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Old 03-05-2015, 21:00   #91
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

You can enter all of your boat's information yourself using the WatchMate app and logging into the XB-8000 via WiFi, or using the PC software also available from Vesper Marine via a USB connection.

Hope this helps...
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Old 04-05-2015, 03:42   #92
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Also keep in mind that a chunk of the AIS info including the boat's name only transmit something like every 6 minutes. So it's normal to see a boat first appear with just an MMSI, then have the name appear a little later. Could this have been the case with your friend's observation?

As for connecting the 0183 interface, what the heck, give it a try. I agree that it's disappointing it doesn't just work of N2K, but I have become very disillusioned with N2K over the past year and approach all uses of it with great caution.

By the way, I would also encourage you to give Icom a call and complain that it doesn't work, and point at their manual that shows they don't accept the PGN for DSC calls. They might eventually fix it.

Oh, and what FW rev are you running on the 506? It should be 1.02. They are an example of a company that release a seriously half-baked N2K implementation in V1.00. 1.02 is still problematic, but much better.
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Old 04-05-2015, 14:46   #93
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

sailjumanji,
A few comments, helpful tips, advice, and points of clarification...


1) It appears to me to be a B&G issue, rather than an Icom issue??
As, the "call" key/button is non-functional / not activated, it seems like a B&G issue...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
My other issue -- is an issue with Zeus calling targets on AIS. One reason I purchased the new VHF was so that it would be on the network, and B&G told me could use their menu driven system to make target calls. It is supposed to work by selecting the ship icon on the screen, which brings up its info in a menu, and then at the bottom is a "call" choice. All of this works, but the "call" choice appears to be disabled as the text is not as bright as the rest, and it does nothing when touched. This may be an issue with the Vesper splitter, or it may be a Zeus programming issue. Either way, I have not been able to figure it out yet. It is going to be really disappointing if there is an interface issue that prevents this from working, as it is one feature I will really use in the busy shipping lanes down here.If anyone has any experience with the AIS issue, would love to hear from you. B&G told me that Icom should interface fine. Does anyone have a working system with non-B&G VHF?




2) As for the M-506....
Not sure which version you have, but it appears that it is allowing a DSC call from the targets on its display??
So, in my mind, this reinforces the theory that the issue is with the B&G unit, not the Icom (nor Vesper)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
As for the AIS calling, I can scroll thru the list of targets on the VHF and log a call that way. But I wonder if I hookup the B&G NMEA0183 to the VHF, whether that would allow the Zeus to log an AIS call. Any thoughts on that?





3) As for your vessel name (message 24A); and vessel type, callsign, and dimensions (message 24B); not showing up on another boat's AIS display, as others have pointed out this "static data" is only sent every 6 minutes, and then it is done on alternating channels....so it is very possible that the other boat just didn't have you in range, with a good signal, etc. when your transponder was transmitting this data...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
On another note, a nearby boat showed me the AIS transmission from my boat, and while it has my MMSI number, it is missing all other data (boat name, type, dimension data). Looks like Defender dropped the ball on the programming, and as such, with no identifying info other than MMSI transmittal, it is basically useless if my boat cannot be visually identified. What a disappointment.
Here is some detailed info for you...
Quote:
MESSAGE 24: STATIC DATA REPORT
Quote:
Equipment that supports Message 24 part A shall transmit once every 6 min alternating between channels.

Message 24 Part A may be used by any AIS station to associate a MMSI with a name.

Message 24 Part A and Part B should be transmitted once every 6 min by Class B “CS” and Class B “SO” shipborne mobile equipment. The message consists of two parts. Message 24B should be transmitted within 1 min following Message 24A.









4) Tanglewood, I'm not sure this is an Icom issue....is their manual inaccurate?, maybe....but from what sailjumanji wrote, it seems more like a B&G issue....or possibly a NMEA issue??
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanglewood View Post
By the way, I would also encourage you to give Icom a call and complain that it doesn't work, and point at their manual that shows they don't accept the PGN for DSC calls. They might eventually fix it.
I might be wrong here, but I believe Jeff at Vesper confirmed that their units with displays allow direct DSC calling (from their display) using an Icom M-506....so, here again, I'm thinking B&G issue???

Now, don't get me wrong...I have plenty of bones to pick with Icom (pulled my hair out years ago over some of their "issues"), but I'm not sure this here is an Icom issue...





