DIY electronic throttle and gearbox control

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by CDK, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I don't have any qualms about a well tested, fully electric system which I can fix on the water using tools I have on board. Likewise, I'm happy with full mechanical- provided it can be easily fixed on board.
    Failure can occur at any point. I have had fully mechanical throttles and shifters stick on outboards- not fun. What's important is that it works, you know how to maintain / repair it, and you KEEP IT MAINTAINED.
     
  2. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    "fully electric system which I can fix on the water using tools I have on board".......ever seen one?
     
  3. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    We don't have an electronics-hater around, do we Landlubber? ;););)
    CDK's system appears to come pretty close, from what he's posted so far I think he's on a good track with this thing.....
     
  4. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    marshmat,

    Not at all mate, I am however realistic to sea conditions, and electronics and salt air are not the best of friends, generally speaking.

    CDK's systems are another electronic system, I am simply expressing my opinions on reliability etc etc.

    I love electronics, it is the world we live in.....
     
  5. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    As a matter of fact I do have a multimeter, a soldering iron and some spare parts on board and on a few occasions over the years I did use them.
    What can or cannot be fixed on board largely depends on who is supposed to do so. Some guys only know how to hold a pair of pliers if the handles are painted red.....
     
  6. Meanz Beanz
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    Meanz Beanz Boom Doom Gloom Boom

    yeah but they still end up with a blood blister on their ba..... :rolleyes:
     
  7. Fanie
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Water and electronics are actually getting allong very well. Most production PCB's are rinsed with water when they are cleaned.

    There are conformal coating you can dip the electronics in and hang up to dry, alternatively you can pot the electronics to seal and enclose the circuit water proof. 'Dry' instrument PCB's are supposed to be conformal coated to protect the from moisture in general, and especially salt water and air, this unfortunately is often not done as it cost a few cents to do and takes more time to the shelf.

    There are re-penetratable pottings available. If you need to do something on the circuit, you can easily remove the jelly-like potting and afterwards just re-pot again.

    The biggest problem with too many manufacturers are that they use the minimum component to save a few rediculous cents, so the component operates near its maximum capability and whenever anything out of the ordinary happens the components rating is exceeded and risk packing up.

    Electronics are supposed to be extremely reliable, durable and cost efficient.

    Of course, nothing is guaranteed when the tanker runs you over or if you get a direct lightning strike.
     
  8. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    CDK,

    Yeah, your set up looks exceedingly simple, easily fixed, and obviously designed as such.

    By electronic systems I was referring to such units ats the Morse KE series, Cummins controls etc etc. Sure they do their best to make them work correctly, it is in their own interests not to have too many problems, but at the end of the day, they are irreparable at sea......not even a fully trained electronics technician working with the product could fix them.......todays electronics are replaced, not repaired, I think that your referrence to soldering irons really applies to electrics, not electronics.

    How do you fix a multi layered IC component??????.......I restate my original intention of seaworthyness, KIS. (Keep It Simple)

    "Most production PCB's are rinsed with water when they are cleaned"......pure demineralised water is totally dielectric.....just add salt and see how you go!
     
  9. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Those aren't meant to be repaired, though. You're supposed to buy two spares of every piece in the system and swap out entire $1700 modules when they act up ;)
     
  10. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    To control a throttle position or gear shift I need just a handful of electronic parts and a single layer PC board. No multi-layers, no smd components.
    The soldering iron is there because there has always been a lot of electronics on my boat, sometimes real prototypes with errors, improvised repairs etc. In electronics, doing it right the first time is very unusual.
    The times when I had to really repair were limited to mechanical damage like an electronic component that resonated at a particular engine rpm and literally fell off. That will never happen to actual production circuits because they a usually potted or otherwise sealed.
     
  11. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Say CDK, you don't happen to know of an easy way of doing linear position measurement ? That is without using a pot ?
     
  12. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Nothing is as easy as a potentiometer. I've used exotic CdS cells from a Japanese company, an inch long with only .05"width, illuminated with a LED and between these two a thin strip of metal. In digital applications there were (are?) linear optical sensors 200x1 and 400x2 dots. Fairchild made these, but that was 20 years ago.
    For very small movements there are silicon solutions based on stretching a chip.
     
  13. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Fanie, the old technology used in autopilots that had black and white marks underneath, it was read by a light source, and could be read to within one dimension of the units, about 1mm.
    Maybe this technology would do what you need.??????
     
  14. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Fanie, there is a product from Sharp that looks like a pot but isn't. The output is a digital pulse train with a separate output that tells the direction of rotation and produces a double length pulse as a reference for each revolution. I might be able to dig up the part number; just tell me if this is what you're looking for.
     

  15. L'eau.Life
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    L'eau.Life Junior Member

    Excuse my ignorance - I am a complete electronix novice but really interested in this topic.
    Is there any reason why you could not simply use a fixed stroke (say 50 or 75mm) linear actuator with a "momentary" rocker switch or joystick?
    Reading http://www.dclinearactuators.com/ and following the links at http://www.firgelliauto.com/default.php this would SEEM to be a simple, effective and low cost (about US$130/engine) solution.
     
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