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Old 18-09-2010, 03:51   #1
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Portable AIS Units

I am trying to find out about portable AIS systems. As a delivery skipper, I would like to have a unit I can take with me from boat to boat and which will interface with my laptop navigation program (openCPN).

I would welcome any feedback on units, sources of supply, prices and, of course, experiences (good or bad) that you may have had.
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Old 18-09-2010, 04:06   #2
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You could look at Panbo, starting here Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Digital Yacht iAIS, hello apps developers. There are a number of receive only units that could easily be made portable, most covered on Panbo in the archive.

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Old 18-09-2010, 10:06   #3
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Milltech Marine (Welcome to Milltech Marine - your AIS experts) is a great source for AIS gear. I suspect you will want a small receive-only unit (possibly with USB port), a clamp-to-stern-rail VHF antenna, and a USB-interface GPS. I haven't used it myself, but the "AMEC CYPHO-101 AIS Receiver" looks like it might be the easiest for you to interface, as it can be powered by the USB connection.
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Old 21-09-2010, 01:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsailing View Post
I am trying to find out about portable AIS systems. As a delivery skipper, I would like to have a unit I can take with me from boat to boat and which will interface with my laptop navigation program (openCPN).

I would welcome any feedback on units, sources of supply, prices and, of course, experiences (good or bad) that you may have had.
Lots of possibilities and any one that can connect to laptop should be suitable (either usb or serial output via a RS232 to USB converter ~ $30?) Still you will need a switchover with the VHF antenna or perhaps a dedicated portable antenna - the best being a 'J' pole that is readily mounted on pushpit -naturally with a range limitation that comes with low height.

For what its wotrth I recently purchased a NASA engine -from UK -only about 90GBP + minimal postage and works well into my netbook. It has a message received LED which I intend to connect into to use as a poor mans AIS alarm without the netbook running.

Update: or buy a VHF radio with inbuilt AIS
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Old 22-09-2010, 09:59   #5
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Thanks for the ideas

I've just ordered a NASA engine and a stand alone antenna, total cost approx £125 including VAT and postage - will post back as to how it performs.
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