Marine Engine Interface Unit Provides NMEA 2000 Access for Older Diesel and Gasoline Models

Share Article

Engine and marine equipment interface unit bridges analog sensor data onto NMEA 2000 bus to provide upgrade path for older diesel and gasoline engines. Supports dual engine configurations and separate color display panels for full instrumentation in a single unit. PC/USB interface port allows viewing both analog gauges and NMEA 2000 data with full color customizable gauge panels.

vGauge Remote Sensor Unit

Adding NMEA 2000 interface to the SeaGauge Remote™ unit provides a very cost effective solution for converting existing engine packages to full color digital instrumentation

Marine and boat operators now have the ability to view existing engine information on new generation NMEA 2000 compatible displays. Chetco Digital Instruments has added a NMEA 2000 interface option for its line of SeaGauge™ Remote engine sensor units. SeaGauge Remote™ allows any existing diesel or gasoline engine package to be upgraded to full color digital instrumentation. Based on the NGT-1 NMEA 2000 interface adapter from Active Research, Inc, SeaGauge Remote™ will interface directly with popular Marine Sonar/GPS units from Lowrance, Garmin, Raymaine, and others to provide full color display of standard engine gauges along with other equipment monitoring functions.

SeaGauge™ is a stand alone sensor unit that connects directly to engine senders and provides digital instrumentation for up to three engines in one unit. Functions include tachometers, fuel flow, temperatures, boost pressures, oil pressure, exhaust gas temperatures, charging voltage, amps, fuel levels, trim, and much more. SeaGauge™ converts up to 16 analog signals into a single digital NMEA 0183 format for broadcast to remote displays or PC over serial or USB interfaces. Built-in user defined sensor calibrations allow the unit to be used with a wide variety of existing engine combinations. In cooperation with Active Research, Inc, Chetco Digital has added the capability to bridge digital data into the NMEA 2000 protocol using the NGT-1 gateway device.

"Adding the NGT-1 option to the SeaGauge Remote™ unit provides a very cost effective solution for converting existing engine packages to full color digital instrumentation" said Joe Burke, CTO for Chetco Digital. "Other modular NMEA 2000 instrument options only provide a few functions with multiple devices required to form a complete system" he added. Each module requires separate network connection which adds up at $50 per node. The SeaGauge Remote™ unit can provide the basic set of dual engine gauges in one unit, saving hundreds of dollars.

With many manufactures now offering limited digital gauge options on newer GPS/Sonar units - SeaGauge™ Remote will provide the interface between raw engine parameters and the NMEA 2000 protocol. "Our SeaGauge™ systems have supported NMEA 0183 for years" said Burke, when referring to the older protocol. "Adding the NGT-1 now allows the same engine data onto the NMEA 2000 bus so other units can share and display the information". One example for such a system includes the HDS sonar/GPS units from Lowrance. The digital gauge screen on the Lowrance HDS allows users to select from engine tachometers, fuel levels, temperatures, and other performance parameters supplied by the SeaGauge™ Remote unit.

As a further benefit, the Actisense NGT-1 gateway will allow Chetco Digital's line of SeaGauge™ color displays to also operate on the NMEA 2000 bus. The color graphics options and instant-on features make the SeaGauge G12C™ and SeaGauge G24N™ much better suited for dedicated instrumentation when compared to the GPS/SONAR units. One SeaGauge Remote™ unit can drive many different displays when attached to the NMEA 2000 bus. This would a allow for a large SeaGauge G24N™ color touch panel at the main helm station and a second GPS/Sonar unit up on the flying bridge to all display the same engine data.

The large 8.4" color touch panel option has room to show all instrumentation required for dual engines on one screen. SeaGauge™ gives users the ability to migrate to full color digital displays in existing power plants while keeping the same OEM senders. Integrated functions also allow users to increase instrumentation by including fuel flow data in the same compact unit. Up to 10 user defined gauge arrangements can be designed with supplied PC software and downloaded to the unit for real-time display. Individual High/Low alarms can be programmed for each gauge with both audio and visual indicators. The unit even allows customers to add remote switching of up to 12 circuits with the company's SeaSwitch™ relay module thus allowing alarm conditions to shutdown equipment.

With concerns for high fuel prices, smart engine monitoring systems are becoming more popular to increase performance and lower operating costs. Retro-fitting older diesel engines by replacing inoperative mechanical gauges with digital display panels is now possible.

Migrating to digital instrumentation on older diesel systems can improve reliability by eliminating mechanical senders. Some mechanical oil pressure gauges for example, still perform measurements by piping oil and hydraulic fluid long distances from the engines to the operator station where breaks and leaks in the line are common. Single mode digital gauges require a bundle of wires to be run from the engine to operator panel which degrades readings. The SeaGauge™ instrument panel improves on this by installing a 16 function remote sensor interface near the engine which converts all the engine data into a single network CAT5 cable that can then be run to multiple display panels. Bluetooth and WiFi options even allow wireless transmission in industrial environments up to 300 feet

SeaGauge Remote™ includes a USB interface port to allow for field upgrade of sensor calibration tables and firmware. A limitless number of sender definitions and gauge labels can be downloaded from the internet and copied directly to the unit. A serial interface port provides expansion options including remote switching and NMEA network interface for viewing and remote data logging.

The SeaGauge is bundled with the company's vDash software program which allows users to customize the unit by picking from a selection of graphic display options and arranging one of several pages quickly accessed via the touch panel interface. Using the software tool on a Windows XP or Vista platform attached via USB interface, users can compose summary instrumentation screens with additional more detailed formats as desired. The program provides for sensor calibration thereby allowing the system to fit into virtually any application.

Pricing starts at $995 for the base unit. Other configurations and network options are also available.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website