Announcing the release of "yet another dashboard"; The Engine
Dashboard plug-in for OpenCPN
. This plugin is a "bastardised" version of the existing built-in dashboard plugin.
Dashboard displays the following data:
Temperature, Engine Hours & Alternator
Voltage for either single
or dual engine vessels.
Fluid levels for Fuel
, Live Well, Grey and Black Waste.
For sailors with NMEA2000® engine and tank level sensors, the latest release of the TwoCan plugin, version 1.6 can convert the appropriate messages from NMEA2000® networks to their NMEA 0183
equivalents which can then be displayed by the Engine Dashboard.
There are a few features yet to be implemented in this version of the Engine Dashboard:
1. It supports only a single rudder
2. It only supports a single instance for each tank. For example if you have multiple fuel tanks
it will only display the level for one fuel tank
. (Ths is a limitation in both this plugin and in TwoCan)
3. While the preferences dialog allows selection of Pressure units (Pascal or PSI) and Temperature (Celsius or Fahrenheit), the display is only changed the next time OpenCPN
4. The instruments do not "zero" if data is no longer being received (Eg. the engine is switched off)
The rationale for developing yet another dashboard was the following:
1. The existing dashboard plugin has limitation of how many inputs/controls it can support. Therefore to add these engine displays would have meant deleting some of the other dashboard controls such as position, depth
2. On the other hand the tactics_dashboard eliminates the above limitation, however adding engine displays to the tactics plugin may be of little interest and perhaps confusing to motor boat
3. I also felt that it would be easier and simpler for me to release a simple dashboard purely to display engine & tank data and which would possibly be less confusing for end users.
Unfortunately development of both this new version of the TwoCan plugin and Engine Dashboard was undertaken independently and without the knowledge of the work
that has been done on the new version of the tactics dashboard plugin which also adds some support for engine controls. I have yet to look at the new version of the tactics dashboard to see if it could be used instead of the engine dashboard plugin. I apologise for any confusion this may cause to OpenCPN users.
Further details about the Engine Dashboard, source code and build instructions can be downloaded from https://github.com/twoCanPlugin/EngineDashboard
On a Raspberry Pi running Buster (and possibly earlier versions) with OpenCPN v5.0, if the dashboard is in a horizontal orientation, OpenCPN crashes when a adding or deleting an instrument to the dashboard. The workaround is to add or delete instruments to the dashboard when it is in a vertical orientation, or to add or delete instruments when the dashboard is not visible. (Note the same bug exists in the built-in dashboard and probably also in the tactics-dashboard).