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Old 19-12-2014, 11:41   #1
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All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

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Hi All I would be interested in comments on This
Im finalising fitting out for a long trip (a few oceans at least)
I would like to sit in my cockpit and have everything I need to know about everything on the boat in front of me on 1 control panel.
This will be in the form of 19 X 2 line dispalys with an on/off switch, visual/audable alarm and sensitivity adjust POT for each dispaly. I will also have 10" tablet that will relay the screen of my Chart Table laptop with a wireless waterproof Keyboard with trackball linked to the chart table laptop.
To finish I will have a 12 channel removeable remote control for operating thruster, anchor windlass, and lights, as well as engine control. Has anyone ever done anything like this or know of a similar system. The idea is to have everything in 1 place with alarms if preset parameters are breached. For instance if there is water in the bilge I should know if its fresh or salt water. I should also be warned if fridge temp is rising (someone left the door open). Fresh water is going down fast (someone left a tap running).
Im currently writing the software to do sampleing of readings for wind course barometer depth etc so alarms are not too sensitive and can be adjusted to suit. I using various sensors and arduinos for the monitoring and display outputs
Ideas, suggestions or relevant articles, opinions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 19-12-2014, 11:44   #2
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

I know it is done on mega yachts. How trouble free and bullet proof it is I don't know.
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Old 19-12-2014, 12:44   #3
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

Use bi-color LEDs, and you'll save half of the LED real estate.


Or better yet, get rid of all the LEDs and simply flash the text on your display in red or green. Go one step further, change the screen background to red and flash that instead of using red text.


A little programming and you save lots of money on hardware.
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Old 19-12-2014, 13:31   #4
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

What Hellosailor said plus:
Maybe a couple of big red discrete LEDs for very important alarms in case your screen goes down.
A big red LED as master warning alarm that annunicates any time you get a new alarm condition. It should be resettable so that once you acknowledge the fault condition it is extinguished and will only illuminate when a new alarm is presented.

Some thoughts on colours; red for seriously important stuff that needs imediate action, amber for need to know information that may cause problems in the furture (I.e. caution required), green to for safe conditions, blue and orange for stuff that is of general interest only.
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Old 19-12-2014, 13:38   #5
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

It will be great, it will give you something to work on while cruising.
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Old 19-12-2014, 13:57   #6
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

You could add another page on the screen showing the postion of all seacocks, gas solenoids, fuel valves etc in pictorial form with colour change or other alert when any one of them is operated and their current condition (open or closed etc).

Tank levels is something else to be considered along with battery banks SOC.
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Old 19-12-2014, 17:40   #7
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

Maretron | N2KView
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Old 20-12-2014, 09:59   #8
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

I would love to learn more about what you are doing. I am a programmer who will retire soon and have been thinking about starting similar projects. Is the goal to enable safe single-handed sailing? Are you also looking at security issues (warning if someone is trying to board while you are sleeping) and other warnings you might want when cruising alone?
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:03   #9
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajucito View Post
Ideas, suggestions or relevant articles, opinions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Well, interesting project, but have you considered the environment it is supposed to operate in long term? Hint, things will be damp, very damp, sometimes moisture will be condensing on parts.. I would make sure to apply extra conformal coating layers on all electronics you use (arduinos, other PCBs, etc..) and as for potentiometers.. unless you go for hermetic ones (and a good trusted brand too) maybe consider using electronic ones adjusted by a microcontroller? Since you plan to have a sensitivity adjustment display anyway.. Other than that, have backup means of readout for at least critical data. Centralized solution is nice, but may be a single point of failure. Are you planning to make your project Open Source / Open Hardware?
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Old 20-12-2014, 12:30   #10
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

I've looked into that myself. Google "distributed power management for boats" and you'll find plenty like this:

http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/dist...-power-systems

It looks like a worthwhile project as one can see everything that draws power and even build in an alarm when something critical (like a bulge pump) stops drawing power indicating a fault.

It will require a complete rewiring of the whole boat though.

Some other negatives that were pointed out is that it's relatively new and untested in a marine environment and adds complexity to a true and tested (albeit ancient) system.

Hope the info helps



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Old 20-12-2014, 13:04   #11
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

You may like to contact, 'smart switch' in New Zealand, they always have innovative ideas, and products.
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Old 20-12-2014, 13:20   #12
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

I'd prefer to use a 17" laptop for more real estate and just have alarms pop up on the lower edge of the display if they get triggered. There's no need to see all monitored functions, only the ones that are alarming.

The newer i5 and i7 CPUs really throttle down on power if they're idling along doing minor stuff. The display will draw more current, but the LED versions really do save a lot of power.
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Old 21-12-2014, 06:12   #13
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Looking4Neptune.
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Old 22-12-2014, 06:14   #14
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

The Idea is to sound a buzzer and flash the normally off red button which needs to be pressed to acknowledge that you understand the advisory. On long trips its unreasonable to expect someone to be looking at displays for something new all the time. Thanks for your contribution.
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Old 22-12-2014, 06:18   #15
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Re: All in 1 Control Panel for Long Distance Cruising

Thanks, I thought about different colours for severity.. My experience is that everything out of the ordinary has equal merit as something trivial wrong usually leads to something worse if not dealt with.
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