Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-06-2015, 10:09   #16
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Snore,
Since I don't have personal experience with the Amec Camino products, I wasn't going to post here...but I do think I have some comments that will help you...

1) First off, all Class B AIS transponders will need their own GPS antenna, as it is a GPS ANTENNA, not a GPS receiver....
The GPS receiver is INSIDE the AIS transponder, and hence it needs its own antenna (whether external or built-in), in order to get its position data....
This is unlike most of our other electronics on-board, where they get position data from a GPS receiver (built-into the mushroom antennas), outputting NMEA, or SeaTalk, etc. rather than just the antenna receiving the GPS signals and the GPS receiver being inside our electronics/chartplotters, etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
The GPS antenna is not needed- my iPad does not have one . If I do get it that is a $50 up. Plus the vesper splitter is more.

Hence my focused request for info on Caminos.
2) Secondly, you DO get what you pay for in regards to performance / reliability with AIS/VHF "splitters"....cheap is cheap for a reason here...
Vesper AIS SP-160 "relay/splitter" test results

AIS Problems with Antenna

AIS Antenna Splitter

AIS Transponders



3) There are some that have had less than positive experiences with Amec and Milltech Marine...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Haven't heard a negative yet, so looks like Amec it is. going to call mill tech tomorrow.
Just because they haven't seen your posting here, or haven't had the time to respond within one day, doesn't mean that there aren't any who've had issues...

Just doing a quick search here on Cruiser's Forum brought a few threads where some have posted of difficulties...
Chuck, "AnchorageGuy", posted of his difficulties here, just last fall...
AIS Transponders

And, others have had QC and/or customer service issues with Milltech....

This is NOT to say that the Amec Camino products are bad, nor that Milltech is a bad company, just saying that there ARE cruisers that have had negative experiences with these products and this company....and that you may wish to do some more investigating before making your decision..




I hope this helps and you don't think I'm rude in posting this info, even though I don't have personal experience with the Amec units...


Fair winds...

John
__________________

__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 17:39   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Rhodes Greece
Boat: Corbin Ketch 39ft
Posts: 152
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

[QUOTE=ka4wja;1844295]Snore,
Since I don't have personal experience with the Amec Camino products, I wasn't going to post here...but I do think I have some comments that will help you...

1) First off, all Class B AIS transponders will need their own GPS antenna, as it is a GPS ANTENNA, not a GPS receiver....
The GPS receiver is INSIDE the AIS transponder, and hence it needs its own antenna (whether external or built-in), in order to get its position data....
This is unlike most of our other electronics on-board, where they get position data from a GPS receiver (built-into the mushroom antennas), outputting NMEA, or SeaTalk, etc. rather than just the antenna receiving the GPS signals and the GPS receiver being inside our electronics/chartplotters, etc...2) Secondly, you DO get what you pay for in regards to performance / reliability with AIS/VHF "splitters"....cheap is cheap for a reason here...
Vesper AIS SP-160 "relay/splitter" test results

The Amec will take input from the NMEA bus for course speed, position etc . I elected to use the external antennae as another gps. Their antennae is so good it is mounted inside my cabin, no external mointing required. I had hundreds of ships displayed going through Singapore with nary a hiccup. Eveen got a readout on my tablet with bluetooth as well on open cpn. Looking at the case and quality of connectors I would not call my unit "cheap" but maybe less expensive than a more hyped brand.
__________________

__________________
Joe Bayne
Jubilee
Mediteranean
Jubilee39 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2015, 17:48   #18
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

John thank you for taking the time to post such an informative response.


Unfortunately my search did not get those hits. I use the google search feature.

Truly appreciate the post!


..
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 04:57   #19
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

I can't speak to the 108 but we have had very poor performance with the 101. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-06-2015, 15:40   #20
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Figured I owed the board an update on the final decision. So here it is......

I am buying the Vesper for several reasons.

First- the boat will have
  • Garmin 440 (NMEA0183)
  • SH 2150 (NMEA0183)
  • Ray Depth and Knot Log (Seatalk 1)
  • to this add an AIS transponder and a Ray autopilot (Seatalk NG)


Although the Amec "should" work with Raymarine items- the Vesper is certified by Raymarine to definitely work. Having gotten burned on a similar issue once, the stupid certification is a big factor. Add to that how the Vesper has an built-in SWR meter (worth $100+) and the Vesper looks even better. It will make my existing NEMA0183 to wifi device surplus.


