Remote Oil Tank Level Monitoring with ICON Pro Gauges

Information about Evinrude I-Command, ICON Pro, and ICON Touch Color Displays
jimh
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Remote Oil Tank Level Monitoring with ICON Pro Gauges

Postby jimh » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:13 am

The level in an oil tank for an Evinrude E-TEC engine can be remotely monitored and displayed in several ways.

In order to show oil tank level, a sensor must be added to the standard oil tank to read the tank level. The sensor will typically be a resistive type tank sensor. These sensors must be added to the existing oil tank. The plastic body of the oil tank will already have a bolt circle embossed into the tank, and the tank level sensor is typically installed there. To install a sensor, a 1.375-inch diameter hole will need to be cut into the tank within the bolt circle. There may already be an embossed relief molded into the tank in the inner portion of the bolt circle. Also note that the fastener holes in the bolt circle are not symmetrical, so be certain to carefully align the sender and its gasket with the fastener holes, and verify the location of the new hole before drilling.

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Fig. 1. A typical 3-gallon Evinrude oil tank. This tank has been modified by drilling a 1.5-inch diameter hole centered on the five-bolt bolt circle. The sensor (shown not mounted) will be installed in this new hole. A cork gasket will be used to insure good sealing. Photo credit: GOTSEA
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Fig. 2. A typical 1.8-gallon Evinrude oil tank. Check the location of the embossed hole where the new sensor will be installed to be sure it is aligns properly with the sensor and gasket hole layout.
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Drilling into the tank top will create debris in the tank. The tank must be carefully cleaned of all debris before being return to service and filled with oil.

The typical sensor (as shown above) will have a two-wire output which provides a resistance that varies in proportion to the tank level. There are two general standards for the range of resistance: American or European. Sensor for use in the USA would have the American resistance range. For more information on tank level sender resistances, see a separate article on that topic: "Tank Sender and Trim Sender Resistance," http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3043.

A further consideration with the oil tank sensor is the size of the tank. Evinrude has two oil tank sizes, 1.8-gallon and 3-gallon. An oil tank level sensor that matches the tank capacity (height) must be used. The 1.8-gallon tank uses a sensor with 6.5-inch height. The 3-gallon tank uses a sensor with 8.5-inch height.

There are two methods for converting the resistance readings from the sensor into data that can be shown on Evinrude ICON Pro gauges:

  • the sensor can be wired to an analogue input on the ICON Pro RPM gauge which will convert the resistance value of the sensor into a tank level reading; or,
  • the sensor can be wired to a NMEA-2000 convertor that will create a NMEA-2000 datagram from the resistance value at its input.

Analogue Input to ICON Pro RPM Gauge

If the analogue input to the ICON Pro RPM gauge is used, the sensor must be wired to an appropriate analogue input circuit, available on the ICON Pro RPM gauge wiring harness. The chosen input must be configured to become an oil tank level input. Then the display settings of the ICON Pro RPM gauge must be changed from the default configuration to add a display screen for OIL TANK level. Refer to the ICON Pro RPM gauge installation and operation instructions for advice.

NMEA-200 Tank Level Data
If the oil tank resistive sender is to be connected to a NMEA-2000 adaptor, the adaptor must be wired to the two-wire tank level sensor output circuit. If using the Evinrude Oil Tank Sensor Kit, follow the instructions in the kit for installation and wiring. The sensor leads are typically on wire with black insulation and white insulation. The NMEA-2000 adaptor sensor input is typically on leads with black insulation and red insulation. Connect black to black, and white to red.

Further, if the sensor kit is purchased from Evinrude, the NMEA-2000 adaptor must be chosen to have the proper pre-configured setting for INSTANCE. These two variables create a large number of tank sender option permutations. See a separate listing of part numbers in a follow-up article below.

The NMEA-2000 adaptor network output must be connected to the boat's NMEA-2000 network backbone. The adaptor must be configured for the proper INSTANCE setting. For a single tank level adaptor on a network the proper setting is INSTANCE = 0. For multiple tanks, each tank's NMEA-2000 adaptor must be set to a different INSTANCE. The Evinrude kits include an additional DeviceNET Micro T-connector to facilitate adding the new node to an existing network.

Configuring ICON Pro RPM Gauge to show OIL TANK Level

To configure the ICON Pro RPM gauge to show the OIL TANK level data, the gauge must be configured to know where to look for the data (DATA SOURCES), either on one of its own analogue inputs or from the NMEA-2000 network data (called BUS DATA in the gauge's menus). In some versions of the firmware in the ICON Pro RPM gauge, the menu structure for DATA SOURCES is a bit confusing. I believe that the data source defaults to BUS DATA (that is, NMEA-2000 data) unless the setting is altered to point to a particular analogue input on the ICON Pro RPM gauge harness. Later version of the menu have an explicit branching to a TANKS submenu, where either BUS DATA or analogue inputs can be configured.

