Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

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bobaefa
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Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by bobaefa » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:33 pm

I know that some have no interest in paying $20 for an Anchor Alarm App that works with a GPS smartphone but for those that are I purchased one for my blackberry. I have developed the ability to sleep through most anything including a shift in the boat at night so I wanted an anchor alarm. I have a chartplotter in the cockpit that has an anchor alarm. Problem is you can't hear it even if you are close and the chartplotter has to be on for it to work. The chartplotter also does not have remote notification. It would be nice to be alerted if I am ashore and the wind shifts and the boat moves. I was going to buy a handheld gps to keep by the berth and was searching the internet and found MyAnchorWatch.com application.

I downloaded the app and it works well with my blackberry gps. I am not on the boat but around the yard I would "drop the hook" and walk around the yard and see if it accurately tracked me and alerted me when I moved outside the range I set. It also sent a SMS (text) message to my wife's phone each time it triggered. I was also able to SMS from her phone back to the blackberry with the anchor watch and check the status and position. I have not read the instructions on how to change commands via SMS text to the blackberry.

My plan is to leave the blackberry on the boat when we are ashore or by me as I sleep to get the audible/vibrate alarm. Much more detailed info at myanchorwatch.com You can download it for free and play with it. Other posts I read on the WWW seemed good. If on my keys trip the boat drags out to sea I will post another update :) Let me know if anybody has any input on this. Bob

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seahouse
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by seahouse » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:15 pm

Hmm. Very interesting. It seems that a future (or now already?) dedicated device would also alert to the theft of the entire boat. It would text the phone it's present co-ordinates unbeknown to the theif. I like it.

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pokerrick1
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by pokerrick1 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:43 am

seahouse wrote:Hmm. Very interesting. It seems that a future (or now already?) dedicated device would also alert to the theft of the entire boat. It would text the phone it's present co-ordinates unbeknown to the theif. I like it.
Wonderful benifit of the application!

Rick

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CampCook
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by CampCook » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:01 am

I also use a GPS anchor drag app on my iPhone (there is another thread on this subject). Seems like I only paid $10.00 for it. In any event, it seems to work very well. However, I wonder about using it from inside the sleeping birth. I know the antenna needs an RF view of the satellites to work. and I am not sure if it can reliably "see" through the fiberglass. I positioned the phone in the companionway when I used it to afford a view of the satellites. I know GPS will not work from inside a building. I always had to taxi my airplane out of the hanger to get my GPS to initialize. I'm not sure just what the "smart phone" does if there is signal loss for a short time. It may just report last position or a crude dead reckoned position (based on the internal accelerometers) until it gets a new satellite fix. I suspect a good test might be to turn the phone completely off, go into the boat's bunk area and start the phone up again while there and see if it can find its position. Might even be a good idea to move the boat after the phone is hidden from the sky just to make sure there is no internal position memory that fakes out the test.. Also, this test would need to be done in a location where there were no cell phone towers for the phone to triangulate on else the phone might be reporting that position instead of actual GPS position. It all depends on how the particular app is written. Certainly, one would want to know it was capable of using GPS only at all times when out of range of the towers.
I hope my musings make sense and I am glad you brought this subject up again as I confess I had not thought it through until this moment.
Dave

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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by Catigale » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:04 am

I found on Cuttyhunk, if I set the alarm tight, the occasional glitch in position would sound the alarm enough to the point where you wont get any sleep....not that the alarm would wake me up anyway...(Admiral says I sleep the sleep of the dead, 30 seconds after my head is on the pillow)

An anchor alarm is no substitute for good anchor practice - oversize your tackle, learn to get that sucker dug in until it holds at 3000 rpm in reverse for 30 seconds, and you wont be needin no steenking alarms...

bobaefa
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by bobaefa » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:17 am

I've used my blackberry bold for GPS for several years. I have found that it has a very reliable GPS service. The only time I loose signal for gps is if I am inside a large building. Works fine inside the boat. I use it for the map app to plan out the next day sitting at the table in the cabin.

I agree that proper anchor practices is the first line of defense. You never know when another boat will foul your anchor etc.

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Oskar 26M
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by Oskar 26M » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:39 am

My chart-plotter has an anchor alarm but is not connected to any amplifying horn so its beeps are difficult to hear from the cockpit. For added security I have been using the anchor alarm in OziExplorer on my smart phone for a couple of years, initially with an external bluetooth GPS, but more recently with my newer HTC-HD2 with the phone's on-board GPS. It works great and has the added advantage that you cn choose and set your own alarm sound - I can sleep rather soundly so use a VERY LOUD siren sound that would wake the dead.

