Digital Dash and automation on Trojan F36 tri-fly

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Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:14 pm

Re: Digital Dash and automation on Trojan F36 tri-fly

Post by baggins » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:16 pm

Hi Guys,

Its been an interesting time for me and will probably be so for a little while so apologies for the lack of response. I will try to send more info and please ask questions as i do get the emails and will try to respond when i can.

The solution components: (i would still love to provide a build image at one point but it may be a while).

A Raspberry PI (I would recommend a 3B+ at least for the main controller, a very fast SD card and big, and a good USB wifi dongle.

On the raspberry pi install the following:
- Rasbian lite stretch,
- influx DB,
- NodeRed (installed from the NodeRed websites install script)
- Grafana
- hostapd
- dnsmasq
- And probably other bits and pieces, but the above are the big bits, (I will try to update this and if you issues please ask).

You will need a samsung tablet or many. i use 3 18" tablets for my dash. but you can do this with your phone if you want and of course this all would work with IPad;s i would imagine but i have never tested it.

I added one other raspbery pi in each engine bay and others around the boat (you can use Pi 3's and even 2's for this part). This is to add additional 1wire and I2C senosrs to the exhaust manifolds and other locations in the cooling system and cameras etc, i also added Gasoline sensors (not that this should replace commercial sensors) and other sensors relays.

If you would like more info on these builds please ask.

Back to the main controller.

The installations of Raspbian stretch, influx, and grafana are completely default raspbian installs just follow the how-to's.

The installation of Hostapd and dnsmasq gets a bit tricky but i will try to supply as much info as possible.

I also installed a small HDMI 7" screen on the raspberry pi and a keyboard as ultimatley you may need to get connected to fix something when it flys of the rails at some point. Most of the issues i have experienced are very simple to fix if you can see whats going on and its usually related to the wfifi or disk scans not starting after a bed restart. You will need to supply power i actually use a UPS/inverter as i found low voltage during starts etc cause the raspberry pies to freak out.

Essentially, Node red is going to provide the interface so you can "easily" ingest data from the RS11 on the USB port in to influx. You want this middle ware as it does mean an extra step and it does impact performance slightly but in my view its worth it. One of the things you want at this point is to slow down or filter the data coming in from the RS11 port as Grafana can not update in real time anyway.

So eccentially the flow looks like this:

RS11 > USB > NodeRed > Influxdb > Grafana > Web browser running on tablets connected via wifi to Grafana.

Many might think these are all server softwares and they are but they do run on a pi. But if you get it working what you have built is a distributed application that you can place dashboards all over the boat and eventually automate almost every aspect of your trojan. I have small dashboards on the down stairs helm and even in the kitchen. I have added the generator and other the plumbing to the system as well.

From a network stand point fully configured it looks like this:

Marina wifi (for internet access) <> raspberry controller wifi <> Tablets connect to controller > web browsers in kiosk mode with Grafana dashboards set to update every 1s.

The internet access does not need to be connected to your marina it could be on your phone in hotspot mode but its handy as you can simply get to your marina's desktop computer and open a browser (and if you know the IP of your controller on their wifi network) technically browse to your grafana instance and show him your data over time using Grafana should you have some issues while you were out. It would also you to watch movies and stream music of course while in port.

Its not enough info i know to build everything but please ask questions i will try to respond in a timely manner.

Somethings i learned the hardway.

Bolt or build in your tablets if you canto your dash. I had a laker pass us and got caught in the stern wake and was on a RnD run and had everything velcroed in place I wasn't fast enough to save the wife and the tablets. I still have the wife, she would of course say i choose wisely :)

Streaming raw un-filtered data form the RS11 is very cool and easier but it will quickly over load the sd card and your dashboards will slow down to a crawl so i only take 1 reading out of every 10 i think. Im in canada so the boat is very much wrapped up at the moment.

One one of the tablets i use the android ap Navionics for navigation, one tablet displays very detailed gauges and graphs, the Garmin remote screen app as an 18" head for my 7" garmin 7606 and 3d sonar and a media app to the wireless sound system and general browsing. And one tablet is committed to the main dashboard items constantly i.e tach, feul, oil, etc.

I hope to get more time this spring to work on this, I'm actually in England as I'm writing this. Its been a great project and I would love to share the details on everything once i get the time.

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Posts: 49
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Re: Digital Dash and automation on Trojan F36 tri-fly

Post by baggins » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:25 pm

To mikeandanne,

I did see inconsistencies also some times blips and pops of data where you get a momentary high reading. I use NodeRed to normalize the data and remove the pops this can be simply a 3 reading average or just rule out readings by margin of change.

I think i have mentioned this in the past posts so just want to state that this solution may not be for everyone. As its not a real time dashboard, I still have the old gauges hooked up (i don't look at them very often).

I also dont fly around much we take our time and average probably around 8-12 knots. so having a 1 second delay was fine for my uses it may not be for some. I also found it invaluable as a diagnostics tool as i bought my trojan being sold as parts boat so its been great to get visibility into past of the systems that i ahd little confidence in.

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