Advanced Carp equipment I-3 Alarms & Receiver

Thu 23 February 12


A good quality alarm and receiver are arguably the most critical part of the overnight angler’s equipment, So with Carp angling becoming one of the fastest growing aquatic past times in the U.K, the ever growing demand for reliable alarm and receiver system has become a very competitive industry.

With the market being dominated for many years now by Delkim, Fox and Neville’s, with the Gardner TLB and the ATTS systems leading the following pack. The selection and variety of electronic indicators available to carp anglers can make choosing the right product for your personal needs a mind numbing task.

However, I got wind of an all singing, all dancing alarm system about 7 months ago that had got many a tongue wagging within the industry. Advanced Carp Equipment or as they are more commonly known “ACE” released the ACE i3 Alarm and Receiver system in July 2009 to critical acclaim. The i3 system has been developed and designed by former Fox International directors Max Cottis and Stephen Tasker, and the question on everyone’s lips is was the Advanced Carp Equipment, ACE i3 alarm and receiver system going to change the alarm status quo? Or be just another gimmick. Read on to find out.

ACE i3 Alarm Manufacturers Specification

I-3 alarm & Cover

The ACE i-3 alarm dispenses with conventional magnet/reed switches; this all new alarm incorporates the new patent pending dual sensing TGS system which can detect both line movement and just vibration capable of identifying the slightest of movements. After going back to the drawing board and starting from scratch, ACE set out to design the ultimate bite alarm based upon practical features things like a mute control to allow you to set your indicators without having to turn the alarm off, a reliable radio system that will perform no matter what trees or undergrowth your bank side has! Fully encapsulated electronics, radio range testing, low battery warning, night light and high visibility LED’S which you select the colour of your choice all coupled with unrivalled reliability come together to produce the most advanced bite alarm we could imagine.

Key Features

DUAL SENSING SYSTEM TGS (TACHO GENERATOR SENSING) – Using a miniature DC motor, TGS generates a voltage signal that’s proportional to the movement of the line. Interpreting these movements in two ways, by actual line movement ® or vibration (VS) the level of sensitivity can be set to suit the most varied conditions.
ROLLER SENSITIVITY – The ® control can be set anywhere between its minimum sensitivity setting of 3”/75mm, ideal for flowing water to it’s maximum setting which will detect line movements as little a 1.5mm.
VIBRATION SENSITIVITY – Perfect when fishing slack lines looking for ‘lines’ or when fishing very tight liners ‘locked up’ – an incredible advantage when fishing tight to snags as this will often give you enough warning to be ready over you rod, providing you with that edge in extracting the fish before it dives into the snag!
FUNCTION BUTTON MUTE – The unique MUTE features allows you to put the alarm ‘to sleep’ while you set up your indicator without having to turn the alarm off. The head automatically revert to live mode ready to detect a take after 30 secs.
CHANGEABLE LED COLOUR – Now you are no longer stuck with one LED colour! Simply hold the function button, turn the tone control and select from six colours, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Purple and White.
SUPER BRIGHT LEDS – Extremely bright LEDS which are easily visible even in bright sunlight.
RANGE TEST – Our range test facility allows you to check the signal strength on your receiver as you move away from the alarms.
NIGHT LIGHT – The Night Light produces a subtle green glow to help you position your rod centrally onto alarm during night times.
BATTERY LIFE – By using a good quality alkaline battery you can expect to get in excess of 6 months from a bite alarm and up to 2 months from the receiver depending on usage.
LOW BATTERY WARNING – its three stage warning system ensures you know when your battery is due for replacement.
FULLY ENCAPSULATED ELECTRONICS – Each alarm has its circuit board fully encapsulated to protect against water ingress or condensation.
NON SLIP ROD SEAT – Designed with a deep U to ensure your rod is held securely in position.
STAINLESS STEEL STUD – Incorporates a 3/8” stainless steel stud for attaching the alarm to your buzz bar or bank stick.
IMPACT CASE – Each alarm is supplied with its own hard protective case.

First Impressions

The ACE i3 Alarms have developed a reputation amongst some of the finest anglers in the country, as being the most innovative reliable alarms to come on the market in years. With numerous big fish including the current World Record already being credited to the ACE alarms reputation. Anglers not only in the U.K but all over Europe are considering the technological advances that the i3 alarms have over already well established existing brands.

ACE i3 Receiver Manufacturers Specification

I-3 Receiver image

The ACE i-3 Receiver signifies the arrival of a new generation in intelligent bite indicator systems. Designed from scratch, ACE set out to create the ultimate bite alarm system based upon practical features, things like a reliable system that will perform, no matter what trees and undergrowth obstructions your bank side location may offer. The i3 Receiver has been fully tested over an extensive period by some of the country’s highest profile anglers. So with all this combined knowledge, intensive thought and critical attention to detail, the finished product excel’s in all departments.

Key features

IARS (Intelligent Alarm Recognition System) – Make any changes to your alarm and your receiver automatically updates the settings.
VIBRATION ALERT – Ideal should you wish to receive indication of a ‘take’ discreetly!
LOW BATTERY WARNING – Receiver relays a low battery warning from any individual alarm.
EASY PAIRING – Simply push the ‘Connect button to make the first LED flash then activate the alarm you wish to pair to that position, then push connect button twice to make the second flash, pair alarm, then repeat to add a third and forth alarm!

ACCESSORIES – Each receiver comes complete with a choice of plain or belt clip backs which can be used in conjunction with the stand or magnetic bivvy holder.

