Voltage indicator / battery indicator legal?

Discuss the IOM class rules and interpretations

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RoyL
Posts: 705
Joined: 15 Dec 2003, 21:03

Post by RoyL » 08 Oct 2008, 21:35

Let me throw a few things out here for discussion.

First, trying to come up with some sort of "technical" justification to fit an on-board fixed battery read out meter within the existing IOM class rules is not going to fly. You can come up with as many clever explanations as you like, but the fact is that the current class rules make illegal anything not specifically permitted and a built in battery read out meter in an IOM is not included in the current rules. Now if it were an integral part of a winch or a servo or a receiver that might be another story....

Second, technical "interpretations" in general are really not the proper way to resolve issues of what should and should not be allowed by the class. Let all the members discuss and vote. I have a very high faith in the democratic process. BTW. what would people like to be made legal anyway? Should any battery read out device be allowed or only the RMG? What about a green or red light visible from shore that gives you battery status during a race?

Third, as opposed to some other issues that have confronted us in the past that generated the need for emergency action, a battery meter in a boat can be simply unplugged and removed. No one should be unable to participate in any event or their boat rendered unable to sail because the battery meter is not present.

Finally, the only people affected by this problem are those that have decided to permanently attach a battery meter to their boat and seal away the receiver and battery. All others can simply plug and unplug the battery readout device between races. I'm not sure how big this group is but I wonder whether it is large enough to mandate emergency action

Steve Landeau
Posts: 256
Joined: 26 Nov 2003, 07:25
Location: USA 12

Post by Steve Landeau » 09 Oct 2008, 03:34

It's a shame that this request never got submitted, and I am as guilty as the rest of the NCA reps. However, not a single comment has been posted against it. It is clear we all want it. I have one and will continue to use it. It is part of the battery based on the way it is installed. Roy, you suggest that a winch that shows battery voltage is OK? Why would a winch be allowed to show it but not a battery?
Steve Landeau
AMYA 10859
IOM USA 112
Finn USA 112
Cal 25 #548

RoyL
Posts: 705
Joined: 15 Dec 2003, 21:03

Post by RoyL » 09 Oct 2008, 17:44

I was suggesting that a permitted piece of radio gear such as a winch or receiver that had as an integral part of its design and construction some sort of voltage readout would probably be legal. Same for a battery pack if the voltage read out was an integral part of its design and construction. But, wiring an RMG voltage readout into your battery circuit is not the same thing. For example, when you remove the battery, do you also remove the voltage meter? Did the battery come with the meter built in or did you wire it into the circuit?

As I said before trying to "interpret" things into legality isn't the way to go. Put the issue up for a vote and if it has the support you claim, it will pass easily and that's great for all of us.

Barry Fox CAN262
Posts: 354
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Sail number: CAN 46
Club: VMSS
Design: V8
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 10 Oct 2008, 01:14

In that I assemble all of my battery packs myself, then if I wide in a voltage indicator as part of my construction of the pack then it is OK.

Given that connectors (no further definition is given) are legal then a connector that incorporates a voltage indicator therefore is legal if it is a part of the design and construction of the connector. Therefore, if that connector is on the winch side of the equation then it is a part of my design and construction of the electrical layout of my boat. If it is hardwired to my connector then it is integral. If it is plugged in then it is an accesory.

But, as others have pointed out, we need to find a way to have the rules be able to keep up with the changes in the world. That statement is not meant to fault anyone current or past, just to say that if we could figure out how to allow reliability items without having to put in large effort it would be good.

If Roy and a small team(?) could receive submissions to approve specific items then maybe the rules could say something along the lines where we allow "items on the approved equipment list", which could be quite dynamic in nature and be kept on the website. That way it could be current and easily accessible by everyone.
Barry Fox
CAN 46
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

RoyL
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Joined: 15 Dec 2003, 21:03

Post by RoyL » 10 Oct 2008, 05:11

Sorry, "wired it in myself" doesn't make a voltage indicator a battery pack.

