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Old 19-01-2017, 04:27   #31
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Originally Posted by SecondBase View Post
Nautitrix I'm with you on basic. Here you go ..

As esoteric as it gets is know what is going on around you nearshore for about $9.99 on the smartphone you already own.

"Everyone without AIS should have this app (boat beacon)." Joan wrote that In the App Store and I agree.

App Store - this has Apple Watch app as well. It is available in Google store also.

This is BETTER than a class b transponder when you have a data connection (cell or wifi or sat) because it transmits much more frequently (like about as fast as a class A).
Huh? Do explain how this transmits AIS signals!

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Originally Posted by SecondBase View Post
This is BETTER than a class A (well has extra feature I like at least) because you can zoom around harbors and shipping channels days in advance as part of your planning and see what normal traffic looks like.

Your class B doesn't ping your smart watch when you step below for a moment.

I'll chose my words carefully here and hopefully vendor can get in the thread and confirm. I would call this an "internet connection dependent AIS transceiver".
This app has way too many dependencies to be considered a real-time navigation tool. All AIS websites depend on unreliable land-based receivers of unknown quality and sparse locations. These websites are guaranteed to be missing targets, delayed updates, etc. In addition, you are comfortable with your safety depending on having an internet connection on-board?

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Because it is ten bucks you just buy it now. And then the class b is either on your boat or on your wishlist depending on your needs.

If you already have a Class B you like a lot you should get this so you aren't BLIND when the class b breaks. My philosophy is N+1. Need plus 1 spare. If you didn't buy a spare unit for your class B then you should also have this app just for the BACKUP (let alone the faster updates and the planning view capability).

I have no affiliation but on the list of $10 boat things I have purchased this ranks right up there near the top.

Boat Beacon

Boat Beacon - Real time Marine Traffic and Ship Finder AIS

Frankly even if I was flipping Harbor Pilot (some of the best boaters I've ever met) I'd still have this in my iPhone and Apple Watch and have those foreign crews stunned by my apparent telepathic powers.
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Old 19-01-2017, 05:56   #32
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Originally Posted by nautitrix View Post
. . . I am not sure if people are saying this but if you don't bridge to DCS will ships not respond on vhf or ssb?
thank you
I'm not sure if anyone answered this . . .

This function -- interconnection of the AIS with the radio -- is nice, but by no means necessary.

You can simply read the MMSI of the vessel you want to call off the AIS display and key it into the VHF, in order to make a DSC call.

It's not something you will be doing constantly. DSC calling is still greatly underutilized, with the great majority of VHF calls still initiated with a voice call on 16.

And even if you're a radio fan like I am, and love DSC like I do, you don't make DSC calls all that often to strange vessels -- that is, vessels which are not in your DSC speed dial.

In my experience, MOST ships called by DSC don't even answer. You end up calling them on 16 anyway.


So I wouldn't get hung up on this function at all. Keep it simple, would be my advice.
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Old 19-01-2017, 06:02   #33
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Huh? Do explain how this transmits AIS signals!



This app has way too many dependencies to be considered a real-time navigation tool. All AIS websites depend on unreliable land-based receivers of unknown quality and sparse locations. These websites are guaranteed to be missing targets, delayed updates, etc. In addition, you are comfortable with your safety depending on having an internet connection on-board?
The Boat Beacon app only "transmits" to other app users -- NOT indeed to any normal AIS receivers.

See: Boat Beacon - Real time Marine Traffic and Ship Finder AIS

If you have the right accounts and settings, apparently you can get your position put up on MarineTraffic. But zero point zero percent of ships are using MarineTraffic in real time, versus their normal AIS displays.

