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Old 01-11-2007, 15:11   #1
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CARD recievers

Recently I asked for a Collision Avoidance Radar Detection set. These are a fairly cheap radio receiver tuned to sweep radar frequencies, which will pick up any ship with a radar set operating. There is an alarm which beeps with each sweep of the scanner--and I think that some more expensive sets with a better antenna gave an approximate bearing.

No one had even heard of them.

Are they still being made? They used to cost about a hundred dollars or so.
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Old 01-11-2007, 15:49   #2
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Here is a link to the C.A.R.D. site. However, you might want to consider getting an AIS receiver instead. Here is a link to the NASA engine, the NASA radar, and the Si-Tex radar.

I think that this item on ebay is a C.A.R.D. unit.
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Old 01-11-2007, 20:21   #3
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we had a Card system on board Exit Only and we rarely used it because we couldn't run our own radar when the Card was turned on. That was an older model, and maybe things are different now. It did work when it was turned on.

Even if you have a CARD, you still have to check the horizon all around every ten minutes or risk being run down by a ship, trawler, or whatever. I would spend my money on a good radar because it lets you follow thunderstorms as they approach as well as lets you pick out ships and buoys. It can also be helpful in navigating when other methods are having a problem.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:08   #4
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Thank you Viking and Maxing Out--

I do have a radar but it really sucks power. I should replace it with a newer less thirsty one--since there are so many vessels out there on the water who do not operate radar.
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Old 09-12-2007, 21:29   #5
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We agree, the C.A.R.D. is a really nifty idea that just doesn't do what you'd like it to.

We bought one back in 2000 before AIS was out.

We found that a LOT of big commercial ships don't run their RADAR, but these days almost all have AIS Transponders. So that's a better bet, in our opinion.

We like the Milltech Marine Milltech Marine Home Page SR 161, AIS receiver over the NASA (we have both) as you have a much better idea that it's actually working if there are no ships around (it has status lights and a two way, documented, communications protocol with your computer).

It also has more output drive so you can hook it up in parallel to both your computer and chart plotter.

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Old 09-12-2007, 22:04   #6
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I see that the Si-Tex AIS has an alarm function to alert you if something enters "a preset range ring", but does the NASA AIS also have that?
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Old 09-12-2007, 22:08   #7
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Originally Posted by RaptorDance View Post
We like the Milltech Marine Milltech Marine Home Page SR 161,
Hi Bill,

Its OK to have the 161 instead of the 162 that "The Smart Radio SR162 AIS Receiver is similar to the SR161 AIS Receiver but this unit is designed for professional environments that require full time monitoring of both AIS channels. "

I love the price of the 161! I thought they were much more expensive.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:12   #8
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Just remember we can't rely on everybody having either radars or AIS transmitters on unfortunely. So things might still go bump in the dark. It is too easy to get lulled into a false sence of security.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:14   #9
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Lancerbye - Yes, you still need to keep a proper watch and we use the AIS in addition to our RADAR and eyeballs!

Liberty16 - I believe that the Si-Tex is a stand alone unit. The NASA and Milltech units are receivers only that integrate with your chart plotter and/or navigation programs on your computer. The alarms in those cases would be on the display device (chartplotter or computer). We have a Standard Horizon CP1000C chartplotter and use Nobeltec on our PC, both have AIS target alarm functions.

The most useful alarms are keyed to the calculated "Closest Point of Approach".

Regards,
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:32   #10
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I see that the Si-Tex AIS has an alarm function to alert you if something enters "a preset range ring", but does the NASA AIS also have that?
Nasa actually makes the "AIS Radar" unit that Si-Tex sells, and Nasa also sells this unit under their own name as well. This is a stand-alone AIS receiver (single-channel, frequency-switching), and processor/display, all in a nice small package. You need to connect a NMEA GPS input to this unit. I've read that it works reasonably well, but is a bit rough around the edges. It does not process Class-B AIS, which at the moment isn't a big issue (in the USA, anyway).

Nasa also makes the "AIS Engine", which is a receiver only, and is intended to be connected to an AIS-ready chartplotter or computer. The SR161 is a similar unit (single-channel, frequency-switching), and the SR162 is a dual-channel unit. I think the SR161/162 are better, and I have all three. The Nasa AIS Engine does not handle Class-B, but if you want to open up the unit and do some digging around there is a third-party aftermarket replacement chip available that is supposed to provide Class-B support.
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