PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1770007 16.05.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001770007
Titel Boot
Anmelder Yamaha Marine K.K., Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, JP
Erfinder Okuyama, Takashi, Hamamatsu-shi Shizuoka-ken, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 26.09.2006
EP-Aktenzeichen 060201837
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 04.04.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 16.05.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse B63H 21/22(2006.01)A, F, I, 20070306, B, H, EP
IPC-Nebenklasse B63H 20/00(2006.01)A, L, I, 20070306, B, H, EP   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a boat having an electrically controlled boat propulsion unit for producing thrust according to an operation of a remote control unit provided in a hull.

In known conventional boats, an outboard motor as a boat propulsion unit is provided at the stern of a hull, and a remote control unit is provided around an operator's seat in the hull. When the remote control unit is operated, the throttle opening, etc. of an engine of the outboard motor is controlled so that the outboard motor is driven at a desired speed, etc.

The boat propulsion unit and the remote control unit are connected to a power source via a power supply line, while the boat propulsion unit and the remote control unit are connected to each other via a communication line.

Electric power is supplied from the power source to the boat propulsion unit and the remote control unit via the power supply line, and signals such as a target throttle opening signal and a target shift position signal are sent from the remote control unit to the boat propulsion unit via the communication line, thereby allowing the boat to run.

Examples of this type of boat include those disclosed in JP-A-Hei 5-152996 and JP-A-2003-200895 .

In such conventional boats, however, the boat propulsion unit and the remote control unit do not operate normally in the case where at least one of the power supply line and the communication line is broken or otherwise disconnected.

In view of the foregoing, the present invention has an object to provide a boat with improved reliability that allows both a boat propulsion unit and a remote control unit to operate normally even when a breakage or other failure occurs in any one part of a power supply line or a communication line.

This objective is solved in an inventive manner by a boat comprising a power source, a remote control unit provided in a hull, and a boat propulsion unit controlled through the remote control unit so as to produce thrust, the power source being connected to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via a power supply line, and the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit being connected to each other via a communication line, wherein at least two systems of power supply lines and at least two systems of communication lines are provided.

Preferably, the power source includes a battery and a power generating unit, and the at least two systems of power supply lines are respectively connected to the battery and the power generating unit.

Further, preferably the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit respectively includes a remote control ECU and an engine ECU that are connected to each other via the communication lines, and a position sensor for detecting a position of a remote control lever is connected to the remote control ECU via at least two systems of analog signal lines.

Still further, preferably the power source comprises batteries and an FWM, wherein the batteries and the FWM are connected to the remote control unit and the outboard motor via power supply cables, and wherein the remote control unit and the outboard motor are connected via DBW CAN cables, and wherein at least two systems of power supply cables and at least two systems of DBW CAN cables are provided.

In the following, the present invention is explained in greater detail with respect to several embodiments thereof in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1
is a perspective view of a boat according to an embodiment,
FIG. 2
is a schematic diagram of wiring systems installed in the boat according to the embodiment,
FIG. 3
is a block diagram of a remote control unit, a steering wheel unit, a key switch unit, etc. of the boat according to the embodiment,
FIG. 4
is a block diagram of an outboard motor, a steering unit, etc. of the boat according to the embodiment, and
FIG. 5
is a detailed block diagram of the outboard motor, batteries, etc. of the boat according to the embodiment.

Description of Reference Numerals and Symbols:

11:
boat
12:
hull
13:
outboard motor (boat propulsion unit)
14:
remote control unit
15:
steering wheel unit
16:
key switch unit
18:
remote control body
19:
remote control ECU
33:
steering wheel ECU
34:
steering wheel
43:
engine ECU (propulsion unit ECU)
66, 67:
battery (power source)
72:
steering ECU
88:
FWM (power generating unit, power source)
b:
signal circuit
e1, e2:
DBW CAN cable (communication line)
f:
power supply cable (power supply line)

An embodiment will now be described.

