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Old 12-11-2015, 09:08   #1
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Off-Heading Alarm

It seems to me that if you are sailing with wind vane self-steering that you need something to tell you when the wind has shifted significantly and that your yacht is now going in the wrong direction, and it can make an alarm sound.

I believe that such a standalone device could be using very little electricity and could be sold quite cheaply.

Does anybody use such a device? Can I buy such a device? If not could I make such a device?

I can get one for a supertanker, but I do not drive a supertanker, and do not have pockets to match. Obviously, if nobody makes one, nobody uses one, and nobody sees the necessity for one, then I am barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:44   #2
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Re: Off-Heading Alarm

I don't know about standalone alarms, but there is software that will do this. My (free) program NavMonPc includes several types off-course alarms. It can run on a low-power Windows computer and needs, at a minimum, a GPS input to get an alarm. OpenCPN may have similar alarms.

You could make a device using an inexpensive Arduino-class small-board computer with a GPS "shield" (plug-in board). This could be fairly low-power (less than 100mA @ 5V), but you will need to do some hacking (software and hardware) to put it all together.
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Old 13-11-2015, 08:03   #3
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Re: Off-Heading Alarm

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your thoughts.

What I cannot understand is why nobody else seems to want this sort of thing. Seems pretty essential to me!

Thanks,
Roger
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Old 13-11-2015, 08:22   #4
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Re: Off-Heading Alarm

They are common on commercial vessels.

You can find quite a variety by Googling "off heading alarm"
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Old 13-11-2015, 08:46   #5
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Re: Off-Heading Alarm

Yes, indeed - at commercial prices. Are yachtsman interested in such things? (I believe that Francis Chichester had one many years ago.)
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Old 13-11-2015, 08:52   #6
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The first answer was the right one. Open CPN and a host of other programs and apps, for a lap top, tablet, or phone. I used a Nexus 7 with MX Mariner with great success. Total investment $170 and it has a host of other uses
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Old 13-11-2015, 09:06   #7
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Re: Off-Heading Alarm

A raspberry Pi plus opencpn using the watchdog plugin. You can have different alarms for each direction off course.
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