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Old 23-02-2017, 04:51   #1
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AIS reciever for android

This looks very interesting, so cheap! Those rtl dongles can be picked up for next to nothing on ebay, handy as a SDR receiver to track down RF noise onboard as well.

Ships – Android application | VIDEGRO Consulting Blog

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VIDEGRO’s Ships is a free Android application which allows you to receive AIS information directly from ships in your neighbourhood using a cheap DVB-T-DAB-FM / RTL-SDR receiver.
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Old 23-02-2017, 04:58   #2
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Re: AIS reciever for android

I have one, it's not really off the shelf, couldn't get it to work. I just use beacon now. Usually in a congested area you also have cell service.
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Old 23-02-2017, 05:06   #3
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Re: AIS reciever for android

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I have one, it's not really off the shelf, couldn't get it to work. I just use beacon now. Usually in a congested area you also have cell service.
Was that with the ships android app?
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Old 23-02-2017, 05:31   #4
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Re: AIS reciever for android

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Was that with the ships android app?
No sorry for not being clear, it is with trying to get that dongle to receive correctly. I tried it in android and on my laptop. You have to modify the dongle to a vhf antenna then "tune it". It can be done, but it is a mess. Using beacon or similar app removes the added equipment, but limits you to cell tower range. It was interesting to see that I did "ping" 100 miles out in the gulf south of new orleans on beacon though. The location was correct, nothing else was.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:04   #5
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Re: AIS reciever for android

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No sorry for not being clear, it is with trying to get that dongle to receive correctly. I tried it in android and on my laptop. You have to modify the dongle to a vhf antenna then "tune it". It can be done, but it is a mess. Using beacon or similar app removes the added equipment, but limits you to cell tower range. It was interesting to see that I did "ping" 100 miles out in the gulf south of new orleans on beacon though. The location was correct, nothing else was.
This app has a calibration option built in by the looks of it, though it says you need traffic around for it to calibrate so I can't check how well it works unfortunately.

I've seen up to a mile difference before from live VHF ais data and web based , would't trust it for any kind of real world decisions. But that's for a different thread maybe
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:39   #6
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Re: AIS reciever for android

I have a receiver on my boat I use for real decisions, the beacon is for friends and family to see us.
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Old 23-02-2017, 09:13   #7
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Re: AIS reciever for android

I have had Smartradio AIS receiver on my boat for a while, several years before Class B transponders were approved in the US.
I also have a dAISy AIS receiver.
I also have one of those very cheap USB SDR devices.

The Smartradio has been operating for a long time. Reasonable sensitivity, reasonable rejection of spurious signals.

The dAISy has been at best erratic. Sometimes close in performance to the Smartradio , sometimes seems to be sort of deaf.

I have gotten the NooElec R820T to work, BUT reception range is so much poorer AND I seem to have to go through the calibration steps each time I start it, it is not for me.

For comparison purposes, I have a tall high antenna on my house of close frequency. There are several ais transponders close, operating all the time, at different ranges. Some are pleasure boats in a yacht club 5 miles away.
Some are US ships permanantly moored in the harbor 10 miles away. Some are navaids 60 some miles away. And there is also transient traffic! I have a Metz halfwave on the foremast for the ais, and as a backup for VHF (and Ham.).

The dAISy is iffy. It might be a good enough receiver, sometimes it seems to work pretty well.

The SDR device is not good enough for me. You will probably be better off with the phone app which relies on cooperative stations reporting positions. The SDR setup is a step down in performance.

I have good antennas, and recommend same.
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Old 23-02-2017, 09:31   #8
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Re: AIS reciever for android

Nice try, but notice the serious limitations:

- relatively few Android devices have OTG usb,
- running an otg usb device the mobile device stops being mobile.

Etc.

So to say it is way easier to feed your ais data via wifi.

Still, a very noteworthy effort by the developer hence my +1! bump.

Cheers,
barnakiel
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Old 23-02-2017, 09:44   #9
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Re: AIS reciever for android

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Nice try, but notice the serious limitations:

- relatively few Android devices have OTG usb,
- running an otg usb device the mobile device stops being mobile.

Etc.

So to say it is way easier to feed your ais data via wifi.

Still, a very noteworthy effort by the developer hence my +1! bump.

Cheers,
barnakiel
Open source as well which is always nice,
Isn't otg just a cable?

Anyway, looks interesting, might be handy for deliveries or on a budget. I've ended up with 3 recievers already so it's just an interesting little app.

If you mean wifi ais as Internet ais then have to disagree, not a good idea at all, I've seen just how far out the positions can be.
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Old 23-02-2017, 11:53   #10
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Re: AIS reciever for android

I was naive when I bought my boat - I thought I could buy cheap stuff to outfit her. I have since realised that getting the right (usually expensive) stuff saves me a lot of time and hassle. Because equipment on a boat has to work. Every time, all the time.

So, all I can say is:

Get yourself a Vesper XB8000

It talks to your network, does wifi to your tablet, and it works.

If you want to play with gadgets that almost work, and make life-saving decisions based on their almost-working information, just make sure your insurance is up to date :-)

Regards
Michael
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Old 23-02-2017, 15:53   #11
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Re: AIS reciever for android

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post

(...)

Isn't otg just a cable?

(...)

If you mean wifi ais as Internet ais then have to disagree, not a good idea at all, I've seen just how far out the positions can be.

Unfortunately, otg is not just the cable. ;-(

From my research most inexpensive Android devices to not sport otg while many top end pricey units do.

We have two Android things onboard and none is otg (one Samsung smartphone one Acer tablet).

By wifi I mean ais over wifi, not over the Internet.

You can plug any ais receiver into a s/h wifi router and turn it into a wifi ais. This way ANY android device (as well as any Win, Mac or Linux device) with wifi capability can display ais. Must admit I have never seen a non-wifi Android thing but maybe there are some around.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 23-02-2017, 16:16   #12
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Re: AIS reciever for android

IF your device supports OTG USB then it is just a cable.

My Samsung tablet does...very handy to have.
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