FIGs. 1 to 5 show an embodiment.

To describe the structure, reference numeral 11 in FIG. 1 denotes a boat with an outboard motor 13 as "boat propulsion unit" attached to the stern of a hull 12. The outboard motor 13 is operated through a remote control unit 14, a steering wheel unit 15 and a key switch unit 16 provided around an operator's seat.

The remote control unit 14 includes a remote control ECU 19 built in a remote control body 18. As shown in FIG. 3, the rotational position of a remote control lever 20 is detected by a position sensor 21. The position sensor 21 is connected to the remote control ECU 19 via two signal circuits "b". A PTT (power trim and tilt) switch 22 is connected to the remote control ECU 19 via a signal circuit "b".

The key switch unit 16 is connected to the remote control ECU 19 of the remote control unit 14. The key switch unit 16 is provided with a start switch 25 and a main/stop switch 26. The start switch 25 and the main/stop switch 26 are connected to the remote control ECU 19 via signal circuits "b".

As shown in FIG. 2, the signal circuits "b" for connection between the start switch 25 and the remote control ECU 19, and between the main/stop switch 26 and the remote control ECU 19, are disconnectable from the key switch unit 16 via connectors 29, and disconnectable from the remote control unit 14 via connectors 30.

Also, as shown in FIG. 3, the steering wheel unit 15 includes a built-in steering wheel ECU 33 and a steering wheel 34. The steering wheel 34 is connected to a position sensor 35 for detecting the position of the steering wheel 34. The position sensor 35 is in turn connected to the steering wheel ECU 33 via signal circuits "b". To the steering wheel ECU 33 are also connected a reaction force motor 36 for applying reaction force to the steering wheel 34 via a drive system circuit "d", and a display/control section 37 for changing the mode of a steering system via a signal circuit "b". The drive system circuit "d" is a circuit for sending drive signals.

The steering wheel ECU 33 of the steering wheel unit 15 is connected to the remote control ECU 19 of the remote control unit 14 via two DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" as "signal lines". Here, the term "DBW" is an abbreviation for "Drive-By-Wire", and refers to a manipulation device through electrical connection instead of mechanical connection. Also, the term "CAN" is an abbreviation for "Controller Area Network".

As shown in FIG. 2, the DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" for connection between the steering wheel ECU 33 and the remote control ECU 19 are disconnectable from the steering wheel unit 15 via connectors 39, and disconnectable from the remote control unit 14 via connectors 40.

On the other hand, as shown in FIG. 4, the outboard motor 13 includes an engine ECU 43 as "propulsion unit ECU". The engine ECU 43 is connected to a starting system 44, an ignition system 45 and a fuel injection system 46 via drive system circuits "d". A propulsion mechanism (engine) 47 is driven by the starting system 44, the ignition system 45, the fuel injection system 46, etc. to produce thrust.

The engine ECU 43 is also connected to a throttle motor 52 of a throttle body 51 via a drive system circuit "d". The throttle opening of a throttle valve 53 is controlled through the throttle motor 52 such that the propulsion mechanism 47 is driven at a desired speed. The throttle body 51 is also provided with a throttle position sensor 54 for detecting the throttle opening, and a spring 55 for urging the throttle valve 53 in the closing direction. A signal from the throttle position sensor 54 is input to the engine ECU 43.

In addition, a shift motor 58 of a shift actuator 57 is connected to the engine ECU 43 via a drive system circuit "d". The shift motor 58 drives a shift mechanism 59 to control the propulsion direction (in forward, neutral or reverse). The shift actuator 57 is also provided with a shift position sensor 60 for detecting the shift position. A signal from the shift position sensor 60 is input to the engine ECU 43.

Further, a PTT relay 61 is connected to the engine ECU 43 via a drive system circuit "d". The PTT relay 61 is connected to a PTT motor 62 via a drive system circuit "d" so that the PTT motor 62 controls the trim direction. A PTT switch 63 is connected to the PTT relay 61.

