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Old 21-01-2014, 10:59   #1
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Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: CAL 39 - E2Motion
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AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

I use my laptop and OPNCPN with a USB GPS to navigate in my CAL 39. We have a soft full enclosure dodger, Bimini, connector panel and side/rear panels so we keep the laptop on deck except on really bad weather. I am looking at adding AIS for shipping avoidance. I was looking at a USB dongle but it seems the guy that was selling it died and it is not clear what's going to happen with the company. Alternately am looking at a small external box which connects thru USB port but is only class 2 watt resistant
Since we haven't had problems with weather w the laptops I suspect we will be ok with the AIS

Thoughts?
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Old 21-01-2014, 11:02   #2
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Re: AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

Have you Googled "AIS dongle?" I did recently, didn't follow through, but it seems there are a lot of them out there.
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Old 21-01-2014, 11:14   #3
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Re: AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

Apparently there is one guy that made them in the UK and a couple people were selling his product as I said he died this summer/fall and the COMPAY suspended operations. As far as I can tell there aren't others available but I will try another Google search.

Thanks fir your input though

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Mark
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Old 21-01-2014, 11:17   #4
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Re: AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

If you want Rx only, a $20 ez-cap tv tuner dongle works. I use an icom pcr1000 but its not ideal. Takes several pieces of software to get the signal to OCPN. But it does work. The audio from rx goes into soundcard, then "AISmon" formats the data and makes it available on a comm port. Then a virtual comm port emulator links the comm port with ocpn's comm port.
Direct ocpn support for the dongle would be perfect. I am shure there are beetter ways to do it.

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Old 21-01-2014, 11:26   #5
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Re: AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

Sounds a little bit shaky to me I don't want to be managing the software stack that independently would rather have someone to call on of it breaks down.

Thanks
Mark
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Old 21-01-2014, 11:27   #6
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Re: AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

Another tip. I found a 35 foot usb extension cable on ebay. It has a two port active repeater on the end. I use a wifi dongle on it and haul it up the flag halyard when in port. Very nice wifi signal. This could be pemanantly mounted in the mast with wifi and ais dongle at the top of the mast where they should be for best performance. Also the ezcap dongle receives everything from your favorite fm station to the entire marine band so it's good for NOAA weather monitoring or downloading weather sat images on 136Mhz. For $20. Free shipping

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Old 21-01-2014, 13:04   #7
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Re: AIS with laptop and OPNCPN

Has anyone tried to use the sitex AIS dual channel receiver with opencpn or similar PC based chart plotter Sftw? It seems to be waterproof, reasonable price and by a brand name company at acceptable price.
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