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Thread: Fuel monitoring

  1. #1
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Default Fuel monitoring

    Finished the helm today on our 24' Glasply, starting to think about layout for gauges and Fuel monitoring is on the list.



    This boat will be powered with a 5.7 Mercruiser setup (carbed) so plan to use a paddle-wheel sensor in the fuel line. This will be the fuel gauge and connected to a NMEA system w/ GPS will give us fuel mileage....

    I have been looking at Garmins GMI-10 and Lowrances LMF-400, minimum fuel flow for the Garmin is 2GPH, and just wonder at idle what that V-8 will burn....? If we troll with the big motor, I dont think we will, but there may be times we are just putting around. Seems this could skew the fuel results if we are burning less than the 2GPH.......maybe I am kidding myself thinking that will ever happen.......I know at a idle my 140 OB burns a 1/4 GPH.......so.....who knows...?

    Lowrance does not state any minimum, at least I havent found it yet.. I have a LMF-200 in the riverboat, it is my fuel gauge and has worked flawlessly. But I have found it a little difficult to navigate the menu with only three buttons, but could be me....? Thinking the 400 with 5 buttons may actually be easier.... Once it was set up it is just a matter of adding the fuel quantity at fill up, but trying to get pages to rotate has been a hassle...

    Finally, the claim with NMEA 2000 is everything is compatible and should talk to each other, regardless of brand.....how well does this really work, if for instance I used a LMF-400 with a Gramin chartplotter.....? Does anyone have any experience with either of these gauges using the paddle-wheel sensor? Particuarily on a V-8 Thanks, John
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    I have a flowscan in my 2459 with a 5.7 carbed 315 HP Vortec. The meter usually reads about 10 GPH when running at 25 knts but utilizing the hour meter and total gallons I am getting around 7 GPH @ 25 knts. The thing is incredibly accurate when refilling. If it says I used 65 gallons, I did. It is within .10 of gallons on refill. The cummulative reading is the best gas gauge and is the most important thing to me. Oh, when i first got it I slowed down, thinking I would get better milage. I was actually usinig more fuel and going slower. 3600 RMP with 16x16 prop = 25 knts @ 10gph. 3400 with 15.5x17 Stainless is 25knts @ 7gph.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Flowscan is super accurate in my 8.1l FI. Call them for better price than you see advertised.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    I have a Floscan on my 5.7 Volvo. It is very accurate.

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    Which Flowscan model are you guys using? Are you connected to a GPS?

    Apparently they use the 0813 protocol on their gasoline fuel monitors, (they have a NMEA 2000 for diesel)....
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    NMEA 0183 with an old garmin 188c
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    I have a flowscan on the river boat, can't remember which model but it was easy to figure it out on their web site. I run a chev 350 with a carb. meter works great. I use a garmin 478 with a AK topo card, so it is not hooked up to the flowscan but they are only a foot apart. Sometimes my track line is off the topo map river, as shown, by a little but it's close enough to know where you are. You need to read the river anyway. I also have a sounder hooked up. Between the three I only hit bottom when I miss read the river and so far haven't run out of fuel, knock-on-wood.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    The Flowscan seems to be the most expensive, especially when you add in everything you need compared to a lowrance 400, they are physically the same size, I would be connecting to a network and then monitor fuel use in MPG rather than GPH.