5) As for a defective SP-160...wow, that's a new one!
I'm sure they will gladly make it good, but I know it's frustrating to have to replace a new unit, bad out-of-the-box!!
You mentioned that you swapped the coaxial jumper cables as well (which was going to be my first recommendation to you as a troubleshooting technique), and you found no change, so if the VHF works fine directly connected to antenna, but doesn't work when connected thru the SP-160, and you changed out the coax cable jumpers to "known good" cables,and that the AIS transponder works fine in both coax cable configurations....then yes, it seems like it's got to be a defective SP-160...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
I am exchanging emails with Vesper regarding what I believe is a faulty antenna splitter. When I hookup the Icom VHF directly, I get fantastic reception, and weather channels. Thru the splitter, it is static-filled transmission only 300 yds distant (we checked with handheld VHF). The AIS works beautifully and I get a transmit light on that each time, but no VHF transmit light. I have also swapped the patch cables, but no VHF improvement. I suspect this unit is going back for replacement, but am waiting for New Zealand weekend to end to talk again with Vesper. Just FYI, they quickly responded to my request for technical support, but then the weekend happened!
A rare occurrence to be sure....but another reason to have separate VHF and AIS antennas!!
Hey, I have BOTH a Vesper SP-160 for my main masthead VHF antenna, feeding my Icom M-602 and my AIS transponder....AND, a separate VHF antenna on the stern, 9' - 10' off the water, fed with 35' of LMR-400uf, to the Nav Station, as my "back-up" antenna for either AIS or VHF...
(and I have a spare / emergency VHF antenna, and coax, stowed below, as well!)






6) FYI, by international rule (IMO), AIS transponders MUST use their own internal position fixing device (i.e. GPS) for their position information....this is NOT just a "Vesper-specific requirement".....those models that take NMEA data in, are not supposed to allow NMEA position data to be used for their position information (at least any AIS transponder that is Type Certified by IMO, USCG, FCC, etc. is designed to ONLY use it own internal GPS receiver for this...)
Also note that the "GPS antennas" for AIS transponders are GPS antennas with coaxial cable coming from them to the GPS receiver built-in to the AIS transponder....these are NOT GPS receivers built-in to the antennas that output NMEA or SeaTalk, etc. that we are accustomed to using on-board our modern pleasure boats with multiple systems / networked electronics, etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
Vesper XB8000 AIS transponder and antenna splitter. There is no stand-alone display for this model, and instead the data is presented on the B&G chartplotter (and the small VHF screen). This unit requires the Vesper GPS, and although can feed that data onto the network, cannot rely on other GPS for the data instead.





I do hope the above helps....but please advise us when you've gotten both the SP-160 issue and the B&G (DSC "call") issue straightened out!


Fair winds..

John
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Old 04-05-2015, 15:21   #94
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Hi John. Thanks for hitting on all of the issues. Some updates:
  • Re Vesper, Jeff has been extremely responsive on this. Got a note from him early this morning thanking me for extensive testing, and a couple of hours later a note from their US distributor asking for an address to send replacement splitter, and requesting I send them defective part. Stellar response from Vesper. (And yes, I swapped out cables - the working AIS one for the VHF, I tried with and without power, I tried radio checks, and finally just took my handheld to my house 300 yards away so my wife could confirm when things were working or not. I am hoping like heck that it was a splitter. But seeing that the direct hookup to the VHF worked wonderfully, I cannot see what else it could be.)
  • As for the AIS programming, I also talked with Defender today, and they said that normal protocol is to program all of the boat info too. But as this was in their once-per-year warehouse sale, it might have gotten missed. Or you might be right in that the nearby boat only got the abbreviated sentence. But I don't think so as I was on his bridge for probably a half hour marveling at the electronics (a 60+ ft flybridge Viking), and I think we caught a couple of transmissions. I noticed that he had AIS, because my boat caught his transmission. He said they leave it on all the time, and he monitors, so that if someone moves the boat, he will know immediately. Full time captain. Boat is in the marina as well, about 50 yds away.
  • I have a request logged into B&G. Actually I sent them back their email saying this will work, and told them that it didn't. Reading about it further it sounds as if they send the call request via N2K PGN. I need to know the PGN before talking to Icom. If the Icom manual is correct, they do not receive either of the call request PGN's. Might it be that Icom can do the request when I go thru the buttons, just as a hardwired response? And not using PGN's?
  • I did find something today on Panbo saying that Vesper had some software updates that allowed their units to make DSC calls from their units. However I cannot see how I could trigger that with an XB8000 that has no display. (I think their software was for the units with display.) One possibility might be if the Vesper can convert the Zeus2 call request PGN to a NMEA0183 sentence and trigger the Icom to make the DSC call. I think that is how the Icom VHF interfaces with the Icom AIS. Vesper has some functionality to convert data (like depth, speed, etc.) and just not sure about commands. Right now though I am waiting to hear from B&G.
  • Yeah, I understood the reason for dedicated GPS for the AIS. I am cool with that. But the tubing of my solar panel arch that also holds the GPS antennas is getting pretty crowded! I also took the opportunity to upsize the wires from the solar panels when I was fishing the new cables. One was by choice; the other necessitated by the fact that I drilled into the wire when trying to make a termination hole larger! But either way the result is that I am getting more amps!
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Old 04-05-2015, 15:34   #95
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

