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Old 19-03-2017, 14:13   #61
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
So you don't actually do anything with the data, it's just nice to know.

My point is that a splitter adds failure points to your VHF comms so you can see AIS targets at distances that don't matter. There is nothing you are going to do navigation-wise 30 minutes TCPA from a recreational vessel. I'd be surprised if you altered course before 10 minutes TCPA. Hence, a rail mount AIS antenna provides all the navigation data needed for collision avoidance.
My vesper splitter on my last boat ran for 7 years with no issues. Everything can fail at any time, the shared antenna as always worked great for me.

Sent from my vivo Y35 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 19-03-2017, 17:00   #62
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

Jeff, what's the failure rate for Vesper splitters?
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Old 20-03-2017, 00:07   #63
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

The vast majority of failed splitters we see are due to lightning strikes. They typically have components vaporized inside. Some owners have reported antennas blown apart. Many times the AIS and VHF survive. Sometimes not.

Other than that, we did have a small number of splitters that were affected recently by an embarrassing production problem that we didn't discover during manufacturing testing. But we found it pretty quickly during a production audit and replaced them all before most of them were ever used. But I don't consider it a unit that failed during normal use... rather it was a screw up that failed before use :-(
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Old 20-03-2017, 07:23   #64
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
...You can communicate with the Space Station using milliwatts and even bounce a signal from the moon back to earth.
This is misleading. You cannot accomplish moonbounce with milliwatts of trassmitter power.

For a good explanation, see

EME | Amateur Radio – PEŘSAT

Typically at VHF (144-MHz) a transmitter power of 500 to 1,000 watts is needed, and very high-gain antennas are necessary. The path loss is estimated to be around -250 dB. And reception requires detection of very weak signals using specialized demodulation methods--nothing like FM modulated voice copied by ear on a speaker.

Compare at

http://ve2zaz.net/Presentations/Down...esentation.pdf
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Old 21-03-2017, 07:37   #65
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

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Originally Posted by jeffrobbins View Post
The vast majority of failed splitters we see are due to lightning strikes. They typically have components vaporized inside. Some owners have reported antennas blown apart. Many times the AIS and VHF survive. Sometimes not.

Other than that, we did have a small number of splitters that were affected recently by an embarrassing production problem that we didn't discover during manufacturing testing. But we found it pretty quickly during a production audit and replaced them all before most of them were ever used. But I don't consider it a unit that failed during normal use... rather it was a screw up that failed before use :-(
Funny.. That is exactly what happened to our splitter when we were struck. The actual circuit board had tracks completely blown off. Unfortunately our VHF and Watchmate AIS were both killed as well. They seemed to be killed through the NMEA0183 port and not the antenna port. Its seems like the splitter took the brunt of it from the antenna (that was vaporized).

I love my splitter and mast mounted antenna and replaced it with the exact same. Unfortunatley budget wouldn't allow me to replace my Watchmate and instead I ended up with a 650 (still Vesper). I would love to know if I could send my Watchmate in for repair.

Anway.. I don't want to restart this argument, but there are plusses and minuses to both setups. I prefer a masthead AIS. I have personally seen multiple big boats adjust course 20 miles out to avoid me.
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Old 21-03-2017, 10:55   #66
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

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I would love to know if I could send my Watchmate in for repair.
You can send it to us by contacting support@vespermarine.com but if it was damaged by lightning it's unlikely we'll be able to repair it for less cost than a new one - lots of tech time plus replacement PCB's, etc. Even when it appears to be repairable (eg. the PCB isn't burnt) we are reluctant because there can be hidden damage to IC's that doesn't show up until sometime later.
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Old 30-03-2017, 15:31   #67
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Re: AIS Transceiver in VHF

BTW, on a earlier part of this thread... we got on a Standard Horizon GX6500 discussion as an all-in-one VHF+AIS transponder.

I decided to order one during WM 3x points sale a 10 days ago and they contacted me that the SH confirmed to ship the unit mid-April. Well, today I got a note from WM stating the SH had updated the date... and it's now expected to ship in mid-JUNE.

I cancelled my order and now will likely look at Vesper.
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