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Old 01-03-2014, 01:36   #16
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Can I help anyone with the Vesper AIS's??
PM me.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:15   #17
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

I have the Watchmate 850 integrated with my Icom M604 and also sending GPS and AIS data to my laptop. I am also using the Vesper external GPS and their VHF splitter. I have had absolutely no issues with the antenna splitter.

The filtering options are excellent, and the anchor watch is outstanding. I am not sure that I would want a touch screen version. They also have great support.

Another happy customer here.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:14   #18
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Tony,
I have a Vesper WatchMate 650 display and a "black box" transponder (also connected to my two radar/chartplotters for AIS overlay), and I LOVE it...
(FYI, I had a stand-alone AIS receive-only set-up for > 5 years, before switching over and installing my Vesper WatchMate 650 and Class B transponder in early 2012....so I have experience with both rec-only and transponders on-board)

I understand that you are considering the touch-screen WatchMate Vision (which I have no experience with), so I won't try to dissuade you too much....but I will offer my experienced advice...

Like others here, I find when you need critical info the most, it is when the weather is the worst....and that can make trying to use a touch screen on a small boat a pain!!
Heck, even in calm seas, I prefer simple-to-use buttons!!


Whatever VESPER AIS system you choose, just make sure you choose a Vesper AIS display!! (everyone else's displays are crap compared the theirs'!!!)



And, for your application in your environment (English Channel)..
Quote:
Originally Posted by CameoSailing View Post
I'm thinking of adding AIS to my Beneteau 323 for coastal/channel crossing.
There is NO question that with all the shipping / AIS equipped vessels in your area, that you will LOVE the Vesper profiles / filtering systems!!
Nobody elses' even comes close to providing the versatility and simplicity of the Vesper WatchMates' intuitive filtering / profiles!!



Just a few photos here to show you a few things about the Vesper WatchMates...


Here is my Vesper WatchMate 650, at my Nav Station...


As for GPS....
(you can just barely see my AIS transponder's GPS antenna in the upper left corner of this photo....it is the white "mushroom" just to the left of the Hella fan....it works GREAT secured right there....as does my Garmin GPS 76 secured at the Nav Station, which is dedicated to my DSC radios....
My main GPS, a Raymarine GPS 125+ is mounted on short pole on the stern rail....no real difference in GPS performance between them..)



As for VHF antenna...
I originally installed (and still have rigged and at the ready) a dedicated VHF antenna on a pole on the stern rail for my AIS transponder, fed w/ 35' of LMR-400 coax....it works fine, and provides all the AIS range I need for coastal cruising and/or in average weather...
But, for offshore passages / crossing the Atlantic (and in rough weather), I added a Vesper SP-160 VHF/AIS transponder relay/"splitter" and use my masthead VHF antenna (fed with LMR-240 up the mast and LMR-400 thru the boat), which doubles my range and places the AIS antenna high above the waves, so that the less-often transmitted Class B data doesn't get blocked by being down-it-the-trough of a wave when it's being transmitted...



And, as others have written the Vesper products are so well designed and made, and are so intuitive, that you'll hardly even need the manual!!!
They just work and work well!!
(and even if you do overlay the AIS data on your chartplotter, etc. most will find that using the Vesper WatchMate fo an AIS display is SO much better that they wonder why they wired up the chartplotter for AIS to begin with!)



Most of the time, your WatchMate Display is going to be on the main screen, showing targets around you (on whatever range scale you select)....
And sometimes, you'll select a target to get more info and/or see a graphical look at your crossing situation...
Have a look at the following photos to see what things typically look like...

Here is the main display page (courtesy of panbo.com)










Here is a screen shot of the WatchMate display (650/670, 750, or 850) when it encounters a CPA Alarm (courtesy of panbo.com)








And, here is the "CPA" page (on the WatchMate 650/670. 750 and 850), which is shown when you press the button next to CPA....this gives you a very simple and easy to understand graphical display of your crossing situation, whether you'll pass behind, in front of, or along side, etc...
In this screen shot the other vessel (Barbara McAllister) is going to pass 0.81nm off the port side...
(also courtesy of panbo.com)








And, the on the WatchMate Vision, with its color screen and more sophisticated look, here is what a crossing situation looks like, when you simply select a target, a vector appears from the target and your own vector changes. A colored dot appears at the end of each vector to show where each vessel will be at the time of CPA.
(courtesy of Vesper Marine)

{the CPA is 0.33nm and the TCPA is 14:26. This means that the target and your vessel will be within 0.33nm of each other in 14 minutes and 26 seconds. This assumes both vessels maintain their current course and speed. The blue dot indicates the predicted position of the target vessel at the time they will both be closest to each other (14:26). The green dot indicates your vessel's position at the same time. This example shows that the target vessel will pass ahead.}





Now, Tony, I realize that I haven't directly answered all your questions...
But do hope this helps some!!

