Topics

SM Chain Counter Update


Thomas Peacock
 

Thanks to Ian, Seckin, Kelly and Ryan for your thoughts. I feel like I could declare Chain Counters as a thesis topic towards a PhD after the number of hours I have spent on this. I never considered myself obsessive before sailing this boat, it seems to be bringing that out in me. 
I’m not certain how many SM’s have a similar counter, our #240 was right on the cusp between SM and SM 2000, with features of both. It seems to be a LaRochelle designed counter, as the digital display has the Amel logo on it.
 
As mentioned, there are four cables coming into the junction box above the sink:
 
A 12.5 volts power from the Sailor 24V->12V transformer, two wires, straightforward power and ground; its sole function is power
 
A 24 volts power cable from the windlass control in the cockpit, three wires, one always 24 V, one ground, and one that is 24 V only when the windlass is activated; those wires then go to a block of three relays, which do something, I suspect in part activate the 12V part of the chain counter system, also perhaps convert the rotation of the windlass into meters
 
A three wire cable going forward to the windlass, one with 12.5 volts power, one ground, and the other one being a green signal wire with 11.75 volts power (derived from the display cable)
 
A four wire cable going to the digital display, one with 12.5 volts feeding off the power cable, one with 11.75 volts returning from the display (which feeds power to the green signal wire going to the windlass), the other two being used for signal
 
As mentioned, I have replaced the original sensor (IB5076, made by IFM, no longer in production), with one that is TOTALLY identical in all specs, IB5072, except for the fact that it is normally open. The 5076 was normally closed. These are heavy duty inductive sensors, just detecting proximity to conductive metal, no magnet necessary. They are structurally robust, designed for use in pickle factories! It’s a German company, and the Germans do love their pickles. There is an LED on the unit that will indicate that it is sensing.
 
When the sensor detects a conducting metal, it sends out about 0.7 volts, not sure how many milliamps. With the background voltage in the green signal wire of 11.75 volts, the voltage then rises to 12.5 volts. 
 
All that said, when running the windlass I could never get the chain counter display to change from “00”. I was able to change the sensor output from normally open to normally closed with a relay, again without any success on the counter.
 
After my therapist advised me to take a break from the chain counter obsession, I then went on to rebuild the windlass, which is now completely disassembled. Nevertheless, I returned to the chain counter problem, hooking up the sensor directly to the wires above the sink. I used a steel box cutter knife to act as a target for the sensor, ran the windlass switch (even though no windlass), et voilà!!! The display ticks off once for every three times I pass the knife in front of the sensor, I assume three revolutions of the windlass equals one meter. That was without having to change the open/closed status with a relay.
 
So, the system does now work, not sure why it didn’t work with the actual windlass. A little more trouble-shooting ahead when I get the windlass back on deck. Seckin, and anyone else who is having problems, feel free to contact me off forum if needs be, I’m happy to help. 
 
Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Rock Hall, Chesapeake Bay
 
I’m not certain how many SM’s have a similar counter, our #240 was right on the cusp between SM and SM 2000, with features of both. It seems to be a LaRochelle designed counter, as the digital display has the Amel logo on it.
 
As mentioned, there are four cables coming into the junction box above the sink:
 
A 12.5 volts power from the Sailor 24V->12V transformer, two wires, straightforward power and ground; its sole function is power
 
A 24 volts power cable from the windlass control in the cockpit, three wires, one always 24 V, one ground, and one that is 24 V only when the windlass is activated; those wires then go to a block of three relays, which do something, I suspect in part activate the 12V part of the chain counter system, also perhaps convert the rotation of the windlass into meters)
 
A three wire cable going forward to the windlass, one with 12.5 volts power, one ground, and the other one being a green signal wire with 11.75 volts power (derived from the display cable)
 
A four wire cable going to the digital display, one with 12.5 volts feeding off the power cable, one with 11.75 volts returning from the display (which feeds power to the green signal wire going to the windlass), the other two being used for signal
 
As mentioned, I have replaced the original sensor (IB5076, made by IFM, no longer in production), with one that is TOTALLY identical in all specs, IB5072, except for the fact that it is normally open. The 5076 was normally closed. These are heavy duty inductive sensors, just detecting proximity to conductive metal, no magnet necessary. They are structurally robust, designed for use in pickle factories! It’s a German company, and the Germans do love their pickles. There is an LED on the unit that will indicate that it is sensing.
 
When the sensor detects a conducting metal, it sends out about 0.7 volts, not sure how many milliamps. With the background voltage in the green signal wire of 11.75 volts, the voltage then rises to 12.5 volts. 
 
