Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-09-2012, 13:13   #1
Registered User
 
Aussie_Sequoia's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Boat: Prout Event 34
Posts: 250
Send a message via Skype™ to Aussie_Sequoia
AIS Options

So about to head back to Mexico, pre-Pacific crossing. Would like to add an AIS to the boat. Have been trying to figure out the best set up for the least cash (have little left at this point for new systems).

Looked into trying to grab a cheap Standard Horizon Matrix series VHF/AIS dual channel and use the NMEA output and send it into my laptop running OpenCPN or equivalent.

My VHF is working at the moment, but I thought that this option would be inexpensive, instantaneous to set up (using my existing VHF antenna) and provide 2 ways to see the data (the small built in display and the laptop 'plotter').

I would of course have to buy a NMEA to USB multiplexer to go with this set up which will add cost.

I looked into just buying a splitter and a straight AIS to USB receiver unit (no radio no display) but the costs seemed almost on par.

Any recommendations as to either of these set ups?
__________________

__________________
Aussie_Sequoia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2012, 13:28   #2
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,389
Re: AIS Options

Have you considered a usb ais dongle? Google it.
__________________

__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2012, 13:50   #3
Registered User
 
Aussie_Sequoia's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Boat: Prout Event 34
Posts: 250
Send a message via Skype™ to Aussie_Sequoia
Re: AIS Options

Had seen those earlier. I'd still need an expensive splitter and the cost isn't terribly better than a Digital Yacht version or even the Matrix VHF/AIS on eBay.

Great idea though. Anyone had real experience with them? I'm concerned about the 'either' or on the dual channels.
__________________
Aussie_Sequoia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2012, 14:51   #4
Registered User
 
Lars_L's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Boat: West coast of Norway Winter: Höllviken, Skåne, Sweden
Boat: H 30
Posts: 156
Re: AIS Options

I have a unit named Easy AIS model TRX2-IS A050. It has an antenna splitter in the unit, so I can use my old VHF antenna for both the AIS transponder and the VHF radio. It have the usual NMEA output but it also have a USB connection, witch I have connected to my laptop and the Seaclear program.

The AIS transponders are often sold without a necessary special GPS antenna.

Today the Easy AIS unit cost €760 plus GPS antenna €90 from SVB in Germany.
__________________
Lars_L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2012, 15:31   #5
Marine Service Provider
 
Cacique's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: UK
Boat: Vancouver 27
Posts: 234
Re: AIS Options

It is possible to convert your existing VHF radio to allow it to process the AIS signal, I haven't tried this myself but I am considering it because I have a laptop that will run as a plotter with my Admiralty (UK Goverment produced) charts, and I have allready added a GPS sensor to allow my VHF DSC to work. Incidentally the GPS receiver was ₤18.00 about $22, and I have been using it for over 5 years now its output is nmea and it is OK to split the signal line if some other equipment needs GPS data. Have a look here about 1/3 page down AIS conversion 100NZ dollars.
Cheapest AIS SYSTEM for Yachts
If anyone has done this please post it as I'd love to know more.
__________________
Cheers Jamie
http://www.sailingcacique.com/
Cacique is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2012, 15:31   #6
Registered User
 
sy_gilana's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On board
Boat: Van de Stadt 50'
Posts: 1,101
Send a message via Skype™ to sy_gilana
Re: AIS Options

Go for the Standard Horizon Matrix 2150 (in the US) or 2100E (in Europe)
Great radio, lots of features, good price, more functionality like position polling, pos request, mmsi lookup and direct call etc etc. I have bought 4 already, one for me and 3 on other boats. No regrets.
__________________
Tight sheets to ya.
http://gilana.org
sy_gilana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2012, 11:30   #7
Registered User
 
Sumner's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SE Utah
Boat: 1981 Endeavour 37 & 1990 MacGregor 26 Classic
Posts: 370
Re: AIS Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
Go for the Standard Horizon Matrix 2150 (in the US) or 2100E (in Europe)
Great radio, lots of features, good price, more functionality like position polling, pos request, mmsi lookup and direct call etc etc. I have bought 4 already, one for me and 3 on other boats. No regrets.
The 2150 has two different output baud rate options. We bought the 2100 as we were going to use it with SeaClear, but now I think we are switching to OpenCPN. It only has the one baud rate output 38,400. Will I have any problems using that with OpenCPN? It looks like it should work.