The engine ECU 43 of the outboard motor 13 is directly connected to the remote control ECU 19 of the remote control unit 14 via DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" (which will be described in detail later).

As shown in FIG. 2, the DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" for connection between the engine ECU 43 and the remote control ECU 19 are disconnectable from the outboard motor 13 via connectors 68, and disconnectable from the remote control unit 14 via connectors 69.

The engine ECU 43 of the outboard motor 13 is connected to a steering ECU 72 of an electric steering unit 71 via DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2". The steering ECU 72 is connected to a steering motor 74 of a steering actuator 73 via a drive system circuit "d". The steering motor 74 drives a steering mechanism 75 to turn the boat to a desired turning direction. The steering actuator 73 is also provided with a steering position sensor 76 for detecting the steering position. A signal from the steering position sensor 76 is input to the steering ECU 72.

Two batteries 66, 67 as "power sources" are connected to the ECUs 19, 33, 43, 72, etc. via power supply cables "f'.

Specifically, as shown in FIG. 5, the two batteries 66, 67 are connected to the engine ECU 43 and the remote control ECU 19 via power supply cables "f" as two systems of "power supply lines", with a battery changeover switch 81 and a starter motor 82 connected to the battery 66, one of the batteries 66, 67, via a power supply cable "f".

The battery changeover switch 81 disconnects the circuit when the battery 66 is not used, to prevent battery drain.

In one system, which is connected to the battery 66, the engine ECU 43 is connected via a main relay 83, an ETV power supply relay 84 and a shift power supply relay 85 to a power supply cable "f", which is connected to the battery 66. The starter motor 82 is connected via a power supply cable "f" to the remote control ECU 19, and also to a Rec/Reg (rectifier/regulator) 87. The Rec/Reg 87 is in turn connected to an FWM (flywheel magnet) 88 as "power generating unit".

The other system, which is connected to the other battery 67, is connected to the engine ECU 43 via a sub relay 86, and also to the remote control ECU 19 via a power supply cable "f". The battery 67 is connected to the Rec/Reg 87, which is connected to the FWM 88.

In this way, two systems of power supply cables "f" are connected to the FWM 88.

The main relay 83 is also connected to engine electrical components.

As described above, the engine ECU 43 and the remote control ECU 19 are electrically connected to each other via two systems of DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" as "communication lines". The DBW CAN cable "e1" of one system includes a CAN 1 (H) and a CAN 1 (L), while the DBW CAN cable "e2" of the other system includes a CAN 2 (H) and a CAN 2 (L). The same signals are sent through the two systems.

A signal is sent from the main/stop switch 26 to the engine ECU 43 via a signal circuit "b".

As shown in FIG. 2, the boat 11 is installed with an information system network separate from the DBW network described above. In the information system network, instrument panels 78 are connected to the engine ECU 43 via information system cables "g" so that the instrument panels 78 display the engine speed, etc.

Next, the function will be described.

First, when the start switch 25 is operated to start the outboard motor 13, a signal from the start switch 25 is input via the remote control ECU 19 to the engine ECU 43. Then, the engine ECU 43 controls the starting system 44, the ignition system 45, the fuel injection system 46, etc. and opens the throttle valve 53 through the throttle motor 52, in order to drive the propulsion mechanism 47.

When the remote control lever 20 is operated while the outboard motor 13 is driven, a signal from the position sensor 21 is input to the remote control ECU 19. The remote control ECU 19 in turn sends the signal indicating the position of the remote control lever 20 to the engine ECU 43. Then, based on the position of the remote control lever 20, the engine ECU 43 controls the rotational movement of the throttle valve 53 through the throttle motor 52, in order to achieve desired thrust through the propulsion mechanism 47 and hence a desired boat speed.

In addition, whether the remote control lever 20 is in the forward, neutral or reverse position is detected. Based on a signal indicating which position the remote control lever 20 is in, the engine ECU 43 controls the shift motor 58 so as to drive the shift mechanism 59, in order to determine the propulsion direction, etc.

