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Old 17-12-2015, 15:45   #1
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McMurdo AIS

Does anyone have feedback on the McMurdo AIS Smartfind M15 (M15S) or (M15SW)? The M15SW, seems to be WiFi which I think talks to your laptop, cordless. Which would be a big plus if I had my Laptop in the cockpit. I cannot find pricing on the M15SW. I see the M15 for under $200.
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Old 17-12-2015, 16:28   #2
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Hang on, that's not a proper AIS is it? I have the McMurdo smartfind 510 and its a MOB ais transmitter that works like a little EPIRB. Mine attaches to an arm or safety harness and when set off alerts AIS receivers to about 4nm away.

You are after a full AIS transponder or receiver, arn't you?
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Old 17-12-2015, 16:34   #3
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Re: McMurdo AIS

oops, sorry. You meaN this one?


http://www.mcmurdomarine.com/ais-electronics/101-smartfind-m15-ais-receiver


I haven't seen it before.
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Old 17-12-2015, 17:26   #4
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Re: McMurdo AIS

I can't comment on that one... but I recently purchased a Daisy receiver and am blown away for the cost.
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Old 17-12-2015, 22:10   #5
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I can't comment on that one... but I recently purchased a Daisy receiver and am blown away for the cost.
I found this website for the dAISy...
https://www.tindie.com/products/astu...-ais-receiver/
Ya...it's really cheap. How long have you been using it?
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Old 17-12-2015, 22:18   #6
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Re: McMurdo AIS

So the M-15 is their no frills unit that needs an antenna. The M-15S has an antenna spliter, allowing you to share the VHF antenna. I assume the M-15SW has the spliter and WiFi capabilities. They are pretty vague on the latter, so I am to assume it's a brand new addition.
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Old 18-12-2015, 03:13   #7
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I found this website for the dAISy...
https://www.tindie.com/products/astu...-ais-receiver/
Ya...it's really cheap. How long have you been using it?
$59! That is,cheap!
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Old 18-12-2015, 03:32   #8
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I can't comment on that one... but I recently purchased a Daisy receiver and am blown away for the cost.
I would anticipate dAISy being very reliable, due to the simplicity (once wired up I might be tempted to shrink wrap it all).

Tradeoffs can be either very noticeable, not noticeable at all in use, or somewhere in between.

"dAISy was designed around a modern single chip radio IC. This architecture is instrumental for the very low price, small form factor and low power consumption. The trade-offs are longer acquisition time, lower sensitivity and less range than commercial AIS receivers. Still, with a good antenna dAISy is more than adequate to monitor local ship traffic. "

How are "longer acquisition time" and "lower sensitivity" and "less range" panning out in practice?

PS. It would probably be worth doing a dedicated thread on dAISy?
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Old 18-12-2015, 03:34   #9
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Re: McMurdo AIS

I have a Daisy and it's fantastic value. Do note however that the current version does not have a NMEA output, it outputs over USB. If you are good with a soldering iron you can add a NMEA output reasonably easily. Without modification it works really well with OpenCPN and with a decent antenna has excellent range.


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Old 18-12-2015, 03:39   #10
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Re the question:

How are "longer acquisition time" and "lower sensitivity" and "less range" panning out in practice?

Using a masthead antenna I have picked up a class A receiver 19nm away with a low hill in between.

I haven't noticed any issue with acquisition time, when I turn it on it generally picks up everything in the locality within a few minutes. Remember that AIS only transmits occasionally unless the vessel is moving fast.


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Old 18-12-2015, 06:50   #11
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Re: McMurdo AIS

I only use my Daisy receiver as a backup device. However when I tested it, it seemed to have the same range as my Vesper and I didn't notice slower acquisition.

The cool thing about the Daisy is its a community project (not really open source). So there is a ton of information in the forums. There is even instructions on adding WIFI functionality for $6. Although that requires some fairly in-depth hobbiest electronic skills.

For $59.. Everyone should have one!
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Old 18-12-2015, 12:08   #12
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribbit View Post
I would anticipate dAISy being very reliable, due to the simplicity (once wired up I might be tempted to shrink wrap it all).

Tradeoffs can be either very noticeable, not noticeable at all in use, or somewhere in between.

"dAISy was designed around a modern single chip radio IC. This architecture is instrumental for the very low price, small form factor and low power consumption. The trade-offs are longer acquisition time, lower sensitivity and less range than commercial AIS receivers. Still, with a good antenna dAISy is more than adequate to monitor local ship traffic. "

How are "longer acquisition time" and "lower sensitivity" and "less range" panning out in practice?

PS. It would probably be worth doing a dedicated thread on dAISy?
The one thing I noticed is the dAISy is a single channel switching between the two frequencies vs. the Smartfind that is a constant two channel. But if it performs as fast...who cares. As far as the shrink wrap...I suppose there are a few other ways to water resist it. I've had a few "non-marine product in the past and they did not hold up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AedanC View Post
I have a Daisy and it's fantastic value. Do note however that the current version does not have a NMEA output, it outputs over USB. If you are good with a soldering iron you can add a NMEA output reasonably easily. Without modification it works really well with OpenCPN and with a decent antenna has excellent range.


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So if I used it to just run on my laptop (via USB cable) with OpenCPN, it works well?
...Also with the dAISy, you have the added cost of a splitter.
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Old 18-12-2015, 12:13   #13
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
The one thing I noticed is the dAISy is a single channel switching between the two frequencies vs. the Smartfind that is a constant two channel. But if it performs as fast...who cares. As far as the shrink wrap...I suppose there are a few other ways to water resist it. I've had a few "non-marine product in the past and they did not hold up.


So if I used it to just run on my laptop (via USB cable) with OpenCPN, it works well?
Look up "Conformal Coating".. I carry a can of it on my boat and have coated a few things that weren't "Marine Grade".

It works fantastic with OpenCPN or Polarview!
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Old 18-12-2015, 13:00   #14
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Re: McMurdo AIS

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
...Also with the dAISy, you have the added cost of a splitter.
It's the same as any other AIS device in that respect, you either need a splitter or a dedicated antenna, whichever you prefer. There is another thread going on this forum at the moment with some strong views being presented on both sides of that one.
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Old 18-12-2015, 18:23   #15
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Re: McMurdo AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by AedanC View Post
It's the same as any other AIS device in that respect, you either need a splitter or a dedicated antenna, whichever you prefer. There is another thread going on this forum at the moment with some strong views being presented on both sides of that one.
I saw that discussion. I just don't wat to add any more junk on the outside of my boat. The McMurdo Smartfind M-15S has a built in switcher. Although I'm not sure if it automatically switches or not. McMurdo is so vague with their specs. It's a wonder they sell any of them.
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