and to run their configuration software. If you don't have one, you can borrow one. You won't need to do this too often.

The manual is very sparse, but it's straightforward enough that I was able to do the setup without any trouble. You do need to have good values from your existing gauges, or some other way to measure the values you have to enter.

Since my tachs were useless, I bought an inexpensive hand-held laser tach.

One lesson I learned is that their setup software can't retrieve the settings you put in, for example, you might set it to read xx PSI at xx Volts. Jot these down somewhere so you have a starting point next time you have to configure anything. Ideally, you only need to do this once, but we're talking boats here, not an ideal world. Since it's connected to a computer during setup anyway, having a simple spreadsheet open to record the settings as you enter them would do the trick.
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Old 23-06-2014, 10:50   #3
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Re: engine data for NMEA 2000 - noland/Actisense

I'm in the process of installing the RS11. A problem with my B&G Triton has stalled my setup, but my first challenge was to add the sensors to the engine that supply data to the RS11. You'll need to do this too if, like me, you have only dummy lights.

CaptTom: somewhere I got the impression setting up the tach involved counting the flywheel teeth. That's the direct method, right?


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Old 23-06-2014, 11:34   #4
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Re: engine data for NMEA 2000 - noland/Actisense

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregSteimel View Post
CaptTom: somewhere I got the impression setting up the tach involved counting the flywheel teeth. That's the direct method, right?
Yes. To oversimplify, all a tachometer (analog, digital or NMEA) does is count pulses and display a number based on how many pulses it counts per minute.

Those pulses can be induced by teeth going by the sensor, or alternator pulses, or a mechanical sensor driven off a gear someplace in the engine.

The trick is in calibrating the tach to "know" how many pulses come through for each revolution of the crankshaft. In my case, the sensor is driven off a pin stuck into a gear that rotates 8 times for each rotation of the crank. Thus I enter "8" into the calibration value field on the RS11 configuration application.

With alternator-driven tachs it's a little more complicated. My analog gauges have two set screws. One sets the pulses per revolution, the other sets the level of noise to reject.

The one way to be sure is to buy an inexpensive hand-held laser tach, shoot the flywheel to get a known RPM, and adjust the tach to match. That's how I arrived at my value of 8.
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Old 23-06-2014, 12:39   #5
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Re: engine data for NMEA 2000 - noland/Actisense

That's what i thought. I have the same sort of solution to a different problem. Having no gauges, I'll have to buy a oil pressure tester in order to give the RS11 a second data point. I'll get the second water temp using an instant read thermometer (somehow).
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Old 23-06-2014, 12:54   #6
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Re: engine data for NMEA 2000 - noland/Actisense

Keep in mind that Maretron make a harness and black box for Yanmar engines which will put various engine data onto an N2K. I have one of these and it works a treat. And the Triton displays will display the data (yay!) after the last software update. Don't know if you have a Yanmar engine, but if you do this may be the ticket for you.

I have no experience of the Actisense unit you ask about, but I have a few pieces of Actisense gear and they are all terrific. A great company which produces really good stuff; I'm sure the engine monitoring gear is very good.
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