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Glendinning Electronic Engine Controls-Backup

Discussion in 'Ocean Yacht' started by jlresq, Aug 21, 2019.

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  1. jlresq

    jlresq New Member

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    I have these controls on my 56SS. I had a failure of the controls. Very scary since the boat was in gear. I have mechanical backups in the cockpit but not on the bridge. Has anyone ever seen the need to install mechanical backups on the bridge, where most of the running and docking occurs? Also, the mechanic said the failure was due to a too stiff spring in the ball detention gear shift on the back of my ZF transmissions causing an overload on the electronic controls trying to move the tranny gear shift lever. Anyone ever dealt with or heard of this? Just trying to make sure this never happens again. Thanks.
  2. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Rick at Glendinning is a terrific resource, very helpful, very knowledgeable.
  3. jlresq

    jlresq New Member

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    Yep. Spoke to him yesterday. He was great. Had the local fellow look at it as Rick suggested and he was the one who came up with the tranny spring issue. Rick is out this pm so I will chat with him tomorrow. After 40 years of boating, I can not think of a scarier scenario than not being able to get the boat out of gear. Fortunately, it was not close quarters. If it were, somebody or something would have gotten hurt. Just not sure whether I need to have mechanical backups on the bridge in case the Electronic controls fail.
  4. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    John Glendinning is a member of YF. You can shoot him a PM. His screen name is JohnGlen or send an email to: service (at) glendinningprods (dot)com
  5. jlresq

    jlresq New Member

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    Thanks.
  6. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Not familiar enough with their controls to understand how much leverage you'd have with mechanical overrides to physically overcome the electronic system. The synchronizer hiccups some times and requires a bit of a scramble to override it, so I can imagine....

    I would think a mechanical system coupled with a quick electrical disco for the primary unit might be enough. Just don't have enough knowledge of their system. Rick would be a great source for that consideration.

    I know that I need to disengage syncro system well ahead of any challenges, but that's not nearly as frightening as the gears.
  7. JohnGlen

    JohnGlen New Member

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    John,

    As indicated by @rtrafford, Rick Panish (our senior service technician) is the primary font of knowledge on this product and would be the best guy to talk to. For now, since he left a bit early today, you'll have to settle for me.

    Your question / comments have a number of facets to it, but let me offer the following:
    1) Firstly, the propulsion controls system is the most important system on board the boat and the most critical to safe / reliable vessel operation - as you have found out. Because of that, when we designed this product in the mid-90's, we incorporated the capability for a backup control in our system. Our backup is unique in that it allows you to regain mechanical control at a helm station without having to go to the engine compartment to make changes in the cable hookups. There's no other control system on the market which has this feature.
    I would like to point out that we didn't include this backup feature because of any particular concern over the reliability of our control system. The reality of life with boats - and any large, complex piece of machinery - is that things do break. For example, I would challenge you to visit any boat show this fall and find the one item which is installed on a boat which doesn't have the possibility of failure. It doesn't exist. Because of this and the criticality of propulsion control, we designed all of our control systems with the capability for remote mounted / remotely activated backup control.

    2) When we designed the product, it was our thinking that boatbuilders would locate the backup controls at the primary helm station where one would maneuver or dock the boat. Many of our customers have done exactly this over the years. In the case of this particular model of Ocean, it would appear that it was difficult to route the mechanical cables from the engine compartment to the flybridge, and therefore they mounted the backup controls in the helm station. However, I would like to make clear that I'm really not knowledgeable as to the reason why the mechanical backup controls were located at that cockpit station. Perhaps it was because the boatbuilder also wanted to offer the user the capability for a cockpit station control?
    It should be noted that where the transmission is controlled by electric solenoids rather than mechanical levers, it's much easier to mount the backup control at the flybridge helm station since you only have to run electrical wires up to the helm.

    3) The condition of the transmission being stuck in gear is one reason why various regulations / guidelines do require or recommend that an engine shutdown be located at each control station. Having a boat drift after a failure, without power, is likely a lot better that having the boat continue under power when you don't want it to. I could be mistaken, but I believe that the Ocean Yachts 56 does include the engine shutdown feature at the flybridge?

    4) In your situation, if the load on the transmission shift control lever was so stiff that the actuator couldn't move it, then it's unlikely that a remote mechanical backup would have allowed you to regain control anyway. Periodic operation of the mechanical backup would have given you an early indication of this excessive load. This would be one suggestion for you to consider, re: your comment about how this specific failure could be prevented in the future

    5) I would also suggest that having a trained / experienced technician periodically - annually? - inspect the control system on the boat to make sure that it is in good condition is a good investment in making sure that the propulsion controls are in good condition. Things can happen over time which can affect control system operation and reliability. The detent spring in your transmission is one example. There are other things. Having someone take an hour or two periodically to look at the overall control system is a really good idea and something we would recommend.

