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Old 02-03-2010, 17:48   #61
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I have a Garmin 76C and its anchor drag alarm is not terribly useful. If it would let me see the distance between the anchor mark and my current position that would be a huge improvement. But it does not. I wanted a better mousetrap so I created my own anchor alarm.

- Rick
Can the 76C be so much different from 76 and 72?

I have them and both of them allow me to do just what you want ...

???
b.
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Old 02-03-2010, 17:50   #62
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Whenever I am not 100% satisfied with weather or holding (after putting considerable strain on the anchor) I spend the night on the bridge.

With twin VRM and EBL fixes on fixed targets to gauge any drift, one eye on the wind gauge, one ear listening to the ground tackle and the Radar to confirm any actual dragging I accept that restless night as part of my responsibility.

I guess I am a bit old fashioned and don’t trust myself, to react well to electronic alarms or take prudent action early enough…. if I were to go into a deep sleep and things let go.

To me, that is the same as staying up with a sick child.

But setting up an alarm as back-up is a good practice
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Old 02-03-2010, 18:24   #63
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Thanks to Eric who breathed some sanity into this ridiculous thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_C View Post
I have a Garmin 76C and its anchor drag alarm is not terribly useful. If it would let me see the distance between the anchor mark and my current position that would be a huge improvement. But it does not. I wanted a better mousetrap so I created my own anchor alarm.
Of course your handheld GPS allows you to set the sensitivity/range, in addition you can use the MOB function when you drop the pick to mark the middle of where you are. The device will then draw a nice picture of your track sailing back and forward on the anchor. The only thing it doesn't do is SMS you at the bar when you go out of bounds, which someone else suggested and I second as a good idea, although normally someone appears and says "Are you from that Beneteau that's crashing through the anchorage?".

Don't worry about the 12v cable - buy batteries at the supermarket and only use it when the wind is up.

cheers
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Old 03-03-2010, 00:28   #64
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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Whenever I am not 100% satisfied with weather or holding (after putting considerable strain on the anchor) I spend the night on the bridge.

With twin VRM and EBL fixes on fixed targets to gauge any drift, one eye on the wind gauge, one ear listening to the ground tackle and the Radar to confirm any actual dragging I accept that restless night as part of my responsibility.

I guess I am a bit old fashioned and donít trust myself, to react well to electronic alarms or take prudent action early enoughÖ. if I were to go into a deep sleep and things let go.

To me, that is the same as staying up with a sick child.

But setting up an alarm as back-up is a good practice
Well, I just spent a night just like that, in a howling storm off a lee shore, except that lacking a bridge, it was a very uncomfortable night in the cockpit.

But I think you are missing the point -- people don't want these systems for the bad weather and imminent danger scenario. There are cases where the holding is good and the weather doesn't seem too bad, but where a squall could blow up or you worry your anchor might trip in a tidal swing, or just drag as anchors sometimes do for no apparent reason. In this case you don't really want to stay up all night, yet you are not comfortable just passing out in your bunk.

And actually even in perfect weather in perfect holding and a perfect anchorage, what skipper is ever completely carefree at anchor at night? I never sleep well at anchor, myself, when I am responsible; I am always getting up and sticking my head out of a hatch to check the position of the boat and the weather.

That's what you need a good anchor alarm for, not the "sick child" situation of actually bad weather.

And the point of many of these posts is that an alarm, although a great thing (whether or not you have the ability to set the guard circle centered on the anchor itself, or not), and maybe your first line of defense, it's even much better to be able to see your position in relation to objects around (that allows you to just look at your device, maybe even with one eye, rather than waking up completely to stick a head out of a hatch).

So I am following this conversation with a lot of interest and hoping to have some better solution this season. For me, the ideas which are most attractive so far are: (a) networked chartplotter in the master cabin [good but expensive]; (b) handheld gps/plotter like the Garmin 60csx [cheap but charts? also gps reception?]; (c) PDA or tablet PC connected by WiFI to the boat's network. I am thinking about all this, and considering all the great advice from here.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:06   #65
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Can the 76C be so much different from 76 and 72?

I have them and both of them allow me to do just what you want ...

???
b.
Yes, I can create a waypoint for the location of my anchor in my Garmin 76C and view the current distance to that waypoint at any time and let the device track as I swing. That's not the problem.

