Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-01-2012, 11:41   #1
Registered User
 
mukilteomaniac's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Mukilteo, WA
Boat: Catalina 320 MK II
Posts: 15
AIS Unit for Raymarine Chartplotter System

It is Boat Show time here in snowy Seattle. So I think it is time for me to purchase an AIS receiver to install in my Catalina. The type of sailing we do on busy Puget Sound and not so busy San Juan Island and Canadian Gulf Islands suggests that an AIS receiver would be a worthy upgrade.

I have the Raymarine integrated C80 Chart plotter, Radar, GPS, and Autopilot installed in our 2007 C320 Mk II. We have an ICOM VHF ICM412 Base Station Radio with the Command Mic at the helm. It is a great set up. I like the radio as well. We also have an unused VHF antenna splitter that was incorrectly utilized by the factory (or commissioning dealer) to connect our factory installed LCD TV antenna to the VHF antenna. Since both the TV and VHF work off of different frequencies, the splitter was of no use for TV reception. So I still have the splitter for use with a new AIS receiver if I need it.

So, I am looking at the following AIS receivers:

A. An ICOM MXA 500 Dual Channel AIS receiver. It has a built in antenna splitter and NEMA 0183 and PC data outputs. I found it at Defender for about $335 and ICOM currently has a $100 rebate on the unit resulting in a net cost of about $235.
B. An ACR Nauticast Dual Channel AIS receiver. It is has a small unit with similar dual channel features without a built in VHF splitter for about $140 at Defender.
C. A used Raymarine AIS 250 that is selling at a local marine exchange for about $280. It is an older unit with only a single channel receiver.

So, my questions are:

1. Anyone have any experience with any of these AIS receivers?
2. Connecting them to the Raymarine C80 should be pretty straightforward. Has anyone done this and are their any bits of advice out there from fellow boat owners?
3. Since the AIS data will be streamed to the C80 Chart plotter, I would imagine that the data that is displayed would look the same on the chart plotter whether it was from a ICOM, Raymarine or the ACR unit. Right?
4. Any other AIS receiver recommendations?

I am leaning toward getting the ICOM unit due to the price with rebate, built in VHF splitter, and same brand as my VHF radio. I did look at the integrated Standard Horizon VHF with built in AIS, but with my relatively new ICOM VHF and Command Mic set up, changing out the good working existing VHF radio with a new VHF with AIS does make sense to me. So, my plan is to upgrade my existing system with an AIS receiver.

So, any and all advice or experience with these AIS units or others would be welcome.

Thanks!

Dave

David Swanson
S/V Emily Ann
2007 C320 MK II, No. 1107
Mukilteo, WA
__________________

__________________
mukilteomaniac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2012, 12:00   #2
Registered User
 
xymotic's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,076
Re: AIS Unit for Raymarine Chartplotter System

Quote:
Originally Posted by mukilteomaniac View Post
It is Boat Show time here in snowy Seattle. So I think it is time for me to purchase an AIS receiver to install in my Catalina. The type of sailing we do on busy Puget Sound and not so busy San Juan Island and Canadian Gulf Islands suggests that an AIS receiver would be a worthy upgrade.

I have the Raymarine integrated C80 Chart plotter, Radar, GPS, and Autopilot installed in our 2007 C320 Mk II. We have an ICOM VHF ICM412 Base Station Radio with the Command Mic at the helm. It is a great set up. I like the radio as well. We also have an unused VHF antenna splitter that was incorrectly utilized by the factory (or commissioning dealer) to connect our factory installed LCD TV antenna to the VHF antenna. Since both the TV and VHF work off of different frequencies, the splitter was of no use for TV reception. So I still have the splitter for use with a new AIS receiver if I need it.

So, I am looking at the following AIS receivers:

A. An ICOM MXA 500 Dual Channel AIS receiver. It has a built in antenna splitter and NEMA 0183 and PC data outputs. I found it at Defender for about $335 and ICOM currently has a $100 rebate on the unit resulting in a net cost of about $235.
B. An ACR Nauticast Dual Channel AIS receiver. It is has a small unit with similar dual channel features without a built in VHF splitter for about $140 at Defender.
C. A used Raymarine AIS 250 that is selling at a local marine exchange for about $280. It is an older unit with only a single channel receiver.

