Between the flakey gauges, the intermittent switches and the non-existent alarm buzzer I have decided scrap the Total Command System in my 1972 '41.

First I will preface that this is not a project for the faint of heart.  However, I am lucky enough to have the original schematics for the boat, along with the TCS service manual.  It really comes down to a matter of confirming what is there from the factory, what has been removed and what has been dealer/aftermarket added.  Luckily, Viaggio is pretty original minus an updated fume detector, and a (dealer installed?) Benmar Course Keeper.

As an electrical engineer, for once with my boat, I am right in my wheelhouse (no pun intended).  With schematics in hand, I have been working on the new helm design in CAD.  My plan involves removing the TCS circuit breaker/junction box unit.  Yep, the one that's door cannot be opened with the helm installed....not one of Chris' finest engineering accomplishments.  Everything runs to and from this box.  Each switch receives power from this box, and the load is switched back through this box on out to the consumer.  The result is a hundred extra connections to corrode and seemingly miles of wires to trace.

The good thing is that all of the ships' systems are terminated to terminal boards at the helm before connection to the box.  This makes for a tidy break point between old and new.  The engine harnesses home-run from the box to terminal boards in the engine room, so I will be cutting off the TCS connectors at the helm and installing new terminal boards there.  The result will be the ship side totally terminated to terminal boards at the helm. 

The circuit breakers on the new design will be integrated into the gauge panel (where they should be in my opinion).  For now, I have marked what couldn't be found on the schematics and pulled the dash today:

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I wish I had your skills or even know what your talking about. Cares the .... out of me just thinking about it.

Be sure to keep that Benmar Course Keeper.   All it took to get reliable operation of my 1981 era CK210 was to feed it clean power.  I love it.   Benmar still provides support out of California.

I’m eliminating it after smoke poured out of it this summer...

The smoke is what makes electronics work. Once you let the smoke out they don't work anymore 

John Mario said:

I’m eliminating it after smoke poured out of it this summer...

Is that like the soul leaving its body? I had a couple of pucker-worthy moments this summer with my sketchy helm station.  The course keeper smoke signals was one, the other was my port engine oil pressure gauge dropping to zero while I was on plane.  I punched the gauge cluster and it went right back to 60 psi :)  Sometimes you have to show the TCS who's boss...

Mike H said:

The smoke is what makes electronics work. Once you let the smoke out they don't work anymore 

John Mario said:

I’m eliminating it after smoke poured out of it this summer...

John,

Be sure to sell the Course Keeper parts on eBay, there is always someone looking for them.   Did your system have the optional wired remote?   If so I would like to buy it, as mine is missing.

Warren

Hi Warren - I have a wired remote control. I’ll pull it for you this weekend.


I bought one on ebay a while back, if you send a pick of what you need maybe I can help you out


John Mario said:

I’m eliminating it after smoke poured out of it this summer...

John,

Send me a direct message and we can make arrangements.

Thanks,

Warren

John Mario said:

Hi Warren - I have a wired remote control. I’ll pull it for you this weekend.

Well, I am deep into the abyss called the Total Command System and I found some very interesting things.  First, my conspiracy theory, then an explanation:

My 1972 '41 was the first year for TCS (at least in this size range).  My hull is #004, indicating it was very early in the production run.  In my stack of factory schematics, I have two prints of the helm to engine room interconnect diagrams.  One is for a hull with TCS and the other without.  The dead giveaway is with the TCS, the multiconductor cable for gauge sensors/starting circuit, etc for each engine goes from the terminal board at each engine straight to the jack on the TCS box at the helm without terminating anywhere in between.  The non-TCS system has conventional terminal boards at the helm which circuits from the engines terminate on one side, and the helm gauges and switches on the other.  

Well, lets just say my boat is "special".  Its special in the fact that my hull was originally wired for non-TCS, with TCS added later in the manufacturing process.  How do I know?  Well, lets just say my helm terminal boards have the non-TCS engine harness wired to one side of the terminal boards (confirmed wire numbers on the non-TCS schematic), and virgin, never been used empty connections on the other side of the terminal boards.  I found the other end of the non-TCS harnesses coiled up in the engine room in a very original way!

Let's reinforce my theory shall we?  All of the wire numbers and colors at the engine room terminal board jive with the non-TCS schematic.

So in summary, I have non-TCS harnesses terminated on one end at the helm terminal boards, and I have TCS harnesses terminated to the engine terminal boards and the TCS box at the helm.  Anyone else have a theory as to what could have happened at the factory?

They always made changes on the fly. You know better than me but fresh installed wire runs should be a welcoming sight.

I think you will find that many of the early 1972 41s have similarly wired helms as yours.

The TCS was more of an option in the early boats so it would make sense to have installed a standard wiring harness and then add the modified TCS harness as needed. It wasn't until 1973 that the 2nd permutation of TCS was introduced and this is when TCS was truly standardized.

John Mario said:

Well, I am deep into the abyss called the Total Command System and I found some very interesting things.  First, my conspiracy theory, then an explanation:

My 1972 '41 was the first year for TCS (at least in this size range).  My hull is #004, indicating it was very early in the production run.  In my stack of factory schematics, I have two prints of the helm to engine room interconnect diagrams.  One is for a hull with TCS and the other without.  The dead giveaway is with the TCS, the multiconductor cable for gauge sensors/starting circuit, etc for each engine goes from the terminal board at each engine straight to the jack on the TCS box at the helm without terminating anywhere in between.  The non-TCS system has conventional terminal boards at the helm which circuits from the engines terminate on one side, and the helm gauges and switches on the other.  

Well, lets just say my boat is "special".  Its special in the fact that my hull was originally wired for non-TCS, with TCS added later in the manufacturing process.  How do I know?  Well, lets just say my helm terminal boards have the non-TCS engine harness wired to one side of the terminal boards (confirmed wire numbers on the non-TCS schematic), and virgin, never been used empty connections on the other side of the terminal boards.  I found the other end of the non-TCS harnesses coiled up in the engine room in a very original way!

Let's reinforce my theory shall we?  All of the wire numbers and colors at the engine room terminal board jive with the non-TCS schematic.

So in summary, I have non-TCS harnesses terminated on one end at the helm terminal boards, and I have TCS harnesses terminated to the engine terminal boards and the TCS box at the helm.  Anyone else have a theory as to what could have happened at the factory?

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