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Old 11-10-2016, 05:42   #1
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Smart phone barometer alarm

I was surprised to find out that most smart phones these days have an inbuilt barometer. It was a no-brainer to add an app to set off an alarm whenever the pressure drops to warn me of bad weather approaching. What i want to know is, why didn't I know about this before? All that trouble trying to pick out a good barometer for the boat when all I needed was right at my fingertips. How many other cruisers don't know about this?

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Old 11-10-2016, 06:00   #2
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

I have a 24 hour barometric chart using inavx and another app that gives me a local reading to check phones accuracy but not an alarm. What do you use.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:22   #3
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

I don't think I would trust it, treat it as a toy.
For example there are many Artificial horizon apps too as a phone has a electronic gyro in it, I thought great this could save my life and downloaded one, then flew with it and found that if you held a steady turn, the horizon would level itself, in other words rely on this thing and it can get you killed.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:19   #4
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

The app I use is called Pressure Tracker and so far it has been extremely accurate. I played with the storm alarm threshold to suit me and right now I have it at a 1.5 drop per hour. One option it also has, is to report the pressure. I am happy to help the meteorological community as they in turn help me with more accurate weather forcasts.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:54   #5
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

I have checked this with my boat barometer for quite some time and it has been accurate.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:59   #6
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

The Pressure Tracker I've just installed needs an external gauge. My ASUS tablet does not have an inbuilt gauge, so I'm looking for a device that goes in the earphone/mic jacket. But have only found a device that have wind and temp. measurement included. Too expensive!

Does anyone know about one width exclusively barometric pressure?
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:23   #7
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

Thanks for the post, but bummer... must be at least iPhone 6 or iPad Mini 4 for Apple to have built in pressure sensor.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:26   #8
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

when I searched for Pressure tracker on the apple app store, i got a heap of apps all concerned with my blood pressure, (which maybe I needed more than the barometer) but do you think that is the full and correct name for the app you use ?
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:44   #9
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

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when I searched for Pressure tracker on the apple app store, i got a heap of apps all concerned with my blood pressure, (which maybe I needed more than the barometer) but do you think that is the full and correct name for the app you use ?
I may have found this... I am using a Galaxy S III and the app is Pressure Tracker 0.3.7 version, and I found it at the Google App Store.

On the positive side, so far it appears to have accurate initial readings, and there are changes to options that you can select, which I have started toying with.

On the negative side, and it may just be my phone or the fact that I have other barometer apps already downloaded (which I did not like) the phone seems to lag tremendously with this app. I will update when I figure that one out (after deleting the other less helpful, so far, apps). If this works, I will use it for sure.

I especially like that I can track barometric pressure over time, akin to a barograph like I used to use in the USS Forrestal (CV-59) weather office all those years ago. I cannot believe the technology that has become common since the 1980's!! I miss those days at sea, but I really miss working in a weather office maybe even more.
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:54   #10
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

Now, I did see a TON of blood pressure apps there as well, MANY of them, but you can pick this one, it says "Barometer + pressure tracker" (use the addition sign, NOT the word, "plus" or you will get it wrong) and has a capital "P" in blue as an icon for the app.

The person who uploaded the app is called Jied. It got 4.5 stars rating as well. It also lists the letter case precisely as I typed it, the only part of the title that is in upper case is the "B" in "Barometer" so that should help.

I will send some updates as I work with it, and can determine how well it works relative to what other apps I have or can otherwise determine. I wish I had this during Matthew, so I could have kept a better eye there, especially since I could have witnessed the trend against the storm progress, because though I could not have verified it against anyone else (pressure would have been higher here than what it was on the actual coastline and especially relative to the Hurricane Hunter flights), the trends could be quite informative and the alarm would have definitely been ringing and I could have tested that.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:16   #11
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

When you load all your important apps on the cell-phone and are out of range of a cell tower do all the apps go away when the connection goes away. I know online apps have to go away with the connection but do the companies take away everything else also.
What communications other than sat based or normal radio based are available, when you actually take the plunge and go to sea?

Having to stay within a 20 NM radius of a tower is an iffy communications network. My guess is that comms are fine in Tampa Bay and Lake Tahoe.

A word of warning is that there are many areas driving around in Texas where a cell phone is not available for communications, that includes most of Big Bend National park and Davy Crockett National Forrest and the Gulf of Mexico out of range of cell towers on offshore oil rigs.
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:08   #12
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

Apps dont dissapear when you lose signal. Some apps may not work properly without internet data, so it is worth going into airplane mode and testing them. Navionics works fone as long as you have downloaded the charts. My Barometer apps also work fine.

I use Barometer altimeter dashclock by Aleksander Ceipiela and found it to be by far the best of the bunch 6 months ago or so for an andriod phone.
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:10   #13
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

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When you load all your important apps on the cell-phone and are out of range of a cell tower do all the apps go away when the connection goes away.
I use Navionics, Field Compass (great to use as a handbearing compass to determine closing angles), Barometer+, DGS Tides, GPS Test Plus (good GPS SOG, heading repeater with HUD and night modes) and Anchor Alert on Android phones and tablets.

All of them work fine hundreds of miles from the nearest cell tower.
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:17   #14
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

Quote:
Originally Posted by oleman View Post
When you load all your important apps on the cell-phone and are out of range of a cell tower do all the apps go away when the connection goes away. I know online apps have to go away with the connection but do the companies take away everything else also.
On IOS no app just "goes away" only because you're losing the cell signal. Newer phones have the sensor built-in and keep working. I found the pressure sensor on iphones quite accurate, certainly not "a toy".


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What communications other than sat based or normal radio based are available, when you actually take the plunge and go to sea?
You just mentioned the two, depending on what you mean by "normal radio", that is. Other means like semaphore flags or morse light signals are a bit outdated, unless you're in the Navy or with the scouts.


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A word of warning is that there are many areas driving around in Texas where a cell phone is not available for communications, that includes most of Big Bend National park and Davy Crockett National Forrest and the Gulf of Mexico out of range of cell towers on offshore oil rigs.
Thanks for the warning that cell reception might be patchy driving around Texas.
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Old 11-10-2016, 15:19   #15
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Re: Smart phone barometer alarm

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What communications other than sat based or normal radio based are available, when you actually take the plunge and go to sea?
Basically, that's it, they are the only two ways to communicate beyond line of sight. But there is a lot of variation within the terms "sat based" and "normal radio".

Sat based: - Anything from SPOT or Delorme Inreach at the low end through satellite phones to full blown fleet broadband.

"Normal" Radio: You have the options of VHF, HF receiver or full HF transmit/receiver which can also provide limited data capabilities with the addition of appropriate hardware.
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