My next step is to verify the connectivity. This is how the network is laid out in my mind.


The Garmin will send location to the radio and receive AIS targets from the Vesper. I believe it can also get heading info from the autopilot through the 0183 link.

The AP will receive COG, SOG and location from the Vesper via 2000.

The Ray Seatalk 1 will be up-converted through a $25 wiring gizmo to NMEA 2000- all other data will move on the NMEA 2000 backbone. When I add a wind transducer that too will be on the NMEA 2000 backbone.

Anyone else gone through the exercise of connecting Seatalk1 to Seatalk NG? It looks stupidly easy.

Thanks again
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-06-2015, 16:12   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
I am looking for anyone with direct experience with Amec Camino AIS transponders- especially the 108- with or without WiFi. See AMEC CAMINO-108 Class B AIS transponder

Yes I am aware of all the features that Vesper has and that it is the bee's knees. But the difference in price is $250! That is the cost of an antenna splitter, many cases of beer or a few cases of other beverages.

The 108 is an AIS transponder, can function as a multiplexer, is NMEA 0183 and 2000 compliant- this begs the question "Is the deal too good to be true?"

Any input on the Amec will be appreciated.
I originally had a Camino-101 that was replaced with a Camino-108 by Milltech Marine after the -101 had to be reflashed for the third time. The Camino-108 is a very nice package and has been reliable. I can't say that about the original AMEC antenna splitter, unfortunately, and have just replaced mine with the Vesper splitter.

That said, Camino-108 isn't even in the same league with the Vesper -- the Camino is just an AIS transceiver. The Vesper is a full fledged NMEA 183 / NMEA 2000 / WiFi / USB gateway. In other words, the Vesper can connect devices on NMEA 2000 and N2K and broadcast both to a mobile device.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd go with the Vesper in shot.
__________________
JimStarkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-06-2015, 16:51   #22
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Punta Arenas ahorra
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,947
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Figured I owed the board an update on the final decision. So here it is......

I am buying the Vesper for several reasons.

First- the boat will have
  • Garmin 440 (NMEA0183)
  • SH 2150 (NMEA0183)
  • Ray Depth and Knot Log (Seatalk 1)
  • to this add an AIS transponder and a Ray autopilot (Seatalk NG)


Although the Amec "should" work with Raymarine items- the Vesper is certified by Raymarine to definitely work. Having gotten burned on a similar issue once, the stupid certification is a big factor. Add to that how the Vesper has an built-in SWR meter (worth $100+) and the Vesper looks even better. It will make my existing NEMA0183 to wifi device surplus.


My next step is to verify the connectivity. This is how the network is laid out in my mind.


The Garmin will send location to the radio and receive AIS targets from the Vesper. I believe it can also get heading info from the autopilot through the 0183 link.

The AP will receive COG, SOG and location from the Vesper via 2000.

The Ray Seatalk 1 will be up-converted through a $25 wiring gizmo to NMEA 2000- all other data will move on the NMEA 2000 backbone. When I add a wind transducer that too will be on the NMEA 2000 backbone.

Anyone else gone through the exercise of connecting Seatalk1 to Seatalk NG? It looks stupidly easy.


Thanks again
Using this kit? Raymarine SeaTalk1 to SeaTalk NG Converter Kit

Yes, was simple enough.... was a while ago... forget the details but mine is 95% Seatalk1 with only one seatalk ng bit.
El Pinguino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 03:37   #23
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Thanks Pinguino
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 04:10   #24
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

My bad--- Jim thanks for the input. Yes the biggest difference is the added functionality of the vesper.


..
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 08:33   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

[QUOTE=ka4wja;1844295]Snore,
Since I don't have personal experience with the Amec Camino products, I wasn't going to post here...but I do think I have some comments that will help you...


Let me go over a few things.

First, it is a requirement that class B AIS transceivers have an internal GPS, but not that they need to use it. The Camino transceivers do have an internal GPS, but will also take GPS data from another source, so their external GPS antenna is an extra cost option. But setting up an external GPS data source is more complicated that it may appear. The obvious set up to run NMEA output to chart/plotter to display AIS targets and the NMEA output to the Camino for GPS data data. THIS DOESN'T WORK! The problem is that both the chart/plotter and the Camino echo all NMEA input to NMEA output, creating a message loop that saturates both devices.

