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  #1  
Old 06-30-2014
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Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Hi all,

So I recently ordered a Raspberry Pi and more associated small equipment to make myself a NMEA wireless bridge/repeater. The plan is to (based on a recent Panbo article) utilize a Win8.1 cheapo tablet to run OpenCPN. I've already run the instrumentation and had it all working on my laptop at the helm, and even had OpenCPN acting as a TCP server....so this is no challenge.

*HOWEVER*, this project got me thinking. My Yanmar 3ym30 has only the idiot lights for water temperature, voltage, and oil pressure. At various stages, I've thought about upgrading the Yanmar Panel ($1000+ all in), buying the Maretron N2k instrument andharness ($700 all in), and the cheapest option, splicing in to the existing wiring and putting in analogy instrument gauges.

Then, I thought, hey, I have the raspberry pi. Why not use an arduino board to tap this data this way!?

The trouble is, I'm not very well versed with arduino and instrumentation. However, if I'm willing and able to fund the hardware purchase(s), is there anyone that can guide me through the project? The best thread I've got is this as a reference: Boat Digital Guage Project - Arduino Forum

I figure I'd start with a simple question...so here goes:

Q1 - can someone tap into existing idiot light gauges (at the sender or at the panel) in order to splice the data? How does one interpret the values being returned by the sender gauges (assuming they return various voltages or resistances back to the idiot lights helmide).
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Last edited by night0wl; 06-30-2014 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 07-01-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

I would think you would need new senders but that should not be expensive as you can use standard ones the idiot lights are controlled by sensors that trigger a signal a to a point not a continuous range. Put in t fittings to keep existing sensors.

Look like a fun project. I doubt you will save money. But will have fun.

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Old 07-01-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
I would think you would need new senders but that should not be expensive as you can use standard ones the idiot lights are controlled by sensors that trigger a signal a to a point not a continuous range. Put in t fittings to keep existing sensors.

Look like a fun project. I doubt you will save money. But will have fun.

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THanks for the feedback!

Can you point to t-fittings that i can use for my senders? Im particularly interested in my oil pressure one?

I'm curious as to the need for new senders. The Maretron unit has a yanmar wiring harness that apparently ties directly into existing senders on my 3ym30 engine. So while they may be hooked up to idiot lights right now, it makes me think that if the Maretron is able to bridge them to NMEA 2000, I should be able to bridge them to plain ol NMEA....right?

Also, I think youre right about saving money, but this is a learning excercise too. Just for reference sake, the cheapest nmea wifi repeaters I've seen are upwards of $350. I'm less than $100 in for my diy one so far. That included the pi, a dc-dc step down/step up, a mini usb hub, a dc power brick to tap into the 12v supply...and misc bits and bots (case, cables). This commodity hardware stuff is amazing.
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Old 07-01-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
I would think you would need new senders but that should not be expensive as you can use standard ones the idiot lights are controlled by sensors that trigger a signal a to a point not a continuous range. Put in t fittings to keep existing sensors.

Look like a fun project. I doubt you will save money. But will have fun.

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Whoops! Looks like you're right about the senders being limit. Here is an example of what someone did to "tee" in a coolant temp gauge.



Wonder how I would do this for oil pressure.
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Old 07-01-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Whoops! Looks like you're right about the senders being limit. Here is an example of what someone did to "tee" in a coolant temp gauge.



Wonder how I would do this for oil pressure.
You will need a T and a nipple.

Locate the oil pressure limit switch. Unscrew it from the engine block. Thread a nipple to extend the oil pressure "gallery" to a more convenient location. Thread the "T" onto the nipple. Install the oil pressure limit switch, and the oil pressure sender (which is a potentiometer/varistor/rheostat).

On my vessel, instead of a nipple, the PO used a 2 foot length of high pressure hose. He mounted the senders away from the engine, on a bulkhead.
Here is a pic of the boat (when I first inspected her).

You can see next to the old battery charger (long since gone) the hose, the "T" and both senders (one of which is behind the raw water hose, above the mixing elbow).
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
You will need a T and a nipple.

Locate the oil pressure limit switch. Unscrew it from the engine block. Thread a nipple to extend the oil pressure "gallery" to a more convenient location. Thread the "T" onto the nipple. Install the oil pressure limit switch, and the oil pressure sender (which is a potentiometer/varistor/rheostat).

On my vessel, instead of a nipple, the PO used a 2 foot length of high pressure hose. He mounted the senders away from the engine, on a bulkhead.
Here is a pic of the boat (when I first inspected her).

You can see next to the old battery charger (long since gone) the hose, the "T" and both senders (one of which is behind the raw water hose, above the mixing elbow).
Is there any impact to having the oil pressure be "teed" or on a hose further away from the engine block itself? Or does it even out across the entirety of the measurement surface?
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Old 07-02-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

How/where is the NMEA 2K decoding being done? OpenCPN able to decode 2K? 2K first converted to 0183 by? etc. Thanks.
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Look at Summit Racing they have lots of generic gage and sending units.

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Old 07-04-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoobaGooba View Post
How/where is the NMEA 2K decoding being done? OpenCPN able to decode 2K? 2K first converted to 0183 by? etc. Thanks.
The Maretron units are pure N2k. Just saying that if Maretron is able to take analog senders from Yanmar and convert to a digital signal....we should be able to do the same.
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Old 07-04-2014
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Re: Arduino / Raspberry Pi based instrumentation?

"Is there any impact to having the oil pressure be "teed" or on a hose further away from the engine block itself? "

No. It's a hydraulic system - pressure is the same everywhere.
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