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Old 15-05-2011, 16:38   #1
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AIS

Hi, I am new in that forum.
Does anybody have experience with the AIS-1000 from westmarine? The price of 700 $ incl. antenna splitter seems to be ok.

yoyo41, in Australia on a Beneteau Coceanis 411.
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Old 15-05-2011, 17:24   #2
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Re: AIS

I have one -- it's a great unit. Go for it.
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Old 15-05-2011, 20:06   #3
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Re: AIS

I have one, with a dedicated antenna on my stern rail. You will need some sort of display system to go with it -- I like the Vesper WatchMate -- but if you got that route, why not get the WatchMate TX which has it's own transponder built in?
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Old 15-05-2011, 21:02   #4
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Re: AIS

I don't know the AIS-1000 but $700 seems a bit stiff. We started with a Receiver Only AIS (SR-161) for $200 in 2007 that worked well with our charting program. Last year we upgraded to a Camino-101 class B transciever with its own GPS, bought from Milltech Marine for $495, which we're very happy with.

Neither of these units has their own display, which is probably one reason they're so inexpensive. We use OpenCPN for that, as we like our high-resolution computer display (much higher than dedicated AIS displays) & we want to see the ships on our charts. We don't leave the computer on all the time, of course, but it wakes up pretty quickly if we see a ship we want CPA info on.

FWIW, I'm not wild about antenna splitters as I've had problems with older ones (no experience with newer ones). Also, I've published a fair amount on AIS here.
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Old 16-05-2011, 08:50   #5
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Re: AIS

I held off the AIS for over 2 years because of the price. $700 is still pretty steep, especially when you have to add a monitor of some type, usually around $500. We just purchased the SH GX2150 AIS (receiver only) -DSC (transceiver) -(PA-Hailer) VHF radio. The AIS is pretty small on the VHF's screen, however, it was easy to route and compatible with our chart plotter giving us two stations. The price was the kicker, $399.00 + $16.00 built-in kit (West Marine). It only has a receiver, but the idea is to see the big boys (which it does brilliantly) and they usually could care less about recreational boaters, ignoring pretty much anything related to us as clutter. Loads of features, easy to use and other than the CP-AIS NMEA connection, we didn't have to add anything.

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Old 16-05-2011, 08:52   #6
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Re: AIS

We have got one and it is very valuable and significantly increased the ease with which we interact with shipping. They answer the radio much quicker if you have their 'name, rank and serial number.' Plus they have you as a data point on their screens and it appears to be much easier for the big ships to know you are there.

It took an hour to connect to our Raymarine E80 with the help of Raymarine technical services.

We paid less than $500 and $160 for the VHF splitter.

I am told that it is older technology but at a good price.
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Old 16-05-2011, 20:11   #7
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Re: AIS

I've used the WMP AIS 1000 for a year, and it works well. I use it with a dedicated stern rail antenna, and use both the Vesper Watchmate and OpenCPN to display targets and the Watchmate to sound alarms.
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Old 16-05-2011, 22:02   #8
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Re: AIS

I got onboard an AIS receiver from NASA (an english company Nasa Marine Instruments , nothing to do with rocket science). For 200$ it's doing a great job.

I installed a dedicated VHF antenna for the AIS at the rear of the boat, with the idea that in case of mast failure i still get a second VHF antenna available.

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Old 17-05-2011, 13:06   #9
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Re: AIS

I've got one and used it on my TransPac last year. It's routed to my Garmin 3260 for a display. Worked great, really handy to get information on ships and the ships I hailed by name got right back to me. All reported a good strong signal on their radar scope. Going through the 3206, don't have a warning capability and only displays AIS information on one resolution screen but that is the resolution I would have chosen in any case. Routing it to a laptop, would assume you'd get warning capabilities via the supplied software on a floppy.

Don't cut the cable for the GPS antenna. It's got a connector that's not very common and a bitch to solder in the style of connector.
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Old 17-05-2011, 13:43   #10
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Re: AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by grainedetoile View Post
I got onboard an AIS receiver from NASA (an english company Nasa Marine Instruments , nothing to do with rocket science). For 200$ it's doing a great job.
No experience of the AIS-1000 but had the nasa unit for a while now. Works down to below 11.5v and only uses 0.1a.
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Old 17-05-2011, 14:00   #11
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Re: AIS

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Don't cut the cable for the GPS antenna. It's got a connector that's not very common and a bitch to solder in the style of connector.
I've got one, and on mine at least, the GPS connector is just a BNC. There are several pretty decent crimp style BNC connectors if you don't want to solder. Mine also has a BNC for the antenna port, although it came with a SO-239 adapter.

FTR, my old Garmin 152 external antenna is BNC also...

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Old 17-05-2011, 16:45   #12
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Re: AIS

Hi Yoyo, I'm not familiar with the AIS-1000 either, but I have to agree with catamount, I love the Vesper WatchMate. I have the 850 model with is the Class B transponder, but depending on what you're looking for the have 2 other models as well that are lower priced. The filtering and customization options are really easy to use and understand in heavy traffic, and it is all self-contained (GPS, transponder, etc) so it only took me a few minutes to install. I did a lot of research beforehand and found sites like Panbo and Navagear really helpful! Good luck with your decision.

Greg
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Old 23-05-2011, 22:10   #13
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Re: AIS

Most important : electric consumption. If your AIS is not drainig your batteries, it will stay on for long passages, when you are not exepecting meeting anyone.

Mine drain less than 0.1 Amps in 12v. I let it on for all my passage from panama to new zeeland. And it's good to have such an extra watchman when you are short handed on board.
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Old 23-05-2011, 22:37   #14
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Re: AIS

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Originally Posted by JRM View Post
I've got one, and on mine at least, the GPS connector is just a BNC. There are several pretty decent crimp style BNC connectors if you don't want to solder. Mine also has a BNC for the antenna port, although it came with a SO-239 adapter.

FTR, my old Garmin 152 external antenna is BNC also...

JRM
I was at the boat the other day and went looking at the unit. I have to admit I was wrong, the GPS antenna is a TNC, not a BNC. The VHF antenna is a BNC. The TNC is a bit more obscure than a BNC for radio stuff, but it's a really common early microwave (pre-wifi and early wifi) connector.

I was talking with a marine electrician the other day, who wanted to sell me "gold" PL-259 connectors. He claimed that it was too hard to solder the others. I kind of laughed, and mentioned that I had an entire drawer full of various RF connectors. He asked several times what my secret was for soldering them, because he always had trouble. I had to admit that I didn't have a secret, other than doing it more times than I could count. Now I know how he feels when I ask him about crimping big cables without overly squishing them...

JRM

-- the admiral gave me a bunch of garbage for not pitching all my old microwave gear during the "stuff purge." Since the AIS unit uses TNC, I'll have to tell her that they're "boat spares" now and thus off limits for purging
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Old 24-05-2011, 01:06   #15
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Re: AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by grainedetoile View Post
Most important : electric consumption. If your AIS is not drainig your batteries, it will stay on for long passages, when you are not exepecting meeting anyone...
Our SR-161 receiver only drew 1.5W or about 0.1A. Our Camino-101 class B AIS draws about the same (! even though it's running a GPS as well) although it's difficult to measure as it sends out its transmissions as very short pulses (2W RF) at intervals that are dependant on our speed. This is little enough that we left both units on all the time.
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