So, my questions are:

1. Anyone have any experience with any of these AIS receivers?
2. Connecting them to the Raymarine C80 should be pretty straightforward. Has anyone done this and are their any bits of advice out there from fellow boat owners?
3. Since the AIS data will be streamed to the C80 Chart plotter, I would imagine that the data that is displayed would look the same on the chart plotter whether it was from a ICOM, Raymarine or the ACR unit. Right?
4. Any other AIS receiver recommendations?

I am leaning toward getting the ICOM unit due to the price with rebate, built in VHF splitter, and same brand as my VHF radio. I did look at the integrated Standard Horizon VHF with built in AIS, but with my relatively new ICOM VHF and Command Mic set up, changing out the good working existing VHF radio with a new VHF with AIS does make sense to me. So, my plan is to upgrade my existing system with an AIS receiver.

So, any and all advice or experience with these AIS units or others would be welcome.

Thanks!

Dave

David Swanson
S/V Emily Ann
2007 C320 MK II, No. 1107
Mukilteo, WA
My opinion on it is that if you're gonna do it, why not go all the way and transmit too? This unit is not all that much more, new, smaller, better does NEMA 2k. yada yada yada.

EM TRAK MARINE ELECTRONICS B100 AIS Class B Transceiver at West Marine

if you want recv only then this'n:

EM TRAK MARINE ELECTRONICS AIS Dual Channel Receiver at West Marine


And yeah, once you get them talking they are all the same to the C80
__________________

__________________
xymotic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2012, 12:10   #3
Registered User
 
svWindfall's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Panama - Bocas del Toro
Boat: 1977 42' Mapleleaf
Posts: 81
Images: 1
Re: AIS Unit for Raymarine Chartplotter System

As a full time cruiser, I agree with the send & transmit. I have the 250 model and wish I could transmit. One issue I have found, and this may be for all AIS, is my antenna is at the mast and mounted near my LED nav lights - When I turn on the AIS my signals drop off the screen completely. i found the problem is the LED lights, when I turn off my mast top nav lights the targets come back on the chartplotter screen. To fix this issue I have a seperate AIS antenna mounted on the dinghy davits, but my target distance is now much less. ....just some info for you.
__________________
I don't have a solution, but I admire your problem
svWindfall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-01-2012, 12:27   #4
Registered User
 
SvLetitgo's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Boat: Lagoon 380 Letitgo
Posts: 110
Re: AIS Unit for Raymarine Chartplotter System

Just did the install of the 650 with a E120

AIS installation and the $200 splash. ∑ SV Letitgo

this is the first post a few later on if you have any more question please e-mail

Good luck
__________________
svletitgo.com

From Dreamer to doer
SvLetitgo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2012, 02:06   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Zeebrugge, Belgium
Boat: Jeanneau Voyage 37 ft
Posts: 254
Re: AIS Unit for Raymarine Chartplotter System

I have the Raymarine C90 Wide chartplotter and hooked the Raymarine 250 AIS blackbox (actually it's grey) to it.
The RM250 has also an antenna splitter incorporated (1 VHF antenna to Marine VHF-AIS and FM-radio).
Most splitters induce some insetion loss on receive. I have no data on this loss in the Raymarine AIS 250.
The AIS250 gives interference on my Icom Marine VHF close to the AIS frequencies (161.975 and 162.025 Mhz) like European CH27 when I use the splitter and only the masttop VHF antenna.

So I installed a dedicated AIS RX antenna on the pulpit. I still receive data from 15-20 NM away. More than enough.

It seems other add-on brands of AIS receivers can be installed apparently at half the price of the RM AIS 250.
My marina neighbour has one where a small receiving antenna incorporates a preamplifier, to be installed on the balconny. Hooked into a Raymarine C80. Works like a charm at 60% of the Raymarine cost...

Jan
__________________
Goudurix is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ais, chartplotter, raymarine

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Furuno 1715 Radar Unit Review kirkalittle Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 15 28-10-2014 08:51
New SiiTech AIS Reporting System For Yachts sinbad7 Marine Electronics 36 05-08-2011 07:51
Route Properties, Missing Functions James Baines OpenCPN 13 13-07-2011 05:31
AIS with Raytheon RC520 Chartplotter - How to Install heraulc2 Navigation 0 05-07-2011 18:53
AIS Reception Issue twistedtree Marine Electronics 72 03-07-2011 04:57



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:52.


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.