All that said, when running the windlass I could never get the chain counter display to change from “00”. I was able to change the sensor output from normally open to normally closed with a relay, again without any success on the counter.
 
After my therapist advised me to take a break from the chain counter obsession, I then went on to rebuild the windlass, which is now completely disassembled. Nevertheless, I returned to the chain counter problem, hooking up the sensor directly to the wires above the sink. I used a steel box cutter knife to act as a target for the sensor, ran the windlass switch (even though no windlass), et voilà!!! The display ticks off once for every three times I pass the knife in front of the sensor, I assume three revolutions of the windlass equals one meter. That was without having to change the open/closed status with a relay.
 
So, the system does now work, not sure why it didn’t work with the actual windlass. A little more trouble-shooting ahead when I get the windlass back on deck. Seckin, and anyone else who is having problems, feel free to contact me off forum if needs be, I’m happy to help. 
 
Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Rock Hall, Chesapeake Bay

I’m not certain how many SM’s have a similar counter, our #240 was right on the cusp between SM and SM 2000, with features of both. It seems to be a LaRochelle designed counter, as the digital display has the Amel logo on it.
 
As mentioned, there are four cables coming into the junction box above the sink:
 
A 12.5 volts power from the Sailor 24V->12V transformer, two wires, straightforward power and ground; its sole function is power
 
A 24 volts power cable from the windlass control in the cockpit, three wires, one always 24 V, one ground, and one that is 24 V only when the windlass is activated; those wires then go to a block of three relays, which do something, I suspect in part activate the 12V part of the chain counter system, also perhaps convert the rotation of the windlass into meters)
 
A three wire cable going forward to the windlass, one with 12.5 volts power, one ground, and the other one being a green signal wire with 11.75 volts power (derived from the display cable)
 
A four wire cable going to the digital display, one with 12.5 volts feeding off the power cable, one with 11.75 volts returning from the display (which feeds power to the green signal wire going to the windlass), the other two being used for signal
 
As mentioned, I have replaced the original sensor (IB5076, made by IFM, no longer in production), with one that is TOTALLY identical in all specs, IB5072, except for the fact that it is normally open. The 5076 was normally closed. These are heavy duty inductive sensors, just detecting proximity to conductive metal, no magnet necessary. They are structurally robust, designed for use in pickle factories! It’s a German company, and the Germans do love their pickles. There is an LED on the unit that will indicate that it is sensing.
 
When the sensor detects a conducting metal, it sends out about 0.7 volts, not sure how many milliamps. With the background voltage in the green signal wire of 11.75 volts, the voltage then rises to 12.5 volts. 
 
All that said, when running the windlass I could never get the chain counter display to change from “00”. I was able to change the sensor output from normally open to normally closed with a relay, again without any success on the counter.
 
After my therapist advised me to take a break from the chain counter obsession, I then went on to rebuild the windlass, which is now completely disassembled. Nevertheless, I returned to the chain counter problem, hooking up the sensor directly to the wires above the sink. I used a steel box cutter knife to act as a target for the sensor, ran the windlass switch (even though no windlass), et voilà!!! The display ticks off once for every three times I pass the knife in front of the sensor, I assume three revolutions of the windlass equals one meter. That was without having to change the open/closed status with a relay.
 
So, the system does now work, not sure why it didn’t work with the actual windlass. A little more trouble-shooting ahead when I get the windlass back on deck. Seckin, and anyone else who is having problems, feel free to contact me off forum if needs be, I’m happy to help. 
 
Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Rock Hall, Chesapeake Bay
 
 
 
 


michael winand
 

We just use a time count. 20sec=25m.
These chain counters are not just an issue with amel. Nearly every vessel I have been on has had issues with the counter. 
Maybe keep it simple 

On Sun, 28 Apr 2019 at 1:05 am, Thomas Peacock
<peacock8491@...> wrote:
Thanks to Ian, Seckin, Kelly and Ryan for your thoughts. I feel like I could declare Chain Counters as a thesis topic towards a PhD after the number of hours I have spent on this. I never considered myself obsessive before sailing this boat, it seems to be bringing that out in me. 
I’m not certain how many SM’s have a similar counter, our #240 was right on the cusp between SM and SM 2000, with features of both. It seems to be a LaRochelle designed counter, as the digital display has the Amel logo on it.
 
