Helm ergonomics part one: Junior’s makeover

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

6 Responses

  1. Fred Murphy says:

    Great article

  2. Grant Jenkins says:

    Hey Ben – looks great. I’m curious though – the photo of the Garmin 742 engine display, includes a gauge that reads “55.5 V”.
    Really? Perhaps alternator output, 55 Amps? Not sure what it’s displaying, there….

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      That’s for real alternator output voltage, Grant. For one thing, I’ve seen it on other N2K displays, like the Solix 10, but Jim Hebert has the goods:

      “The primary voltage of the E-TEC power generation by its alternator is 55-Volts. The 55-Volt bus runs most of the engine high-current consumption devices. The 55-Volt bus is then regulated down to 12-Volts to provide power for the engine 12-Volt devices and to provide power to external 12-Volt loads. The voltage conversion is accomplished with pulse-width modulation techniques and is very efficient, so …”


      • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

        Also, while I don’t have real battery monitoring on Junior, it’s quite useful that Garmin and many other N2K displays can show DC voltage at the unit. So I have it on that main GMI 20 screen along with fuel info, and thus can see battery voltage pretty well when I activate one, or the other, and then how the E-TEC is charging once it’s started. (Also nice to have a dual battery system, which it came with.)

  3. Xavier says:

    Voltage on MFD’s:

    When our Yanmar engine is running, the Maretron EMS100 sends 12V engine alternator voltage, together with a bunch of other data, to our B&G Zeus chartplotters via N2K. Sweet. However, when the engine is not running, the Maretron does not transmit, so there is no starting battery data to populate anything.

    Our installers at first connected the Zeus chartplotters to the 12V power supply and were able to display voltage… but this was the stupidest voltage display ever! Our boat’s electrics are 24V, so the display was the 12V output of a Victron DC-DC converter, which is constant (of course). Useless.

    So I had them re-wire the chartplotters to 24V. So we get a nice supplemental readout in the cockpit of what’s up with battery charge, which is nicely displayed in a corner in pretty much all our configured screens. Of course for more detail one can always go to the nav station downstairs and look up all sorts of battery data on the Mastervolt EasyView5.

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