Mastervolt’s Revolutionary New GPRS Module Provides Remote Monitoring and Full Control of Your Boat
28 March 2009
Using simple SMS text-messaging via a mobile phone, Mastervolt’s exciting new GPRS module not only allows you to remotely control the operation of all the electrical appliances aboard your boat, such as the battery charger, heater or dehumidifier, it also allows you to get a full report of all the essential readings, even down to the level of fuel in your tanks.
What sets the Mastervolt module apart from the competition is the way it incorporates the GPRS module into its MasterBus system, which connects all the electrical devices into a single network. This gives the new GPRS a huge advantage over its rivals because the MasterBus replaces the need for multiple analogue connections to every piece of gear you want to access. Instead, simple plug and play connections link the MasterBus directly to the GPRS module. This makes installation remarkably straightforward, and keeps down the costs.
The operation of the messaging has also been made as simple as possible. For example, if you text a single question mark (‘?’) to the boat, this becomes a general enquiry, so the module will reply with a main systems check. A typical response could be ‘Shore connection: On. Charger: Charging. Battery: 89%. Fuse box: OK. Inverter: Standby. Watertank: 82%. Fueltank: 59%.’
If you need more detailed information, such as the state of the 12V domestic system, then you would text ‘Battery?’ to the module. A typical text back could read ‘Battery. State of charge: 89%. Voltage: 13.24V. Current. -2.9A. Time remaining: 2 days 2 hours.’ If you spell the enquiry wrong, such as ‘Batery?’ the module is programmed to be fault tolerant, so should know what you mean. If you completely fumble the keys, it will say ‘Message not understood.’
To speed up interrogations, the owner can set a series of easy-to-remember shortcuts into the phone, such as ‘Cold beer’ to control the fridge, or ‘Turn off’ to close the boat down. Another very useful example of a shortcut is ‘Show up.’ This will trigger all the deck lights, so if you are rowing out to a darkened anchorage after a good night ashore, your boat will show you where you left it.
Mastervolt’s vastly increased functionality over competing products means an owner is far better equipped to deal with alarms, which contain detailed information, and can solve the most common problems from the keypad. The GPRS can also be programmed to send alarms to other phones, but can be blocked when the owner is aboard. To avoid complete strangers dialling up your boat, the module can be configured to only respond to ‘safe’ numbers, although ‘Boat Show Mode’ will allow boat builders to demonstrate the system to potential clients.
To make the system widely accessible, the module is equipped with no less than 10 European languages. It has also been programmed to recognise American terminology.
The remarkable Mastervolt GPRS Module comes as a complete kit, including a GPRS antenna, MasterBus cable, MasterBus terminating device and a comprehensive user’s manual. It carries the usual Mastervolt 2-year worldwide guarantee, which can be extended to 5-years for complete systems.
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