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Old 10-02-2014, 09:50   #1
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A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Hi CFers, many of you know me here and that I am a professional EE. I've just been doing some contract work over the last 12 months on GSM monitors and I've been tricking around with launching a product for the marine marine ( well marine initially).

*Standalone, main power monitor and temperature sensor ( tells you if shore power was disconnected, cabin temp, etc)
*Optional infra-red monitor ( PIR person detector)
* battery level monitoring via cigarette lighter connection
* Small ( 1.5" square cube) , plugs in via USB wall wart/ and or 12-32v cigarette lighter socket

*Available as GSM ( works worldwide on any network, out of the box) and WiFi

* GSM needs no SIM , already included and enabled for worldwide GSM
* Internet connected via cloud, always on, alerts via , email, text, Twitter
* Web interface to configure alarm thresholds
* The version with the PIR could detect unintended entrance ( point it at the hatch, etc)

This isn't specifically a marine product, but the mod of an existing project

Pricing might be around $120-150, $4 a month monitoring charge ( for GSM version).

I can break even on small quantities. I might even KickStart It.!! Internet of things is hot at the moment .

The idea is you can take it out of a box and use it straight away, no wires, no SIM cards needed, works across country boundaries. Simple device, not really a boat alarm, setup via Web or smartphone app.

Works in lots of other areas as well, lock-ups, holiday homes, greenhouses, heat lamps, 1000 and one uses.

Other variants might have other sensor packages.

Ideas, views, Feedback, applications, ??????? ( if you want to invest in the company thats good too!!)

much appreciated CFs

dave
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:56   #2
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Sounds great. Can you add a sensor that will tell me if the boat is sinking?

Steve
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:00   #3
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

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Sounds great. Can you add a sensor that will tell me if the boat is sinking?

Steve
It will certainly know its going under, it can give you a last cry for help !
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:07   #4
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Any other feedback out there, which would people prefer Wifi or GSM ( Cell)?

Dave
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:22   #5
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

I have installed a couple of Boatsense monitor systems on friends boats. It would be nice to have another solution with GPS.

One thing we learned with these systems is that when you leave your boat somewhere other than your home marina, you need to get phone numbers for the local police, fire, and marina personnel. When you get an alarm in the middle of the night, you don't want to be scrambling for someone to call.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:42   #6
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

I think such devices are very useful, and it sounds like you have the idea to produce them simpler, more efficiently, and cheaper than other similar products on the market. Sounds like a winner to me.

If I were you, I would carefully study the features sets of competitive products and decide which ones to copy.

If I were to have a device like that, I would want position data (GPS), which I think you could get on the same board your phone comes on for minimal extra cost.

GSM over Wifi definitely -- much more reliable.

Bilge alarm -- definitely -- I think you'll find that's number one terror of your target market.

You might be able to do this whole project as software -- I would think that the right app could turn a spare Android smartphone into the device. It will even have a camera for having a look at what's going on inside your boat (like the BoatCam). Bilge and power monitors can be connected with Bluetooth or wifi. Maybe the camera can be provided with motion-recognition software, or you could have a separate motion detector connected with Bluetooth.

If I had the power to leave my electronics on (enough solar?), I would love to have access to N2K data like wind, temperature, etc. It might also be nice to be able to control some systems by SMS. You could do these extra functions in modules which could be added on to the bare-bones unit at extra cost.


For more inspiration, you might study the Microship/Nomadness guy's blog. He was working on a very deeply embedded on-board computer which had access to huge amounts of sensor data of various kinds, connected to most systems on board, and with remote access via GSM. He describes the architecture in a lot of detail -- it's very interesting. He used to be active on CF; don't know what happened to him.
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:33   #7
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A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Tks. I'm trying to stay away from a ships alarm system. I have studied all the competitors and these are mainly " boat alarms" often requiring wiring and " installation ". This limits the product.

The idea is a " cube" with a pir sensor and temperature sensor , ( and mains failure detection ) take it out of the box and use it no wires

I've looked at GPS. But antenna requirements mean its an " install " again. Very few boats are stolen even if lots of " gear" is. If I could do location reliably using GSM, i would, but its isn't reliable

I can see your specific requirements might like GPS and bilge. But the vast majority of boats are in marinas tied to docks. If they sink , there's not much a monitor can do !

Thanks for feedback, keep thingies g folks.

Dave
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:41   #8
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Tks. I'm trying to stay away from a ships alarm system. I have studied all the competitors and these are mainly " boat alarms" often requiring wiring and " installation ". This limits the product.

The idea is a " cube" with a pir sensor and temperature sensor , ( and mains failure detection ) take it out of the box and use it no wires

I've looked at GPS. But antenna requirements mean its an " install " again. Very few boats are stolen even if lots of " gear" is. If I could do location reliably using GSM, i would, but its isn't reliable

I can see your specific requirements might like GPS and bilge. But the vast majority of boats are in marinas tied to docks. If they sink , there's not much a monitor can do !

Thanks for feedback, keep thingies g folks.

Dave
Here's a (much more expensive) competitive product worth studying: Boat Security, Boat and Yacht Security from Yacht Sentinel | the ultimate security system

It does location tracking, bilge, intrusion, and 3rd party alarms with no wiring or installation other than power. My phone gets a perfect GPS fix inside my boat's salon; I would bet that if you order phone boards with the GPS, this would do the trick with no antenna and no installation and minimal cost.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:47   #9
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Dave...

I'm on board... Love it !

GSM... Multiple inputs could all be wireless step switching... All functions beyond onboard sensors handled with your offering of wireless option modules... GPS, Bilge, shore voltage, batt voltage... anything.....

like multiple inputs of a PLC... To simplify things, I think we would all be happy with very few data points...

Where do I sign up???
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:29   #10
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

Great idea, but i wouldn't even consider GSM. Gsm is already being deinstalled in the US to clear bandwidth for other modes. There will probably be no GSM in the US by end of 2015-2016.
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:59   #11
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Re: A new improved mousetrap( boat mains power monitor idea)

I use Verizon. Sound good to me.
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