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Old 21-04-2015, 04:23   #31
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AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

I think AIS is fantastic. I have the Raymarine E7 and the AIS 650 and a separate aerial on my top spreader. I did all the study and did this for a reason and this is why;

I think Vesper products are very good, however I tried the splitter and changed because there are two issues;
1. Signal strength is way lower than with a separate 'AIS tuned' aerial. I am certain of this because I tracked my yacht with Marine Traffic.com and with exactEarth satellite and the splitter version was poor and the separate aerial fantastic. I was satellite tracked - with Class B and 2w easily. I saw ships 100nm away.
2. The splitter shares the VHF aerial. When I spotted a ship about to run me down and called them on VHF part way through the conversation the AIS wanted to send out a signal. As it could not I got a loud warning on my E7 plotter "failed AIS". Both Vesper and Raymarine acknowledged that this could not be fixed.

I bought personal AIS beacons for my crew. So if they fall in they will be tracked on my chart plotter and found quickly by me or my crew quickly, regardless of sea state, day or night. Expensive but surely worth every penny?

Interesting to watch what other do who have AIS, have a look at the lower yacht, yep the Beneteau 50 did not hit but was sailing over rocks;

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Old 21-04-2015, 08:38   #32
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Re: AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddedger View Post
Just a note. If you use a VHF with AIS receiver built in like the Standard Horizon you will not get all of the AIS info because the E series will not pick it all up on NMEA 0183. If you want all the info Like target names and speeds you need to use a VHF/ AIS receiver that outputs NMEA 2000 like the new Ray 70, or the ICOM.
This is incorrect. I have a GX2150 connected to an e7d and an e127 and get all the info over NMEA 0183.
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Old 21-04-2015, 09:00   #33
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Re: AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

Here's what the AIS looks like on a Raymarine e127 connected via NMEA 0183 to a Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150
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Old 21-04-2015, 18:02   #34
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Re: AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

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Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
I think AIS is fantastic. I have the Raymarine E7 and the AIS 650 and a separate aerial on my top spreader.
For what it's worth, we don't usually recommend spreader mounted AIS antennas as they don't typically allow for enough separation from the mast or rigging. And on the top spreader it often places the tip of a 1/2 wave antenna very close to the upper shroud.

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Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
1. Signal strength is way lower than with a separate 'AIS tuned' aerial. I am certain of this because I tracked my yacht with Marine Traffic.com and with exactEarth satellite and the splitter version was poor and the separate aerial fantastic.
When you tested was it with the same antenna in both configurations? Same cable? I'm not sure if this is what you saw, but if the masthead antenna isn't particularly well matched for 162 MHz then that would explain the difference vs. an antenna that has it's center frequency at 162 MHz. If this is your case, it does highlight an important consideration when sharing an antenna. The antenna must be well matched across the frequencies it is being asked to transmit.

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Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
2. The splitter shares the VHF aerial. When I spotted a ship about to run me down and called them on VHF part way through the conversation the AIS wanted to send out a signal. As it could not I got a loud warning on my E7 plotter "failed AIS". Both Vesper and Raymarine acknowledged that this could not be fixed.
Yes, that's an unfortunate issue with the Raymarine AIS 650 when used with our splitter. Of course not much help to you but our AIS transponders don't have this issue.
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Old 21-04-2015, 18:15   #35
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Re: AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

I know two owners who had problems with Ray screen / non-Ray AIS setups.

If the screen is Ray, I would also get a Ray AIS.

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Old 23-04-2015, 05:12   #36
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Re: AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

Hi Jeff, firstly I would like to say again my belief that Vesper makes great equipment and you guys were excellent help to me.

Definitely the aerial was the issue. My VHF is a short skinny looking type and I bought a new long, thick AIS one quoted as being 'AIS tuned'. Unfortunately most who use a splitter do so to save costs and mast work and so will put up with the VHF aerial they have.

Once I decided to try the AIS tuned aerial the problem became where to install it. There was a massive AIS technical discussion on CF about 2 years ago and it seemed important to install several meters away from the VHF aerial. For me that left only the spreader. I have not had any reception problem, as mentioned I have had up to 100nm range. The tip is about 30cm from the shroud.

Regards, Dave
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Old 23-04-2015, 16:06   #37
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Re: AIS & Raymarine e7 - Set up..

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
Hi Jeff, firstly I would like to say again my belief that Vesper makes great equipment and you guys were excellent help to me.

Definitely the aerial was the issue. My VHF is a short skinny looking type and I bought a new long, thick AIS one quoted as being 'AIS tuned'. Unfortunately most who use a splitter do so to save costs and mast work and so will put up with the VHF aerial they have.
Thanks. Of course the splitter can't make the antenna work better and we've found that helical antennas and other "shorties" really don't have enough bandwidth to be well matched for both VHF radio and AIS use regardless of whether they are used with a splitter or dedicated. Not trying to state the obvious but the weakest link restricts the result. But for people who have a wide bandwidth antenna on the masthead they usually find using the splitter gives the best possible range due to the antenna being as high as possible and in free-space with no reflections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
Once I decided to try the AIS tuned aerial the problem became where to install it. There was a massive AIS technical discussion on CF about 2 years ago and it seemed important to install several meters away from the VHF aerial. For me that left only the spreader. I have not had any reception problem, as mentioned I have had up to 100nm range. The tip is about 30cm from the shroud.
Yes, separation from other antennas is very important. NMEA recommends 4' horizontal separation. So this obviously rules out two antennas on the masthead. But separation from RF reflective objects is also important. Spreader mounting, except on very large boats, makes that hard to achieve. Receive range will be good but isn't an indicator of transmit performance. If your AIS allows you to check the VSWR then that would help. But no matter really.. if you are happy with your setup then leave well enough alone.
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