This app belongs more in the toy category, than anything resembling an actual navigation tool. Relying on it for collision avoidance would be extremely foolish, in my opinion.
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Old 19-01-2017, 06:16   #34
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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. . . We have never had a problem identifying a boat we need to talk with and calling them by name . . .
This is an important point -

DSC calls are great, but AIS also improves -- greatly! -- the efficiency of normal voice calls. Because you know the name of the vessel!!
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Old 19-01-2017, 11:08   #35
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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This app belongs more in the toy category, than anything resembling an actual navigation tool. Relying on it for collision avoidance would be extremely foolish, in my opinion.
Granted, not worth much as a transponder, but actually pretty good for a quick look around to see what's out there. I had the same concerns about data currency and was surprised to see moving boats pretty much where Boat Beacon said they were. Certainly better than nothing if you get caught by fog or nightfall while still on the water. I have two AIS receivers SH 2200 and DAISy into OpenCPN. But tend to use my cell phone at the helm. Boat Beacon includes depth and as a secondary chart plotter it does a reasonable job considering the screen size. Tap one of the ships displayed on the screen and it even shows a picture of the vessel for identification purposes. Also includes anchor alarm, MOB positioning, current track, etc. Nice!
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Old 19-01-2017, 12:32   #36
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Originally Posted by hsi88 View Post
Granted, not worth much as a transponder, but actually pretty good for a quick look around to see what's out there. I had the same concerns about data currency and was surprised to see moving boats pretty much where Boat Beacon said they were. Certainly better than nothing if you get caught by fog or nightfall while still on the water. I have two AIS receivers SH 2200 and DAISy into OpenCPN. But tend to use my cell phone at the helm. Boat Beacon includes depth and as a secondary chart plotter it does a reasonable job considering the screen size. Tap one of the ships displayed on the screen and it even shows a picture of the vessel for identification purposes. Also includes anchor alarm, MOB positioning, current track, etc. Nice!


No it is NOT good!!!

At the dock Marine Traffic does not "see" my boat. If you navigate using this product you are
Begging for bad things to happen.
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Old 19-01-2017, 16:06   #37
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Originally Posted by hsi88 View Post
Granted, not worth much as a transponder, but actually pretty good for a quick look around to see what's out there. I had the same concerns about data currency and was surprised to see moving boats pretty much where Boat Beacon said they were. Certainly better than nothing if you get caught by fog or nightfall while still on the water. I have two AIS receivers SH 2200 and DAISy into OpenCPN. But tend to use my cell phone at the helm. Boat Beacon includes depth and as a secondary chart plotter it does a reasonable job considering the screen size. Tap one of the ships displayed on the screen and it even shows a picture of the vessel for identification purposes. Also includes anchor alarm, MOB positioning, current track, etc. Nice!
No! It's worse that useless, as you may actually depend on it!! If you are in fog or darkness and rely on this app, which relies on sketchy AIS data, you would be much safer to stay tied to the dock!

Fog/darkness requires #1 - radar, #2 - AIS transceiver, #3 - on watch person listening very close for any signals.
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Old 19-01-2017, 17:05   #38
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

OK, here goes. Thread drift only will be minor, here.

I am going to soon be in the market for an AIS unit, and I too have seen the various VHF/AIS combo radio units. I have a VHF currently, plus several handheld units, but no AIS, and the PO of Equinox did not have/leave other electronics aboard (I did locate a depth transducer in the V berth under-space, roughly where the black water tank should have been according to Hunter's specs for the date and model of my vessel). There was a bracket for something near the VHF, but I am assuming it was a stereo or perhaps a chart plotter. In any case, it was empty. Only the VHF remained, but that at least works quite well.

Regardless, I want an AIS unit on board, and I was thinking a redundancy of VHF radio would not be terribly bad, if the cost of the radio WITH AIS integrated did not surpass the price of an AIS alone (as like I said, I have a few handhelds around).

However, while I understand AIS intention and utility, I don't yet know much about installation and actual gear options in terms of how the equipment does or does not integrate with other equipment. I am also going to soon be looking for a chart plotter, if that makes any difference, and I currently have a cheap ($100 or so) Humminbird depth sounder that reaches supposedly down to about 600 feet in fresh water environments (going to shoot signal through the hull, so not sure how much signal/depth perception degradation (dB loss) I am going to suffer. The hull is about an inch thick, solid hand laid fiberglass (I checked).