The ACE i3 Alarm – RRP £149.99

I-3 Alarm

The ACE i3 Alarms arrived on my doorstep in what can only be described as designer packaging, on first impressions I thought my misses had been on one of her many shopping channels and purchased a load of smellies, the outer cases looked that good. Upon opening the boxes, the receiver, alarm and accessories were comfortably supported in well designed blister packs, ensuring no harm would come to the product in transit (not essential to the performance but a very nice touch)

Upon removing the blister pack from the box you’ll find inside an i3 Alarm, the alarms Impact Case and full instructions for use and your product registration forms. The Impact Case is exceptionally well designed pivoting hard case system which encapsulates all the dials and switches on the i3. Once fitted you can leave your alarms attached to your buzz bars whilst in transit with piece of mind that they will not get damaged whilst you are on the move.

The i3 Alarms has taken alarm design to another level, eliminating all those annoying faults that have been accepted as common place on the majority of popular alarm systems. Firstly, the usually delicate, fiddly wire attachment for your batteries has been replace by two fixed contact panels which eliminates any chance of faulty connections or wires braking when changing your batteries, a very simple solution but a substantial improvement to the overall reliability of the power supply.

We all know about the issues some of the leading manufacturers are having with battery covers either coming off, for no apparent reason or water entering the battery chamber because of inadequate sealing around the cover. To rectify this issue the manufacturers have recommend to us personally that we either “buying a set of Snag Ears that will hold the covers in place” or “try using insulating tape”. After spending over £120.00 on an alarm, this is to say the least “unsatisfactory”
To rectify this problem, a proper water tight cover is required to encapsulate your electrics and prevent shorts caused by water intrusion. I can guarantee that this is not or will not be an issue with the ACE i3 alarms. When under test on the bank, I threw several buckets of water over the alarms and no water entered the chamber. I then physically shook the bank sticks they were fixed on to try and displace or shake the Battery covers off, to no avail, they simply don’t move.
There are numerous electronic features on the i-3 alarms that put them in a category of their own. The one that really stands out above the rest is the brilliant Mute Function. By simply pressing the function button (located on the left hand side of the alarm) this makes it possible to set your line and indicator without having to turn the alarm completely off. Lets face it, how many times have you forgotten to turn your alarms back on?

Another personal favourite feature is the three way, twin mode On/Off switch located to the left of the stainless steel stud. When the Toggle switch is in the centre, this is the Off position. By moving the Toggle to the right, this activates the Day mode, the alarms main LED will light briefly and tone will be heard. To activate the Night mode you simply move the Toggle to the left and once the LED has turned of you have a small Green night light located just below the roller which shows the alarm is active.

One of the technical features that is not essential to bite indication but will please the avid tackle tarts out there is the ability to be able to change the colour of the LED indicator light on your i3 Alarms. The colour options you have available are Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple and White. As I said this is not the be all and end all of bite indication, however, for those of you who like to change your equipment with the seasons this will save you a small fortune.

Alarm strip

The ACE i3 Receiver – £149.99

Short of an injection system the i3 Receiver comes supplied with an extra’s package to out do any of its rivals. Unlike many other systems, were the optional extra’s cost you nearly as much as the original receiver, the ACE i3 comes with a branded magnetic Bivvy Clip, a Table Stand and addition Back Panel for the receiver fitted with a belt clip as standard. I for one think that supplying the complete package to the angler as standard saves all the searching for extra’s later.

I-3 Reciever strip 1

The Receiver itself has had the same attention to details as with the alarm. The power supply has had the same simplifying treatment as the alarm. By simply removing the wires you are instantly reducing the potential for faults to virtually nothing. This is a big selling point to me as reliability of the power supply is essential to me, especially when a receiver or alarm failure could potential put a fishes welfare at risk or the risk of tackle loss on the engender.

Simplicity is the order of the day with the ACE i3 Receiver, no unnecessary thrills just straight forward functions that work well. The On/Off switch is located on the top of the receiver next to the antenna. When the Toggle is pointing to the right, it is in the Off position and switch the Toggle to the left to activate the alarm. When you switch the alarm on you will see the 4 indicator lights chase from left to right and you hear a three tone signal, the receiver is now on.

Next to the On/Off switch is the receivers Vibration and volume control dial. By rotating the dial in a clockwise direction you increase the volume of the receiver, by making anti or clockwise adjustments to the dial, this will decrease or increase the volume to your preferred level. However, by returning the dial anti-clockwise to the twelve o-clock position, this then activates the vibration mode enabling the secretive anglers amongst us to catch in privacy.

Programming the Receiver has been made a very simple task, removing the battery cover you will find a bright orange Probe Tool which is designed specifically to engage the connect button. Turn your receiver on and push the Red Connect button once and starting from the left, the LED should flash for approximately 20 seconds. Whilst the LED is flashing activate the alarm you wish pair with the first position, once activated the LED on the receiver will automatically change to the came colour as the paired alarm, repeat until all alarms are paired, it’s that simple!

I-3 Reciever strip 2

Foot Note – We have only used the ACE i3 Alarm and Receiver system for just over 48 hours on the bank but was very happy with there overall performance on first impression. We found them exceptionally easy to programme in and get set for use. After playing around with the vibration and roller settings we were more than confident that any type of indication would register through the receiver clearly and efficiently. The MUTE function is without question a piece of design brilliance and why it hasn’t been done before god only knows.

Whilst field testing the ACE i3 Alarm and receiver system we had two positive takes during a session on a very cold late winter’s night in early March. After a few little bleeps and knocks before each take, We were wide awake for both fish and was able to witness the receiver registered the line movement before the indicator had shown any sign of movement, which we were most impressed with. The test are more than positive so far but to really test them out, we’re off to North Lake on the Elphicks complex in Kent, to really see what they can do.


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