Opacmare - replacing sensor


Vladan SV PAME
 

Hi group,

I need to replace on of two sensors that control up and down position of pasarella. I managed to unscrew it from the bracket.

Does anyone know where sensor cable ends? As far as I can see cable goes under wooden board of rotating part. Do I need to take off that piece of wood and how to do it?

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards,
--
Vladan

A54 #157
SV PAME


Lior Keydar
 

dear vladan

i replaced those sensors several times. i have an earlier model but maybe it is the same.
you have to move the round cover around the sensors. then, there are two part with two small screws. 
the first part you can take out while the gangway is in close position ,and the second part when the gangway is turned to the left. there is also a screw to open at the top of the second cover.
now you can easily replace the sensors.

i hope it helps

best
lior, SHARONA, A54 #18


tony wells
 

In my experience, sometimes the sensors fail to work because they’ve become too far apart - insert a thin knife blade, for example, between them and test the function. 

Hope helps someone someday, if not you Vladan. 

Tony Wells
Previous A54 Owner 

On 27 Sep 2021, at 18:20, Vladan SV PAME <vladan.bojic@...> wrote:

Hi group,

I need to replace on of two sensors that control up and down position of pasarella. I managed to unscrew it from the bracket.

Does anyone know where sensor cable ends? As far as I can see cable goes under wooden board of rotating part. Do I need to take off that piece of wood and how to do it?

Thanks in advance.

Best Regards,
--
Vladan

A54 #157
SV PAME


Arno Luijten
 
Edited

Hi Vladan,

I am by now an expert in this fantastic piece of Italian engineering.
You need to remove both covers of the rotating part of the passarelle. To do this you will need to rotate the passarelle into two positions. Under the cover you will find the connectors that connect the sensors to the wiring-loom that leads to the control box inside the locker. If you are lucky the connectors are still usable but you may find them very badly corroded.
Once you manage to replace the sensor make sure to cover the connectors with self-vulcanising tape to protect them.
The bad the news is that there are a lot of other things that can and will go bad with this thing, most of them very expensive. I spent about 20k$ by now on this thing.

Kind regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna
A54-121


Vladan SV PAME
 

Hi Arno, Lior and Tony

Arno,
Thanks for sharing your expertise.
I just received sensors this afternoon and will proceed with replacing them as soon as weather conditions allows me.
Before I start please let me know following:
- As of sensors connectors are they look like one on photo attached. Asking this because the guy from Greek dealership of Opacmare who sold me sensors keep saying that I need to cut connectors and solder sensor wires to existing wires. That doesn't sound right to me.
- As of removing SS cover of rotating part you are mentioning both parts. As far as I can see it's only one part that goes around rotating part and I can locate only 3 screws from the outside. Two on starboard side ( when passarella is out ) and one at the back. Is it any other screw inside that I should look for? See attached photo.

Lior,
Thanks for detailed explanation how to access to other end of sensor cable. That is exactly what I was looking for.

Tony,
Thanks for your advise. I hear same from some other Amel owners and that is first that I checked. Unfortunately sensor is dead.

For anyone else interested in this topic I'm attaching photo of label from manufacturer's packaging with Type and Part No of sensor and I'm sure that can be purchased somewhere else ( cheaper ) then Opacmare dealership.

Best Regards,
--
Vladan

A54 #157
SV PAME


Lior Keydar
 

Dear Vladan

I replaced exactly the same sensors. I did not need to solder anything. The old ones were the same.
When the passerelle is in a close position, remove the two screws on the picture. After that, half of the cover comes out with the wooden part above.
Open the Passerelle and remove the third screw on the other side + another one that is located under the wood part and remove the second half of the cover.

Best,
Lior


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Vladan,

In my case the sensors were the same as in the picture you made. Removing the cover is a bit of a pain. Remove the two screws on the side that is exposed when the passerelle is in the closed postion.
Next remove one of the screws that holds the two halves together at the back of the passerelle.
Now you should be able to remove the wooden slate on the top. In my case it is fixed with some sort of velcro. Now you can acces three screws on the top that loosen the second half. You will need to rotate the passerelle in and out to be able to access all three screws.
The connectors are on top directly under the cover (see enclosed picture).

