Originally Posted by Leapy
I can also guarantee that almost no-one else will be interested in a ringing bell
Oh no, at 3am if you're my next door neighbour I'm interested in your alarm - but not in whether anyone was breaking in - just how quick either you or they can silence it!
Back to Malthouse's subject:
I assume you're thinking of importing / getting these made to meet your requirements.
Personally I doubt you will be able to beat the price of these cheap units with anything custom made - so that means any custom made feature has to add significant value to justify the cost of a "special".
I'm guessing commercially you'll be looking at the market requirements for yachties etc too - which might be different ?
For me as a small boat owner which is normally kept ashore I would see this as
(1) an antitheft device so if someone takes the boat (or maybe engine) I
(i) get an alert it has left the 'approved zone' and
(ii) might be able to find where its been taken.
(iii) need it to run unassisted for at least a month and preferrably 3 months (say 1 message a week) - I normally turn off the master electrics - but I guess that would change
(iv) would want to know if it had been disconnected from the battery or the battery was running low so it would no longer be effective.
(2) a way for someone ashore to check on my location. Main concern here would be coverage as phone reception is dodgy in many places. Is there anyway you get a SIM that uses whichever mast is available rather than just O2/organge/Tmobile/Vodaphone's?
I occasionally have the boat afloat for a few days (on holiday etc), and I'm always restless about it taking on water etc. I've never kept it at anchor overnight for similar reasons. So a bilge level sensor would be be attractive for that. BUT - I wouldn't pay extra for that occassional, nice to have feature.
I don't really see a benefit of a "panic button" compared to a DSC or even a mobile phone itself - unless you can garuntee better mobile coverage in some way (e.g. sat phone)
If I were designing a unit from scratch - I'd consider putting something like a 3.5mm jack on the side to which anyone could connect a circuit that would send a 'general alert' if it went open/closed circuit. That maybe a simple modification of existing panic button ideas? -- that would enable it to be wired to bilge, hatch, panic button etc alarms (any of which could open/short as required).
Even on my wee boat - waterproof is not critcal as it would be well hidden.