We will also have a handheld Garmin 76 connected to the computer...

Compurer-Chart Plotter-Navigation Index

....all of the time out in the cockpit so that we can update route waypoints to it underway if needed and it is connected at 4800 baud. The computer does have more than one com port. We also have been using a GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS connected at the same time for redundancy on GPS location and SeaClear seems to work fine with position from the Garmin and Bu-353 at the same time. This has all worked well in the MacGregor and we are transferring it to the Endeavour.

To summarize we are moving from SeaClear and going to OpenCPN with the above and the addition of the AIS from the 2100. Just wondering if anyone has done a similar setup?

Thanks,

Sum

------------------------------------------------------
Sumner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2012, 14:38   #8
Registered User
 
Aussie_Sequoia's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Boat: Prout Event 34
Posts: 250
Send a message via Skype™ to Aussie_Sequoia
Re: AIS Options

What device do you use to connect the Matrix to your laptop?
__________________
Aussie_Sequoia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2012, 15:53   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,331
Re: AIS Options

The one disappointing thing about the Standard Horizon VHF/AIS is that it requires a GPS input, but doesn't output the GPS data. I had to buy a $30 serial/USB converter to hook up to my netbook, plus a $30 USB GPS to provide OpenCPN with position data, and it ties up 2 usb ports.

The other thing that bugs me about the radio is that it sounds a screeching alarm about 5 minutes after startup and every 4 hours thereafter if it doesn't get a GPS signal--that's part of the DSC system, and it eronly started after I put in an MMSI number.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2012, 16:29   #10
Registered User
 
Sumner's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SE Utah
Boat: 1981 Endeavour 37 & 1990 MacGregor 26 Classic
Posts: 370
Re: AIS Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The one disappointing thing about the Standard Horizon VHF/AIS is that it requires a GPS input, but doesn't output the GPS data. I had to buy a $30 serial/USB converter to hook up to my netbook, plus a $30 USB GPS to provide OpenCPN with position data, and it ties up 2 usb ports..
I agree in this age of cheap GPS why not just put it into the radio in the first place, but on the other side of the coin $60 total outlay for that isn't that bad and really only $30 since you were going to have to get GPS to either the radio or computer anyway.

We have bought a few Garmin Map 76's (non-color) for around $60 on e-bay and they keep getting cheaper. I plan on using one of those to input the GPS location to the radio. You can also run them off of a 12 volt battery on a cigarette type plug so you don't have to keep putting batteries in it. We do that now with another one that is connected to the computer and out in the cockpit and will do the same with the one connected to the radio. I kind of like the redundancy of the radio being independent from the computer.

Our ship's computer has serial ports so we don't have to run the usb-serial adapters.

We have one of the cheaper Standard Horizon radios with DSC on out MacGregor and there we use a...



Cuda 350 Depth Finder/GPS

...Cuda 350 GPS/fishfinder (depth-finder). It can output GPS so we run that output to the radio for the DSC. The Cuda is a pretty good deal except for one important detail. There is no NEMA in on it so you can't send waypoints to it from SeaClear or OpenCPN. If it had that it would be a great deal,

Sum

----------------------------------------------------------
Sumner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2012, 18:39   #11
Registered User
 
surfmachine's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cruising the West coast of Sumatra and the offshore islands, surfing!!
Boat: Feltz Skorpion mark 11A, Aluminium 39' sloop, constructed Hamburg. http://photobucket.com/eloise_01
Posts: 674
Images: 9
Send a message via Skype™ to surfmachine
Re: AIS Options

Mate, I have the sh matrix, hooked up to my raymarine a50 chart plotter, a great radio, shows the ais targets on the plotter, speed, heading, safety zone, wonderful. Also the hand held sh vhf with the gps and dsc for wearing on watch, for emergencies.

