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Old 27-06-2022, 17:02   #1
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Digital Engine Controller and Panel

Hello:

I have a 2002 Beneteau 473 with a Westerbeke 63D (63 hp) engine. The engine panel is shot and needs to be replaced. At the same time, I want to use some kind of an engine controller so I can eventually link it to my future electronics upgrade. (B&G or Garmin) I am thinking it would be best to add a controller that would be able to supply a new engine panel and give me the connectivity to my future electronics. I am curious if anyone else has dealt with this and what you used?

Thanks

Harrison – Tarpon Springs, Florida
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Old 27-06-2022, 17:06   #2
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

What do you mean by a “controller”?

For an older engine like that you’d need to change out a bunch of senders for dual senders, then feed the senders to something like an antisense emu-1 as well as the original gauges on the panel.
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Old 27-06-2022, 17:18   #3
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

Thanks for the reply....

Just starting my research. I might be naïve, but I assumed I could get some kind of a converter to take in the analog signal and then convert it out to digital signal so it could go on a NMEA network.

Any advice helpful
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Old 27-06-2022, 17:27   #4
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrisonM View Post
Thanks for the reply....

Just starting my research. I might be naïve, but I assumed I could get some kind of a converter to take in the analog signal and then convert it out to digital signal so it could go on a NMEA network.

Any advice helpful


You can,

One is the actisense EMU-1. It allows you to take analog inputs, define what they are, and output them as N2k pgn’s.

But…..the analog gauges on your existing panel may not like having a second item attached to the senders. I may be wrong, but I believe you’ll need dual senders for everything you want a standard analog gauge for as well as a digital gauge for.

If you only want digital (not for me) then you would just use your existing senders and do away with the analog gauges.
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Old 27-06-2022, 17:37   #5
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

Very helpful... I do like the idea of an analog engine panel and this so systems would be independent.

Thanks
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Old 28-06-2022, 01:06   #6
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

In addition to the Actisense EMU there is also a similar product from Noland Engineering.

I personally have no experience with either.
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Old 28-06-2022, 05:04   #7
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

Great...

Thank you for the input. This is all very helpful!!!!!
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Old 28-06-2022, 06:11   #8
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Digital Engine Controller and Panel

There’s a Chinese nmea 2000 engine converter. I have one , works as intended €m


Single Engine Channel NMEA2000 Converter 0-190 ohm to 13 Sensors can be Collected CX5106 Multifunction NMEA2000 Signal Converter

https://a.aliexpress.com/_mKMjmnC
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Old 29-06-2022, 13:33   #9
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

I installed the Actisense/Emu1 system on my boat. The existing senders for oil pressure and temperature were not compatible. This was on a 1979 vintage Ford Lehman FL120. Installed new ones to match the requirements. There is some computations that need to be done to get the tac adjusted accurately. You wIll need a computer running Windows 10 I believe to use the set up tool.
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Old 29-06-2022, 14:58   #10
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

The analog to nmea converters discussed so far allow you to monitor engine data on a chart plotter. In reality, they are not that useful because you need a second display to monitor them efficiently. A second display will cost you as much as the analog gauges you already have.

If you want to control your engine, you need something called electronic throttle control, for example check ZF Mathers MicroCommander series. It is quite expensive (about $3,000 for the control module, $500 for each station) and installation is involved. I am not sure if it makes much sense on a sailboat. It is typically used for powerboats with multiple engines and multiple control stations. Theoretically, it would allow you to control your boat remotely (i.e. the control stations use components that are nearly identical with RC airplane actuators) if you are into that sort of thing.
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Old 29-06-2022, 21:01   #11
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

A second MFD might not be necessary. My Raymarine 12” display can accommodate the engine monitoring as well as chart or radar or what ever else I choose.
A smaller MFD might not work as well.
I did keep all of my analog gauges as backup
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Old 29-06-2022, 22:28   #12
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Re: Digital Engine Controller and Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrisonM View Post
Hello:

I have a 2002 Beneteau 473 with a Westerbeke 63D (63 hp) engine. The engine panel is shot and needs to be replaced. At the same time, I want to use some kind of an engine controller so I can eventually link it to my future electronics upgrade. (B&G or Garmin) I am thinking it would be best to add a controller that would be able to supply a new engine panel and give me the connectivity to my future electronics. I am curious if anyone else has dealt with this and what you used?

Thanks

Harrison – Tarpon Springs, Florida
I have a 1983 boat with the original panels. It can be fixed by local guys almost anywhere. It has never failed me. Unless you are free to be boatless at random times and places for unknown degree of inconvenience, stay away from the modern high tech controllers or carry at least one spare in a heat sealed bag. Failure of one such system on the rally to the Caribbean last season left one cruiser engineless at sea and stuck at anchor for weeks. Several of us offered to help but the mother board on his breaker panel was cooked
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