I have a similar setup recently installed except that I chose the B&G V50. I also have a
Si-Tex Metadata Class B AIS Transceiver also connected to N2K. I am able to use both GPS and AIS on a Mac via WIFI1 (GoFree) pointing to the Zeus 2 plotter at 192.168.0.199:10110. I have tried both MacENC as well as OpenCPM. Using the OpenCPM I was able to also control the 4G radar as well as see AIS targets.

Using an iPad I am able to use iNavX with full functionality including Wind, Depth and Temps via a Raymarine wireless system directly connected to the plotter via NMEA 0183.

As for call AIS targets vis DSC by clicking on their tag, I must admit I have not tried it yet. In the plotter under Settings there are some options for NMEA 0183 and N2K. You might try looking in there. I will also try this DSC calling next time I am on the boat. I know these issues are quite vexing but sometimes it is a simple fix or as Tanglewood said perhaps it is a software feature not yet fully implemented.

It is easy to comment out whole areas of functionality in the code just before compiling if it is felt the feature is not ready for prime time.

If I have any success with the DSC AIS tags I will get back to you.
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Old 04-05-2015, 18:49   #96
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
6) FYI, by international rule (IMO), AIS transponders MUST use their own internal position fixing device (i.e. GPS) for their position information....this is NOT just a "Vesper-specific requirement".....those models that take NMEA data in, are not supposed to allow NMEA position data to be used for their position information (at least any AIS transponder that is Type Certified by IMO, USCG, FCC, etc. is designed to ONLY use it own internal GPS receiver for this...)
This is true, but only for Class B AIS devices. Class A devices also have an internal GPS, but they also require an external GPS, heading, and ROT and will alarm if any are missing. If there is a loss of the external GPS, the internal one takes over and the AIS continues to report position.
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:21   #97
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

An update on my problem getting Zeus2 to make a DSC call thru the Icom radio. Got an email from B&G tech support today. Short message "The CALL button is for our VHF radios only."

Now lets back up to March 2015, when I was asked about compatibility specifically regarding this, as I had choices back then as to which VHF I purchased. (Although my preference was Icom.) This was B&G response then: "Yes, you can initiate a call via the Zeus 2. All you need is AIS on the NMEA 2000 BACKBONE. This is done through the VESSELS menu. ANY VHF radio capable of DSC should be able to handle this."

I called them, a little upset. The tech could not tell me over the phone, whether Zeus was sending a PGN over N2K to their VHF, or a sentence over NMEA0183. Anyway, he said he would "forward a request to Engineering." Said he was sorry he told me wrong two months ago.

And on another note, I just got an email from Vesper saying that the antenna splitter they sent was bad, and the new one should definitely get me working. It was nice they confirmed that it wasn't operator error. That's an easy-enough replacement, as the cables are already run, the holes drilled, etc. Will plug it in when I am back on the boat in a couple of weeks.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:55   #98
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Incredible thread as I start the electronic upgrade/refit on my "new" Irwin 43...I read and reread and learn more each time!
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Old 06-06-2015, 19:37   #99
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Well, my Zeus2 is up and running. I used the Actisense (which was plug and play) to connect the Vesper 850 AIS to the N2K back bone. It is fully controllable from the Z2. The hardest part of the entire job was pulling cables through the boat and up into the Navpod. I used the Ray Seatalk to SeatalkNG converter for the autopilot and maxview repeaters and they work just fine.

I have not had time to play with it yet, but did see boats and pilings in the marina on the 4G radar. The Z2 still needs the software update and a Navionics chip.

One item that will not work is the Raymarine speed/temp, and depth transducers, as they need to run directly to a Ray chartplotter. Bottom paint later this summer will give me the opportunity to install the B&G (Airmar) speed/depth/temp.
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Old 06-06-2015, 20:16   #100
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Bravo CAELESTIS, I'm jealous. I'm hoping to drop my stick in August. I gave Fritz Richardson my Raymarine E120 and all its parts, in trade for his help with rerigging my boat. Then I'll be installing the Z2 and all of its toys. I can't wait.....
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Old 06-06-2015, 21:37   #101
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Roy, your confidence in the B&G system is what partially motivated me to change. I am glad I did. While the old Raymarine RL70 plotters worked, it was like the Flintstones compared with the Zeus2!

