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Old 07-08-2010, 09:23 PM
seansherrod seansherrod is offline
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Lightbulb Innovation series, episode 5: diagnostic bonus

Note that this is episode 5 so if you're just jumping in, you might find it helpful to go back to episode 1 for the background.

Here we are on day 5 and I'm beginning to wonder if there is anything new under the sun. Thank you to all those who have weighed in with pertinent history of previous technology introductions (e.g. Accuski). Good input all around.

Today's innovation is actually a 3-for-1 so maybe there is a chance that at least one of these is a new idea. Here goes:
A) Plug detection - It seems reasonable to me that a proximity sensor (or something like that) could be used to warn me if the plug is not installed. Now, fortunately, I have yet to actually need this feature but one of my paranoid complexes is triple checking the plug every time I launch my boat. Maybe there would need to be a series of conditions for the light/buzzer to active (blower on + no plug = buzzer). A fancier option could either detect water flow through the plug hole or something like that. Okay, now your turn to tell me how this was standard on boats in the 1920s until the Great Depression ...
B) Vibration analysis - (I'll admit right up front that this one is a little out there) The idea here is that an accelerometer could measure vibration and be used to detect a bent prop, seaweed on the prop, or engine misfire. I've never had a bent prop on my Mastercraft but I have gone to pull a skier only to have to apologize and hit reverse to clear the seaweed. Like I said, this one is a little out there.
C) Impeller performance monitor - It's really impossible to know how the impeller is holding up until you either replace it or realize that it's past due for replacement because the engine is over-heating. It would be reassuring to be able to glance at a gauge and know that the impeller pressure or coolant flow rate is in the green. Ideally there is a good range (green), a replacement recommended range (yellow), and a don't operate boat range (red).

There you have it. Three (maybe not so) new ideas. Your input?
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:05 PM
Jesus_Freak's Avatar
Jesus_Freak Jesus_Freak is offline
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Originally Posted by seansherrod View Post
...
B) Vibration analysis - (I'll admit right up front that this one is a little out there) The idea here is that an accelerometer could measure vibration and be used to detect a bent prop, seaweed on the prop, or engine misfire. I've never had a bent prop on my Mastercraft but I have gone to pull a skier only to have to apologize and hit reverse to clear the seaweed. Like I said, this one is a little out there.
C) Impeller performance monitor - It's really impossible to know how the impeller is holding up until you either replace it or realize that it's past due for replacement because the engine is over-heating. It would be reassuring to be able to glance at a gauge and know that the impeller pressure or coolant flow rate is in the green. Ideally there is a good range (green), a replacement recommended range (yellow), and a don't operate boat range (red)...
B) Accelerometers are extremely expensive, but possibly not out of the question. I guess that depends on the buyer.

C) It would be simple to mount a static pressure gauge in the coolant line downstream of the impeller. In fact, you could do that yourself with a plastic threaded tee and a gauge from Lowes.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:39 PM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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Originally Posted by Jesus_Freak View Post
B) Accelerometers are extremely expensive, but possibly not out of the question. I guess that depends on the buyer.
Increased cost is probably a reason we don't see much of the innovations from this blog series. As for the plug, put a clip and strap on that plug and hang it on your throttle or clip it to your key chain. Regarding the impeller, change it annually and have a sea strainer.

I'm not saying these ideas aren't interesting to noodle over. They add up if implemented though.
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