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Old 01-11-2014, 19:17   #136
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Re: Class B AIS

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Vespers color unit say's it will take boat instrument data and send it over WiFi to a tablet with their upgraded software integrating iNavx, AIS and boat instruments onto an iPad.
The black box XB8000 also does this and is cheaper than the color WatchMate. There are lots of iPad apps that take wireless NMEA data and provide you with instrument suites, polar generation, alternate AIS displays, etc.

The only catch right now is the Vesper units only transmit a limited number of N2K PGN's over wifi. The basic Nav stuff is there, but environmental PGN's and many others are not. They pretty much do all NMEA0183 translations. Talking with Vesper, they will be building out their N2K PGN list continually.

These units have been out for awhile now, and it isn't like jumping on a betamax or jaz drive - they are industry-standard AIS units with standardized wifi communication of standardized data. There is no proprietary technology that they are trying to get accepted as a de-facto standard.

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Old 01-11-2014, 19:42   #137
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Re: Class B AIS

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.....with standardized wifi communication of standardized data. There is no proprietary technology that they are trying to get accepted as a de-facto standard.

Mark
What standard?

Not being pedantic, but I'm not aware of any standard for NMEA over Wi-Fi.
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Old 01-11-2014, 19:44   #138
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Re: Class B AIS

That's what is attractive about the XB8000. It is the "brain" and you can add stuff on in creative ways.

For a guy with an ipad it is a "pretty easy choice to add this now. If I get an MFD, plotter or something later, the better.

One thing we do know based on electronics history is that this stuff just gets cheaper and cheaper. The future is bright.
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Old 01-11-2014, 19:51   #139
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Re: Class B AIS

Sorry, I meant that they were using a bog-standard wifi router and transmitting standard PGN's over TCP/IP and UDP. So one would be able to connect any wifi device with it and receive NMEA data in a format they expect.

I don't know if there are standards for transmitting NMEA over WiFi, but it doesn't seem to matter here. I have connected 5 widely different devices to wifi on the Vesper (iPads, Windows XP, Windows CE (yes, CE), MacOS and Windows 7 to ours. As well as a Ubiquity Bullet. No problems. The NMEA data has been received, interpreted and used by Windows XP, 7, iPads and MacOS running iNavix, OCPN, Coastal Explorer, and many iPad apps with no issues.

So maybe there is somewhere that this will trip up because of the lack of a standard for transmitting NMEA over WiFi, but it doesn't seem to be an issue in practice for most common things.

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Old 01-11-2014, 20:07   #140
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Re: Class B AIS

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Sorry, I meant that they were using a bog-standard wifi router and transmitting standard PGN's over TCP/IP and UDP. So one would be able to connect any wifi device with it and receive NMEA data in a format they expect.

I don't know if there are standards for transmitting NMEA over WiFi, but it doesn't seem to matter here. I have connected 5 widely different devices to wifi on the Vesper (iPads, Windows XP, Windows CE (yes, CE), MacOS and Windows 7 to ours. As well as a Ubiquity Bullet. No problems. The NMEA data has been received, interpreted and used by Windows XP, 7, iPads and MacOS running iNavix, OCPN, Coastal Explorer, and many iPad apps with no issues.

So maybe there is somewhere that this will trip up because of the lack of a standard for transmitting NMEA over WiFi, but it doesn't seem to be an issue in practice for most common things.

Mark
Are you sure it's PGNs? I would guess they are transmitting 0183 sentences over UDP (not using TCP).

You are right that de-facto standards can/do work well. Since NMEA has sat with their thumbs up their butts for way too long, many vendors have simply made it work.

Since NMEA OneNet is only addressing N2k, plus the fact it'll be IPv6 only I'm sure they'll be a market for 'non-standard' 0183 over IP for a long time. But OneNet will cause app vendors to make decisions about how many 'standards' to support.
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Old 01-11-2014, 20:27   #141
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Re: Class B AIS

I'm using a Garmin AIS-600 connected to a dedicated AIS antenna which is also used for the backup VHF radio. That radio was made backup by installing a Garmin VHF-300 radio with two stations (one at the nav table and one in the cockpit). These systems are connected to my Garmin 5012 chart plotter.

The VHF-300 is excellent. Generically: if you're cruising the Australian East Coast without at least AIS receive you're an idiot. There's lots of shipping here and on my last voyage (Airlie to Port Stephens) I contacted the captains of cargo vessels several times to arrange passing. You need AIS to do that so you know where they are, where they're heading, how close they will come to you, when that will be, and the name of the ship. There's little use radioing "Some ship near GPS xxx" who maybe may be on a collision course with a yacht with lousy nav lights and almost invisible to radar.

My Garmin AIS-600, however, has some problems. It fails regularly and has to be rebooted, and the software is so badly written it picks up the echo of the AIS transmissions of my own craft and reports a collision with myself. For this reason I have to turn the AIS collision alarm off or I get warnings I'm going to crash into myself continuously. Garmin isn't very responsive to bug reports. The software in the plotter is also too sensitive to lost signals: in rough weather AIS signals are lost all the time, and you get a pop-up alarm. (Same problem with the radar)

Also whilst the AIS-600 software can be updated from the 5012 plotter, the error state can only be queried with a PC plugged into it, which is ridiculous. What's more you have to have Windows to do it (I run Mac OSX and Ubuntu Linux) and the software doesn't understand USB.