Further, when the steering wheel 34 is rotationally moved in a certain direction to steer the boat, the steering wheel angle is detected by the position sensor 35. Then, a signal indicating the steering wheel angle is input via the steering wheel ECU 33 to the steering ECU 72. The steering ECU 72 controls the steering motor 74 so as to drive the steering mechanism 75 such that the outboard motor 13 is directed to the certain direction.

In the boat described above, electric power from the batteries 66, 67 and the FWM 88 is respectively supplied to the engine ECU 43 and the remote control ECU 19 via two systems of power supply cables "f'.

Thus, even when the power supply cable "f" of one system is broken, electric power is respectively supplied to the engine ECU 43 and the remote control ECU 19 via the power supply cable "f" of the other system, thereby keeping the outboard motor 13 operating.

In addition, different systems of power supply cables "f" are respectively connected to the batteries 66, 67 and the FWM 88. Thus, even when the power supply cable "f" of one system, which is connected to the battery 67 and the FWM 88, is cut or otherwise disconnected, electric power is supplied via the power supply cable "f" of the other system, thereby keeping the outboard motor 13 operating.

Further, signals indicating the target throttle angle, the target shift position, the steering wheel angle, etc. are sent from the remote control ECU 19 to the engine ECU 43 via two systems of DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2", so that the engine ECU 43 controls the propulsion mechanism 47, etc.

Even when one of the two systems of DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" is broken, the signals are sent from the remote control ECU 19 to the engine ECU 43 via the other system, thereby keeping the boat under control. That is, the boat can be controlled to a desired boat speed, a desired direction, etc.

The position sensor 21 for detecting the position of the remote control lever 20 is connected to the remote control ECU 19 provided in the remote control unit 14 via at least two systems of signal circuits "b". Thus, even when one of the two systems of signal circuits "b" is broken or otherwise abnormal, signals can be sent via the signal circuit "b" of the other system. With this structure, important signals that influence the running condition, such as a target throttle opening signal, can be securely sent to the engine ECU 43, and the throttle opening can be controlled to a desired value, thereby improving the reliability.

The remote control ECU 19 provided in the remote control unit 14 and the engine ECU 43 provided in the outboard motor 13 are directly connected via the DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2". Since plural connections (connectors) are not provided along the cables therebetween unlike the conventional arts, unstable behavior such as sudden opening of the throttle valve can be prevented as much as possible, thereby improving the reliability.

Furthermore, the outboard motor 13 can be easily attached to and removed from the hull 12 by just connecting and disconnecting at two locations, namely the connectors 69 at the remote control unit 14 and the connectors 68 at the outboard motor 13. Thus, even users unaccustomed to the attachment work are less likely to make wrong connections.

In addition, providing the remote control unit 14 with the remote control ECU 19 can improve the extensibility.

Further, providing the remote control ECU 19 within the remote control body 18 can improve the appearance quality of the remote control unit 14.

One outboard motor 13 is provided in the embodiment described above. The present teaching is not limited thereto, but two or more outboard motors may be provided. The "boat propulsion unit" of the present teaching is not limited to the outboard motor 13, but may be an inboard-outboard motor, etc.

The description above discloses (amongst others) an embodiment of a boat including a power source, a remote control unit provided in a hull, and a boat propulsion unit controlled through the remote control unit so as to produce thrust. The power source is connected to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via a power supply line. The remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit is connected to each other via a communication line. At least two systems of power supply lines and at least two systems of communication lines are provided (embodiment 1).

Further, the description provides a second embodiment of a boat in which the power source includes a battery and a power generating unit, and the at least two systems of power supply lines are respectively connected to the battery and the power generating unit.

Further, the description provides a third embodiment of a boat in which the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit respectively includes a remote control ECU and an engine ECU that are connected to each other via the communication lines, and a position sensor for detecting a position of a remote control lever is connected to the remote control ECU via at least two systems of analog signal lines.