Want to change the rules, put it on the ballot and let the class vote up or down.

One thing, though, why can't you just plug the battery meter in between races?

Bruce Andersen
USA NCA Officer
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Post by Bruce Andersen » 10 Oct 2008, 07:09

The benefit as I see it, is to put in the battery pack, seal up the boat, and tell your energy status without breaking open the seals.

The idea of "plugging it in" between races to check the battery compromises the water tight integrity of the boat and makes the charge indicator idea somewhat less useful.

Steve Landeau
Posts: 256
Joined: 26 Nov 2003, 07:25
Location: USA 12

Post by Steve Landeau » 10 Oct 2008, 07:17

Bruce Andersen wrote:The benefit as I see it, is to put in the battery pack, seal up the boat, and tell your energy status without breaking open the seals.

The idea of "plugging it in" between races to check the battery compromises the water tight integrity of the boat and makes the charge indicator idea somewhat less useful.
I agree. If you're going to open up the boat, you might as well change packs!
Steve Landeau
AMYA 10859
IOM USA 112
Finn USA 112
Cal 25 #548

Barry Fox CAN262
Posts: 354
Joined: 21 Apr 2007, 17:54
Sail number: CAN 46
Club: VMSS
Design: V8
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 11 Oct 2008, 02:10

Maybe Rob will just add them as a winch option to supplement the visual (the sails are out half way) and audible (the low battery sequence) warnings that the RMG already gives off. Then it would be a factory modification and be OK?
Barry Fox
CAN 46
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rob Guyatt
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Joined: 24 May 2005, 06:14
Location: AUS596
Contact:

Post by Rob Guyatt » 01 Nov 2008, 03:35

Hi All,
Cricky what have I done! Caused a bit of a stir with that little device hey. Not being a builder of boats these days I don't read the class rules much so I must admit I hadn't thought of the legality of the Flash unit for IOM. The idea, like most of my ideas, was nicked from someone else. Craig Smith was using one of the strip LED displays on his TS2. So seeing a World Champ with such a device in his boat was not going to make me question if such devices were legal.

There's so many comments been made here that I would love to add my 2 cents worth to but I really can't offer any more to the discussion. And perhaps I shouldn't anyway as I do have a vested interest.

BUT! the idea of incorporating the Flash DVD into a switch has already been done. You know what they say about necessity being the mother of invention. Well after having destroyed 2 LiPo packs due to forgetting to turn the boat off I designed an integrated switch and Flash display unit that would go open circuit when the LiPo goes below 6 Volts. It's just a slightly larger pcb than the existing Flash pcb to fit a switch and transistor (plus a couple of other LBT's (little black things)). It even works. And from this discussion it would seem that it is IOM legal.

But don't hold your breath waiting for it to go on the market. I haven't even fitted it to my own boat yet. I'm struggling to make time for sailing now. Maybe sometime next year.

Hiljoball
Posts: 270
Joined: 06 Jan 2006, 00:47
Sail number: CAN 307
Design: V8
Location: CAN

Post by Hiljoball » 01 Nov 2008, 15:50

JThompson wrote:Can someone please explain to me how a LED or LCD readout can be construed as a remote control device?

Jim
Hi Jim,

How you classify the readout device is not the issue. The IOM is a CLOSED rule. That means that you can only have something that is included in the rule, and nothing extra.

So adding a voltage readout device as a seperate component is not allowed as it is not listed in the rule.

However having a voltage indication provided as a built-in feature of an allowed device (such as a sound signal) from your winch is probably ok as the winch is an allowed device.

If someone designed and manufactured an on/off switch that had a readout or indicator lights built-in to its housing, then that may be legal as the switch is allowed (and the display is just a feature of the switch).

The best answer is to put in a rule change request for the next AGM cycle to allow such a device. It should have a good chance of passing as it is not a performance related device.
John Ball
CRYA #895
IOM CAN 307 V8
In my private capacity

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