So, with that in mind, as it does or does not apply, is it wise to get something like the Standard Horizons unit I saw on Amazon last night (or some other paired VHF/Class B AIS) or would I be better served with a standalone AIS that may be of better quality than the combo for a similar price (assuming such a unit exists)? Also, is it correct I need to install another antenna for the AIS if I wish to use the radio and the AIS simultaneously (assuming AIS is energized any time I am underway)? What do I need to look out for when obtaining the new equipment relative to compatibility issues and how should I anticipate whether something will indeed work or not if the manufacturers cannot seem to agree that things are or are not compatible?

I understand if some of these issues are not answerable, especially given that this inclusion of one device within the other is a relatively new issue for this specific critter. Any info would be appreciated however, and consider please that I know quite a bit more about structural issues of constructions, not as much the actual installation processes of these devices and the various electronics relationships and compatibilities involved in this situation.

Alternatively, if you wish, please let me know where there is a thread of basic discussions about this issue, and I can research it there if you don't want to go through this basic discussion in this thread. I imagine I cannot be the only person just getting into installing AIS into their own vessels, so it would seem that this could be a good location to have that discussion if such is not already covered elsewhere in this context.

Or, this could alternatively be the start of that thread, if the mods would like to move it???

Opinions, ideas, and lessons please?
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Old 19-01-2017, 21:03   #39
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Opinions, ideas, and lessons please?
If you have the money, you should probably buy a transponder like the OP is looking to do. But being seen is not cheap. $600+

For AIS, I use a Standard Horizon GX2200 tied to a CP190i chartplotter. It will hook to almost any chartplotter using NMEA 0183 which they pretty much all support, even if they have NMEA 2000. I have a small $50 dAISy device which also works with my chartplotter but is hooked via a serial cable to my OpenCPN software installed on my laptop. I also have a GPS dongle hooked to my laptop via USB. To be seen, I have a real metal radar reflector which I am told works pretty well.

30 years ago, we travelled at night with almost nothing. Could not afford Loran. Just located whatever lights we could identify and used a hand compass to roughly triangulate our position. Some will tell you that using apps on a cell phone is worse than nothing. Having done both, they are very, very wrong. Navigation apps using your iPhone's GPS on the water are accurate to within a few yards. The AIS support shows all but the fastest boats pretty much where they are while underway and WELL beyond the range of my AIS receivers. A few years ago, I almost got hit by a 200 foot barge that was travelling outside the channel (as was I). I couldn't see or hear him coming. A phone app would have at least given me some warning he was there. This is way better than nothing at all. Not everyone has the luxury of radar and AIS transponders. And 30 years ago, these things did not even exist. We made do with what we had. Basically nothing. Embrace whatever technology you can afford. Its way better than a compass, map and tired eyes. But as anyone will tell you, when visibility is an issue, use everything you have at your disposal and slow down.
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Old 19-01-2017, 21:47   #40
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

Dsc calling is anoying and silly. Get the boat name from ais and then just hail him.
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Old 19-01-2017, 21:59   #41
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

SailingFan--

You may want to start a new thread for primer on installation. For me the most concise N2K guide was the simple maretron guide.

http://www.maretron.com/products/pdf...on%20Guide.pdf

Also, they have a great design tool for N2K networks.

For the AIS antenna, I'm a fan of higher is better so I'll be using a splitter and Vesper makes a good one. I'm also putting a simple antenna on short pole at the rear rail for when bad things happen.

For the install of the actual units, i would just download the install manuals from the manufacture's website. They usually do a decent job explaining the do's and don'ts, since they are trying to void a support call.

Good luck on your adventure, the nice thing about your the PO taking the electronics with them... you don't have to rip anything out.
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Old 19-01-2017, 22:45   #42
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondBase View Post
"Everyone without AIS should have this app (boat beacon)." Joan wrote that In the App Store and I agree.

App Store - this has Apple Watch app as well. It is available in Google store also.

This is BETTER than a class b transponder when you have a data connection (cell or wifi or sat) because it transmits much more frequently (like about as fast as a class A).

This is BETTER than a class A (well has extra feature I like at least) because you can zoom around harbors and shipping channels days in advance as part of your planning and see what normal traffic looks like.
How can this be better than a class A (or B) if what it transmits only gets received by other boat beacon users?

