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  1. #1

    LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Over the years I have read different threads on the subject of there being no Volunteer Marine Radio (VMR) operators to take Log On/Log Off calls if your departure/arrival time is out of the VMR operating hours.

    Right around Australia, the VMR’s are known as “Limited Coast Radio Stations” and are licensed by ACMA to operate their hours subject to local conditions.

    Some people have criticised this and claim that they should be 24 x 7 x 365.

    Fortunately, many knowledgeable “Ausfish” members reply by reminding others of the critical word in “VMR” – Volunteer.

    This issue has been raised during marine radio courses and as a lecturer and promoter of such events, it got me thinking in recent times “why not provide a web-based simple process for Logging On and Logging Off?”

    For those who know me or have attended one of my radio courses, you will also know the passion behind my actions to encourage skippers to be more responsible for their crew on the water. So what I have produced will not come as a surprise to them.

    Over the weekend I released freely for public use the “LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER” on www.vhfradiocourse.com or www.logonlogoff.com.au

    It is a web based template that allows you to lodge a trip plan with anyone (family, mates) with an email address who can monitor your LOG OFF time and date. This is just one way to get around the limited VMR operational hours.

    Being via the internet, it will work in any area within mobile phone tower coverage or land line internet connection.

    Please feel free to do “test” plans if you like as the information only goes to those on your email list – just alert them first that you’re not really going anywhere this time!

    A couple of features are that both you and your “watch keepers” can set the time / day when you are due to return in your mobile phones’ calendar with an over-due alarm alert. The second feature is that you can photograph the vehicle, boat & trailer and upload the image from the phone to the template.

    If there is anything that you think could improve the template, please drop me a PM or reply to the thread.

    Please note very carefully; I am not providing this as a monitoring service, only as a template for responsible skippers to help manage their trip plans.
    Peter
    engage, educate, encourage

  2. #2
    Well I think it is a fantastic idea. Nice job Peter.
    LITTLE SKIPPER!

  3. #3
    Brilliant idea!

  4. #4

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Awesome. How good is this. ??

    Thanks Peter, a commonsense and real world approach to boating safety.

    I have just completed a dummy run. Worked a treat. Have given a family member or two the heads up.

    Given this new addition to the safety network, a friendly reminder to all offshore boaties to keep your EPIRB ( 406 ) registered information up to date.

    cheers Phill
    Last edited by Lucky_Phill; 25-02-2013 at 07:25 PM.
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  5. #5

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Good effort there Peter, thanks.

    I have often thought about a tracking app that sends back to base basic coordinates (2 decimal places) every 30 mins or so as a log of travels. You get in the boat and activate the app on your smart phone and log off when you return to the ramp. Possibly the app could auto log off when the launch coords are re-entered?? Would work for anyone tripping within mobile phone range of the coastline.
    Jack.

  6. #6

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Peter, a great concept that has a load of potential. Imagine how easy it could be if done on a national scale.

    With almost everyone carrying a smart phone, an app that allowed log-in to a database that stores the majority of your info associated with your logon ID to avoid entering so much data each time.

    AMSA and each of the state maritime authorities ought to kick the can, have it hosted in the cloud, and provide the local VMR guys with Internet access (wireless woudl be fine) so they can log in and monitor, with the option to handover to police or other authority after hours.

    I like the suggestion of the GPS tracking function, but would have to be "opt in" to avoid privacy concerns. Potential for use of AIS but would require local equipment to receive and upload.

    An SMS function to remind you, say half hour before and ten minutes after your planned return date, followed by an alert to a human to follow up ten minutes after. That would cater for the forgetful amongst us.

    I live a long distance from the coast, and get minimal opportunity to interact with the VMR crew, so a cheque from a distance and after hours contributions to the tin on the bar at the club. Usually log on when they come on line, and they have a phone number for after hours logon. Mobile logon/logoff would be a great facility.

    The big challenge would be getting the states and the VMR's on the same page, if that could happen, I reckon getting the govt (thru AMSA?) on board might not be that hard. I wouldn't be able to record when my pfd's are due for service, getting electronic reminders on EPIRB expiry, flares etc.

    Cloud services are relatively easy to deliver in IT terms, and with well designed apps, uptake would be high. It is an election year, and I recall reading recently that the recreational fishing and boating industry is worth some 3 billion dollars a year.

    Anyone else think it might be a winner?

  7. #7

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Like this? Skip to 2.25min for the App bit.

  8. #8

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Thank you for all the encouraging comments. I am really keen to get the idea of getting your family or mates to be the watch keepers. History from a radio room perspective, is that many family members i.e. wives, have no idea where the skipper and boat have gone for the trip, no idea of vessel registration or even the colour and size of the boat.

    App would be a bit easier along with a database to keep the info. Money for me at the moment is not possible which is why I went this path. Getting government money at the moment - let me know where the rainbow is.

    Hopefully while the idea is free, skippers will use it, even the irresponsible ones may take it up if it is only to tell their wife and kids at home.
    Peter
    engage, educate, encourage

  9. #9

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Quote Originally Posted by the lump View Post
    Like this? Skip to 2.25min for the App bit.
    Any idea what the app is called? Apple store search sucks

  10. #10

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    http://www.coastguard.com.au/safetrx

    It is a new one for Coast Guard (AVCGA) in Australia.
    Peter
    engage, educate, encourage

  11. #11

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Thus far, the idea of the year. Congratulations.

  12. #12

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Quote Originally Posted by QF3 MROCP View Post
    http://www.coastguard.com.au/safetrx

    It is a new one for Coast Guard (AVCGA) in Australia.
    How long before it is available on the Apple iTunes App Store?
    LITTLE SKIPPER!

  13. #13

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    The only downside I can see with this app is that your secret Spot X will now be common knowledge in the Coast Guard Tower!

  14. #14

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    I like the simplicity of the website, as Thy has pointed out though, it requires too many details for the average person to the point where they wont use it. Keep it simple, ask the questions that the VMR would ask on the radio. or create a logon database and store the users info in that.

    Some Ideas;

    • Drop down list for the VMR that you wish to logon with, (use that as the key to send an email to that VMR org to monitor). By using a drop down list you wont get issues, such as VMR Manly harbour, as coastguard brisbane and VKQ447 operate from the same harbour.
    • Use the test data sets that you get from people testing it to fine tune it. Have a look at the data that is collected and see how relevant the answers are to the question. (round up a bunch of Ausfish guys to test for you).
    • Create Mobile version of the website, to allow for smart phone logon, that way you dont need to build an app and support and update it.
    • Add a print option, so you can leave a copy on the table for the Wife / Partner on the bench, or simply email it to an account.

    A few things about the smart phone app, while it is a good idea;

    • Running a GPS on a phone will kill the battery on most smart phones over a day.
    • Some smart phones use Asssited GPS, which requries coverage
    • It Requires network coverage to monitor your location. As we know coverage can be hit and miss offshore.
    Regards
    HOnda.

  15. #15

    Re: LOG ON LOG OFF TRIP PLANNER - Free To Use.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSkipper View Post
    How long before it is available on the Apple iTunes App Store?
    Safetrx is available for download now (appeared in the last few days).
    Kram71

    Let me out of this office, the world awaits!

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