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Reviews
01 Aug 2016
by CARPology
Edwards Custom Upgrades MK1 Compact Alarm
CARPology presents its new favourite bite alarm: the MK1 Compact. And best of all, it’s entirely British made

If you were to take a Neville, a Delkim and an original Optonic, plus the engineering skills of Scott Edwards – the owner of Edwards Custom Upgrades – and tip it all into a vast blender, strain the contents, distil the liquid down to a pure essence and inject it into a bite alarm, you’d end up with this: the MK1 Compact Remote Bite Alarm. In our eyes, the new King of alarms.

You’ve probably never heard of East Sussex-based E.C.U., but the chances are you’ve seen their work. Scott has been making, repairing and upgrading alarms for years – and at one time he was making a mind-blowingly beautiful DMX Snag Pod – an item which is now ultra rare and sells for an absolute fortune on eBay.

And looking at what’s before us today, it looks as though Scott’s designed and manufactured himself another must-have item. It’s a fresh-looking blend of old school style with modern design, with tech-a-plenty, and best of all, each one is hand-lovingly made for that bespoke, personal finish.

The big questions

These look insane!
Indeed. They are entirely hand-built here in the UK, and that makes for a pretty special bite alarm. From the moment the MK1 Compact Remote Bite Alarms turned up, space and time bent around them. CARPology has never received a buzzer that’s had such an impact on everyone around it. Ever. People got their phones out, our Facebook feed went into meltdown, and we got inundated with requests of where they could buy a set.

E.C.U.? I’ve not heard of them
Scott Edwards, the man behind the company, has a long list of credentials. He comes from a Ministry of Defence electronics background (he used to make safety anti-stall switches for British Tornados) and has metalwork experience (working on MOD laser-guided Paveway missile systems). Scott started out by making a few tweaks to his old bite alarms. Then friends saw them, liked them and asked for the same. Friends of friends then got in touch and requested the same. Within a year, Scott was doing everything from LED changes to internal speaker tweaks, repairing battery connections, right through to full casing restoration and milling isotope slots. And now, five years since he started the development, comes his first totally bespoke alarm: the MK1 Compact.

So proper British made then?
Proper! All the components are top-end (think: premium grade stainless stell threads and electronic circuitry), the build quality and finish is sensational and the feedback and reputation of the company is second-to-none. And that design – it just looks… old school!

So is all the tech old-school?
Far from it. This bite alarm is at the cutting edge of tech. Its clever Intelligent False Bite Sensing allows you to set the alarm to a minimum setting to eliminate false beeps (wind, weed etc.), of which the remote receiver will imitate, however, the receiver will kick into auto max sensitivity if the roller wheel on the alarm speeds up. There are 10 volume settings, 16 tone options, five sensitivity increments and a four setting LED dimmer (which will also dim on the receiver too).

The receiver comes with an E.C.U. removable lanyard

I see it’s a roller wheel system – doesn’t that come with problems?
Not this one – it’s pretty darn clever roller! First off, it’s an Anti-Line Skip Roller which not only means it’s ultra sensitive for slack line fishing with super lightweight bobbins, but it also eliminates line skipping over the wheel and not registering a take – a common problem on other roller wheel operated alarms. The twin eight magnet wheel also gives you a wide range of sensitivity options.

How easy are they to operate?
Dead, dead easy. Flick the stainless on/off toggle switch to on and then just push the function button you want to change – for argument’s sake, let’s say the ‘Tone’ button. Just keep pushing it until you find your preferred sound… And that’s it!

Wow! I love these.
You’re not the only one! There’s more: both the heads and receiver feature milled isotope slots, there’s removable and height adjustable storm ears and the three/four alarm/receiver sets come in a presentation box. Oh, and they are available in the following LED colours: Blue, Purple, Green, Red or White.

Are there any additional products?
Currently just one: E.C.U. Alarm Hanger Pouches which are equally as lovely as the alarms! Made from a tough DPM camo material, they feature a mesh pocket on the front to store your bobbins whilst in transit.

I’ve got to have these! How much and where can I get them from?
Single head: £129.99; three heads and receiver, £469.96; four heads and receiver, £519.96; and the Alarm Hanger Pouch retail for £9.99 each. To purchase, just log onto edwards-custom-upgrades.com. Enjoy!

Three and four head/receiver sets come in a presentation case
Just look at them!
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