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Old 02-08-2008, 07:46   #1
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Engine Alarms: Options for a deaf cruiser

I am deaf so an engine alarm would not do me much good except to give me a very expensive bill when the engine overheats.

The boat has twin Yanmar 27hp diesel engines. I would like to find out if there are ways to automatically have the engines shut down when the alarm goes off to protect the engine.

Alternatively, a light could go off in multiple locations warning that an alarm is going off.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how to approach this?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:54   #2
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Multiple lights would be fairly easy to install in various spots and probably the best solution. Engine shut down options are available for gensets but have not seen them on engines and may not be a good idea for various reasons. Sometimes it is not a good idea to shut the engine down at the first sign of overheating and other times when you need the engine no matter what you can run it a bit hot but not critical and a shut down would not allow you to do that. If you had to have this option I am sure one of these units could be adapted to your engine.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:43   #3
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As to lights - anyone familiar with engine wiring should be able to help you. By inserting a relay switch into the circuit for the audible alarm, activation of the audible alarm would also close the relay switch and create a circuit that could be used to power a strobe light at the pedestal or elsewhere.

As to engine shut-off - Probably not a great idea. As stated above, an automatic shut-off might leave you without power when needed. FireBoy makes a shut off devise for use if there is fire in the engine room so the the extinguishing gas is not vented out of the compartment through the engine intake. It probably could be used in your situation - again through a relay switch, the engine shut off could be tripped by the alarm circuit.
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Old 02-08-2008, 14:07   #4
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Here are a couple of links for visual warning panels that are already on the market for all the systems on a boat. It would not be hard to build a custom panel to suit your needs with just basic electronic skills.
RedTek Marine - Marmaris / Turkey
http://store.oohla.com/storefiles/ct...1102469462.pdf
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Old 02-08-2008, 14:18   #5
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Noisy engine rooms on larger vessels always have strobes and rotating lights for bilge alarms, oil pressure, overheating etc. So placing such things on a small boat for someone who is hearing impaired makes perfect sense. Putting a rotating light in parallel with an audible alarm, as long as the alarm can take the increased watts, would be relatively easy to do. Otherwise, get a solenoid activated off the audible alarms to power your visual alarms.
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Old 02-08-2008, 15:13   #6
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I put a variety of colored lights above various instruments in my cockpit panel, each above a specific instrument. If a plastic bag or piece of kelp blocks my seawater intake, or if the water hose breaks, or if a vane breaks off my seawater impeller pump, a light goes on over the engine temperature gauge, because that is going to rise in a couple minutes. Of course an overheated engine idiot light, also sighted over the temp gauge, tells me when it has already happened. The same for the other instruments: oil pressure, voltmeter, and two lights over the fuel vacuum gauge, a red one for too much vacuum (fouling filter) and a yellow one for water in the bowl. You can also include different sounding piezoelectic alarms for members of your crew who will hear a buzzer and bring your attention to it. An additional bright series of lights, one located in each of the spaces in your boat, could be wired to the ground wire of your alarm lights to tell you to check the instrument panel. Also, have you tried placing your forehead against a bulkhead, from time to time, to sense the vibration of the engine? I do it all the time to "hear" stuff that is covered up with other noise.
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Old 02-08-2008, 20:20   #7
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I have wired up a very visuall system on tugs.

One of those teardrop emergency beacons and a couple of alarm switches.

You could also use a small amber strobe like you see on tow trucks.

Having an automatic shutdown is not a prudent idea.......It may shutdown for no apparent reason and endanger you, the crew and the vessel and others
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Old 03-08-2008, 13:25   #8
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I'd have to support a shutdown system. This vessel has 2 engines. It's more likely than not to only affect one engine at a time.
The automatic shut down of one engine on a cat shouldn't endanger the crew.
We use the systems on generators to auto shutdown with oil pressure, high coolant temp and high exhaust temp.
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Old 03-08-2008, 14:28   #9
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When an engine shuts down on its own without an alarm sounding first, one always wonders why. There could be a multitude of reasons why it just died.

When there is an alarm first, one always knows why it needs to be shut down immediately.

With the first system, you have to try to start the engine to find out why it died. With the second system you can go right to the problem without having to re-create the problem.

Just a different philosophy.
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Old 03-08-2008, 16:19   #10
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I CAN agree with that

in the event of a deaf cruiser...maybe a combination of ideas might be feasible. waddya think?


Quote:
Originally Posted by never monday View Post
I'd have to support a shutdown system. This vessel has 2 engines. It's more likely than not to only affect one engine at a time.
The automatic shut down of one engine on a cat shouldn't endanger the crew.
We use the systems on generators to auto shutdown with oil pressure, high coolant temp and high exhaust temp.
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