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Old 23-04-2020, 10:12   #1
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B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

Apologies if this has been asked and answered somewhere. I've tried to find, to no avail!

I have a sail, B&G Zeus2 9s port and starboard, and a Zeus2 12 center.

I do lot of varied anchoring around BC, Canada.

Notwithstanding the fact that the "anchor" alarm is primitive on B&G (you have to remember to activate the alarm at the moment and place you start dropping), it's still handy. At least depth alarm is easy. ;-)

My question, what is the best way to get a proper alarm sound for drag and depth, but down inside the cabin? If I sleep in the bow, I'm like 35-40 feet from the plotters. I'd like to stay inside the B&G family of products, since everything I have is B&G. I also use the "Anchor Pro" app on my phone, and set the phone to never go to sleep when I go to sleep, because i find it slightly unsettling than the phone can sleep apps sometimes. And! I can't do depth from my phone. So a phone solution is always incomplete. And redundancy is king.

I don't want to solely rely on my phone for drag, because I don't have depth.

I could install a Triton2 below. That's one option. Is there some other elegant solution, something as simple as a B&G hardware (remote) alarm? That would be best. But doesn't seem to exist. I see some kind of alarm for H5000(?). I suppose I'm leaning to Triton2. But sad it doesn't have a built-in GPS. Would have to leave a Zeus2 running, just for GPS, for drag. More watts.

Thanks in advance, for any advice, you may have!!!
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Old 23-04-2020, 11:01   #2
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

Welcome to the forum.

The anchor alarm on the B&G chart plotters is very primitive. Why expensive chart plotters donít have a better anchor alarm is one of the mysteries of sailing equipment.

It is difficult to compensate for these problems. Even setting the alarm while you drop the anchor does not really work, as the centre of the alarm radius is centred over the GPS aerial that is generally a considerable distance from the bow. The error associated with this problem is doubled at the opposite side of the swing circle.

The other problem with the chart plotter is that the anchor alarm has relatively high power consumption, although some chart plotters are not too bad if dimmed.

For these reasons alternative hardware is better. Many cruisers use one of the available apps, but these are a little less reliable than dedicated hard wired equipment.

One of the best options is the Vesper Marine AIS system. This has an excellent anchor alarm and you can also set wind and depth alarms if you wish. The power consumption is modest and the information can be relayed to a tablet or mobile phone that enable monitoring away from the screen. If you have heading information on the NMEA bus, the anchor alarm is particularly accurate as the bow is retained as the reference point. This is not possible with any other system (that I am aware of).

The other good alternatives are the Open CPN mapping program or some of the old monochrome GPS units.
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Old 23-04-2020, 11:30   #3
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

Your comment on lack of proper alarms in modern chart plotters, makes me smile. So true!

I appreciate your very detailed reply. THANK YOU.

I (eventually) want to get two proper systems. I'm a huge fan of redundancy. Especially when anchoring somewhere tight/rocky/where there is a high potential penalty.

Wired, like you say, surely best. That plus the backup of an iOS app, which I have now, and really like. It's just that I do also want depth alarm that I can hear, so iOS will never get there for me, at least yet. (Side Point: Navionics on iPhone SHOULD do an anchor alarm. It gets live depth from the Chart Plotters over NMEA/wifi, so it has the data it needs already. Just no alarm function yet. And I connect to my onboard wifi in manual instead of DHCP with no DNS or router specified, so I can get NMEA/Navionics iOS showing all AIS boats and live depth but always remain on functioning cell data, when in range, for all else. Full-on DHCP joins phone to dead-end Wifi and kills data access. Anyways, I digress.)

I definitely want to end up with feeling that the boat can wake me up by itself, based on dragging or getting too shallow (or deep), without any iPhone in the mix, at all. That way, my iPhone can be my for-fun backup option.

I can currently view the B&G's over the B&G Link app-- but it's just a viewer really. Not an alarm option.

B&G should make a wired remote alarm for cabins. I'm surprised this isn't a thing already. I'd rather introduce one more little component, rather than something more complicated. I'd be OK with leaving one chart plotter on, screen set to dimmest out aft. If only there was a wired alarm for B&G.

Thanks for the Watchmate note. I'll read up on that!!!
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Old 23-04-2020, 12:41   #4
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

Will this work?


https://www.bandg.com/bg/type/spares...dule-93d09996/
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Old 23-04-2020, 13:31   #5
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

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Originally Posted by ocean992 View Post
B&G should make a wired remote alarm for cabins.
It is quite easy and inexpensive to add a louder wired alarm to most chart plotters including the B&G range. This can be positioned where required. However, the fundamental poor software remains. The limitations show up when you need a tight alarm circle. A loud alarm which triggers on false positives is not a great combination.
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Old 23-04-2020, 13:43   #6
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

This is the wiring diagram for adding an external alarm to the Zeus chartplotter. A suitable buzzer is only a few dollars.
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Old 24-04-2020, 09:21   #7
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

get an app for your phone, I use Anchor Pro.
You can set offset after anchoring, point phone at anchor and enter distance.
Has a map
Has a log of position so you can see how you have been drifting
Take it to bed with and check during the night
And it has alarms, position, lost gps, battery.
Great tool
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Old 24-04-2020, 09:43   #8
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

I have a simple one that always works. It is a three pound fishing weight tied to a piece of string. I throw it over the side with enough slack, then tie the other end to an aluminum pot from the galley. pot is placed where if pulled it falls onto the sole.