Regards,
Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Scott SV Tengah
 

Arno,

Like you, I have spent lots of money making this thing work. I have sort of given up after spending around half of what you spent. It sounds like you were more determined that I was!

Now it's working 90% correct but I have a very odd problem. Earlier, when the sensors didn't work, the passerelle wouldn't operate in the direction that is sensed by the faulty sensor. I presume this was a safety measure.

Currently, the problem is that it will NOT automatically retract and lower itself to fit into the fiberglass slot in the stern if I try to use the rotate button to bring the passerelle into the boat.

In other words, when I'm about to leave the marina and the passerelle is fully extended and tilted a bit higher than parallel with the water, the passerelle will happily rotate towards the boat even though it clearly would not fit into the fiberglass slot in the stern in the extended/raised position! I need to retract it manually and lower it to match the slot manually.

As a corollary, if it's safely tucked into the fiberglass slot in the stern, it will happily extend or tilt vertically, even though that would obviously damage the slot. I was just about to give up and disconnect power to it for safety reasons, but perhaps since you've become an expert at this damn thing, you could suggest a solution? I've spent enough on sensors, I'd rather not try to source some more if the problem is elsewhere.

Thanks!
--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Scott,

The brain of this thing is fairly rudimentary so not too likely to fail unless water has entered the enclosure or the connectors.
The way they routed the sensor cables is not the best leaving the connectors in a place where seawater easily gets.
So your first step is checking the wires and other parts for corrosion and water ingress.
As you may have noticed the sensors have a light build in that lights up when the sensor senses metal.
There are four sensors in total. Two are used to sense the height of the passerelle and the middle (level) position. They are prone to mis-adjustment because of the way they are mounted on metal brackets. The logic is that both must be actuated at the level-position of the gangway. So there is a very small area of possible positions for which both are actuated. This can give you problems if the cylinders are not working properly.
The way it works is that the pump pushes oil that gets routed by the electromagnetic valves. Behind these valves there are adjustable restrictors that limit the oil-flow to the cylinders. These restrictors need to be adjusted in such a way that the up-down speed is not too high for the system to stop the motion at the point where both sensors are actuated. In my case I had problems with the seals inside the cylinders that made this into a total hell and it took us moths of trial and error to realize the cylinders needed to be overhauled.
Reading what you are saying, my guess is that the brain is getting information that both up-down sensors are active all the time and the rotation sensor is also active all the time.
On the brainbox there are LEDs that will tell you which sensors are actuated according to the brainbox. From memory they are marked X,Y,W and V. When the passerelle is tucked away only one of them should be dim and three should light up. The dim one is the rotational sensor that only lights up if the passerelle is at an angle of 80-100 degrees with the stern. Only at that point the up-down and extend functions will operate. 
So if your rotational sensor is active all the time you can really crash your passerelle into the GRP slot. The lights on the brainbox can really help you identifying the problem. As said before the connectors and brainbox enclosure are suspect for creating false signals. Compare the signal light at the back of the sensors with the lights in the brainbox.

Hope this helps,

Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121


Scott SV Tengah
 

Arno,

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

-Scott

On Sep 30, 2021, at 11:43 AM, Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:

Hi Scott,

The brain of this thing is fairly rudimentary so not too likely to fail unless water has entered the enclosure or the connectors.
The way they routed the sensor cables is not the best leaving the connectors in a place where seawater easily gets.
So your first step is checking the wires and other parts for corrosion and water ingress.
As you may have noticed the sensors have a light build in that lights up when the sensor senses metal.
There are four sensors in total. Two are used to sense the height of the passerelle and the middle (level) position. They are prone to mis-adjustment because of the way they are mounted on metal brackets. The logic is that both must be actuated at the level-position of the gangway. So there is a very small area of possible positions for which both are actuated. This can give you problems if the cylinders are not working properly.
The way it works is that the pump pushes oil that gets routed by the electromagnetic valves. Behind these valves there are adjustable restrictors that limit the oil-flow to the cylinders. These restrictors need to be adjusted in such a way that the up-down speed is not too high for the system to stop the motion at the point where both sensors are actuated. In my case I had problems with the seals inside the cylinders that made this into a total hell and it took us moths of trial and error to realize the cylinders needed to be overhauled.
Reading what you are saying, my guess is that the brain is getting information that both up-down sensors are active all the time and the rotation sensor is also active all the time.
On the brainbox there are LEDs that will tell you which sensors are actuated according to the brainbox. From memory they are marked X,Y,W and V. When the passerelle is tucked away only one of them should be dim and three should light up. The dim one is the rotational sensor that only lights up if the passerelle is at an angle of 80-100 degrees with the stern. Only at that point the up-down and extend functions will operate. 
So if your rotational sensor is active all the time you can really crash your passerelle into the GRP slot. The lights on the brainbox can really help you identifying the problem. As said before the connectors and brainbox enclosure are suspect for creating false signals. Compare the signal light at the back of the sensors with the lights in the brainbox.

