Rigging Mods And Tricks For Performance Marine

Marine Mods Optical Voltage Isolators

Our little isolators were designed to allow sharing of 5 volt sensor vales across multiple power supplies. In a twin, triple, or quad engine setups, you typically have multiple battery bank configurations on board. Connected by high amperage switches that select or bridge these banks to fit specific power needs. But how do you share a single sensor between those battery banks without risking unintentional current flow problems?

You could add a separate senors for each gauge or device that needs the information. Or you can sometimes use diodes to control the current flow in one direction. But you can't guarantee a power spike won't occur across those wires. When dealing with modern electronics, they don't like getting shocked. Micro circuitry won't stand for any loads that don't belong. So having no physical connection between these battery banks is ultimately the safest option. That's where Opto-Isolators come into play.

5v Isolator
In electronics, an opto-isolator, also called an optocoupler, photocoupler, or optical isolator, is a component that transfers electrical signals between two isolated circuits by using light. Opto-isolators prevent high voltages from affecting the system receiving the signal. A common type of opto-isolator consists of an LED and a phototransistor in the same opaque package.

Below is an example diagram of a twin engine EFI setup where the ECU's share 5 volt trim indicators with a DriveSync unit from Marine Design Corporation. Trim indicators are basically potentiometers. Modern style indicators require a 5-volt reference signal and ground, [in this case supplied from the Drivesync control unit]. The potentiometers variable resistance changes the reference line voltage to a 0-5v signal, returned to the gauge or control unit. While we also need to share these values with our ECU's, operating on separated battery banks.

Sensor Sharing Diagram

By placing a 5v opto-isolator between each ECU and trim indicator, we protect all three sensitive electronic devices from possible power spikes or cross bank loads. Safely allowing two devices to share the same trim level indicator. The same can be done for fuel levels senders, pressures sensors, or any other 5v to 24v sensor. Contact Us regarding your specific isolation needs.


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HEFI Gateway
0-5v Analog In/Out Signal Isolator

5 Volt Isolator Features

  • ° Fully Optical Circuit Separation
  • ° Epoxy Sealed / Waterproof
  • ° 0-5v Analog Signal Range
  • ° Wires Directly Into Harness
  • ° Also Available In 12v Versions

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