I've ordered one and it will be here in a few weeks. I'll scan the manual into a PDF but I don't have a place to host it, but at least it will exist. Maybe I can find someone to host it.
I found the same unit on Amazon and posted a question asking if there was a way to turn the transmit function off and just use it as a receiver. I promptly received a response from a representative at Matsutec who answered "Yes" with no further explanation. I followed up to ask if it was done with a switch or through the configuration program and haven't received an answer. I suspect it's done through the configuration program similar to the HA-33A.
I had already decided that I'd continue to use my Icom
black box for receive only and only turn the HA-102 on if I needed transmit. I wasn't even planning on hooking it up to OpenCPN unless I could turn the transmit off. Now, I'll make that decision when I test it a little.
I have 2 Furuno
GP-31's onboard, one for backup, and consequently I have a spare GPS antenna
that's never been connected. After hours of research
, I found the Furuno
specs for the antenna
and they match exactly with the HA-017 antenna that comes with their other units. In fact, I suspect that they are probably the same antenna since the Furuno part is GPA-017. That saved me $95 on a GPS antenna. I'll still need to buy another VHF
antenna but this is a very inexpensive way to add transmit capability. And when I'm done, I'll have a spare GPS and VHF
antenna already mounted for an emergency
In my situation, I'm not the least concerned about any US regulations
. I'm in Malaysia
and the only reason I even want the transmitting is because Thailand
and just recently Indonesia
is requiring them for all cruising boats. I suspect Malaysia
will follow soon.
I'm really against every pleasure boat doing 6 knots transmitting on AIS in high traffic areas. There are finite limits to how many active AIS transmitters can be operation in a particular area. I think the number is somewhere around 2100. That's not very many. Particularly when you're somewhere like the Singapore
Straits. Last time through there I was picking up 874 AIS targets and the system was almost worthless. There were simply to many boats transmitting and I was sometimes only getting updates on freighters doing 20 knots every 5 minutes. AIS was completely worthless at that point.
This is has to be the cheapest way to add AIS transmit capabilities and I didn't want another display cluttering up my nav station as my low power consumption
computer and OpenCPN are always running. If I could have found a self contained handheld AIS system that I could pull out of drawer and turn on to appease a local official, that would have been fine with me. Can you see me now!!!
Once I get this thing, I'm going to test it thoroughly. While searching around in other places I found that some people were able to upload routes to the HA-33A using the Furuno format. It would be nice if the configuration program also has some software that will display screens for the GPS and maybe even allow uploads of routes and waypoints to the GPS portion. I suspect the hardware
is probably capable, it might just not have a display interface. Once I've tested it thoroughly, I'll report back with what I've found.