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Old 19-06-2008, 09:09   #1
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AIS software

I'm planning to install an AIS receiver this summer.

What software do those of you who have it use?
Are you happy with it? Is it user friendly?

According to Raymarine, my RL80CRC chartplotter is not compatible so I will have to utilize my laptop.

Kindly be specific when you reply. Name, version, etc.

Thanks
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Old 19-06-2008, 11:30   #2
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I run this on my laptop. I strongly recommend ShipPlotter software. It allows you to use a satellite photo or a chart as the background. It will then take the data on the ships and work out CPA for you. There is an alarm system that you can set up which will warn of any vessel whose capa is within a given distance and given time. That alarm works regardless of whether the AIS is the top window.

One of the problems that you can have if you are also using the lappie as your chart plotter, is the need for GPS input. GPS will not dhare from a comm port. the first application to grab it will lock out other applications. However, if you use GPS splitter, simulator and logger. Serial port splitter. - Franson GpsGate you can share gps data to as many applications as you like. I run Maxsea, version 10.3, the AIS engine, and Virtual Passage Planner simultaneously.

Only one problem with the shipplotter software, it is demanding of processor power.

If you already have the AIS engine as a separate system - ok, however, if you have yet to purchase it, I would recommend that instead you consider the purchase of one of the two new ICOM VHF radios, which also provide AIS data, thus you can use the aerial at the top of the mast and dont need a splitter (which I do not like).

If you run the separate AIS engine, then consider using a separate aerial on the pushpit. Configure your aerial runs so that you can swap over the aerial feeds between the VHF and the AIS.
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Old 23-06-2008, 04:39   #3
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I run SeaClear 2 under Wine on Linux on my XO computer. I use SeaClear because my backup computer is a PC running XP and SeaClear works on it too. The XO is the primary computer because it uses so little power, .8AMP.

The AIS is coming from an SR-161, the GPS from either my Furuno 1722C radar/chartplotter at the helm or a Raytheon chartplotter at the navigation station. I have a seperate antenna for the AIS.

The Furuno 1722C does not support AIS but I wrote my own program to frontend SeaClear to intercept the AIS messages and convert them to TTM (Tracked Target Messages) that I send to the Furuno to display them as ARPA targets.

Paul
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Old 23-06-2008, 05:43   #4
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Quote:
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If you already have the AIS engine as a separate system - ok, however, if you have yet to purchase it, I would recommend that instead you consider the purchase of one of the two new ICOM VHF radios, which also provide AIS data, thus you can use the aerial at the top of the mast and dont need a splitter (which I do not like).

.
Any idea why those 2 Icom models (ic-m505 and ic-m603) are only available in Europe?
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Old 23-06-2008, 07:54   #5
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Any idea why those 2 Icom models (ic-m505 and ic-m603) are only available in Europe?
Because they are class B transeivers that both send and receive and since our FFC has decided against USCG requests to ignore approval of class B for the US at this time they can't be sold here.
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Old 23-06-2008, 08:22   #6
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Thanks Chuck. Hopefully the Coasties will get their way.
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Old 23-06-2008, 09:37   #7
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The current FCC chairman has taken a position that it is not important and does not need consideration at this point. Send him an email at

Send E-mail to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin

and let him know how important you think it is.
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Old 24-06-2008, 14:34   #8
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The Furuno 1722C does not support AIS but I wrote my own program to frontend SeaClear to intercept the AIS messages and convert them to TTM (Tracked Target Messages) that I send to the Furuno to display them as ARPA targets. Paul
Fantastic concept, that I expect deserves far wider useage. However, in order to display this correctly you need to use a north up display, or a precise heading only display. Either way, you would need a good heading reference above some of the flux gate compasses sold to a trusty sailing public.
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Old 24-06-2008, 20:01   #9
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Talbot said
Quote:
Fantastic concept, that I expect deserves far wider useage. However, in order to display this correctly you need to use a north up display, or a precise heading only display. Either way, you would need a good heading reference above some of the flux gate compasses sold to a trusty sailing public.
What do you mean? I have a Furuno integrated heading sensor PG-500 providing heading information to the Furuno radar/chartplotter so I do get North UP, Course up, etc. and the ARPA targets display correctly on all these displays. The targets show the same range, bearing, COG, speed, and cpa/tcpa as Seaclear. If I needed the ships name or MMSI I would have to hop down to the navigation table to look at Seaclear.