However the integration of the radio, AIS transponder, and chart plotter are pretty good. The worst problem is that you can't use the radar overlay and get AIS on the same window (you have to run a combination display with two windows), which is a bit stupid.

All in all the Garmin setup is not too bad if only they'd get rid of the stupid software bugs, and it seems cheaper than other systems for the same functionality.

BTW: using an iPad or laptop for advanced trip management is fine but there's no way such a system is remotely capable of real time navigation in rough weather. You need a close by screen which is weather proof, solidly mounted, with daylight and night time visibility, and preferably a touch screen. (Another bug in Garmin 5000 series: the night screen is 10 times too bright even at the minimum intensity: they know and the 7000 series doesn't have that problem, but its a hardware issue and can't be fixed in the 5000 series by an software upgrade).
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Old 01-11-2014, 20:35   #142
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Re: Class B AIS

"...bog-standard wifi router and transmitting standard PGN's over TCP/IP and UDP."

See, now, like this stuff. Am I supposed to know what
any of that means just to buy a transceiver?

It seems to get too technical very quickly and I'm lost.

Thanks for the responses though.

Is there anywhere I can read about what I need?
I don't even know what to Google.
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Old 01-11-2014, 22:33   #143
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Re: Class B AIS

"...bog-standard wifi router and transmitting standard PGN's over TCP/IP and UDP."

What this means is:
  • it has an indusry standard wireless transmitter that just about any PC or tablet can communicate with
  • the AIS data about ships and positions is sent wirelessly in an industry standard format known as NMEA.
The transceiver will work standalone for transmitting your details to other vessels, but you really want something that will interpret the data it receives from those vessels, like a chartlpotter or PC.

While this part of the thread talks about wireless transmission, you would normally connect the system to your existing navigation equipment by cable instead. But if it is old and not designed to interpret AIS data then it won't be displayed on your chartplotter, regardless of what brand of AIS you buy.

The wireless connection comes in really handy when you want to see the AIS data on a PC or tablet. I use the wirless capabilities of the XB-8000 to connect my laptop running OpenCPN for navigation.

I suggest you contact Vesper or other suppliers and tell them what charting equipment you have onboard and ask how their system will work.
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Old 01-11-2014, 23:58   #144
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Re: Class B AIS

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Are you sure it's PGNs? I would guess they are transmitting 0183 sentences over UDP (not using TCP).
There are some non-standard NMEA-2000 WiFi interfaces, and work is being done on standardized ones, but the usual WiFi / Ethernet interface carries NMEA-0183. Both TCP and UDP are used -- some programs can do one or the other, and some can do both.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:30   #145
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Re: Class B AIS

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There are some non-standard NMEA-2000 WiFi interfaces, and work is being done on standardized ones, but the usual WiFi / Ethernet interface carries NMEA-0183. Both TCP and UDP are used -- some programs can do one or the other, and some can do both.
Unicast? I would have thought broadcast unless a single vendor provides both ends of the connection.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:14   #146
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Re: Class B AIS

If one has a transceiver like the XB-8000, does it make sense to purchase a VHF that can display AIS (even though it doesn't have its own AIS receiver)? I believe the some versions of the iCOM 506 can do this. Or, is it cheaper and easier just to use the chartplotter to display AIS?
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:17   #147
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Re: Class B AIS

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Are you sure it's PGNs? I would guess they are transmitting 0183 sentences over UDP (not using TCP).
Yes, they are translating PGN to 0183 and transmitting them over TCP and UDP (user choice). The Vesper transmits pretty much a full suite of 0183 inputs, but a more limited number of PGN inputs.

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Old 02-11-2014, 06:23   #148
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Re: Class B AIS

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Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
If one has a transceiver like the XB-8000, does it make sense to purchase a VHF that can display AIS (even though it doesn't have its own AIS receiver)? I believe the some versions of the iCOM 506 can do this. Or, is it cheaper and easier just to use the chartplotter to display AIS?
The displays on radios are very small and really only good for a quick overview. If one needs to connect communication cables anyway, it seems a no-brainer to connect to a chartplotter over a radio display.

I don't know of any radios that have an AIS display and not a built-in AIS receiver. The Icom 506 has a receiver.

The advantages of a VHF with AIS receiver is that 1) your receiving antenna is at the masthead where its reception is optimum (assuming your VHF antenna is there) 2) on some radios, you can just highlight the ship on its display and press the "call" button to make a direct DSC call to it.

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Old 02-11-2014, 07:38   #149
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Re: Class B AIS

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Yes, they are translating PGN to 0183 and transmitting them over TCP and UDP (user choice). The Vesper transmits pretty much a full suite of 0183 inputs, but a more limited number of PGN inputs.

Mark
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:56   #150
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Re: Class B AIS

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Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
If one has a transceiver like the XB-8000, does it make sense to purchase a VHF that can display AIS (even though it doesn't have its own AIS receiver)? I believe the some versions of the iCOM 506 can do this. Or, is it cheaper and easier just to use the chartplotter to display AIS?
You will get a much better situational awareness displaying AIS information on a chart plotter. However, one benefit of also displaying the AIS information on the VHF is that you can make a DSC call to a vessel without manually entering its MMSI. Standard Horizon Matrix GX 2000 does not have a built-in AIS receiver but it can display the AIS target if you have a separate receiver or transceiver.
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