Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Not Your Grandpa's Diesel Gageboard

Or even your Dad's... unless your Dad works on one of the Virginia-class boats. Going through the SSN photo archives at Navy NewsStand, I found this picture of the SSN 774's LCD diesel gageboard from back in 2004:

Not even the Seawolf-class boats I served on had something this "fou-fou" for the diesel. Another picture of the gageboard with its surroundings is here.

Update 2315 04 Nov: For comparison purposes, a reader sent in a picture of USS Sturgeon's Diesel Gageboard, ca. 1994:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, now that is some scrap, imagine casrep'n your diesel for an electronic screen? As an old fart, I have had many, many hundreds of hours with my comfortable gauges that I could glimpse at and feel comfortable that my baby was snorkeling fine. Now digitize it, and you have a new ORSE hit for not delegating to the smallest denominator of the reading on the logs? We had the same issues when they digitized the AEOG, and then they demanded 10'ths of a second for URO-25 testing even though it is not required.
On my first boat, we had our own permanently connected local diesel generator loading panel with appropriate meters. On finding my lube oil pressures running low, my exhaust cylinder temps running high, and a few other things-I consulted the diesel generator loading curve that was mounted on the overhead.
Oh my, I was 120 percent loaded on the generator? Maneuvering didn't believe me and sent an electrician. The next day they casrep'd a MG regulator.......
Digitizing is not the best for the Navy IMHO.
just an A'gangr.....

11/03/2006 3:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a symptom of the "new high tech" Navy. You take mature "old" technology like the tried and true diesel engine, and wrap it in a PlayStation so that the Gameboy generation can understand it. As an electrical engineer, I do this same thing for a living in the civilian market.

I served on SSBN 619. Our DG was an EMERGENCY generator with an air starter so you could use it during the mythical Loss of all AC casualty. Can this new electronic DG be started in the dark, or is a Loss of all AC not in the game book any more?

11/03/2006 6:47 AM

Blogger submandave said...

About ten years ago I was working for a company making toner for coppiers and started looking into roviding digital indications and controls. In most cases, the inputs for this g-wiz color fest come from common pressure transducers and thermocoupled placed alongside the old analog gages and thermometers. It's just easier to look one place and see all your pressures, temperatues, valve positions, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, Joel, buti'd almost wager a paycheck that the manual indicators are still there as a back-up.

11/03/2006 1:04 PM

Anonymous EW-3 said...

This kind of display is a way of organizing information. It permits one person to deal with a lot more than they normally might using tradition guages.
Guages are a very "flat" topology. If you stand in front of a guage display all the guages are equal. To take in 100 guages worth of data you have to look at all 100 of them.
With a CRT display, you can display information in layers. In the event of a casualty at the highest level, the user can drill down to identify subsytems that are involved in the event.
Think about the evolution of the airplane cockpit.
One other advantage to a digital system like this is that you can record the digital data as a record of events. This way when someone says what happened, all you need to do is replay the event. Very hard to do that with mechanical guages.

11/03/2006 2:11 PM

Anonymous ex-ET nuke said...

Gages and Gee-Whizzes aside, I'm saddened that the Navy has gone away from the old reliable and familiar FM engines.

Even as an RC div guy on a Sturgeon class boat, I used to enjoy the sound and feeling of the DG when we were snorkeling (Hated to be on the EPCP with it tho)

11/06/2006 7:54 AM

Blogger half said...

Sailors were mighty young then.

11/06/2006 2:32 PM

Blogger Jim C said...

Love it. Like the blog.

I cross posted and linked.

Not the Agang I remember.

11/13/2006 10:36 AM

Blogger gary84 said...

Thanks for posting the pic of the Sturgeon gageboard, that makes for a great way to compare it with the newer tech on my DGCP.

From the beginning, Virginia never had room in its AMR design for the massive FM diesel. The compact COTS CAT diesel was always what the Navy had in mind. If you research the Congressional legislation (1994 as I recall) you will find that an American-built diesel (i.e. a CAT) was required in Virginia by law, it's actually written that way in a Bill. And the Navy is very happy with that engine from what I've heard and read.

Virginia DGCP website:

12/25/2006 9:49 AM

Blogger gary84 said...

anonymous said,
> ... with an air starter so you could use it during the mythical Loss of all AC casualty.

Virginia's EDG is air-start too.

> Can this new electronic DG be started in the dark, or is a Loss of all AC not in the game book any more?

Virginia'a EDG skid has its own UPS 'black-start box' to power the engine electronics.

The other alternative would have been to hang an alternator off the engine, to power the engine electronics during the compressed-air-start roll, but I don't know why we did not use that approach.

12/25/2006 10:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up man, I was a sonar tech on the USS Florida (SSBN-728)(BLUE) and USS Asheville (SSN-758), 1999-2003, though I never went underway on the Asheville because it was in drydock the whole 9 months I was there. I am qualified Asheville though. :) I did 4 "strategic deterrent patrols" on the Florida, including staying up for 4 days and being underwater for 87 days. :)

I was looking at your DGCP pic from the Virginia there, woah that's crazy. I also saw pics of the helm, looks like it is all glass cockpit too!!! And they have a Chief on the helm? So I guess the Chief of the Watch and helm are integrated? What about Dive? (I was qualified Helm/Planes watch on the Florida)

I assume the Virginia has the COTS/ARCI package on sonar? I got to see it on the Asheville but didn't use it in real life, since as I said, it was in drydock the whole time. Looked cool though. :)


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1/13/2008 10:35 PM


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