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ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
Mercury Smart Craft Gauges
|Author||Topic: Mercury Smart Craft Gauges|
posted 07-28-2004 09:05 PM ET (US)
I'am near the completion of my 25' Revenge repower I am currently waiting on Smart Craft Gauges& harnesses for my 2002 200hp new Optimax Engines. Does anyone have expiernce with these? I'am sure they will work well , However my analog gauges worked well also. The cost almost seems unnessary if the old ones work, however Mercury suggests I use them.Any comments would be appreciated.
posted 07-29-2004 02:30 AM ET (US)
Yes, you want them; at least, you want some of the Smartcraft system. While your existing analog gauges can be adapted to work with the Smartcraft system (though with less accuracy), you will need an adapter cable and at a minimum, the SC1000 system monitor. Unless you're an info junky, the SC1000 will suffice for monitoring your engines. Upgrade to the SC1000 tach & speedo, and you will have additional low-speed control over the motor...may be useful for you, or it might not.
posted 07-29-2004 03:32 AM ET (US)
I think the concept of the SmartCraft Gauge system is brilliant. I spent a couple hours on board a boat with them, and what I noticed:
--the Tach/Speedo combination with the alpha-numeric display across the bottom of the analogue gauge is somewhat hard to read at times. They have a very good feature: when you hit the trim tab button the gauge automatically flips to show trim position indication. That is a smart gauge. But if you have the vision of a 50-year-old with astigmatism and myopia, like me, you may have a bit of a problem reading the gauge. I found I had to lean in and hold my head just right to see it sometimes. Wearing polarized sunglasses? Could me a problem, too.
--the big display console is a nice feature, but they really need to hire someone to re-do the icons. If the gauge engineering is a 10, the gauge graphics and icons are about a 2. Also, they need to spend $50 more on the display itself. It needs more contrast. Right now it looks a bit dim, and the icons look like they were designed by the engineers themselves just to get the product out the door. Call some guys in Cupertino who worked on Macintosh OS graphics, you'll get some icons that match the price of the gauge.
The latest interesting thing is the integration of the SmartCraft data with the NAVMAN devices. You can get the engine data on the screen of your GPS color plotter's big display. Now that is completely cool. This is one of the advantages of Brunswick building a big vertical boat company: you are going to get stuff like this years before the other guys can coordinate their engine data being displayed on some third-party GPS display.
Also, you can fill an instrument cluster with individual gauges, if you like, although that will be more expensive than with traditional gauges. But when has boating been inexpensive? If you want the latest and fanciest, you always have to pay more.
Time will tell if Mercury can keep this lead. Competitors are talking about a common data bus for marine applications, but sometimes these cooperative standards take a while to mature. And inter-operation between vendors is not always guaranteed.
If you have the ECM in your Mercury to support the SmartCraft gauges, I would say "get 'em".
posted 07-29-2004 09:22 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the comments, I am gettting the Speedo & 2 Tach info system. Its refered to as a dual engine kit by Mercury.
The digital accuracy of the gauges will be good, there is alot of possible data that can be had from those three gauges.Any additional support gauges will be considered after the Engine & system break in. Hopefully I will be in the water next week.
posted 07-29-2004 11:05 AM ET (US)
I've got the SC1000 monitor and I really like the information it provides... but I hate mashing a "mode" button to go from one screen to the next. Watching the guage keeps my eyes on the guage instead of driving the boat. I liked my old display of separate guages that could viewed in one quick scan.
The system you're getting may be better.
Bottom line, the SmartCraft guages are slick! Just a bit inconvenient to use the SC1000.
posted 07-29-2004 01:28 PM ET (US)
I understand that on the fly by wire shifter DTS, that there is a toggle switch that acts as the mode button. A remote mode button would be great.
I have twin motors with 2 tach's and 1 speedo. The tech who assembled it spent a lot of time getting technical glitches out of the system because of the twin set-up. Something about common grounds screwing things up. I still cannot input the gallonage for my second fuel tank, but I can read the level on each oil tank.
posted 07-29-2004 04:43 PM ET (US)
I understand a soon to be released version of Smart Craft allows it to integrate with the Navman Sonar/GPS unit, so a separate display is not needed.
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