Best ais/vhf combo I have seen.

Wonderful when crossing the malaccan straits in the dark, surrounded by 50 huge boats!!???

Cheers from Keith.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0001-008.JPG
Views:	154
Size:	349.7 KB
ID:	47252   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0001-007.JPG
Views:	158
Size:	395.8 KB
ID:	47254  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0002-008.JPG
Views:	150
Size:	378.3 KB
ID:	47255   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0002-009.jpg
Views:	160
Size:	418.5 KB
ID:	47256  

__________________
Keith, "But I was born very young and grew up knowing little of the world!" http://surfmachine-surfmachine.blogspot.com.au/
surfmachine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2012, 09:25   #12
Registered User
 
Aussie_Sequoia's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Boat: Prout Event 34
Posts: 250
Send a message via Skype™ to Aussie_Sequoia
Re: AIS Options

OK, still trying to find someone who has ACTUALLY connected their Matrix to their laptop. I've been chatting with Standard Horizon techs for days now and they say they only have experience with customers connecting the unit to a commercial chart plotter.

This looks like it could work. Can anyone tell me what they used?

Digital Yacht NMEA Adapter f/PC

CHEERS!
__________________
Aussie_Sequoia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2012, 09:40   #13
Registered User
 
cfarrar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklin, Maine U.S.A
Boat: Allures 44
Posts: 734
Images: 2
Re: AIS Options

Probably not what you're looking for, but I've got my 2150 connected to a Brookhouse iMux. This provides AIS to my chartplotter and also via WIFI to my Ipod / Ipad (which use INAVX to display the AIS data, sailing instrument, navigation data, etc).
__________________
cfarrar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2012, 10:03   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 718
Re: AIS Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cacique View Post
It is possible to convert your existing VHF radio....to allow it to process the AIS signal, If anyone has done this please post it as I'd love to know more.
I did this a while back to an Icom M502 for monitoring of AIS in my shop and uploading to Marinetraffic.com I'm a service tech so it was no sweat for me. You just have to tap the audio before the audio filtering circuitry in the radio. It worked pretty well but if you do this to your boats VHF, you can't use it for anything else at the same time. You have to leave it on the AIS channel.

Eric
__________________
fairbank56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2012, 10:20   #15
Registered User
 
Sumner's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SE Utah
Boat: 1981 Endeavour 37 & 1990 MacGregor 26 Classic
Posts: 370
Re: AIS Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
OK, still trying to find someone who has ACTUALLY connected their Matrix to their laptop. I've been chatting with Standard Horizon techs for days now and they say they only have experience with customers connecting the unit to a commercial chart plotter.

This looks like it could work. Can anyone tell me what they used?

Digital Yacht NMEA Adapter f/PC

CHEERS!
That adapter might work, but I couldn't find enough info on it. OpenCPN is looking for the input on a com/serial port. If that device shows up as a com port on the computer then it should work if wired to the radio's AIS output and ground.

Have you tried using a USB/serial adapter such as....



the Belkin adapter...

Belkin : USB to Serial adapter

I use one of those for data logging on a race car and it works just fine.

You will have to get a serial cable that can plug into the adapter above and then possibly cut one end off and wire to the radio. Try and get a 'null cable' where the wires go straight through. Some cables will switch the data wires going through. You can check the pinouts with an ohm meter and you are going to probably have to cut the one end off anyway to wire to the radio so need to make sure you are using the right wires to the right pins pins on the female end that will plug into the adapter.

Once the adapter is connected you are going to have to go to "devices" on the computer and see which com port it is showing up as and then use that com port with the OpenCPN.

Sounds complicated but work through it step by step. I wish I wasn't so busy now or I would finish connecting my temporarily here at the house. I don't think I'm going to see any AIS targets in the canyons of SE Utah though ,

Sum

------------------------------------------------
__________________

Sumner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ais

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:00.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.