Roy, you are welcome to dingy over and inspect the system.
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Old 08-06-2015, 15:09   #102
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
One item that will not work is the Raymarine speed/temp, and depth transducers, as they need to run directly to a Ray chartplotter. Bottom paint later this summer will give me the opportunity to install the B&G (Airmar) speed/depth/temp.
Is there a reason you are changing these Raymarine sensors? Mine worked fine and data fed thru to Zeus2 when routed thru the SeaTalk to SeaTalkng converter.
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Old 28-06-2015, 17:53   #103
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

First trip with the new electronics last weekend. Traveled 200 nm over two days, mostly motor-sailing on the ICW, and some large bay crossings that allowed us to sail. Mast gets new rigging in a few weeks, and radar will be installed then. Some things to note so far.
  • Zeus2 and Vesper XB8000 AIS is a winning combination. We were on a very busy section of the ICW, and incredible to see ships coming well in advance on the plotter, tap to see their name, and hail them on VHF specific. MUCH easier than the old method of calling them up by statute mile location and not knowing their name. I would have paid double for this if I had known how much better.
  • All ST60 instrument data is flowing thru to the Zeus2 via the ST to STng converter. The surprising thing though was that the waypoint data on the Zeus2 is apparently being converted to SeaTalk as the Raymarine Autopilot could steer to the waypoint. That was a surprise.
  • Not a big fan of the C-Map NT+ electronic chart that I purchased. It marked the channels ok, but the old Garmin charts had simple things like channel markers numbers that you have to tap a menu on Zeus to get after tapping on the marker. But I understand these guys are best for Bahamas.
  • Glad that I purchased the 9 inch Zeus2. But most times wished the orientation of the screen was long side up, instead of wide view. When you are traveling with the direction up, and the boat is shown in the middle of the screen, doesn't show much in front of the boat on the screen due to limited distance. Need to see if there is a way to put the boat in the bottom quarter of the screen and not in the middle.
  • Icom VHF radio with the antenna at the top of the mast is getting lots of transmit distance. Easily talking to people 20 nm away. AIS distances very good as well too.
Overall happy with the new system.
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Old 28-06-2015, 17:57   #104
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

B&G Zeus 11 - Yes, there is. Page 21 of your manual, "look ahead" mode.
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Old 28-06-2015, 21:49   #105
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Re: Chartplotter with 4G Radar - B&G or Simrad

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
First trip with the new electronics last weekend. Traveled 200 nm over two days, mostly motor-sailing on the ICW, and some large bay crossings that allowed us to sail. Mast gets new rigging in a few weeks, and radar will be installed then. Some things to note so far.
  • Zeus2 and Vesper XB8000 AIS is a winning combination. We were on a very busy section of the ICW, and incredible to see ships coming well in advance on the plotter, tap to see their name, and hail them on VHF specific. MUCH easier than the old method of calling them up by statute mile location and not knowing their name. I would have paid double for this if I had known how much better.
  • All ST60 instrument data is flowing thru to the Zeus2 via the ST to STng converter. The surprising thing though was that the waypoint data on the Zeus2 is apparently being converted to SeaTalk as the Raymarine Autopilot could steer to the waypoint. That was a surprise.
  • Not a big fan of the C-Map NT+ electronic chart that I purchased. It marked the channels ok, but the old Garmin charts had simple things like channel markers numbers that you have to tap a menu on Zeus to get after tapping on the marker. But I understand these guys are best for Bahamas.
  • Glad that I purchased the 9 inch Zeus2. But most times wished the orientation of the screen was long side up, instead of wide view. When you are traveling with the direction up, and the boat is shown in the middle of the screen, doesn't show much in front of the boat on the screen due to limited distance. Need to see if there is a way to put the boat in the bottom quarter of the screen and not in the middle.
  • Icom VHF radio with the antenna at the top of the mast is getting lots of transmit distance. Easily talking to people 20 nm away. AIS distances very good as well too.
Overall happy with the new system.
Great to hear about the good working of your electronics. I'm happy to see the Zeus and vesper unit working well together as that's what I was going to get.

Do you have your Icom hooked up to your Zeus and vesper? For ais and dsc calling? Also for distress signaling?

The charts you talk about, is that the package that comes with the unit on Defender? I know they have two separate units one with charts and the other without a certain charts..

Why are you happy with the 9"? Were you thinking about the 7 or the 12 originally?

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