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post #21 of 39 Old 11-01-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

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I had to make a panel from scratch for my boat.

I used Adobe Indesign to mock the size of the panel and then lay out the placement of the gauges, switches, etc. Then I printed it and taped the paper over the plywood to start drilling holes.

Great panel, how do you like those gauges? I'll be looking at them more closely later. Their website seems to be down now. I use Microsoft Visio to mock up these panels and for the last one, like you I printed it life size and used it as a drill guide.
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post #22 of 39 Old 11-01-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

asdf-

My engine panel is on the forward bulkhead of the cockpit well and locating the ignition switch in the cabin-literally a "lean forward and reach down" operation if I am in the cockpit-solves a couple of problems while eliminating a couple of risks. The switch is a standard rotary key switch and can't be waterproofed. Putting it in the cabin keeps water out of it and keeps the key in the cabin so it can't be dropped overboard or lost. The switch provides all power to the panel and engine electrics except for the starter motor power.

With the key in the cabin and only the alarm lights and push-to-start switch on the panel there is no need for a cover or opening port to make it waterproof. A little Boat Life caulk seals the openings around each and the push switch has a rubber boot over it.

I can hear the buzzers (I used two...one for each alarm circuit) in the cockpit with the engine running and drop boards in place. They are pretty fragile and not designed for exposure to water.

I agree with Mainesail about the utility of water T and LO P gauges but my senders are simple switches and I need to change them out before I install gauges. I left space on the panel to put gauges in and will likely do so during the winter if I can locate senders.

Nice thread.
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post #23 of 39 Old 11-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

Two questions on my mind right now:
1) So people recommend adding temp/oil guages, has anyone done this? Do the yanmar senders normally communicate with 3rd party gauges? I'm not finding answers at the moment. I see that many of the 3rd party gauges include their own senders but I'd rather not plug non-yanmar parts into my engine in important functions.

Also, if I go this route what generates the alarm signals for the buzzer?

2) Any thoughts on the horn? Should I bother wiring one in permanently? I was smart enough to add an unused wire between the panel and my forward terminal block which could easily become the horn.

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post #24 of 39 Old 11-06-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

The Yanmar senders are just pressure/temperature switches - they just close a contact to turn on the warning lights. For gauges, you would have to swap them out for "analog" gauge (losing the buzzer feature) or better yet, install additional senders for gauges, keeping the original ones for the buzzer (and as an independent backup).

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post #25 of 39 Old 11-06-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

If you have access and space, you could easily add a 'T' to the sender connection and mount the gauge sender and remount the alarm sender on the same tap. It's just a few pipe fittings - in fact a 'street T' (with one male thread and two females) would be the cleanest way to do this.

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post #26 of 39 Old 11-06-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

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Digikey sells over 5000 rockers starting at $0.30@quantity 1. Sorting for IP67 narrows that down to 300. So this isn't your average cheapo rocker it's, the best I can find (silver contacts, brass with silver plating terminal). Good enough? Not sure.
Asdf, another issue with rockers is simply cutting the holes for them. Unless you buy a knock-out punch made for the purpose ($$$), you'll have to drill multiple round holes, then cut/mill/grind/file into a rectangular hole. I've done it, it's a PITA.

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post #27 of 39 Old 11-07-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

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combo tachometer:
vdo - tachometer
Sorry about my late entry into this discussion. I do so only because I have a Yanmar and the original tacho cashed in a while ago and I started searching for less financially-crippling replacements.

In that search I looked at VDO and looking at the unit above, are you sure this is not for gasoline engines? The 6000 RPM upper limit suggests it may be. In which case it probably won't be of any use because it needs an electronic trigger and the Yanmar flywheel sensor won't trigger it.

Some of them trigger off the rear of the alternator - you may be wise to check that out before spending your sheckels


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post #28 of 39 Old 11-07-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

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Sorry about my late entry into this discussion. I do so only because I have a Yanmar and the original tacho cashed in a while ago and I started searching for less financially-crippling replacements.

In that search I looked at VDO and looking at the unit above, are you sure this is not for gasoline engines? The 6000 RPM upper limit suggests it may be. In which case it probably won't be of any use because it needs an electronic trigger and the Yanmar flywheel sensor won't trigger it.

Some of them trigger off the rear of the alternator - you may be wise to check that out before spending your sheckels
Yes, absolutely. At the moment, I know nothing about the yanmar tach signal and for now, I was generally assuming that this gauge would work with it. But I definitely need to check.

Actually I thought there was a signal coming off the alternator until I was at my boat Sunday and saw an extra wired device at the rear of the motor and realized it was a tach sender. Your mention of a flywheel sensor confirms that because that's where it was.

If you know any more specifics please share otherwise I'll be posting the info whenever I get around to confirming it.

Note that VDO makes a whole range of tachs with various RPM limits. They do make one with a 4k limit which is what I'd want for the yanmar.
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post #29 of 39 Old 11-07-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

My Westerbeke has an Admiral Panel - a nice design IMHO:


Works well for me, not too fancy, but compact and with the basics. You can purchase it separately (don't know the price). There is a buzzer (oil pressure alarm) but it is behind the panel somewhere.
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post #30 of 39 Old 11-07-2012
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Re: Custom Engine Panel Design

This guy did a nice job building a custom teak panel:
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