One thing I haven't be able to figure out is how to trip the CPA/TCPA alarm on the Furuno. I asked Furuno about this but they wouldn't give me an answer. To get around this, when the CPA/TCPA matches the thresholds set in my program, I change the ARPA target to "Lost" which causes it to change to a different symbol and flash so I know which target is causing the threat.

I think most radars have ARPA support (or MARPA for Raymarine) so this may work with them also.

Paul
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Old 24-06-2008, 20:08   #10
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However, in order to display this correctly you need to use a north up display, or a precise heading only display. Either way, you would need a good heading reference above some of the flux gate compasses sold to a trusty sailing public.
Actually, I don't think this is the case. Paul can correct me on this if I am wrong, but the AIS information contains the explicit location of the target, not the position relative to your vessel. So the target would always be placed at the right position on the chart no matter how it is displayed. The heading sensor is needed for only to orient the boat in the correct direction on the chart. This comes into play in only two areas that I am aware of. To correctly display the way you boat is pointed when drifting (that is any time the boat is not traveling directly forward) so you know what features you should be seeing towards a particular direction, and to display radar correctly on the chart (since the radar DOES show it's data relative to the rotation of the boat).

EDIT: Sorry, I was forgetting Paul is displaying this on a radar display. I was thinking of my Nobeltec software that will display the targets on the charts.

So, nevermind!

And, Paul made his post while I was composing mine...
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Old 24-06-2008, 23:05   #11
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What do you mean? I have a Furuno integrated heading sensor PG-500 providing heading information to the Furuno radar/chartplotter so I do get North UP, Course up, etc. and the ARPA targets display correctly on all these displays. I think most radars have ARPA support (or MARPA for Raymarine) so this may work with them also.
Not all radars have ARPA/MARPA support. My Furuno 1623 does not

Not all ARPA/MARPA radars have integrated heading sensors, but relie on an additional piece of kit to provide it. Sometimes that additional heading sensor does not have a sufficiently high accuracy and data rate to be able to provide accurate enough data for this task.
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Old 24-06-2008, 23:25   #12
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FWIW, My autopilot sends a fast heading sensor output over one of it's NMEA outputs - at a 1Hz rate. This goes into a brookhouse NMEA MUX, and then to my chart plotter/radar - Raymarine C70 at a higher BPS rate. It seems to work quite nicely (note I don't have the radar going yet because I'm still in the process of installing the radome, but the heading output is in the stream at a fast rate, and the C70 is aware of the input).
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Old 25-06-2008, 07:48   #13
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Talbot...
What I send to the radar in TTM messages is the range, bearing, speed and COG of the 10 closest targets. Using the range and bearing information the Furuno creates an ARPA target on the screen relative to the centre of the screen where my boat is. If the heading information is accurate, the ARPA target should be right over the radar return (if there is one).

If I provide no heading sensor information, the radar only displays a H-UP (Heading Up) display. But as long as my heading adjustment for the radar has been done correctly, it will display the target in the correct position and show it moving in the correct direction and speed relative to my boat. Obviously having a more accurate heading information from a heading sensor will make the displayed target more accurate so you know where to look but for our purposes I don't think it has to be too accurate.

I don't depend on the CPA/TCPA calculated by the radar's ARPA which depends on how accurate the heading information is. Instead my program calculates the CPA/TCPA and compares it to my own thresholds and sounds an alarm and flashes the target on the radar screen if they are met. So the indication of a dangerous target is not dependent on the accurracy of the radar heading but instead on the accuracy of the AIS and GPS information received by my program (and of course how accurate my calculations in the program are).

Paul
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:07   #14
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Since you are going to use your laptop anyway......

Download SeaClear and use it. You can get ALL the NOAA charts for free as well. Seaclear uses BSB format charts but can convert most formats to BSB. I just today hooked up an SR161 and a USB GPS antenna to my laptop and am very happy so far. I have over 2300 charts and they scroll seamlessly from one to the next. After playing with the settings to change colours and such I can see ALL the AIS ships and all their pertenant info, speed, heading and the like. For under $300 including 4 hrs with the computer teacher to beat the program into my thick head I'm a happy sailor. It's a very easy program I'm the Ludite....m
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:45   #15
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ais software-the captian

Its nice that SeaClear comes with all of the US charts however we are based in Mexico. We use an older version of The Cptn for laptop navigation and I have so far been unsuccessful in getting Sea Clear to read my Mexico charts. Anyone had any luck?
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