For help navigating the gauge menu structure, see my article:

Evinrude ICON Pro RPM Gauge User Interface
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/ICON_Menu.html

Note that the above linked article was created from a very early firmware version and likely will not reflect the newest firmware now provided with recently purchased ICON Pro RPM gauges. Evinrude has, however, now included a detailed menu structure mapping in their literature, which will be very useful. The earliest version of the literature did not have a map provided.

Evinrude Literature
ICON Pro Series Gauge Installation Guide is available for download from
http://www.operatorsguides.brp.com/OperatorsGuidesAttachments/OwnersManuals_EJ/attach/Accessories/356351%20EN.pdf

ICON Pro Series Gauge User's Guide is available for download from
http://www.operatorsguides.brp.com/OperatorsGuidesAttachments/OwnersManuals_EJ/attach/Accessories/766075%20EN.pdf

I-Command Oil Tank Kit Installation available from:
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/BRP/763727_ICommandOilTankKitInstallation.pdf
Note: originally for somewhat older NMEA-2000 devices but still useful to show general procedure.

jimh
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Re: REmote Oil Tank Level Monitoring with ICON Pro Gauges

Postby jimh » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:54 am

Guidance on Evinrude part numbers for the oil tank level sensor kits is given below:

Oil Tank Level Kit, 1.8 Gallon – one-engine one-oil tank (instance 0) PN 764271
Oil Tank Level Kit, 1.8 Gallon – two-engines two-oil tanks (instance 0 and 1) PN 764273
Oil Tank Level Kit, 3.0 Gallon – one-engine one-oil tank (instance 0) PN 764272
Oil Tank Level Kit, 3.0 Gallon – two-engines two-oil tanks (instance 0 and 1) PN 764274
Oil Tank Level Kit, 3.0 Gallon – three-engines three-oil tanks (instance 0, 1 and 2) PN 764275
Oil Tank Level Converter Kit, 10 Gallon – one oil tank (instance 0) PN 763737


As part numbers are subject to change and updating, check with a knowledgeable Evinrude dealer for advice on ordering. Generally the actual convertor device was a Lowrance EP-15 or EP-65R (both now obsolete), and the outer body of the device was marked with the FLUID TYPE and INSTANCE values. The newer versions from Evinrude may be adaptations of the Lowrance "Fluid Level Sensor" which replaced the EP-65R product in 2015. (See http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=174 for more information.)

These kits will typically provide:

  • a new resistive-type sensor to be installed into the oil tank, including gasket and fasteners; appropriate for a particular tank capacity;
  • a NMEA-2000 data convertor that will convert the resistance of the sender into a NMEA-2000 datagram; these are preconfigured with an INSTANCE setting according to the part number of the kit;
  • a network T-connector for the DeviceNET Micro connectors, the ones most common in NMEA-2000 network wiring on small boats

Installation of the kit will involve:

  • modifying the oil tank by drilling a new hole for the sensor
  • installing the sensor onto the tank
  • wiring the sensor to the NMEA adaptor
  • connecting the NMEA adaptor to the boat network.

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Remote Oil Tank Level Monitoring with ICON Pro Gauges

Postby jimh » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:37 am

NMEA-2000 Notes

Note that if you do not use the NMEA-2000 convertor to create a NMEA-2000 datagram for the oil tank level, and instead you wire the tank level sender to an analogue input on the ICON Pro RPM gauge, then the oil tank level will only be available on the ICON gauges. If you use a NMEA-2000 adaptor to send the oil tank level to the network, the oil tank level will be available to any NMEA-2000 display device that can show oil tank level.

The tank level NMEA-2000 adaptors are assumed to be sending NMEA-2000 parameter group number PGN 127505, Fluid Levels. This parameter provides for the following data fields to be sent:

PGN 127505, Fluid Levels
  1. Fluid Instance
  2. Fluid Type
  3. Fluid Level
  4. Tank Capacity

Field 1 is the device instance. For a single tank the instance should be set to INSTANCE = 0. For more than one tank, increment the INSTANCE number upward for each additional tank.

Field 2 is the type of fluid, typically set to one of the following options:
  1. Fuel
  2. Fresh Water
  3. Waste Water
  4. Live Well
  5. Oil
  6. Black Water
  7. Reserved

Default settings in a generic adaptor will likely be INSTANCE = 0 and TYPE = FUEL. My presumption is the Evinrude kit contains adaptors with the fluid type set to OIL. The instance is either 0, 1, or 2 depending on which part number is ordered.

Field 3 is the tank level. I don't know the details of how this parameter is sent, but I would expect it would be likely to be expressed as a percentage of tank capacity, as determined by the float level sensor.

Field 4 is tank capacity. I believe this parameter is optional, that is, the adaptor may not send it.

jimh
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Re: Remote Oil Tank Level Monitoring with ICON Pro Gauges

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:10 am

I updated my article in REFERENCE on NMEA-2000 PARAMETER GROUPS to include this information on PGN 127505, Fluid Levels.