My problem is with the unit's Anchor Drag Alarm feature. This feature is accessed from the Marine Setup menu, where I can enable the alarm and set a distance, which I assume is the radius of a circle. Unless I am missing something, when I activate the Anchor Drag Alarm I have no way of knowing what lat/long the unit is using as the center of the circle. The owner's manual is useless. Does it use the unit's current position at the moment I add the check mark to activate the alarm? Where can I see that position? And where can I see my current distance to whatever position it is using for the Anchor Drag Alarm? I'd appreciate it if someone can shed some light on the operation of Garmin's Anchor Drag Alarm.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:24   #66
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Yes, I can create a waypoint for the location of my anchor in my Garmin 76C and view the current distance to that waypoint at any time and let the device track as I swing. That's not the problem.

My problem is with the unit's Anchor Drag Alarm feature. This feature is accessed from the Marine Setup menu, where I can enable the alarm and set a distance, which I assume is the radius of a circle. Unless I am missing something, when I activate the Anchor Drag Alarm I have no way of knowing what lat/long the unit is using as the center of the circle. The owner's manual is useless. Does it use the unit's current position at the moment I add the check mark to activate the alarm? Where can I see that position? And where can I see my current distance to whatever position it is using for the Anchor Drag Alarm? I'd appreciate it if someone can shed some light on the operation of Garmin's Anchor Drag Alarm.
We used the 76C and when you press the anchor alarm button it activates based on the boats position when you press the button so it will not calculate your swing radius if you have already bavked down.. You need to press the button when the anchor hits the bottom and the rode is still pretty much straight up and down. That is what much of the discussion has been about. Our GPS antenna is only maybe 8 feet back from the bow so the difference in the radius for us is not enough to worry about. WG
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:41   #67
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....
If I proceed, I will have to redesign with manufacturing in mind so Iím still not sure what the final cost would be. But would you pay $250 for a standalone, single-purpose, portable anchor alarm?
- Rick
Rick,
Just to give you some feedback on your specific question. My gut reaction when you said the parts are currently $175 was that I'd like to grab one and play with it. Especially if you'd share the AVR firmware. When I saw your $250, my gut reaction was probably too high for me to just grab. This doesn't mean I wouldn't. It just means that I'd think about it before going forward. While the existing systems anchor alarms may not be great, they are functional enough for me. What isn't functional enough is the power draw to run them all night (PC or Chartplotter) for nights where it is expected to be uneventful. Your device could be used all the time, assuming it is as low power as stated and easy to set.

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Old 03-03-2010, 11:42   #68
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We used the 76C and when you press the anchor alarm button it activates based on the boats position when you press the button so it will not calculate your swing radius if you have already bavked down.. You need to press the button when the anchor hits the bottom and the rode is still pretty much straight up and down. That is what much of the discussion has been about. Our GPS antenna is only maybe 8 feet back from the bow so the difference in the radius for us is not enough to worry about. WG
That's how I assumed it worked. It sure would have been nice if the owner's manual provided that information. So, the only way to see your current distance to the anchor is to "simultaneously" mark a waypoint and activate the anchor drag alarm at the time the anchor hits bottom. You can then view the distance to the anchor waypoint.

I wanted to see the anchor position used by the drag alarm and my current distance to that position at any time. That's why I created my own anchor alarm.

- Rick
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:41   #69
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Rick,
Just to give you some feedback on your specific question. My gut reaction when you said the parts are currently $175 was that I'd like to grab one and play with it. Especially if you'd share the AVR firmware. When I saw your $250, my gut reaction was probably too high for me to just grab. This doesn't mean I wouldn't. It just means that I'd think about it before going forward. While the existing systems anchor alarms may not be great, they are functional enough for me. What isn't functional enough is the power draw to run them all night (PC or Chartplotter) for nights where it is expected to be uneventful. Your device could be used all the time, assuming it is as low power as stated and easy to set.

Paul L
Paul,

Thanks for the comments. The $250 is just a guess right now at a possible price. If I proceed, it will take me some time to redesign, build, and settle on a final price. Until I decide where I'm going with this project, I can't release the AVR firmware code. One possible outcome is to turn this into an open source project.

My unit's power consumption really is quite low. Plugged in but turned off, which trickle charges the internal battery, it uses just 4mA at 12V. Turned on with LCD backlight off it uses 85mA, backlight at 25% brightness it's 115mA, and 185mA at 100% brightness. Setting the alarm is simple. Just push the up and down distance set buttons simultaneously and you get three rapid audible beeps, which confirms the position has been saved. There is no need to even look at the screen. Later you set the radius of your swing circle.

- Rick
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Old 03-03-2010, 18:11   #70
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Don't worry about the 12v cable - buy batteries at the supermarket and only use it when the wind is up.

cheers
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LOL
I have had my delta drag twice now with winds less than 15.

I set by jerking hard astern, not just powering/pulling.

I would say more but this is an anchoring thread not an anchor thread.
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