According to the first embodiment, electric power from the power source is respectively supplied to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via two systems of power supply lines. Thus, even when the power supply line of one system is broken, electric power is respectively supplied to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via the power supply line of the other system, thereby keeping the boat propulsion unit operating.

In addition, signals are sent to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via two systems of communication lines. Thus, even when the communication line of one system is broken, signals are sent from the remote control unit to the boat propulsion unit via the communication line of the other system, thereby keeping the boat under control. That is, the boat can be controlled to a desired boat speed, a desired direction, etc.

According to the second embodiment, at least two systems of power supply lines are respectively connected to the battery and the power generating unit. Thus, even when the power supply line of one system, which is connected to the battery and the power generating unit, is cut or otherwise disconnected, electric power is supplied via the power supply line of the other system, thereby keeping the boat propulsion unit operating.

According to the third embodiment, the position sensor for detecting the position of the remote control lever is connected to the remote control ECU provided in the remote control unit via at least two systems of analog signal lines. Thus, even when one of the two systems of analog signal lines is broken or otherwise abnormal, signals can be sent via the analog signal line of the other system. With this structure, important signals that influence the running condition, such as a target throttle opening signal, can be securely sent to the engine ECU, and the throttle opening can be controlled to a desired value, thereby improving the reliability.

Thus, according to a first preferred aspect, there is disclosed a boat comprising: a power source; a remote control unit provided in a hull; and a boat propulsion unit controlled through the remote control unit so as to produce thrust, the power source being connected to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via a power supply line, and the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit being connected to each other via a communication line, wherein at least two systems of power supply lines and at least two systems of communication lines are provided.

Further, according to a second preferred aspect, the power source includes a battery and a power generating unit, and the at least two systems of power supply lines are respectively connected to the battery and the power generating unit.

Further, according to a third preferred aspect, the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit respectively includes a remote control ECU and an engine ECU that are connected to each other via the communication lines; and a position sensor for detecting a position of a remote control lever is connected to the remote control ECU via at least two systems of analog signal lines.

Likewise, according to a particularly preferred aspect, in order to provide a boat with improved reliability that allows both a boat propulsion unit and a remote control unit to operate normally even when a breakage or other failure occurs in any one part of a power supply line or a communication line, a boat is provided, including: batteries 66, 67 and an FWM 88; a remote control unit provided in a hull; and an outboard motor 13 controlled through the remote control unit so as to generate thrust. The batteries 66, 67 and the FWM 88 are connected to the remote control unit and the outboard motor 13 via power supply cables "f'. The remote control unit and the outboard motor 13 are connected via DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2". At least two systems of power supply cables "f" and at least two systems of DBW CAN cables "e1", "e2" are provided.


Anspruch[en]
Boat comprising: a power source; a remote control unit provided in a hull; and a boat propulsion unit controlled through the remote control unit so as to produce thrust, the power source being connected to the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit via a power supply line, and the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit being connected to each other via a communication line, wherein at least two systems of power supply lines and at least two systems of communication lines are provided. Boat according to claim 1, wherein the power source includes a battery and a power generating unit, and the at least two systems of power supply lines are respectively connected to the battery and the power generating unit. Boat according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the remote control unit and the boat propulsion unit respectively includes a remote control ECU and an engine ECU that are connected to each other via the communication lines, and a position sensor for detecting a position of a remote control lever is connected to the remote control ECU via at least two systems of analog signal lines. Boat according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the power source comprises batteries (66,67) and an FWM (88), wherein the batteries (66,67) and the FWM (88) are connected to the remote control unit and the outboard motor (13) via power supply cables (f), and wherein the remote control unit and the outboard motor (13) are connected via DBW CAN cables (e1,e2), and wherein at least two systems of power supply cables (f) and at least two systems of DBW CAN cables (e1,e2) are provided.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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