The whole point of a AIS transponder is to be seen by other AIS receivers and transponders. Boat beacon doesn't do this, so it's not really an alternative to a transponder.
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Old 20-01-2017, 04:22   #43
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

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Originally Posted by SecondBase View Post
Nautitrix I'm with you on basic. Here you go ..

As esoteric as it gets is know what is going on around you nearshore for about $9.99 on the smartphone you already own.

"Everyone without AIS should have this app (boat beacon)." Joan wrote that In the App Store and I agree.

App Store - this has Apple Watch app as well. It is available in Google store also.

This is BETTER than a class b transponder when you have a data connection (cell or wifi or sat) because it transmits much more frequently (like about as fast as a class A).

This is BETTER than a class A (well has extra feature I like at least) because you can zoom around harbors and shipping channels days in advance as part of your planning and see what normal traffic looks like.

Your class B doesn't ping your smart watch when you step below for a moment.

I'll chose my words carefully here and hopefully vendor can get in the thread and confirm. I would call this an "internet connection dependent AIS transceiver".

Because it is ten bucks you just buy it now. And then the class b is either on your boat or on your wishlist depending on your needs.

If you already have a Class B you like a lot you should get this so you aren't BLIND when the class b breaks. My philosophy is N+1. Need plus 1 spare. If you didn't buy a spare unit for your class B then you should also have this app just for the BACKUP (let alone the faster updates and the planning view capability).

I have no affiliation but on the list of $10 boat things I have purchased this ranks right up there near the top.

Boat Beacon

http://pocketmariner.com/mobile-apps/boatbeacon/

Frankly even if I was flipping Harbor Pilot (some of the best boaters I've ever met) I'd still have this in my iPhone and Apple Watch and have those foreign crews stunned by my apparent telepathic powers.


Sorry my friend. If you are using it as a secondary-meh.

Their system still relies on a local network of towers seeing all. If the tower system has a blind spot (they don't advertise it) you don't know without dumb luck or research. As stated elsewhere I stumbled upon a blind spot on St. Pete harbor.

Better +1? AIS receive only on radio. If the Vesper on my boat does the iCom will still receive.
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Old 22-01-2017, 09:28   #44
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

Yesterday, I went back to the large WM store in Portland. Unfortunately while they have a ton of radios on display, they don't really have an effective way to power any of them on. Derek was very helpful and was a Ham too... so we got kibitzing about the radio quality.

The build on the ICOM units seems substantial and all the other units looks pretty good form a case standpoint. I asked about returns and Derek's comments were that today the radio just seam to work. The were a few issue with the early Lowrance N2K radios in the recent past, but that seemed to be resolved.

i liked the size of the display on the Simrad RS35 and the was surprised by the size of the wireless remote and it's weight. It rather big, but if you had to defend yourself in the dark alley with a marine wireless handset, I'm pick the Simrad HS35.

I asked about the SH GX6500 and Derek said they were supposed to get them in November and there were some PO is in the system, but those seem to be cancelled when he looked at the actual order database. I forgot how big WM was, the overall quality of GX6500 they were trying to PO looked to be 300+ doing the rough addition in my head from the order screen.

So no one seems to know when the GX6000 and GX6500 will arrive. I have a bit of time, since my haul-out is scheduled for mid April.

That said, I'm still liking the idea of Vesper XB-8000 since it does all of the AIS-B magic via N2K network plus it has Wifi. The cheapest and simplistic radio solution would just be to get a SH GX2000 which displays AIS from and external device and since there would only be one NMEA-0183 wire on the boat between the Vesper and the GX2000, there should be no problem with network performance in HS mode (38.4K).

Now it time to read more on-line manuals.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:49   #45
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Re: Buying an AIS transponder, which VHF radio to buy to effectively use it?

I have the Vesper xb8000 and the B&G V50 VHF which is a great combo: no need for nmea0183 and both put AIS on the N2K network. Love the remote which has an inductive charging cradle. I believe this is the same hardware as the Simrad radio mentioned above.
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