Hope this helps,

Arno Luijten,
SV Luna,
A54-121


--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Paul Harries
 

Arno
You are such an intelligent guy I wonder as to whether you have considered re engineering this marvel of Italian engineering into a more reliable solution. Would a different position sensor technology work? From what you say the central control unit is fairly simple.

--
Paul Harries
Prospective Amel Buyer


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Paul,

Fair question. 

Actually I have been considering to enhance the system using an Arduino controller or similar. But builing something like that and also making it reliable takes time and I had other priorities. 

The passerelle has several flaws, not only the electronics. 

I don’t think the sensors themselves are bad design. The connectors and wireing is more of a problem. 

The current control system is crude but does the job. If improvements are made it would be in adding sensors and automate the closure/opening sequence a bit more. 

In the end it would add a fairly limited amount of functionality. For me it would be more a challenge to do so then a solution to a problem. So maybe I will take it on at some point but not now. 

The main problem with the thing is the ingress of salt water in the rotational actuator. I had to replace mine at 6k$ cost. Protecting it totally from seawater is not so easy. 


Kind regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Wolfgang Weber
 

Hello Arno ,
these sensors are induction nearing sensors from  Pepperl and Fuchs. They  have all datasheets on the Webside available in many languages. My up/down sensor was labeled  NBB4-12GM30-E2 . Switching distance is 4 mm , so I adjusted them very near to the sensing metal which gives the right position to turn the gangway in to resting position.
As you mentioned the big problem for the gangway is  saltwater between the stainless passarelle and the rotating actuator. You see on my picture that I cut the white nylon-cover and pressed grease in each screw-hole . For this  procedure all screws had to be loosened for 3 mm and fill one screw-hole with WD40 and later grease, fasten the screw and by the time  grease will come out at the borders. I hope this will  keep me away from buying a new rotating  part for 6k.
The  opacmare company was no help ! Now answer a lot of contacts by email.
The man who  works for  opacmare service in La Rochelle told me that they often change the hydraulic oil due to  rusty ironparts from the rotary actuator and that these parts may  block the mechanical switches.
 Wolfgang   SY ELISE Amel 54#162 La Rochelle


Arno Luijten
 

Actually the sensors are Hall-effect sensors.
Those plastic covers on your passerelle are non-existent on ours. The big problem is that the water gets to the top of the rotational actuator where the “seam” is between the stationary part and the rotating part. In our case after replacement of the actuator I put an stainless disc on top of the actuator and put a huge load of lanolite grease between the actuator and disc. I also drilled some drain holes in the frame that screws on top of the actuator to avoid standing water and to make sure it drains away from the actuator.

Regards,

Arno
SV Luna,
A54-121


Wolfgang Weber
 

Arno,
that is what I did with pressing the grease by the screws between the rotating and stationary part without  disconnecting all ( electric, Hydraulic ) parts.
So with  #162 they changed the design and added that white nylon disc , sealed it with silicon and  put a disc ( no photo) on it .
The bad thing about our  passerelle was that  they used 11 inox screws and 1 normal iron - now badly rusted - screw which  made a lot of work to drill it out.

Best regards Wolfgang  A54 #162 SY ELISE


Laurens Vos
 

Don’t know if my experiences can be of any help in this matter but sharing can’t do any harm. . 

Our pasarella did also very strange, it was going in and out by itself without any reason or touching any button.

I openend the electronic box in the afterward lazarrette and took the big electrical plug off and on again a few times. Sprayed it with Corrosion X 

and since that this strange behavior didn’t occur anymore. 

Perhaps I was only just lucky which such a simple repair but it’s worth the try.

Laurens 
A54#72 
Fun@Sea 
La Rochelle