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Old 20-02-2014, 14:59   #1
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AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

I'm thinking of adding AIS to my Beneteau 323 for coastal/channel crossing. On my trawl through the internet I have come across the Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision touch screen AIS. Does anybody have any experience of this AIS. Particularly with regard to usage, self installation etc. For those who have installed and used this product did you need any additional items over and above what came with the actual WatchMate to install it! i.e. external GPS antenna and a VHF spitter.

Cheers

Tony
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Old 20-02-2014, 15:35   #2
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

I have one. Love it. Used the Vesper antenna splitter and their GPS antenna. Had it installed, so I cannot comment on the difficulty.
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Old 20-02-2014, 20:03   #3
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Originally Posted by CameoSailing View Post
. On my trawl through the internet I have come across the Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision touch screen AIS. Does anybody have any experience of this AIS.

Tony
I have recently done 4k miles on a boat with this AIS. I hate the new version with the touch screen.

Menus are not intuitive (both the symbols and the menu tree). The touch screen response is erratic. The anchor watch function of the early version is not there anymore. The NMEA feed into Furuno network stols working when you most need it.

All that said, I loved the old (not touch screen) AIS from Vesper..
C
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Old 20-02-2014, 21:08   #4
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I have the 670 BW non touch screen version display only with the XB8000 wifi transponder. I integrated them with and ICOM 604 to be able to do DSC calling to AIS targets from the Watchmate screen. Installation was not difficult. The technical support is excellent via email. I have their GPS antenna and a dedicated AIS antenna.

I use the anchor alarm every day. Uses next to I power. The AIS and the display have never been switched off since installation 2 months ago.
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Old 21-02-2014, 04:02   #5
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Thanks guys for the quick responses, some like and dislikes which is good positive feedback. I'm still undecided at the moment as it was the touch screen which was drawing me to the WatchMate Vision. Has anybody else experienced the problems "svlamorocha" has?

Tony
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Old 21-02-2014, 04:47   #6
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Check out this thread. I think from memory the Vesper designer makes a few comments.

Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)
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Old 23-02-2014, 14:41   #7
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by CameoSailing View Post
I'm thinking of adding AIS to my Beneteau 323 for coastal/channel crossing. On my trawl through the internet I have come across the Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision touch screen AIS. Does anybody have any experience of this AIS. Particularly with regard to usage, self installation etc. For those who have installed and used this product did you need any additional items over and above what came with the actual WatchMate to install it! i.e. external GPS antenna and a VHF spitter.

Cheers

Tony
Hi Tony

I did the same as you and asked around but 50% of people I spoke to said yes the touch screens are good 'when they work'.

Again after recommendations I went for a Standard Horizon system AIS radio GX2100E coupled to SH 300i plotter ,that was two years ago, brillient bits of kit and user friendly.
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Old 23-02-2014, 15:01   #8
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

We have the 850. Love it. Screens are so intuitive that I never refer to the book. Even guests can figure it out. We installed it with its own VHS antenna. Had to add the Vesper external GPS because the internal would not connect occasionally. We will find out how this helps this summer. I like having instruments that are mutually independent. the AIS works alone, uses little power (about 3 watts) and the Anchor Watch function is super. The people have been great to work with on the occasions I've needed help (GPS)
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Old 23-02-2014, 16:34   #9
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
I have recently done 4k miles on a boat with this AIS. I hate the new version with the touch screen.

Menus are not intuitive (both the symbols and the menu tree). The touch screen response is erratic. The anchor watch function of the early version is not there anymore. The NMEA feed into Furuno network stols working when you most need it.

All that said, I loved the old (not touch screen) AIS from Vesper..
C
Thanks svlamorocha for your comments.

Just so you know... we are indeed working on more improvements to the touch and menus. And the anchor watch is coming too. It's taken longer than we wanted but it is coming. And FYI: we just released a firmware update a couple of weeks ago with a few things including more support for translating N2K PGN's to WiFi.

What's going on with your Furuno network? Please send an email to support@vespermarine.com so we can help you directly with that. We have lots of customers using our units with Furuno, Raymarine, Garmin and others. I'd really like to help you get that (and the other issues) sorted out.
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Old 23-02-2014, 17:30   #10
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

I think you will prefer a black box AIS solution which will overlay the AIS data on your chart plotter screen, if you have a chart plotter at your helm which is capable of displaying such data. Saves space, too.
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Old 23-02-2014, 17:43   #11
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I use the XB8000 and am a fan. Having other vessels be able to see me in the fog or at night helps me sleep while off watch.

At present INavx is the only tablet nav app that I know of that can access the wifi ais data. I hope to see that change.
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Old 23-02-2014, 17:59   #12
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

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At present INavx is the only tablet nav app that I know of that can access the wifi ais data. I hope to see that change.
There is also SEAiq and a soon-to-be-released special Vesper Marine version of NavPlay. (For a sneak preview check out the news section of our website at Vesper Marine News)

Also, our own free app now has a plotting screen that is similar to a WatchMate. And it has instant target acquisition. What I mean by that is with all other apps you must wait while targets are received and the app then overlays targets on the chart one at a time as they come in. It also doesn't know the names of the targets until that info is received (up to 6 minutes). But the Vesper app is able to receive all the active target info immediately when you first start it or switch you iPad back on. That's because it takes advantage of a unique feature of the XB-8000 and WatchMate Vision.
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Old 24-02-2014, 08:30   #13
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
I use the XB8000 and am a fan. Having other vessels be able to see me in the fog or at night helps me sleep while off watch.

At present INavx is the only tablet nav app that I know of that can access the wifi ais data. I hope to see that change.
I'm considering that model, too. Anyone use the wifi on it?
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Old 24-02-2014, 08:37   #14
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

The wifi is what I use INavx with.
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:18   #15
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Re: AIS Choice...WatchMate Vision Touch Screen

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
We have the 850. Love it. Screens are so intuitive that I never refer to the book. Even guests can figure it out. We installed it with its own VHS antenna. Had to add the Vesper external GPS because the internal would not connect occasionally. We will find out how this helps this summer. I like having instruments that are mutually independent. the AIS works alone, uses little power (about 3 watts) and the Anchor Watch function is super. The people have been great to work with on the occasions I've needed help (GPS)

We share the same results. We love our Watchmate 850!! I read the instruction manual once and everything after that is so easy. The support from Jeff and his team is over the top! I am a lifetime vesper marine customer. There are many items I love about the unit but 3 come to mind. 1. Being standalone it draws a tiny amount of power so it's on 24/7. The multiple setup for filtering (at anchor, harbor, coastal and offshore) are fantastic. Currently at Balboa canal and we have over 200 vessels showing up and being able to filter off those at anchor, etc is great. 3. The anchor watch is set every time we anchor. At anchor we turn the transmit off so the unit is using milliamps. The anchor watch easily allows us to tell how far in feet or meter we are from the anchor, what bearing it's located and it's so easy to expand the circle or reduce it tighter.

Vesper Marine did their homework when they built this unit. Everything works as advertised.

Good luck with your choice but I in my opinion I would buy Vesper Marine. (Just a happy customer)

Chuck
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