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Old 04-11-2019, 10:40   #1
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Engine Dashboard plugin

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.

The Engine Dashboard displays the following data:
Engine RPM, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temperature, Engine Hours & Alternator Voltage for either single or dual engine vessels.
Fluid levels for Fuel, Water, Oil, Live Well, Grey and Black Waste.
and Rudder Angle.



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 display.
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 is started,
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, speed.
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 sailors.
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

Known bugs.
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).
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:43   #2
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Hurrah! What a nice addition!
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:54   #3
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Nice
What would be *really* nice would be a dashboard for signalk

But this is good, gets eng temp available inside Opencpn, and not a great deal to create the sentences in node-red. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:26   #4
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

This is a nice Christmas present for me, because I have a single Maretron DSM250 at my nav table -- the only device there which is capable of displaying engine data. There are other screens I like to be using on that, but if I'm motoring, I ALWAYS want the engine data in view. Keeping a close eye on engine data literally saved my engine last May when my Yanmar contrived to sling most of its oil out when motorsailing in rough weather.



Now I will be able to just put it on my OpenCPN screen and use the DSM250 for other purposes
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:27   #5
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Nice
What would be *really* nice would be a dashboard for signalk

. . .

With your skills, that ought to be about a one-beer job, no?
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:37   #6
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
What would be *really* nice would be a dashboard for signalk
I believe it's now possible... (post #546)

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-44087-37.html
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Old 05-11-2019, 17:06   #7
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Isn't it great how competition spurs innovation.

I think the Engine Dashboard has a few more basic features

  • Supports both single & dual engine vessels
  • Uses analog dials rather than text displays
  • In addition to rpm, oil pressure & coolant temperature, also displays alternator voltage
  • Displays fluid levels for fuel, oil, water, live well and grey &black waste.
  • Supports both SI and imperial units for pressure & temperature dials (for our North American friends!)
However the one important feature the tactics dashboard has is that it doesn't crash OpenCPN on Linux when adding new instruments to a horizontal dashboard.

I'm looking at the code to see what's changed wrt to the original dashboard source (which also seems to suffer from the same problem).
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:46   #8
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevead View Post
Isn't it great how competition spurs innovation.

I think the Engine Dashboard has a few more basic features

Hello,

Far from me to put two such fabulous developments in competition.
Your plugin is very good and I adopted it (I have a fifty) ...

By cons, I searched everywhere but I found nothing informative and specific about the use of SignalK on windows.
Yet, I had read that this is possible.
Do you have trails to explore ?

Another question, since you master coding and development.

I had thought of setting up a "system" that measures the evolution of the RPM / SOG report.
As long as the RPM's increase is greater than the increase in the SOG, I know - without taking into account the currents and condition of the hull of my boat - that I can continue to increase my speed.
At some point, the increase in SOG will be less than the increase in the RPM; this means that I consume more fuel than necessary and that it is better to reduce the engine speed.

Would it be possible to have this kind of information with the engine-dashboard.pi ?

However, I do not know how to display this evolution of the RPM / SOG report ...
If you have ideas, that interests me.

In the meantime, thank you for your plugin.
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Old 06-11-2019, 20:34   #9
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

The existing view of the dashboard is really miserable and not informative.
You did not think that all the new engine tools should be added to the standard dashboard plugin? It seems to me that it will be easier to refine the general changes.

In appearance there should be something like that.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:20   #10
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baikal View Post
The existing view of the dashboard is really miserable and not informative.
You did not think that all the new engine tools should be added to the standard dashboard plugin? It seems to me that it will be easier to refine the general changes.
I agree with you and that's why I'm trying - on my side - to change the look of the dashboard.
I am unfortunately not a programmer and changing the code (only cosmetic) requires each time that I compile the dll to check the quality of the change.

Because the needles of the AWA / TWA dial move too fast and jerkily, I prefer for the moment to have two dials and for each dial the information given by the sensors are blank and the data that is calculated (like the TWS and TWA) are dark orange.
So, at a glance, I make the difference between the TWA dial and the AWA dial ...

I directly integrated the calculation of the TWA / TWS into the dashboard, taking inspiration from what Hakan had done and using the Canne formula (dashboard_tactics.pi) which is more precise than that of the NmeaConverter for calculating the TWA .

I had also thought to integrate the dashboard_engine in the original dash, but ultimately it is not (for now and in my opinion) essential, so I prefer to leave it in the state, hoping that this plugin evolves even more...
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:26   #11
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

In my opinion, the dashboard code you should be looking at is Canne's Dasboard-Tactics or Dash-T. It has been completely and throughly tested and all instruments are accurate and the history instruments are much more efficient.

There has been cross dev work by petri and thomas so that tactics and dash-t share the same improvements. Thomas added a timestamp and petri is using that to make his instruments and a new db work better.

So in addition to extending the number of instruments addressable, these plugins are quite good examples.

I wish that the graphics could be improved at some point, with greater choices and perhaps someone will add the motor instruments once they've been worked out
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Old 07-11-2019, 13:39   #12
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnapsy View Post

I had thought of setting up a "system" that measures the evolution of the RPM / SOG report.
As long as the RPM's increase is greater than the increase in the SOG, I know - without taking into account the currents and condition of the hull of my boat - that I can continue to increase my speed.
At some point, the increase in SOG will be less than the increase in the RPM; this means that I consume more fuel than necessary and that it is better to reduce the engine speed.
How about storing all your data in a database and then retrieving SOG + RPM data and plotting it in x-y scatter plot? In a perfect world, where SOG and RPM are linked and nothing else like wind or current messes things up you should get a nice graph showing their relation.

I think you could do this with InfluxDb and Grafana with Grafana Plot.ly plugin, but I haven't done it so can't vouch for it. Just storing your data in InfluxDb would give you the ability to retrieve the data for a specific period, import the data into a spreadsheet and do the plotting there.

Once you have the graph you could create a system where a watchdog monitors STW and RPM, warns you if you throttle beyond the sweet spot and can calculate a performance index, that tells you how far you have gone from the time when bottom was clean, propeller shiny and engine fresh from service.

Naturally my tool for this job would be SK server and the watchdog would be a server plugin.
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Old 08-11-2019, 14:54   #13
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Could not resist...
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My boat's wind and baro data on Grafana.

The signal chain above is boat->SignalK->DashT->InfluxDB2.0->Grafana

Both InfluxDB and Grafana running as Docker images.

Nothing prevents to have a fork boat->Signalk->InfluxDB->Grafana while continuing to feed O with NMEA-data from SignalK, so one does not need DashT if so wish.

On Grafana one can have all sorts of methods to retrieve data and scripting is thus not excluded by making two or more queries and then arithmetic operations with those before a plot. No C++ needed.

IMO it is a pity if one needs skilled C++ programmers to do every minor improvement into a information system like this - 2020's is here and its perhaps the time to make that paradigm shift.

- - - - - -

P.S. @Rick, a small correction: timestamps in DashT are coming by default from Signal K (closest to source) or if not available, I create them at the reception from CPU clock (a bit later...). Tactics has added timestamps in the wind, baro and performance history instruments to be dumped in a CSV file for off-line analysis, with one second resolution max. Here we are talking about millisecond resolution timestamps of all data received which is needed to make time series.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:02   #14
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

Is any more development happening here? An engine dashboard is something I really want in my new system and OpenCPN has failed to provide this functionality up to this point. I can't find a windows installer for this anywhere and I don't have the skillset required to start compiling on my own.



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Old 05-12-2019, 13:19   #15
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Re: Engine Dashboard plugin

"...and OpenCPN has failed to provide this functionality"


Oh really? and what do you expect?
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