As mentioned, there are four cables coming into the junction box above the sink:
 
A 12.5 volts power from the Sailor 24V->12V transformer, two wires, straightforward power and ground; its sole function is power
 
A 24 volts power cable from the windlass control in the cockpit, three wires, one always 24 V, one ground, and one that is 24 V only when the windlass is activated; those wires then go to a block of three relays, which do something, I suspect in part activate the 12V part of the chain counter system, also perhaps convert the rotation of the windlass into meters
 
A three wire cable going forward to the windlass, one with 12.5 volts power, one ground, and the other one being a green signal wire with 11.75 volts power (derived from the display cable)
 
A four wire cable going to the digital display, one with 12.5 volts feeding off the power cable, one with 11.75 volts returning from the display (which feeds power to the green signal wire going to the windlass), the other two being used for signal
 
As mentioned, I have replaced the original sensor (IB5076, made by IFM, no longer in production), with one that is TOTALLY identical in all specs, IB5072, except for the fact that it is normally open. The 5076 was normally closed. These are heavy duty inductive sensors, just detecting proximity to conductive metal, no magnet necessary. They are structurally robust, designed for use in pickle factories! It’s a German company, and the Germans do love their pickles. There is an LED on the unit that will indicate that it is sensing.
 
When the sensor detects a conducting metal, it sends out about 0.7 volts, not sure how many milliamps. With the background voltage in the green signal wire of 11.75 volts, the voltage then rises to 12.5 volts. 
 
All that said, when running the windlass I could never get the chain counter display to change from “00”. I was able to change the sensor output from normally open to normally closed with a relay, again without any success on the counter.
 
After my therapist advised me to take a break from the chain counter obsession, I then went on to rebuild the windlass, which is now completely disassembled. Nevertheless, I returned to the chain counter problem, hooking up the sensor directly to the wires above the sink. I used a steel box cutter knife to act as a target for the sensor, ran the windlass switch (even though no windlass), et voilà!!! The display ticks off once for every three times I pass the knife in front of the sensor, I assume three revolutions of the windlass equals one meter. That was without having to change the open/closed status with a relay.
 
So, the system does now work, not sure why it didn’t work with the actual windlass. A little more trouble-shooting ahead when I get the windlass back on deck. Seckin, and anyone else who is having problems, feel free to contact me off forum if needs be, I’m happy to help. 
 
Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Rock Hall, Chesapeake Bay
 
I’m not certain how many SM’s have a similar counter, our #240 was right on the cusp between SM and SM 2000, with features of both. It seems to be a LaRochelle designed counter, as the digital display has the Amel logo on it.
 
As mentioned, there are four cables coming into the junction box above the sink:
 
A 12.5 volts power from the Sailor 24V->12V transformer, two wires, straightforward power and ground; its sole function is power
 
A 24 volts power cable from the windlass control in the cockpit, three wires, one always 24 V, one ground, and one that is 24 V only when the windlass is activated; those wires then go to a block of three relays, which do something, I suspect in part activate the 12V part of the chain counter system, also perhaps convert the rotation of the windlass into meters)
 
A three wire cable going forward to the windlass, one with 12.5 volts power, one ground, and the other one being a green signal wire with 11.75 volts power (derived from the display cable)
 
A four wire cable going to the digital display, one with 12.5 volts feeding off the power cable, one with 11.75 volts returning from the display (which feeds power to the green signal wire going to the windlass), the other two being used for signal
 
As mentioned, I have replaced the original sensor (IB5076, made by IFM, no longer in production), with one that is TOTALLY identical in all specs, IB5072, except for the fact that it is normally open. The 5076 was normally closed. These are heavy duty inductive sensors, just detecting proximity to conductive metal, no magnet necessary. They are structurally robust, designed for use in pickle factories! It’s a German company, and the Germans do love their pickles. There is an LED on the unit that will indicate that it is sensing.
 
When the sensor detects a conducting metal, it sends out about 0.7 volts, not sure how many milliamps. With the background voltage in the green signal wire of 11.75 volts, the voltage then rises to 12.5 volts. 
 
All that said, when running the windlass I could never get the chain counter display to change from “00”. I was able to change the sensor output from normally open to normally closed with a relay, again without any success on the counter.
 
After my therapist advised me to take a break from the chain counter obsession, I then went on to rebuild the windlass, which is now completely disassembled. Nevertheless, I returned to the chain counter problem, hooking up the sensor directly to the wires above the sink. I used a steel box cutter knife to act as a target for the sensor, ran the windlass switch (even though no windlass), et voilà!!! The display ticks off once for every three times I pass the knife in front of the sensor, I assume three revolutions of the windlass equals one meter. That was without having to change the open/closed status with a relay.
 
So, the system does now work, not sure why it didn’t work with the actual windlass. A little more trouble-shooting ahead when I get the windlass back on deck. Seckin, and anyone else who is having problems, feel free to contact me off forum if needs be, I’m happy to help. 
 
Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Rock Hall, Chesapeake Bay

I’m not certain how many SM’s have a similar counter, our #240 was right on the cusp between SM and SM 2000, with features of both. It seems to be a LaRochelle designed counter, as the digital display has the Amel logo on it.
 
As mentioned, there are four cables coming into the junction box above the sink:
 
A 12.5 volts power from the Sailor 24V->12V transformer, two wires, straightforward power and ground; its sole function is power
 
A 24 volts power cable from the windlass control in the cockpit, three wires, one always 24 V, one ground, and one that is 24 V only when the windlass is activated; those wires then go to a block of three relays, which do something, I suspect in part activate the 12V part of the chain counter system, also perhaps convert the rotation of the windlass into meters)
 
A three wire cable going forward to the windlass, one with 12.5 volts power, one ground, and the other one being a green signal wire with 11.75 volts power (derived from the display cable)
 
A four wire cable going to the digital display, one with 12.5 volts feeding off the power cable, one with 11.75 volts returning from the display (which feeds power to the green signal wire going to the windlass), the other two being used for signal
 
As mentioned, I have replaced the original sensor (IB5076, made by IFM, no longer in production), with one that is TOTALLY identical in all specs, IB5072, except for the fact that it is normally open. The 5076 was normally closed. These are heavy duty inductive sensors, just detecting proximity to conductive metal, no magnet necessary. They are structurally robust, designed for use in pickle factories! It’s a German company, and the Germans do love their pickles. There is an LED on the unit that will indicate that it is sensing.
 
When the sensor detects a conducting metal, it sends out about 0.7 volts, not sure how many milliamps. With the background voltage in the green signal wire of 11.75 volts, the voltage then rises to 12.5 volts. 
 
All that said, when running the windlass I could never get the chain counter display to change from “00”. I was able to change the sensor output from normally open to normally closed with a relay, again without any success on the counter.
 
After my therapist advised me to take a break from the chain counter obsession, I then went on to rebuild the windlass, which is now completely disassembled. Nevertheless, I returned to the chain counter problem, hooking up the sensor directly to the wires above the sink. I used a steel box cutter knife to act as a target for the sensor, ran the windlass switch (even though no windlass), et voilà!!! The display ticks off once for every three times I pass the knife in front of the sensor, I assume three revolutions of the windlass equals one meter. That was without having to change the open/closed status with a relay.
 
So, the system does now work, not sure why it didn’t work with the actual windlass. A little more trouble-shooting ahead when I get the windlass back on deck. Seckin, and anyone else who is having problems, feel free to contact me off forum if needs be, I’m happy to help. 
 
Tom Peacock
SM #240 Aletes
Rock Hall, Chesapeake Bay
 
 
 
 


Mark Erdos
 

Remarkably, our chain counter and display still work after 20 years. Albeit it only counts upward even if the chain is coming in. Easy to work through: put out 30 meters of chain and then count to 60 meters when hoisting the anchor.

In anticipation of all this failing one day while we are in the middle of nowhere without parts, we marked the chain at 25’, 50’, 100’, 150’ 200’ and 250’

 

We use colored rope and colored wire ties. The ties actually work better as I can see them go over the windless from the helm. We are doing an experiment to see which last longer.

 

 

 

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Skipper

Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - San Blas Islands, Panama

www.creampuff.us

 

 


Thomas Peacock
 

Yes, we have also tried the chain tags. They are sometimes hard to see, and sometimes fall off. They sort of work, but I always felt they were suboptimal. The meters per second idea of Michael is a little easier, again, just in my opinion. But, since there is seemingly a counter on board, that seemed the best solution, if it would work. Plus, Captain Amel thought it was a good idea, so it must be!

Indeed, the counter measures meters whether you are dropping or weighing anchor. There is no plus or minus. There is a switch in the wiring above the sink. My sense is you write down your chain length after you are secure; then turn the switch off and then on, and when you weigh anchor, the two numbers should agree. If you have only dropped 30 or 40 meters, then your system works equally well.

I admit, too many brain-calories for a small problem.



On Apr 27, 2019, at 5:06 PM, Mark Erdos <mcerdos@...> wrote:

Remarkably, our chain counter and display still work after 20 years. Albeit it only counts upward even if the chain is coming in. Easy to work through: put out 30 meters of chain and then count to 60 meters when hoisting the anchor.

In anticipation of all this failing one day while we are in the middle of nowhere without parts, we marked the chain at 25’, 50’, 100’, 150’ 200’ and 250’
 
We use colored rope and colored wire ties. The ties actually work better as I can see them go over the windless from the helm. We are doing an experiment to see which last longer.
 
 
 
 
With best regards,
 
Mark
 
Skipper
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - San Blas Islands, Panama