However, the system lacks MyAnchorWatch capability of remotely notifying you that your boat has moved. This would have prevented (or at the very least nipped in the bud) a very scary experience I had about a year ago. Because of the shallow water, we had to anchor about 1.5 km off shore. The anchor set rock firm in good sand an we went ashore with some confidence. However, the wind changed while we were ashore causing my Mac to sail itself over the anchor, which fouled and failed to reset. Luckily the wind change drove the boat aground (several kilometres from the anchorage) and we were able to retrieve it with the help of local sea rescue with not much more damage than a broken rudder. It would have been far worse had the the anchor foul occurred with an offshore wind shift... Next stop possibly Mauritius :?

Although we were in a remote part of Western Australia, we did have mobile coverage, and an application such as MyAnchorWatch would have alerted us in time to intervene... no lost boat and no damage.
Thanks very much for drawing MyAnchorWatch to our attention. I was going to try it but notice its only available for Blackberries. I'll have to find out if it can run on Windows Mobile
:)

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Catigale
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by Catigale » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:05 am

An anchor alarm is no substitute for good anchor practice - oversize your tackle, learn to get that sucker dug in until it holds at 3000 rpm in reverse for 30 seconds, and you wont be needin no steenking alarms...
I got a beaming recommendation from a pro who watched me anchor next to his fishing boat on a mooring - later ashore, ran into me on island and said "when I watched you anchor I didnt worry about you coming loose and hitting me"
8) 8) 8)

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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by 4sure » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:10 am

G'day, found a free windows mobile program with anchor alarm which I can confirm works ok on a HDC HD2.. not as good as above but has other features also..

www.gpssporttracker.com

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Shane
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by Shane » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:17 am

Catigale wrote:
An anchor alarm is no substitute for good anchor practice - oversize your tackle, learn to get that sucker dug in until it holds at 3000 rpm in reverse for 30 seconds, and you wont be needin no steenking alarms...
I got a beaming recommendation from a pro who watched me anchor next to his fishing boat on a mooring - later ashore, ran into me on island and said "when I watched you anchor I didnt worry about you coming loose and hitting me"
8) 8) 8)
Amen! In fact, this is the only way I get any sleep because it's the only way my wife can sleep! It's a known fact that one of the few things that can wake the dead, are sharp elbow jabs from the admiral :wink:

Regards,
Shane

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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by Catigale » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:39 am

Something important to add to this thread..

Those of you comparing GPS performance from smartphones/crackberry to marine GPS may want to study the details here.

Phone GPS is not necessarily using the same signals as the marine kind - some of the GPS and mapping apps are actually using known WIFI hotspots to map position and dont even have a satellite chip !!

You may get completely different performance on the water away from cell towers and hotspots.

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vkmaynard
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Re: Smartphone Anchor

Post by vkmaynard » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:43 pm

Windows Mobile

Image

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J.Teixeira
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by J.Teixeira » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:05 pm

Hi

Most chartploters have sound out contacts...

All you need is wire it to the berth...

My solution was to install a gps cradle on the roof over the bert...

"Beep beep" "lights on" and we see what happens on the chart.

My modest opinion is that smart-phones are not very reliable...

Jose

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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by pmagnus2 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:54 am

Have used the app the whole summer and it has worked flawlessly! Perfect reception also inside the boat.
It has sounded the alarm twice, but only because I forgot to shwitch it off before we pulled up the anchor and sailed away...

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mastreb
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Re: Anchor Alarm App for smartphone with GPS

Post by mastreb » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:34 am

Catigale wrote:Something important to add to this thread..

Those of you comparing GPS performance from smartphones/crackberry to marine GPS may want to study the details here.

Phone GPS is not necessarily using the same signals as the marine kind - some of the GPS and mapping apps are actually using known WIFI hotspots to map position and dont even have a satellite chip !!

You may get completely different performance on the water away from cell towers and hotspots.
The original iPhone and iPhone 3 used WLS (wifi location service, the hack described in Catigales post), as does the wi-Fi only versions of the iPad and ipad2. The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and 3G versions of the iPad and ipad2 use true GPS. WLS only works reasonably well in metro areas, not at sea, and is in no way accurate enough for navigation. GPS signals are not blocked by fiberglass,and i've successfully used the anchor alarm app and iNavX inside the boat with no issues.

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