    They both have a tach, suspect I could eliminate the "Stand alone" tach for the engine and just use the multi-function gauge....?
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    They both have a tach, suspect I could eliminate the "Stand alone" tach for the engine and just use the multi-function gauge....?
    Floscan has a nice tac and hour meter built in. all the women love the colors when traveling in the evening with lights on the dash.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    all the women love the colors when traveling in the evening with lights on the dash.
    Yas, I may have to get two just to keep all the womens happy......
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    I installed a flowscan on my 2459, which if my memory serves me correct, there is a pin selection within the gauge, that gives you the opportunity to calibrate the unit to your motor. My current boat also has a floscan and it gives me a tremendous amount of confidence and peace of mind when it comes to fuel consumption and our forays into the sound. Couldn't imagine relying solely on my fuel gauge.
    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg01alaska View Post
    I installed a flowscan on my 2459, which if my memory serves me correct, there is a pin selection within the gauge, that gives you the opportunity to calibrate the unit to your motor. My current boat also has a floscan and it gives me a tremendous amount of confidence and peace of mind when it comes to fuel consumption and our forays into the sound. Couldn't imagine relying solely on my fuel gauge.
    Thanks Greg, I am now leaning towards the Floscan and considering the totalizer to be the "Fuel Gauge", Initially I was thinking N2K and Lowrance, which will require a interface to convert signals from the motor, at least to read RPM or any other engine functions.....and RPM is important if I dont use a OEM tach.....
    The Floscan can deal with analog signals so will display RPM directly from the motor...at least to my understanding...it operates on 0813 and appears as if that protocol will be supported for quite some time yet..So at the moment Floscan and some analog gauges for eng T and Oil P.....maybe will never bother with a Multifunction gauge......

    How many use the a Floscan for their only fuel gauge...? Seems reasonable if its accurate....
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  13. #13
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    One issue with using it as a fuel gauge is that it resets with a momentary off switch. If you have a master switch it will reset every time you shutoff power.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Give Floscan a call, they will answer all of your questions and probably give you a better price than you can get anyplace else.
    It wont reset by just turning off the power, you have to hold down a reset button for about 5 sec. You have the ability to fine tune the gallons used to be spot on. Tied in to a GPS unit it gives mpg, only gph without GPS. This is my 2nd boat with a floscan.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    I installed a flowscan last year on my 5.7 mpi and love it. I learned the hard way not to trust the fuel level sensor. The gauge does reset if you have it wired to the master switch.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I called Floscan today and apparently the 5500 and the 7000 series will not store any data, however the 9000 series will store data when the master battery disconnect is used. This system will work as a primary fuel gauge.

    Like any other digital device it requires "user" input, so if you forget to reset when you fill it up you would have inaccurate readings.

    We have to build a new fuel tank and am thinking I may go ahead and install a mechanical gauge,


    This one is from Moeller, and will install it under a round deck hatch, once I know what it actually reads when full or 1/2, it should give me some indication if I were to lose electronics....... maybe its overly redundant.....?

    "You can never have to much fuel unless yer on fire..."
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Member greg01alaska's Avatar
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    The mechanical gauge on our old 2459 quit working and when I replaced it, there was a slight difference in the mechanics of the two. My confidence in the mechanical gauge was not where I really wanted it to be when planning trips. Thus the installation of the flowscan meter. After calibrating the meter for our boat, it never let me down. We always knew where our fuel tank level was. The new boat came with a flowscan meter and after the first trip we were able to verify it's accuracy. I "accidentally" reset my meter during one trip last summer, as I was familiarizing myself with the new boat. Sure am grateful for the log book that we faithfully keep during our trips. It came in very handy when determining the fuel used and fuel left quantities
    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

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    I installed the Lowrance LMF400, lowrance flow meter and the no land engineering rs11 on my i/o seaport. After calibrating after a fill up or two the fuel flow is accurate. The rs11 is working great so far too. I have battery voltage and RPM going to the lmf400 now and will be adding more info this spring. I put the LMF400 where the tach was. Its nice to be have he NMEA2k network as it is really easy. I am hoping to also get a new plotter this spring that will give me GPM.

  19. #19
    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    there is a company by the name of clean marine that appears to make a nice fuel level sensor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEUMUN6XDs0

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    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    Also, just so you know if anybody is interested.... Ive got a white floscan 7000 multi function unit I will be pulling out of my boat with my repower. It has the supply and return sensors and 2 pulsation dampners. Its for carbed or FI motors. It keeps track of total gallons used, so when you fill up, you ground the wire (you can use a switch but I never did) and it goes back to zero.
    09 River Wild, 3 stages, LS power

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