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Author Topic: Looking for a coach electronic control system  (Read 1882 times)
wayne
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« on: February 21, 2011, 07:08:50 PM »

I have been searching for a control system like Marathon uses, they call it Techlink. The system seems to control everything through remotes or a touch screen. Marathon has exclusivity with tech link so it is not available to anyone else. Is anyone familiar with a similar system on the market?
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 07:42:56 PM »

Wayne, SilverLeaf has some pretty sophisticated systems.

Their HMS 360 has quite a bit of capability of monitoring and controlling many coach systems.  About $2K, plus you need some transducers.

Another product is their TM-102 (Total Coach Manager) - about $1k with some sensors.  I believe that it needs to talk to display panel/monitor, but not sure.

I am a SilverLeaf distributor, but not fully up to speed on these systems.  You could look at their website:  http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/.  Their site does not overwhelm you with information.  Their downloadable catalog has some information.

The house system technology is based on systems they developed for some of the major OEMs. 

If you want to pursue this a bit farther, drop me an email:  jim at rvsafetysystems dot com and I can send you the manuals for selected systems.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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Sean
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 09:50:12 PM »

Try E-Plex:
http://www.e-plex.co/

A fellow Spaceliner owner is using it and is very happy with it.  However, plan for $10,000-$20,000, which is in line with what Marathon's system costs.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Charley Davidson
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 11:32:38 PM »

Wasn't there a guy on here building a "Smart Bus" using a Setra chassis? I think maybe from the Vegas area. He had a website showing the build and it had a control panel that showed and controlled everything.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 02:51:42 AM »

I don't know what protocol bus systems use, but the standard for cars is OBDII, and you can easily buy software and cables to interface a regular PC with OBDII.

You can do just about anything else with a regular PC as well - all sorts of 'home automation' things, if that's what you want to do.

Jeremy

This is an example of a CarPC displaying data from the car's OBDII connection. In this case the CarPC is running a 'front end' called Centrafuse, which is a touch-screen interface that runs on top of Windows. I use a similar system called RideRunner:

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TomC
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 08:41:02 AM »

Save yourself a whole bunch of grief and money-just set up analog gauges for what you want to keep track of.  Then you can repair the system if it goes out.  If the electronic controls go out-how do you jump them to make them work?  Instead of using my engineering sense to make a complicated system, I use my knowledge to make the systems as simple, user friendly, and ease of obtaining replacement parts (meaning using parts from Home Depot, Radio Shack, Camping World, NAPA auto parts, etc).
All you have to do is to read about some on this board with the complicated heating systems (injectors going out, constant cleaning, coolant pumps failing, controls failing), complicated wiring systems (multi selector rotary switches failing causing complete failure of electrical system), having weird or obsolete bus parts that need sometimes weeks to obtain a new part, the near impossible accessing to the engine and transmission, etc.  This is one of the many reasons I'm moving to a truck conversion with the easily accessed engine/transmission (the truck is a cabover-tilt the cab and the engine and transmission is there). I'm using all wired electrical (no multi-plexing)-probably with normal house type breaker boxes that the circuit breakers are obtained from Home Depot (in 17 years, had to replace one circuit breaker).  Keep it as simple as you can-rather then an exercise in how complicated can you make it.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 08:56:23 AM »

The marine world is full of electronic controls for boats my boat has the Techlink System not just Marathon has it made in South Dakota by the collage, Cole Davenport has a Techlink in his Eagle the marine version he paid 26 grand to have it made for his bus but he has the ECM setting program into his for the engine he can change hp setting with his unit


good Luck
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 11:17:00 AM »

I guess I have a "Dumb Bus"-- I put it together and can fix anything that goes wrong.
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Geoff
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 01:57:21 PM »

OK everything I read here is about engine systems. How about the other things on a conversion - ie: lights, TV's, Heat/cool, drapes, etc?? Is there a system available to control evrything BUT the engine? I have seen them on high end coaches and just wonder what is out there for "Home Brew"??
Thanks
 JimH
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Sean
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 02:10:35 PM »

OK everything I read here is about engine systems.

No, the E-Plex system I linked is for everything you listed.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Jeremy
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 02:46:13 PM »

How about the other things on a conversion - ie: lights, TV's, Heat/cool, drapes, etc??


As I mentioned, there are lots of PC-based 'home automation' packages, which will do all these things.

I'm not necessarily recommending a PC-based solution over the various proprietary systems that have been mentioned - although it is the route I would take as it would almost certainly be much cheaper. And more flexible - a PC can ultimately do just about anything, and someone, somewhere, will have already done it. It is likely to be more of a 'DIY' approach, though, because you'd have to configure and set the system up yourself rather than buying a complete off-the-shelf package.


Jeremy

Here are some example screen shots from a system called Harmony Home that I just found on Google:

Lighting:


HVAC:


Garden Irrigation (Ok, so you wouldn't need that module):


Security & Cameras:


Entertainment:

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A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
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