FloScan, doing N2K right

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 23, 2007


FloScan has been measuring fuel flow for over 30 years, so I’d guess they have a darn good idea how to do it. It’s refreshing that their new NMEA 2000 Diesel Monitoring System focuses on what they know well and let’s the resulting data go wherever you want. The flow sensors and those “hubs” seen above, bigger here, are all you need. Yes, you can buy FloScan’s round gauge upper right, but you don’t need to. All data is sent in standard N2K messages, and the little calibration needed is done right in those boxes. The rest of this NMEA Conference booth had Simrad, Lowrance, and Raymarine displays all showing the gallons per hour, remaining fuel, etc. Note that FloScan’s site says that, “Furuno is currently developing NMEA 2000 products which will interface with our system.” But we knew that, right, and will know more when NavNet #d debuts (hey, I might live blog it, if there’s WiFi there). Note, too, how the port engine is “Instance 0” in the N2K system and the starboard engine is set as “Instance 1”. You can set that with a switch in the hub. But who the heck decided to start instances at zero instead of one. Wouldn’t it be better if, say, GPS #1 was instance 1, GPS #2 instance 2, etc.? 


I can only assume that because the first number in binary is zero the first instance becomes zero and not one.

Posted by: Roger at October 24, 2007 4:27 PM | Reply

There are two kinds of people in the world: those that start counting at zero (c programmers and European elevator designers) and those that start at one (Basic programmers and American elevator designers). Each is "normal" in its own way .

Posted by: Steve at October 25, 2007 4:10 PM | Reply

OK, Roger and Steve, but if you have 5 tanks, or 2 engines, or 3 heading sensors on your boat, do you ever think of the first one as the zero one?

Posted by: Ben at October 25, 2007 10:40 PM | Reply

Has anybody every read through the NMEA design specifications? FWIW, they established this and therefore it is a REQUIREMENT.

Posted by: Roger M at November 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Reply

This is a solution for diesel engines. Our Alba-Fuel is for both diesel and gasoline engines that works with the FloScan sensor or any other on the market.

Posted by: Randy Kasir - EMMI Network at May 21, 2008 7:41 AM | Reply

Any decent UI will re-label these as "Port", "Starboard", "Center", "Aft-Starboard", "reserve", etc.

Posted by: Jim Thompson at July 4, 2008 4:54 AM | Reply

Read the saga we went through trying to get our Raymarine E80 displays to communicate with the FloScan NMEA 2000 units at

Posted by: nanoman at July 8, 2008 11:37 AM | Reply

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