[Make-wifi-fast] Car tire tracking

Jonathan Morton chromatix99 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 21 16:26:12 EST 2018

> On 21 Nov, 2018, at 11:01 pm, Dave Taht <dave.taht at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm going through a terribly retro phase. I got a boat. It doesn't
> have any tech later than 1976 in it, powered up, most of the time. I'm
> looking to replace the bluetooth enabled radio entirely... once I get
> the diesel repaired and the autopilot working again (can't find one of
> those that isn't also cross connected, either)

By coincidence, I've come across a vlog series about (UK) canal boating.  Small marine diesels currently on the market turn out to be astonishingly primitive machines compared to anything automotive; the vlogger's engine actually has a sticker on the sump warning that it's non-compliant with US emissions regulations for marine diesels.  The larger models produce a nominal 50hp from over 2 litres displacement; these are technically oversized for a narrowboat, but often fitted anyway.

And these are called "modern" engines, to distinguish themselves from truly ancient designs from the 1940s and earlier, which are sometimes still fitted to new or refurbished boats due to their quirky character.  One vlog showed a classic engine which required starting on petrol, with compression valves opened, before switching to diesel, and another one which actually required a derogation to be fitted without a silencer, because it would reliably coke one up if so fitted.

The "modern" engines actually take almost as much fuel to keep themselves running at idle as to drive a 20-ton boat at the canal speed limit of 4 mph.  Some of the more forward-thinking boaters are now fitting hybrid systems which can better than double their fuel economy by allowing the diesel to be switched off when not actively recharging the batteries, as well as allowing long periods of quiet, fume-free cruising (particularly important when it takes 2 hours to traverse the Standedge Tunnel).  The fuel economy improvements are particularly marked if electric drive is used to traverse a long series of locks, in which long periods of idling could otherwise be expected.

The main upside to such primitive technology is that it's easy to service the engine in situ, using hand tools and ordinary mechanical knowledge.  Only major overhauls need the attention of a workshop.

 - Jonathan Morton

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