    As @rtrafford has mentioned, we have a some really great techs here in the office. Feel free to call them if we can help. You can call me as well, but I'm not quite as smart as Rick and Bruce are with this product.

    Rgds, John Glendinning
  8. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Thank you for chiming in, John. We've discovered our syncro hiccup is related to a worn tach drive fitting off the turbo drive shaft, and your keyway is slipping causing chaos up and down the system. We're taking the time now to replace the tach shafts that slip into those turbo shafts, wherein your keyways will have a fresh, tight connection. I'm confident that this will cure our issues.

    Rick has been a wonderful resource. Good man.
  9. jlresq

    jlresq New Member

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    Thanks John. I will speak with Rick tomorrow.
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    You kids are the greatest.
    jlresq has the factory support that none can match. Here on YF.
    My past support from John before I knew he was on YF, by phone he fixed up my old tach cable issue and the same day a new short mechanical tach cable he made that afternoon, was in the mail. Bless these kids.

    Captain Ralph Crapps
    Marine Solutions & Assoc. Inc.
    Satsuma, FL
  11. JohnGlen

    JohnGlen New Member

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    [BLUSHING] Hey Capt Ralph.... Thanks for the kind words, although this was probably Rick helping you and not me. Rick does cables.

    And thanks for you assumptions about our ages - "kids" - but my kids have kids and Rick is even older.
  12. JohnGlen

    JohnGlen New Member

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    Thanks for your comments also. Regarding your specific situation, my first guess would not have been a tach drive issue, although the information you provided would have made my answer just a guess. Howeer, I would have guessed you had a bridge cable overtravel adjustment problem - see this document https://www.glendinningprods.com/wp...onizer_-_Troubleshooting.v1.pdf?4cf23d&4cf23d at the bottom of page 5. "AFTER TURNING SYNCHRONIZER OFF, SLAVE ENGINE CONTROL HANDLE IS NOT ABLE TO CONTROL SLAVE ENGINE SPEED."

    A more complete description of how to adjust the bridge cable is contained here - https://www.glendinningprods.com/wp...le_Overtravel_Adjustment.v1.pdf?4cf23d&4cf23d

    The most important point in this is that if there is anything which happens on your boat which affects the propulsion controls, this should be addressed quickly and thoroughly. Controls are not one of those things that you "just work around it".

    Fair winds / following seas............................
  13. jlresq

    jlresq New Member

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    Just to be clear, all of the Glendinning products I have had over the years have been bullet proof. If the mechanic is correct, the cause of the failure was the stiff tranny lever, not the engine control.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    We are all a bunch of kids.
    If we were proper adults, We would have nothing to do with boats (hole in the water)..
  15. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    I wish we had more manufacturers capable of participating without promoting. It's a fine line that few can walk. Kudo's to John for putting forth useful information on a timely basis without taking the opportunity to plug his products.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    A few years ago I had a similar failure with a set of Morse electronic controls while docking in Fairhaven Ma. Turned out the fault was caused by a cable issue between the actuator and the gear, a mechanic has moved it from it s original routing... servo didn’t like the added friction and quit.

    The mechanical back up required a trip to the ER and squeezing outside the 3412Es to activate the back up, an impossible job with hot engines...

    And Morse support was disastrous. The flashing pattern on the controls was meaningless and their only suggestion was to take the boxes out and send them for testing. The problem fixed itself a few minutes later and came back a few times... real pita. I finally found the cause on my own
  17. jlresq

    jlresq New Member

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    All cables will be replaced on Monday. Still cogitating on whether to have a set of mechanicals on the bridge rather than the cockpit.
  18. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    If you're truly on that fence, perhaps consider a mechanical fishing station close by to the helm seat, but in a position for maneuvering backward....so sort of a hybrid backup as well as useful station?
  19. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Thank you, John, for the additional information. We'll walk through all of this as we complete the tach drive replacements. The tach drives were somewhat wallowed out, allowing the keyway to your cables to occasionally slip and deliver false RPM measurement. Systems were erratic under sync, and eventually they locked up. Perhaps we have two issues taking place here, but we'll walk through the procedure that you provided and verify accuracy prior to sea trial.

    Much appreciated.