Alarms, Idiot Lights, and Shutoffs... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-12-2012 Thread Starter
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Alarms, Idiot Lights, and Shutoffs...

I admit that I love gauges. Looking at the every growing myriad of dials gives me a sense of confidence that all is well in my engine, as well as a certain "at the helm of a space-ship" kind of feeling.

I'm installing a few new gauges on my boat, but I was wondering about audible alarms and shutoffs. Not all who helm my boat love staring at gauges nor do they necessarily know what they mean. Ideally I would like an audible alarm for my temp gauge and some kind of automatic shut-down for my engine for the oil pressure sensor.

Can anyone point me in the direction of how to set something like this up?

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-12-2012
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You should think hard about an automatic shutdown. Consider the possibility that the sensor could fail and shut your engine down at a very inconvenient time.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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You should think hard about an automatic shutdown. Consider the possibility that the sensor could fail and shut your engine down at a very inconvenient time.
A failure of the oil pressure sensor or break/short of the wiring could shut your engine down for know good reason. I would stick with audible horns/buzzers. Here is a good source of devices:
https://www.aqualarm.net/comerus/sto...Categories.asp

They can custom make any panel you like at a resonable price.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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Easy to install alarm for oil and temp run thru key. Bilge and fire should be separately powered and sound completely different so you know which way to panic. Someone on the dock may notice a problem if you leave it on and give you a call.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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I have a light and audible alarm for the engine temp and oil pressure, but I personally wouldn't install an automatic shutdown of the engine. I prefer to make that choice and there could be a time when I would let it beep instead of running into that 10 million dollar yacht.

I also have alarms and warning lights on the two bilge pumps and a very loud alarm for the anchor drag.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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I like the aircraft approach. Gauges for everything so one can monitor trends and hopefully see trouble coming before it arrives. Annuciators (idiot lights) for when you don't see it in time or it happens instantly.

I have one or the other on the boat, but they are by my ankle, which is just stupid.

I have an audible alarm for bilge level and it has gone off underway at sea. False alarms will shorten our lifespan!!


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post #8 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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Medsailor :

I really would not go for an automatic shut-down. You will always be on board with the motor running anyway.

An oil pressure warning can be made very cheaply indeed using the existing oil pressure switch, a relay from am old automobile headlight and a horn. The oil pressure switch simply closes the relay and sounds the horn.

Cost me about $5, some 17 years ago. It works perfectly and it is very loud.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-13-2012
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I much prefer a flow detector alarm in my raw water line to an overtemperature alarm. The flow detector will set off the alarm the very instant that cooling water ceases to flow. By the time an OT alarm goes off, your impeller is certainly fried, most likely your raw water pump and you are well on your way to engine damage. I have Aqualarm flow detectors on my main and my generator intakes..... wouldn't be without them.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-14-2012
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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I much prefer a flow detector alarm in my raw water line to an overtemperature alarm. The flow detector will set off the alarm the very instant that cooling water ceases to flow. By the time an OT alarm goes off, your impeller is certainly fried, most likely your raw water pump and you are well on your way to engine damage. I have Aqualarm flow detectors on my main and my generator intakes..... wouldn't be without them.
I agree, or should say, used to agree. Irony being what it is, I was told of the high failure rate of flow alarms right here on this forum and I have one for the same reason you point out.

Very coincidentally, during winterization this year and running the engine up to temp to change the oil, the seacock is accidentally left closed for the start. No alarm.


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