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Old 02-13-2014, 05:42 PM   #1
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Security/Bilge Monitoring System

I've read the other security related threads and understand everyone has their personal choices. But I wanted to share some information that could be useful to those looking to install a security/notification system.

While researching a bilge monitoring system that had both an outside noise-maker and cell notification (voice/email), I came across the SimpliSafe home system: Simply Safe Security | SimpliSafe (no affiliation).

Although not marine specific like Boat Nanny, it does have High Water & Freeze sensors and an external siren. And rather than sat communications, it uses cellular GSM; so only good on most US waters. To me, the security component is secondary but a worthwhile plus nonetheless. There is a $20/month monitoring plan charge.

As with most home systems, the Base Station is powered by a 120V wall plug. I contacted the company and found that the conversion voltage was 7.5V @ 1.6a. A quick search found what seems to be a solution: DC 12V (11-22V) to 7.5V Step Down Buck Converter Waterproof Car Power Supply

Before breaking out the card, I wanted to get a sanity check from the group.

Mike
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:49 PM   #2
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$20 per month seems high unless you expect leaking and freezing.

If you're at a marina you don't need a power supply, it will work on shore power. If you're on a mooring, 1.6 amps DC or even one amp is a pretty serious power draw considering it would run 24 hours per day.

I would keep the card in my wallet for now.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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I use SimpliSafe at my home (no affiliation) and this system should work very good on a boat within cellular range. In addition to the Bilge Alarm (High Water) you could install the motion sensors or the entry door sensors as well, all are wireless by the way. Yes the base station needs to be plugged into a 120v outlet but it also has a battery should you have an interruption in power. I pay $14.99 per month for my monitoring service. If you sell your boat, just take the system with you and reinstall it on you new one. Again no connection with SimpliSafe, just a happy client. Regards, SlowPoke
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:47 PM   #4
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Personally any system that makes a bunch of noise is best. Noise unlike a car alarm but a big old fire bell, nice and loud, that people will notice from a long long ways away. With a boat, usually the best help you will receive is from some guy real close. Like a neighbor or marina employee. From my experience.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:52 PM   #5
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I have installed a couple cellular based of Boatsense units. Whatever unit you choose, the one thing we found out when you leave your boat at a different marina: you should have local police, fire, and marina personnel phone numbers at hand. When you get the alarm text or call at 2am, you will be scrambling to find a contact number for the appropriate help (as we found out one night).
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Check with KSanders..I think he has a system that calls/alerts his cell phone and or is internet capable too...not sure what the internet connection runs per month.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:57 PM   #7
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I bought this system last fall and it has worked great.

DIY Cellular Alarm for Homes

It is a cell based system and sends a text to up to 3 numbers for any alert. I chose high water and temp in addition to the power failure which is built in. The unit is designed for home sump pump protection. Only additional charge is $30 a year for a Verizon plan (15 for the first year).

I had some problems earlier in the winter with our power connection at the pedestal and this unit really helps me sleep at night. We have block heaters running to keep the ER about 65 and a power failure warning gives me plenty of time to get to the boat before something freezes up. I don't believe it has any way of sounding an external alarm if that is what you're looking for.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Check with KSanders..I think he has a system that calls/alerts his cell phone and or is internet capable too...not sure what the internet connection runs per month.
My cellular connection is $10 a month and uses my shared cell data plan.

I also get to use the cellular connection for internet access when we're onboard.

The unit I chose (and there are several to choose from) is made by sensaphone. Sensaphone | Remote Monitoring & Early Detection Systems. I have used their products for years and have never had an issue.

I'll be adding another unit this spring, which will monitor current draw, and possibly the temperature of the shore power connectors.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:48 PM   #9
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My cellular connection is $10 a month and uses my shared cell data plan.

I also get to use the cellular connection for internet access when we're onboard.

The unit I chose (and there are several to choose from) is made by sensaphone. Sensaphone | Remote Monitoring & Early Detection Systems. I have used their products for years and have never had an issue.

I'll be adding another unit this spring, which will monitor current draw, and possibly the temperature of the shore power connectors.
You seem so good at this...can I connect my boat and you just give me a shout????
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:07 PM   #10
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You seem so good at this...can I connect my boat and you just give me a shout????
Not good, its just easy. Connecting things is a piece of cake.

You buy the gizmos, hook them together, walla you have a monitoring system. All the gizmos have instruction manuals. I just read the manuals.

What people don't realize is that its all about the network. Put a network on your boat and it gets really easy really quickly.

Want cameras, easy.
Want to see them from home, easy.
Want to monitor some stuff, now that you have the network, its easy.

Right now Thursday night on my boat.

