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Old 01-17-2013, 08:43 AM   #15
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I will try to give a good response this weekend as I am in a "firedrill" on a product you guys will "really like" where I will say more once released. The reason the Tank Gauge is "not released" right now is during an alpha site investigation it was determined that I really needed to include the "two box" system out of the chute versus the cost optimized single box system for the reasons implied by Wild-Air above. Since I know you guys like details, to cut to some details; the tank gauge includes two circuit boards, one for the color display/keypad and the other for the control module. These two boards, in the "distributed versions" are in two separate enclosures and interconnected by a CAN network, similar to the network in your tow vehicles. In another version these two are plugged together inside one enclosure. The control module has three "bubble tubes" that are small air lines like in a aquarium, that connect to a pressure sensor in the control module and to a small pipe fitting generally in the discharge of each tank. In the two enclousre unit the control enclosure is easily mounted a plumbed in you traditional tank bay of the rv/trailer. Then a typical phone cable is run to the display module where-ever you want to mount it. In the single enclosure system you would have to locate the single module where you want the display unit and then run three air lines to the tank discharge locatins. Bottom line is although two enclosures cost a little more than one enclosure, the flexibility "by customer feedback" seems to be more than worth the difference in cost. I tend to agree but was previously told by the "experts" that "only cost matters". As you can tell, I will have both versions available, but the first release has changed to the two box unit. This required me to design some mechanical parts and enclosure for the separate control module, thus slipping my release date. Got to get to work, but hope this helps.

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:53 PM   #16
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Sounds cool. Keep me posted!

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #17
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Market Research: I tried "very hard" to find the "posting rules and such" but was unable to find them, so I will try to be very careful in these market research questions but I "need" your feedback.
For ALL products, there is this common "cost versus functionality" tradeoff that must be made on many "features" that involve hardware, namufacturig operations and labor, where the hard part is determining "yes yo want the feature, but at what price?"

Per prior posts I will provide various versions of a tank gauge, like everyone else, but far fewer versions and generally mroe functional. But there are things I "could" delete and reduce cost. The "two enclosure" unit (display and moniotring modules) interconnects with a network cable and "all the costs of two enclousres, more connectors and so on are assumed in this product versus the "single enclousre" product contain "all funcationlaity:. So here goes for a two enclosure system;

1) Sysem draws less than one milliamp when off, and turns on when you press a button on the display module. The display module's color display obviously "lights up" when system power up, but how about the monitoring module. In the unlikely event you "push the button and nothing happens" the proble is either; disconnected power, boose wiere and although remote, a failed monitor module. I can install a diagnostic led, light pipe, hole in enclosure, and "seal it" to the enclosure so if you press the button, and nothing happens you can go to the monitor module and see if it is "flashing green or red". The question is, would that be worth between $5 to $10 to you?

2) Although this may sound absurd, system monitors fluid height to an increment of 0.01 inches where I display in "0 to 100%" or system is custom calibrated to tenths of a gallon or tenths of a liter. System currently contains ALL the hardware and software and configuration menus to custom calibtrate your tanks with a "rented flow meter" or "at a service center" or you can actually buy your own flow meter and use it. I can "cut the cost" by removing a number of components that "monitor the flow meter", "control an external water valve", "connectors to plug into board" and "remove a TON of configruaiton screens from display module" and such by moving those parts to a module that then "plugs into" the "monitor module" only during calibraton. The current design "provides it all" as you may initially be fine with the simple 0-100% but then later might want to add the convenience of "knowing gallons" in each tank. So is it worth $10 to $15 to you to have a "full featured" system that you can "enable functionalty and configure tanks" by just investing some time? I know many will use service centers and don't care, but for others, what do you want?

3) Enclosure communications / power cable is 6 conductor cable. Currently I use some "scew connectors" that are plugged into the display module and the monitor module, where you would likely use low cost round 6 connuctor phone cable available at almost any home cneter or hardware store. I "once used" RJ connectors, which are thos small connectors that "click into your old phones" and use the small falt cable. These too are also available from your local home centers, but since some may not want to spend $10 on a low end crimping tool I use the "screw connectors". THe universal "pluggable screw connectors" will cost you about $5 more then the RJ connectors but "anyone" can connect them. Does anyone care which is used as they both unplug? If you have a preference, why?

By the way the "round phone wire" can carry more current when adding "other modules" to the network, another reason it was used. I like the RJ's, but a lot of people do not.

I may be asking other questions, where your answers could affect the final product. I would like to thank you for your time in advance.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by C5Don View Post
Market Research: I tried "very hard" to find the "posting rules and such" but was unable to find them, so I will try to be very careful in these market research questions but I "need" your feedback.
There is a link at the bottom of most pages in the Forums to the Community Rules.

This is perhaps easier to follow:

If it's to be, it's up to me.
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