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Old 27 January 2008, 06:24   #1
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Remote Messaging Security

Anyone know anything about this stuff:

http://www.touchline-security.co.uk/nautilarm.shtml

As my boat will be moored out of my sight, I'm thinking of fitting something along these lines.

There was a thread involving something similar about 4 years ago. Did anything come of that?

Or is anyone aware of any alternatives?
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Old 27 January 2008, 08:05   #2
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It seems reasonably priced although cheaply made - however it would need some work to make it 'boat proof' For starters it would need to be mounted into a waterproof case. Reliability on a RIB would also be a question mark - there are a lot of big capacitors on the main PCB which would be vulnerable to shock loadings - easily overcome by 'stress relieving' them with a bit of non corrosive silicon sealant

Using GSM text messages in this type of application is mature technology - in a previous job I designed systems like this for use in (amongst other things) underground power cable monitoring.

The first step really is to decide if it meets your needs, ie:

1. If it has alarm siren and strobe, is anyone nearby going to respond to it?

2. If it sends you text messages, are you going to be able to respond to them quickly enough? No good getting a text message to say your boat is being nicked if it will take you an hour to get there. I doubt the police will be prepared to turn out and check the boat for you if you call them.

3. Have you got a GSM good signal at your boat's location? One system I setup in a factory in Bridgend needed an 18dB gain aerial on the GSM modem (think TV aerial size) to get a reliable signal - not an option on a boat.

4. Text messages are not 100% reliable, so not ideal if time is critical (eg someone is nicking your boat NOW). How does the system deal with this? The system I designed would send an alarm message every hour until it got an acknowledgment.

5. Can you check the system is operational without going to the boat? The system I designed would send a 'system ok' message once every 24 hours so that you would know it was still operational, and you could call it up to check on it as well.

There are quite a few similar systems out there - eg:

http://microactive.net/catalog/produ...products_id=83

which claims to be waterproof (IP66)

Cheers

Chris
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Old 27 January 2008, 08:50   #3
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Mr Grocer, that looks to be pretty good other than it not being water resistant. I think it would be worth having the GPS version so you could locate your boat. Otherwise you might know someone is stealing it and you'll get your last look as it disappears out of the bay.

I have a system which is roughly similar, it can be polled from my mobile and it returns all the GPS data. My phone is also a sat nav and it can display the data on its map. This enables the boat to be tracked if it's on the move. The unit does consume power though and a disconnection of the boat battery would disable it. Well it would if it didn't have a secret battery of its own hidden from access. The unit is buried in the boat and not accessible without a chainsaw.

If you use a pay as you go sim, you do have to make a voice call once every six months or your network provider may cut off the connection. Note this has to be a voice call the unit sending an SMS to you isn't enough. This did happen to me on another system which I have buried in the car and the provider appeared unable (or was very reluctant) to reinstate the number but they supplied a new simcard and transferred the money balance to the new card. Just a hassle to be aware of.

I have a pal who's got an internet trackable system and it is fairly comprehensive but it's been nothing but trouble having to use the internet and there have been problems with the network not dealing with data transmission properly. Using it to monitor his boat from Britain to Spain proved impossible because of difficulties with the telephone networks. I realise that won't effect you from day to day but I thought it worth mentioning for others who may read this thread.
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Old 27 January 2008, 09:05   #4
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Hi You can also get a simular system from http://www.bhg-marine.co.uk/services_textracker.htm
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Old 27 January 2008, 10:29   #5
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Mr Grocer, that looks to be pretty good other than it not being water resistant. I think it would be worth having the GPS version so you could locate your boat. Otherwise you might know someone is stealing it and you'll get your last look as it disappears out of the bay.
It is possible to track a mobile phone position to a rough area (which the collective ribnet mafia could probably use to identify a missing boat). That might save a few on getting a gps equipped version. e.g. using this sort of service: http://www.followus.co.uk/how_much_does_it_cost.html (there are various options). Presumably the location is more precise where there are reasonable numbers of transmitters - this maybe an issue for grocer.

Grocer - is boat theft a significant problem for you? I would have thought there were easier targets elsewhere. If you keep it ashore the ferry fare alone to get it back to the mainland would be enough to put me off. If you keep it afloat you would presumably need another boat to get to it and I would have thought there were probably lower risk places to get a boat from.
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Old 27 January 2008, 18:14   #6
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It is possible to track a mobile phone position to a rough area ...
I once saw a telly program where the police were using this system to find a car. It wasn't easy. A GPS system will lead you to the garage it's in. GPS system limitations apply.

Quote:
Grocer - is boat theft a significant problem for you? ....If you keep it afloat you would presumably need another boat to get to it ...
Nice and quiet in the bay at night, just slide in with your boat, get a pal to jump aboard and sneak off out. You could be across to Troon or away into the Clyde and onto a trailer in 45mins.
Not that anyone would do such a thing...
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Old 27 January 2008, 18:45   #7
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I once saw a telly program where the police were using this system to find a car. It wasn't easy. A GPS system will lead you to the garage it's in. GPS system limitations apply.
I take your point - and if it gives you a 1 mile radius somewhere in glasgow then thats a lot of hunting - but it is more than simply being told your boat is on the move. Notwithstanding your comments below I suspect the boat slipping its own moorings or being cast adrift by a local NED is probably more likely than being nicked.
Quote:
Nice and quiet in the bay at night, just slide in with your boat, get a pal to jump aboard and sneak off out. You could be across to Troon or away into the Clyde and onto a trailer in 45mins.
Not that anyone would do such a thing...
But there are a number of other places in the area which would require much less effort/risk to acquire a boat. Although outboard security is typically apalling it shouldn't be that hard to make it too much hassle to try and start it, and too much trouble to tow it for the average weegie theiving scum. With a big engine - taking it afloat will be tricky.

If I was going to nick a boat - one floating off the bottom of Arran wouldn't be high up my list.

If gArfie lived on the clyde I could see the concern.
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Old 27 January 2008, 18:55   #8
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If gArfie lived on the clyde I could see the concern.
You're in trouble now...
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Old 27 January 2008, 19:28   #9
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Gentlemen, I thank all of you for your input.

1) Waterproofing: put (most of) it inside the console.

2) Phone network coverage: use several SIM cards at the same time. (E.g. Sanda - Orange: No way, Jose; Vodaphone: yes, but only from certain windows. T'other side of Kintyre - vice versa, I seem to recall.
Or use some of the terminals to activate an AIS transmitter?

3) Determined toerags: without wishing to tempt fate, I'm really glad I don't live south of Watford any more; especially near a county that only adjoins one other... And if they can afford the ferry fare, they can afford a flipping Scorpion!

Hmm. Deep and meaningful consideration is required.

What about a big sticker - "Alarmed to HMS V****** - watch the flash, punk."

Pass the aspirin.
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Old 30 January 2008, 14:14   #10
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ave e f-f-fitted a n-n-new engine there arkwright?..
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