The Cell system is down, but the satellite is working fine.
The battery voltage is 13.1 volts
The cabin temperature is 31.1 degrees
The engine room temperature is 30.4 degrees
The bilge water is OK
The inverter is OK
The shore power is on

I've been getting texts and emails all afternoon because the boat is telling me its below 35 degrees, and I dont want to burn the diesel to keep the boat any warmer. The furnace is on, just running on low.

If anything happens, like shore power going out, or my battery charger dying, or high bilge water I'll know within just a few seconds.

If the inverter dies I'll get a text and e-mail, and the UPS will keep the com system up for 30 minutes or so.

Piece of cake
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Not good, its just easy. Connecting things is a piece of cake. You buy the gizmos, hook them together, walla you have a monitoring system. All the gizmos have instruction manuals. I just read the manuals. What people don't realize is that its all about the network. Put a network on your boat and it gets really easy really quickly. Want cameras, easy. Want to see them from home, easy. Want to monitor some stuff, now that you have the network, its easy. Right now Thursday night on my boat. The Cell system is down, but the satellite is working fine. The battery voltage is 13.1 volts The cabin temperature is 31.1 degrees The engine room temperature is 30.4 degrees The bilge water is OK The inverter is OK The shore power is on I've been getting texts and emails all afternoon because the boat is telling me its below 35 degrees, and I dont want to burn the diesel to keep the boat any warmer. The furnace is on, just running on low. If anything happens, like shore power going out, or my battery charger dying, or high bilge water I'll know within just a few seconds. If the inverter dies I'll get a text and e-mail, and the UPS will keep the com system up for 30 minutes or so. Piece of cake
Cool setup. What device(s) do you use to 1. Connect boat to internet. 2. To host the wifi net on the boat? My boat stays in a club close to wifi hotspot. Thanks

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:27 AM   #12
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Cool setup. What device(s) do you use to 1. Connect boat to internet. 2. To host the wifi net on the boat? My boat stays in a club close to wifi hotspot. Thanks

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The network on my boat is built around a Cradlepoint MBR1200 router.
This unit can...

** Use cellular as its broadband connection, using your cellular MIFI (I use AT&T)

** use a WIFI signal as its broadband connection (use this if you have free wifi at your harbor)

** Use a ethernet port as a broadband connection (I use a KVH satellite system)

** Choose between any or all of these connection types and automatically fail over from one to another (for example you could prefer your harbors wifi, and when that goes down, or you're out of range you can automatically switch over to cellular data)

** The unit also has a WIFI hotspot built in, which creates a local "boat" wifi signal. (we use this to connect to. Our laptop, ipad, iphone, we even have apple TV, and I'll be putting a printer onboard this spring.)

** there are also ethernet ports to connect things like my alarm system, or anything else you might want to connect.


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Old 02-14-2014, 09:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
$20 per month seems high unless you expect leaking and freezing.

If you're at a marina you don't need a power supply, it will work on shore power. If you're on a mooring, 1.6 amps DC or even one amp is a pretty serious power draw considering it would run 24 hours per day.

I would keep the card in my wallet for now.
True on both points and got me re-researching.

This product is fairly new and operates natively on 12V @ 0.5A with a $30/year text notification fee: PitBoss Cellular Water and PowerAlarm | Official Product Page - PumpAlarm.com Since my original goal was a simple high water alarm/notification system, this should work.

Kevin's (ksanders) setup is my long-term goal and will take some design/implementation planning along with dedicated funds. The products mentioned look to be robust and highly extensible. Thanks

Mike
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
The network on my boat is built around a Cradlepoint MBR1200 router.
This unit can...

** Use cellular as its broadband connection, using your cellular MIFI (I use AT&T)

** use a WIFI signal as its broadband connection (use this if you have free wifi at your harbor)

** Use a ethernet port as a broadband connection (I use a KVH satellite system)

** Choose between any or all of these connection types and automatically fail over from one to another (for example you could prefer your harbors wifi, and when that goes down, or you're out of range you can automatically switch over to cellular data)

** The unit also has a WIFI hotspot built in, which creates a local "boat" wifi signal. (we use this to connect to. Our laptop, ipad, iphone, we even have apple TV, and I'll be putting a printer onboard this spring.)

** there are also ethernet ports to connect things like my alarm system, or anything else you might want to connect.



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Old 02-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike View Post
I bought this system last fall and it has worked great.

DIY Cellular Alarm for Homes

It is a cell based system and sends a text to up to 3 numbers for any alert. I chose high water and temp in addition to the power failure which is built in. The unit is designed for home sump pump protection. Only additional charge is $30 a year for a Verizon plan (15 for the first year).

I had some problems earlier in the winter with our power connection at the pedestal and this unit really helps me sleep at night. We have block heaters running to keep the ER about 65 and a power failure warning gives me plenty of time to get to the boat before something freezes up. I don't believe it has any way of sounding an external alarm if that is what you're looking for.
Gee Spike...now I remember where I got my "new" idea .
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