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Boating Drive By Wire

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Old 10-18-2011, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
I am real curious to see how these systems hold up over time in the very damp, high humidity environment that boats exist in. I would think over time, the electrical portion that senses position would get corroded and stop working or be erratic.
i disagree. the component sensing the position could be hermetically sealed thus no water intrusion with a simple electrical connection on the outside.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 2fast9tech2 View Post
i disagree. the component sensing the position could be hermetically sealed thus no water intrusion with a simple electrical connection on the outside.
There is a very simple sensor currently on our drives... for trim. And that thing never fails because of corrosion. LMAO.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:26 PM
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So I work for a company that has many applications of "wire" technology. A small subset of our industry is creating control systems that use actuators, wires, switches, etc for communication. One specific example is the apache helicopter which implements "fly by wire". Essentially we have replaced all mechanical components to use electronics. So I was thinking:

Why hasnt drive by wire controls become relevent in todays boating world? They are relatively inexpensive systems consisting of actuators, wires, etc...I know the high dollar boats use them but why not the lower end?

Almost all center consoles are DTS especially Verado boats. Personally, I am not crazy about it. But my own boat doesnt have it so maybe I would get use to it if it were mine...
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:31 PM
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I have no problem with throttle by wire, or shift by wire. But I don't think I could ever do fully electronic controls, meaning steering. Big Reason for this is allot of boaters are DIY guys. and electricity Scares them! What happens if you loose power, be it via short circuit or Bad charging system? Electric assist would be one thing, but full electrical probably not.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
But I don't think I could ever do fully electronic controls, meaning steering. What happens if you loose power, be it via short circuit or Bad charging system? Electric assist would be one thing, but full electrical probably not.
I work for a large mining and construction equipment manufacturing company...many of our new machines have EH (electro-hydraulic) steering systems on them. They have several redundancies to account for sensor or wiring faults, etc. Granted a wheel loader may not be the best comparison to a powerboat, but there is no reason to be scared of it....as once the government and the legal dept are involved, there will surely be MANY failsafe components in place. aaaaaaaaand maybe that's why it hastn't already been done for pleasurecraft? lol
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:45 PM
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Being a former Cobra pilot, which was all mechanical and only about 3 million a copy (last model AH-1F), probably cost. When the Apache came out, it was about 16 million a copy for the basic model. Mechanical was easier for crew chief to fix, fly by wire was a nightmare that went up echeclons(sp?) of divisions too fix. Marines still use the Super Cobra. Gotta love mechanical!! IMHO
Mechanical in the Cobra is what cost my dad his shoulder... :-)
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasted Income View Post
I work for a large mining and construction equipment manufacturing company...many of our new machines have EH (electro-hydraulic) steering systems on them. They have several redundancies to account for sensor or wiring faults, etc. Granted a wheel loader may not be the best comparison to a powerboat, but there is no reason to be scared of it....as once the government and the legal dept are involved, there will surely be MANY failsafe components in place. aaaaaaaaand maybe that's why it hastn't already been done for pleasurecraft? lol
IMO if its good enoough for hlicopters which are airborn then its good enough for anything else.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:56 PM
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The airborne environment is very dry, has required frequent inspection schedules, and trained technicians.

The marine environment is damp and corrosive, has irregular inspection schedules, and the mechanics are ignorant rednecks, including those who are very well known in this industry. Sorry, guy, you know who you are.

While marine EFI has essentially been fly-by-wire for nearly 20 years now, and so it SHOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE for the suite of diagnostic tools to be developed and deployed, in fact what happened is the technicians still only know how to turn a wrench, and the information tools the manufacturers and the secondary market have deployed are purely a joke.

Hence, EFI fairly quickly becomes a GIGO machine -- garbage in, garbage out -- because all the sensors, signals from sensors, all the actuators and signals to actuators, and all the connectors everywhere degrade in a noisy manner. They don't simply fail, they just get more and more glitchy. Since the software in the EFI incorporates no form of fault tolerance whatsoever, the noise coming in results in noise going out, or the noise going out results in what looks like noise coming back, and no tools to isolate the source of the noise.

The result is what we all experience on this board: our drive trains gradually get more and more annoying as we spend more and more boat bucks, until we throw in the towel and repower, refit, and/or replace the whole enchilada.

The total lack of suitable tools for the technicians (mechanics) to actually isolate and identify the source of the glitches, combined with the manufacturer's diagnosis tree that instructs the technicians to start by replacing the most expensive items first, results in profits for the engine builders, new sales to boat builders, and lots of money WASTED at mechanics shops. So who is encouraged to fix this problem? Nobody. So it continues. And we just keep bleeding.

So, to answer the OP: Its been fly by wire for a long time, and its resulted in less fun at more expense.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by carcrash View Post
The airborne environment is very dry, has required frequent inspection schedules, and trained technicians.

The marine environment is damp and corrosive, has irregular inspection schedules, and the mechanics are ignorant rednecks, including those who are very well known in this industry. Sorry, guy, you know who you are.

While marine EFI has essentially been fly-by-wire for nearly 20 years now, and so it SHOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE for the suite of diagnostic tools to be developed and deployed, in fact what happened is the technicians still only know how to turn a wrench, and the information tools the manufacturers and the secondary market have deployed are purely a joke.

Hence, EFI fairly quickly becomes a GIGO machine -- garbage in, garbage out -- because all the sensors, signals from sensors, all the actuators and signals to actuators, and all the connectors everywhere degrade in a noisy manner. They don't simply fail, they just get more and more glitchy. Since the software in the EFI incorporates no form of fault tolerance whatsoever, the noise coming in results in noise going out, or the noise going out results in what looks like noise coming back, and no tools to isolate the source of the noise.

The result is what we all experience on this board: our drive trains gradually get more and more annoying as we spend more and more boat bucks, until we throw in the towel and repower, refit, and/or replace the whole enchilada.

The total lack of suitable tools for the technicians (mechanics) to actually isolate and identify the source of the glitches, combined with the manufacturer's diagnosis tree that instructs the technicians to start by replacing the most expensive items first, results in profits for the engine builders, new sales to boat builders, and lots of money WASTED at mechanics shops. So who is encouraged to fix this problem? Nobody. So it continues. And we just keep bleeding.

So, to answer the OP: Its been fly by wire for a long time, and its resulted in less fun at more expense.
hmmm good points. i agree with 90% of your post. the ony argument i disagree is the airborne environment is dry...this is simply not true. all of our components require salt spray tests for qualification. its pretty extensive.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 2fast9tech2 View Post
hmmm good points. i agree with 90% of your post. the ony argument i disagree is the airborne environment is dry...this is simply not true. all of our components require salt spray tests for qualification. its pretty extensive.
True the airborne enviorment is harsh on all accounts. Not only the helicopters have fly by wire, but other aircraft in all the Armed Forces, deployed in all the different climates. Very stringent on testing. Early on EMI proved to be the problem on fly by wire, now fixed.

Still looks like cost vs. being able to work on things yourself?
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