Sunday, 22 April 2012

SMS Alarms Mk2 - There's More.

Following my April 1st blogpost (no it wasn't an April Fools Joke), I've refined the design slightly so that you can alternatively tell when your bilge pump is running (if this is preferable to just knowing when your bilge alarm has been activated by water ingress). Some boats leak and the bilge pump starts and stops a lot - when you visit the boat, the pump has emptied the water so there doesn't appear to be a problem. All is fine - well until the pump burns out or the battery goes flat..

It will text you when the pump starts and text you again when it stops.

The free phone call feature can also be used to start your heating or switch your lights on. Another phone call turns them off. Sometimes easier than texting codes...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

SMS Alarms MK2

Some of you may remember my work a year or two ago on SMS Alarms..

I have been diligently beavering away at this, as a little project and have reached my Mk2 design.

In essence, this is a little box on your boat, not much bigger than a cigarette packet.

Fitted with a Pay As You Go Simcard and mobile phone chip and designed primarily for people like me who leave their boat unattended on a remote mooring, sometimes for weeks at a time, it is hard-wired to sensors supplied with it.

It could detect if your bilge started to fill with water or if somebody broke into your boat.

It would even detect if your batteries were discharged below a specific level or somebody disconnected your shoreline.

An independent internal battery supply provides a battery-back up, so the system will still work even if the DC supply is disconnected to the unit by a clever burglar.

Any of these events will cause the unit to send a text message to your mobile, telling you what the problem is.

A secondary use of this device, is that it works the other way - you can send a text or make a free phone call to the device, to activate boat equipment (e.g turn the heater on before you get to the boat to warm the cabin through, switch the fridge on or switch a security light on for a variable time period to make people think somebody is on-board).

You can test everything periodically by sending a text to the device and it will text you back with a full status report, including information about signal strength and your boats battery voltage.

An optional GPS module also allows it to tell you the exact location of the boat whenever you ask by text message - could be good in case of theft or trying to keep track of a rented boat or hireboat fleet.