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Old 11-01-2007, 12:05   #1
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AIS in Fugawi

On my website and a number of threads on this forum I characterized the initial implementation of AIS in the Fugawi package as much less than robust. Actually I think I said it was pretty much worthless.
Recently Fugawi has released a beta update (4.1.17) that addresses all of what I viewed as serious shortcomings. I still prefer SOB (DigiBoat), but I could live with Fugawi in this area.
AS a matter of fact Fugawi will once again be my preferred PC chart plotter when I return to the states later this year. I may prefer SOB (for not just AIS), but not so much that I would purchase C-Map charts of the US when the NOAA ENCs and raster charts are free and supported by Fugawi.

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Old 28-02-2007, 15:30   #2
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Self installation of AIS

Anybody think AIS is an easy thing to install? Anybody have a list of ALL the tools that are required to do this?
Thanks MUCH!
TT
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Old 28-02-2007, 17:45   #3
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Put in an AIS receiver last year, the $189.00 US SR-161.

Hooked it up to a regular VHF marine antenna mounted on the stern rail and also hooked it up to my new S-H 5" chart plotter.

Very pleased with the set-up, I have "read" ships as far away as 26 NM.

Not hard to install, ya just have to run some coax and some wires, etc.
Make sure ya water-proof all connections with silicone and heat-shrink and all that, the set-up should last a long time then....
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:24   #4
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TT,
What AIS receiver/transponder are you trying to install?
Do you mean phsically wire it into the boat, or connect and configure with the computer?
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:11   #5
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Guys, as you may have notice in my "greetings" post, I am picking up a Diesel Duck in Asia in May. I plan on purchasing an AIS receiver in the USA before I leave and installing it in the new boat, before I head out to sea. As I speak no Japanese, and as I suspect there won't be an Ace Hardware store on every corner, I need to know precisely what tools and materials are needed, so I can bring these all with me.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:52   #6
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TT,

3 connections to an AIS: power, aerial and computer.

From your description, you have access to the unit for a period of time in USA. And I assume you don't have access to the computer untill you're onboard.

power
Typically 12 VDC so straight to onboard DC power board (if boat is 12V, and fused of course). Some AIS units may allow 10-30V range so suitable for 24V systems.

aerial
Requires normal VHF aerial, mounted higher the better. The specs will say it requires its own VHF aerial, however good results can be achieved sharing the VHF radio's aerial using this electronic splitter http://milltechmarine.com/products.htm. You can wire up the AIS-to-splitter at home. The other side of the splitter will connect with the large aerial screw plug that you remove from the VHF radio on board, you'll need to make up another coax length (which you can do at home) from the splitter to the VHF radio.
Alternately fit a complete new VHF aerial for the AIS. The AIS will probably have a BNC connector for the aerial coax (this is the small bayonet type you may know better from older network cables) and the aerial will probably have the larger screw type connectors. You can buy a converter for connecting these two before you leave (any electronic supplies shop, or in milltech's catalogue).

computer
The AIS device should be supplied with a 9-pin serial plug for connecting to the computer. Your computer may not have a mate for this so you need a "USB to Serial Converter" cable (from electronics or PC shops etc) and the driver disk supplied with it. If the onboard computer is running Vista, then confirm that the driver is Vista-compatible before you leave.

I think that covers the process, I'm sure someone will fill in any spaces. Mostly you should notice that you can do most of it before you leave, and if you have the computer also then that is better. So all you'd do onboard is connect to power and change the aerial connections around.

Hope this helps
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:06   #7
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TT,
I would be very surprised if you couldn't get all of the tools you need very easily in Japan if you are close to reasonably large city. However, I haven't been to Japan for 40 years and they certainly didn't have an ACE on every corner then. Of course we didn't have them on every corner in the US back then either.
Anyway the installation of the AIS receiver should not require any tools that shouldn't already be in the boat's tool box. Nothing unusual is required.
wire cutter
wire striping device (razor knife)
and possibly a few parts:
extra small guage wire to extend the power cable, if necessary
VHF antenna and antenna cable (if not already installed)
BNC terminal for antenna cable to connect to AIS engine (NASA, other brands may be different).


The physical installation is a no-brainer. The integration with other devices (GPS, PC, Plotter, etc.) may have a few challenges.

John
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:27   #8
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Tools & airline baggage (even checked) donít mix.
In most countries, Customs & Immigration officials look askance at self-described "tourist visitors" who are carrying tools, suspecting they might actually be intending to work.
Best you check with your destination country.
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