(BTW, I have NO connection to Vesper aside from being a satisfied customer!!)

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:03   #19
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

I have used a Comar CSB 200 Transponder with a Vesper AIS watchmate non-touch mono screen which also connects to my Raymarine C90W plotter for more than three years now. Works great! Color screen might be a little more visible, but I see no advantage to a touch screen.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:47   #20
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

The update with the new screen is great on the I products. Now for anchor watch integration. Very happy with my watch mate xb800


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Old 02-03-2014, 11:03   #21
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Just looking for a clarification here: The Watchmate 670 is the same display head as the Watchmate 850 in terms of size and buttons, correct? You need to mate it to an XB 8000 and the correct cabling and (ideally) AIS-tuned antenna.

I have room to have both a VHF and AIS-tuned antenna and therefore don't need the splitter, nice as that looks.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:34   #22
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Just looking for a clarification here: The Watchmate 670 is the same display head as the Watchmate 850 in terms of size and buttons, correct? You need to mate it to an XB 8000 and the correct cabling and (ideally) AIS-tuned antenna.
That's correct. Both the 670 and XB-8000 come with 6' cables which you can extend as needed. You just need to connect the NMEA output from the XB-8000 to the NMEA input on the 670.
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Old 04-03-2014, 18:10   #23
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

I have an Icom MA-500TR AIS system. I shipped it to Icom today for repair for the FOURTH time. I've paid more in shipping to/from Icom that I paid for the unit at West Marine. And, Icom wanted another $300 for the third repair, saying it was not under warranty, although it was exactly the same problem. Apparently there is a problem with the matched GPS antenna. Beware.

When it works, it's pretty cool. Intuitive function, easy to use menus and buttons.

I just wish it would keep working.
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Old 08-03-2014, 14:08   #24
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

For many sailors the available Ah's in their batteries are as valuable as gold. Any safety system which drains the battery more than absolutely neccesary is not very desirable, as it is likely that it has been switched off just that moment you will need it most. This, besides the already mentioned well designed features, made me choose for the 850 rather than the more modern and fancy looking Vision. The 850 is a transponder with the lowest power consumption available, even more so if you take into account that you don't need a plotter (or iPad in my case) to be switched on in order to see AIS targets. The 850 may look somewhat outdated with it's B/W screen, but it is just that what keeps the Amps down.

In short, I advise you to put low power consumption on top of your requirements list, easy operation second, and all other stuff below.
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Old 08-03-2014, 14:25   #25
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrobbins View Post
That's correct. Both the 670 and XB-8000 come with 6' cables which you can extend as needed. You just need to connect the NMEA output from the XB-8000 to the NMEA input on the 670.
Thanks. The 850 and 670 displays looked pretty similar, but I wanted to make sure. The XB-8000, should I choose that, would be mounted more or less in the open to take advantage of the wireless functions.
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Old 08-03-2014, 14:40   #26
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

We have an AMEC unit connected to a Furuno NavNet VX2 system....GPS comes from the Furuno via NMEA...displays on the chart plotter...works well.
We too had a problem with it not updating and sometimes freezing the Furuno screen, but this was solved with a free software update from Furuno.
The AMEC system comes with a PC viewer program as well.
The AMEC AIS in conjunction with the Furuno ARPA works really well, as we can "see" and get course and speed info on boats that don't have AIS as well as those that do...ultimate system !

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rc...62578216,d.dGI
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Old 08-03-2014, 14:56   #27
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

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Originally Posted by ilCigno View Post
For many sailors the available Ah's in their batteries are as valuable as gold. Any safety system which drains the battery more than absolutely neccesary is not very desirable, as it is likely that it has been switched off just that moment you will need it most. This, besides the already mentioned well designed features, made me choose for the 850 rather than the more modern and fancy looking Vision. The 850 is a transponder with the lowest power consumption available, even more so if you take into account that you don't need a plotter (or iPad in my case) to be switched on in order to see AIS targets. The 850 may look somewhat outdated with it's B/W screen, but it is just that what keeps the Amps down.

In short, I advise you to put low power consumption on top of your requirements list, easy operation second, and all other stuff below.
A valuable comment. I was set on the 850 at first, but the "black box" version is actually more flexible for me, and I'm installing about 1100 Ah of batteries. Let's just say if my AIS is killing my battery reserve, I probably have greater problems to attend.

If I had, for instance, a 30 footer with two Group 27s and a wee solar panel that I sailed through the English Channel TSS, the 850 would be the clear clear.
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Old 10-03-2014, 14:22   #28
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Of course you're right, there is no 'good for all' solution. If you have batteries available like you do (which I envy) you make other choices. But in the situation in the English Channel - which pretty good resembles my own situation - or when you are on a long trip on a (energy)budget, then the importance of energy efficient equipment will be a priority.
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