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Old 11-11-2013, 15:25   #1
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Adding AIS to an older chartplotter

Hi
I have been thinking about adding an AIS reciever such as the ICOM MXA-500 ICOM MXA-5000 Dual Channel "Receive Only" Marine AIS Receiver at West Marine

My chartplotter is a Raymarine RL70CRC and neither Raymarine or ICOM can really tell me if I will see anything on the chartplotter if I add this via NMEA. Does anyone have experience trying something like this? The ICOM has a data out that I could put to my PC, and I am using RayTech Navigator 4.1. Does anyone know if this would work?

Is there a better budgetepriced way to go that what I am contemplating? Any suggestions appreciated. I would prefer not to start replacing chartplotters etc.

Thanks
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Old 11-11-2013, 15:37   #2
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The rl70crc cannot display AIS targets.


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Old 11-11-2013, 18:42   #3
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Re: Adding AIS to an older chartplotter

View my West Marine AIS via the Garmin 3206 plotter. Only viewable on one resolution but it's the one I use almost all the time. Don't have any alarms, strictly for seeing and reading but have found it quite valuable. The ships see me and all respond when I call them by name. Would have to port the AIS Transponder to a computer to get all the bells and whistles but didn't didn't want to have to keep the computer on all the time.

Not an ideal setup but as long as someone is on watch, the ships show up at more than 10 miles away from a pushpit mounted antenna.
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Old 11-11-2013, 23:18   #4
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Re: Adding AIS to an older chartplotter

Ndavies, here's my suggestion given that goboatingnow says your chartplotter won't display AIS:
- Get the Standard Horizon GX 2150 VHF with integrated AIS receiver (you will need to send it GPS data from the rl70crc).
It is affordable (~$290 if you search on Google) and extremely well reviewed. This will give you a small display and AIS alarm independent from your computer. You can also always try outputing the AIS signal to your rl70crc, though I would take goboatingnow's word that it won't work.

See recent thread on the GX2150: Standard Horizon GX2150 or 2010

- You should then be able to fashion an RS-232 (I think) serial data connection from the GX2150 NMEA output to your laptop. This will allow you to view AIS on the computer (using free nav software like OpenCPN or NavMonPC - I don't know if RayTech Navigator will work for this).

More on NMEA to serial connections here: http://cms.nobeltec.com/CMS/Files/Co...20computer.pdf

And on connecting the GX2100 (predecessor to the GX2150) to a PC:
nmea 0183 to RS232 - SailNet Community

- If AIS is really important to you, you may also want to consider a more expensive setup with a dedicated AIS display (larger than the GX2150). Furuno and Vesper seem to do best for this.
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Old 11-11-2013, 23:28   #5
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Re: Adding AIS to an older chartplotter

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
View my West Marine AIS via the Garmin 3206 plotter. Only viewable on one resolution but it's the one I use almost all the time. Don't have any alarms, strictly for seeing and reading but have found it quite valuable. The ships see me and all respond when I call them by name. Would have to port the AIS Transponder to a computer to get all the bells and whistles but didn't didn't want to have to keep the computer on all the time.

Not an ideal setup but as long as someone is on watch, the ships show up at more than 10 miles away from a pushpit mounted antenna.
We have a fairly similar Garmin setup, with one tweak to enable AIS alarms (since the 3XXX generation Garmins can display AIS but don't have AIS alarms). This could be interesting to other users with similar old plotters.

We had old Garmin 3206 and 3210 plotters on board (circa 2005 I believe), so we added a Garmin AIS 600 transponder to achieve similar AIS functionality like yours (though no problems with AIS viewing resolution). Note AIS reception seems excellent (>10mi) through a masthead shared VHF antenna (via the Garmin AIS's integrated splitter) - although we haven't tested transmit much so I can't attest to whether the splitter causes any signal losses...

The tweak is that we then added a Standard Horizon GX2000 VHF with AIS display capability (fed by the Garmin AIS 600). This allows the VHF to compute CPA and manage alarms.

We could also have done AIS alarms via PC, but this way we don't have to keep the PC on.
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Old 12-11-2013, 01:15   #6
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Re: Adding AIS to an older chartplotter

we had an rl70c and to put ais on we had to change the chartplotter and the radar -- we put on a c70 and new radar -- the old radar did not work with the c70 so you have to replace both -- we put on a acr ais that interfaces with the c70 and simply love both -- ais that both sends and receives -WE WANT TO BE SEEN

we have been using both for about 4 years i would guess and have sailed the western caribbean across to the eastern carib, both down and up and then crossed the pond and now in the med -

the electronic combination we have really works well - at least for us

just our thoughts and opinions
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in port yasmine hammamet tunisia for the winter
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