The Camino GPS antenna is cheap and works very well under a side deck, so anyone going with the Camino should get the optional GPS antenna, but don't bother putting it on the rail.

Second, while I have had trouble with Camino devices, the support I've gotten from Milltech has been very good. When my Camino-101 started misbehaving, they gave me everything necessary to reflash the device and bring it back to life. When I had the third occurrence, long after the warranty had expired, they gave me a free upgrade to their latest model, the Camino-108. I can't speak for other people, but I'm satisfied with their support.

Third, a Camino-108 works just fine with Raymarine chart/plotters. Mine is connected to an E120W connected to an E7 at the helm.

Fourth, this idea that devices have to be certified to work with each other is nuts. NMEA 183 and N2K are standards. If any chart/plotter can't communicate with any AIS transceiver, at least one of them has a faulty implementation of the standard, which is a warranty issue. It is stupid and venal for one vendor to pick and choose what other vendors his gear will work with. Any manufacturer who claims that devices have to be certified to work with their gear is basically advertising that their NMEA implementation is buggy.

Fifth, the 34,800 baud NMEA AIS line will be close to saturation in busy areas, so adding NMEA inputs to an AIS trasceiver is just going to make things worse. Similarly, most below deck autopilots emit fast heading data required by chart/plotters to display radar north up. This pretty much saturates the 4K baud NMEA 183 line to the chart plotter, so this another place not to be clever.

I long for the day when everything is Ethernet / WiFi and the bandwidth and connectivity pain is behind us, but it will be some time yet.
__________________
JimStarkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 15:42   #26
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimStarkey View Post
.......

Let me go over a few things.

Fourth, this idea that devices have to be certified to work with each other is nuts. NMEA 183 and N2K are standards. If any chart/plotter can't communicate with any AIS transceiver, at least one of them has a faulty implementation of the standard, which is a warranty issue. It is stupid and venal for one vendor to pick and choose what other vendors his gear will work with. Any manufacturer who claims that devices have to be certified to work with their gear is basically advertising that their NMEA implementation is buggy.



I long for the day when everything is Ethernet / WiFi and the bandwidth and connectivity pain is behind us, but it will be some time yet.
Jim

Don't want to be pissy, but this section is incorrect. I own a Garmin 440 and a SH2150. Both are reported to be NMEA0183 compliant.

But the 440 looks for updates of all AIS targets in something like 2 minutes (not 183 compliant), whereas the SH2150 sends updates on slow/stationary targets every 2:45 (compliant). The result is non-stop lost target alarms when in harbor areas. Spent about 20 hours researching this and was able to verify that the issue was the Garmin. Called the Gurus of NMEA they confirmed the research. Called Garmin dealt with their tiered support system until I got their real techies. After booking another 6-8 hours explaining and holding- they finally said--- yup! The 440 is not NMEA0183 compliant for AIS sentences. When I asked about a fix, they explained that the 440 was no longer supported

Needless to say I was not happy. The rep cheerfully offered me $100 off another chartplotter. I took a pass on their generosity.

All that said, yes the "certified" is probably bologna. But it gives me something to hang my hat on. IMHO, anyone can do testing and say that they are Ray, B&G, Sim, Garmin or whatever compatible. Just takes some time.

Side trivia----from what I read, I don't believe the Ray Wireless line speaks SeaTalkng.

I agree the connectivity issues are ridiculous. At this point in the technology curve this should all be plug-n-play. Maybe for the next tech upgrade...
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2015, 20:07   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2002 Seawind 1000 (33 ft) Cat
Posts: 838
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
First- the boat will have
  • Garmin 440 (NMEA0183)
  • SH 2150 (NMEA0183)
  • Ray Depth and Knot Log (Seatalk 1)
to this add an AIS transponder and a Ray autopilot (Seatalk NG)
The Garmin will send location to the radio and receive AIS targets from the Vesper. I believe it can also get heading info from the autopilot through the 0183 link.

The AP will receive COG, SOG and location from the Vesper via 2000.

The Ray Seatalk 1 will be up-converted through a $25 wiring gizmo to NMEA 2000- all other data will move on the NMEA 2000 backbone. When I add a wind transducer that too will be on the NMEA 2000 backbone.

