Figure 7A-B. Fully assembled unit: Top (left) and bottom (right).
Swimming with the Fishes
Either because of my affinity for swimming or because
the producers liked me the least, I was chosen to serve as
the test dummy for the finale of the episode as we tested
both lifeguard systems. I found myself bobbing up and
down in the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay Area's
notorious Red Triangle ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Red_Triangle_(Pacific_Ocean)), where around 38 percent
of all documented great white shark attacks have
occurred. Although the accompanying lifeguards assured
me they'd never seen a shark, I only hoped that I wouldn't
need to use our system to send a real distress call! I tried
to convince myself that at least if something did happen, it
would be captured in high definition.
Besides sea sickness, getting clobbered by waves, and
a few numb extremities, I came away from testing day
unscathed. Both systems proved to be effective and
reliable solutions for unmanned beach rescues. In the
future, maybe lives will be saved with lifeguard systems
like ours installed on beaches around the world. But, for
now, I can only hope that you'll enjoy using this wristband
GPS transmitter in your own projects! NV
Figure 8. The completed wristband GPS transmitter mounted in
its waterproof housing.
Joe Grand is an electrical engineer, hardware hacker, and
president of Grand Idea Studio, Inc. ( www.grandideastudio.
com), where he specializes in the invention, design, and
licensing of consumer products and modules for electronics
hobbyists. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.