Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wake the Dead Alarm

I had a pretty good day not counting getting awakened at about 1 AM by Spencer to tell me that all was OK, no one was hurt, ... He quickly went on to say that the Avalanche had died in the middle of an intersection in Madison, the police were making sure he did not get hit and the tow truck was on the way. Things continued downhill this afternoon when he told me the cost of repairs. I was proud that he took care of everything, did some comparison shopping on the repairs, and hopefully will have a more reliable car when he gets it back. But we both would have been happier not to have to pay to have the car repaired.

I spent most of today finishing up a bunch of electrical installations. The new radar was not working, I traced it to a "waterproof" plug that had corroded. I decided to use a thru hull fitting and get rid of the plug. Then I got the water maker power hooked up while I had everything apart.

The ultimate install for the day was the "Wake The Dead" alarm. What is that? The marine electronics have alarms that have been tested and approved by the consumer product safety commission. They would not hurt an infant's ear if held up to it. So of course they are totally useless as an alarm to get the attention of a sleep deprived single handing sailor who has gone 48 hours on cat naps. So I rigged an old car alarm on the auxiliary alarm port of my Garmin chart plotter. Since the Garmin can alarm on about 50 conditions - shallow water, a target too close on radar, a target too close on AIS, low battery voltage, dragging anchor, off course - you get the picture - it can be set to make sure I am awake if just about anything bad is about to happen. The only missing component for a sailboat is a high winds alarm - I am going to suggest that Garmin add it to the next software release. I assure you, when it goes off the old car alarm can wake the dead. Hopefully it can also wake me before I am dead! LOL


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