Anyone else gone through the exercise of connecting Seatalk1 to Seatalk NG? It looks stupidly easy.

Ok, I have some recent experience with some of this. I started with ST60 wind and ST60 speed/depth, a Garmin 492C, and a Raymarine Smart Pilot. They exchanged data via NMEA0183.

Time to replace the Garmin, and I wanted to upgrade a few things to prep for a Bahamas cruise. My ST60 instruments and AP worked ok, but I wanted AIS. My research led me to the XB8000. I purchased it and assembled a NMEA2000 network, with the XB, a new Icom 506, and a B&G Zeus plotter. The Icom is N2K compatible, and it sees all of the data from the XB. The plotter sees the AIS targets from the XB. The ST60 data comes in via the SeaTalk to SeaTalkng converter that someone previously referenced. Some things to note:
  • The two ST60 instruments are linked together with the regular ST cable. One of those is then spurred in to the converter.
  • You want to power either the ST60 instruments, or the converter, but not both. I chose to power the converter and disconnect the power to the ST60 instruments. (My AP data is connected to these instruments as well, but not the power, as it is powered separately as it is a higher amp user. This will not be an issue for you, since your AP is STng = N2K interfaced.)
  • The converter is hooked up the same way as a T in a N2K backbone. The power input is via the yellow connector. The white connectors are spurs. One white connected cable will go to the SeaTalk instruments. The other white connected cable will go to your Vesper N2K connection. When you get the AP, you will need to add a blue backbone cable to a T, and the AP connect via a spur to the new T. You will have to make that cable by splicing together a blue-end Raymarine cable and a standard N2K cable. Or add a field-connector N2K. No one makes a blue end Ray to standard N2K connector. (I confirmed with Raymarine.)
  • The external GPS antenna for the AIS connects directly to the AIS. It can be shared with other instruments on the N2K - and I guess any others hooked up via NMEA0183.
  • I think your AP will need to have a NMEA0183 connection as well if you want to get the waypoint data from your Garmin to it. Or MAYBE the Vesper can convert it from NMEA0183 and put that data on the N2K for the AP. Either way I think it will work, but one might cut down on wiring.
You might want to read some of the posts I made regarding B&G installation and my system changeover in this same forum section. I don't know how to go grab a link. But you can look at posts under my user name. I learned a lot from others that posted when I was going thru that electronics update.
__________________
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2015, 18:09   #28
Senior Cruiser
 
Opie91's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: CT
Boat: C&C 34
Posts: 810
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
I can't speak to the 108 but we have had very poor performance with the 101. Chuck
Im on my 4th season with the 101 and have had no issues. Milltech has been great with their support.
__________________
Opie91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2015, 19:02   #29
Registered User
 
Truemettle's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
Boat: C&C 34, 34 feet
Posts: 45
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

I too can vouch for my 101 and Miltech Marine, support is excellent, and I have had no issues other than a code upgrade. I have connected mine to my Raymarine E7d via the 38k NMEA port to ease the installation.
__________________
Truemettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2015, 19:02   #30
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,879
Re: Amec vs Vesper AIS Transponder

Guys thanks for all the help. As always a collection of ideas and inputs that help make good decisions.

Vesper and Ray AP are on order. Downloaded and read the manuals (sign of getting older) to prepare for the install. That is when I realized that an additional cable was needed to go from the Vesper to the Ray network/nmea 2000 network, so got that coming inter-store to my local WM.

Can't wait for Friday when the toys arrive!

PS holding off tying the Seatalk1 to the Seatalk NG for now. If I get a Garmin wireless transducer, it comes with a depth, speed and temp transducer that all comes in on NMEA 2000/ Seatalkng. So wiring in the Seatalk1 would be a waste......
__________________

__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore 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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: Vesper AIS Display With AIS Receiver maine50 Classifieds Archive 2 07-02-2015 05:08
AIS: Icom MA 530 TR or Watchmate 850 from Vesper Alecadi Marine Electronics 41 19-04-2013 22:43
Vesper 850 Watchmate AIS Trident voyager Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 10 20-09-2012 08:40
Vesper AIS displays for cheap Paul L Marine Electronics 6 15-06-2012 07:12
Help with AMEC 101 CYPHO AIS, OpenCPN wiring. nixontankgirl Navigation 0 03-05-2012 14:12



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:31.


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.