M
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Old 24-04-2020, 09:49   #9
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

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Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
We are full time cruisers who live on the hook, so our anchor alarm important to us. I'm hard of hearing and can't hear the built in alarm on the B&G MFD.

I like that remote alarm module in the above link! For my recently installed B&G system (12" Zeus 2 inside helm, 12" Zeus 3 outside helm, Triton2 display inside) I added a third party alarm buzzer w/flashing bright red light that connects to the built in Zeus aux alarm connection on the back. Easy peasy.

I do believe in redundancy, so I use an anchor alarm app on my phone while sleeping.

The B&G has a wifi signal that you can pair to your phone or tablet and view and control your MFD from the "Link" app. I don't use it for monitoring our anchoring, but it's an option.

Between the phone app, the external alarm on the B&G, and my wife's ears, our system works well for us.
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Old 24-04-2020, 09:53   #10
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
One of the best options is the Vesper Marine AIS system. This has an excellent anchor alarm and you can also set wind and depth alarms if you wish. The power consumption is modest and the information can be relayed to a tablet or mobile phone that enable monitoring away from the screen. If you have heading information on the NMEA bus, the anchor alarm is particularly accurate as the bow is retained as the reference point. This is not possible with any other system (that I am aware of).

I have to 2nd that the Vesper anchor alarm feature on their AIS is very good. I spent the last 6 months and can attest to it's ability. It does requiree a smartphone app to turn it on/off, etc, but the phones does not have to be on, so long as you have the external alarm buzzer installed.

I leave my AIS on all the time, so no extra power use is needed - turn everything else off. I have a buzzer installed in the breaker panel that DOES wake both my wife and I when the alarm goes off. Fortunately, that has only happened twice, with wind gusts of over 40 kts!

Plus, you get nifty pictures like the screenshot below, or as I like to say, "What your boat does while you're sleeping!"
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Old 24-04-2020, 10:04   #11
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

I have a Garmin Quatix watch which has an anchor alarm. Not B&G but it works.
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Old 24-04-2020, 10:07   #12
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

I just use the anchor pro on my phone (as you do) and never found the need to use anything else - though I do leave it plugged into the charge at night, else the GPS switches off after a bit.

I have a simrad (similar to B&G) and it's really easy to hook up an external alarm to it - though like you said, the anchor alarm software is pretty bad. Plus the power usage of the plotter being on all the time.

Like the others above, I've heard great things about the Vesper system - it also acts as a multiplexer. I'll probably get one on my next boat.
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Old 24-04-2020, 10:19   #13
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

Some of the Navico plotters have a "standby" mode that turns off the display and sounder to reduce power consumption while keeping GPS position for anchor alarm and such. Might be worth checking how much power it uses in that mode if yours has it.
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Old 24-04-2020, 13:18   #14
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotreVoyage View Post
get an app for your phone, I use Anchor Pro.
You can set offset after anchoring, point phone at anchor and enter distance.
Has a map
Has a log of position so you can see how you have been drifting
Take it to bed with and check during the night
And it has alarms, position, lost gps, battery.
Great tool

Anchor Pro is DEFINITELY a rock-solid 10/10. I have and use it. I just want the boat to not have to rely on my phone. And the other half of drag, is depth--too shallow or too deep, which Anchor Pro cannot do...
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Old 24-04-2020, 13:28   #15
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Re: B&G boat, advice on best Anchor alarm INSIDE cabin?

THANK YOU EVERYONE above, for all of your time in replying to my post!! So, so appreciated! Much to look over here. I will check into the wiring diagrams!!! Thanks again! I did not realize that was an option.



Such an alarm wire sounds perfect by way of simplicity, connecting to what I already have. Rather than introducing new electronics.


I do leave one small Zeus on at night, and 4 clicks on power button to turn off the display.... so minimize power there.



And of course Anchor Pro beside me while sleeping. In a perfect world, Anchro Pro could optionally look at the NMEA data on boat wifi, which has depth. And even GPS data, to save phone battery. Navionics does it nicely, GPS and live boat depth, from boat, over NMEA 0183. Saves a ton of iPhone energy. And depth is nice.


Thanks again ALL!!!!
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