Nautische Instrumente Mühle- Glashütte: TCS-1 Ship’s Master Clock

The SMM, the world’s largest shipbuilding fair, took place in Hamburg from 04 to 07 September 2012. At the fair for Shipbuilding, Machinery, and Marine Technology Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte has presented its pioneering ships’ clocks, which are successfully following the course of ship automation.

With its innovative timekeeping and guidance solutions Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte offers an extensive portfolio for ship builders – from autarchic, quartz-powered marine chronometers for yachts to automated ships’ clocks that can be controlled centrally and economically with the TCS-1 time control system. At the SMM in Hamburg, the leading fair of the maritime industry, Mühle-Glashütte has introduced the innovative, Glashütte-made marine clock technology, further pursuing its goal of maintaining growth in this segment in the second half of 2012.

In the age of GPS and global networks, ships’ clocks are no longer required for navigation, instead, the availability of a standard time protocol for the central control and co-ordination of all automated ship systems is becoming increasingly significant. This is where the time control system TCS-1 from Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte, powered by alpha-bit, comes in. This innovative time control unit can not only be utilised as a master clock in an extensive clock unit, the TCS-1 also provides the time protocol for all integrated automation systems within a ship, thereby acting as the heartbeat of automation. For example, for a damage control system, which serves to alarm, display and monitor in the event of damage.

The TCS-1 defines the time point of the damage report as well as the beginning and conclusion of the damage control activity. This enables the damage control system to reliably sound the alarm if specific measures are not undertaken within the time period specified in the protocol.

Since 2011, the TCS-1 has been in use on numerous ships around the world, such as the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III, launched last October. In combination with 139 secondary clocks the TCS-1 also delivers the time on a cruise liner of the Norwegian Cruise Line, with a further ship of the fleet set to be equipped with the marine clock system this year.

With its intelligent 24-hour display the TCS-1 also fulfils the essential requirement that Mühle-Glashütte sets for every clock: optimal legibility. In this the analogue displays are equipped with interchanging hour numerals for Universal Time Coordinated and Local Time. In the morning the hour numerals 1 to 12 are displayed, from midday to midnight the hours 13 to 24.

This means that with the 24- hour display developed by Mühle one glance is enough to recognise if it is daytime or nighttime in the time zone displayed. For easier operation the TCS-1 is equipped with a night switch and contrasting and dimmable touch screen, because optimal legibility at night and in direct sunshine is one of the key requirements of the new master clock.

The TCS-1 receives the precise time via GPS signal or an accurate real-time clock, should no GPS signal be possible over an extended period of time. The TCS-1 can communicate the time to the secondary clocks either via the on-board ethernet or a RS485 data line. The configuration of the master clock is not performed via the touch screen, instead through a PC in the ethernet LAN – and is even possible with a smart phone or WLAN access point.

Technical data of the Mühle TCS-1
Installation: Console, switching cabinet, wall assembly 19“ rack (4 HE)
Operating temperature: 0° to +50° C
Power supply: 24V (18-32 V DC) external power supply on request
Time signal, input: GPS/NMEA $ 0183. RMC and ZDA via RS232; RS422/485 optional, external real-time clock optional, max. 0.1 sec. deviation/day at +25° C
Time signal, output: Mühle time signal via RS485 and ethernet multicast
Control cables: (optional) 3, interval: 1/30/60 sec., impulse duration: 0.2-10 sec.
Current: max. 1A/cable, 2 independently programmable switch relays, rating: 2 A at 230 V AC or 30 V DC, NTP multicast and NTP server optional
Operation: Touch screen with 6.5’’ VGA colour display, dimmable, Day/night switching
Time display: LT analogue; UTC analogue, 3rd time zone digital
Configuration: Password protected, 2 levels
Remote administration: PC on ethernet or WLAN access point
Languages: English, German, Spanish
Certification: MIL number, IP65, CE

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