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Old 18-07-2014, 20:57   #31
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Re: Please school me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Completely agree. I've been cruising offshore for 40 years and transited some pretty high traffic areas and I have never had a problem not running into a big, commercial vessel IE the kind that will have AIS. Had some close calls with sailboats but they probably would not have had AIS anyway. Also had some night passages where I had to keep a close watch for some of the rocks and shores where radar would have given me a great peace of mind.

Not opposed to AIS but I think it would be the last bit I would add to a boat. For the price of an AIS transceiver you can find a pretty good used radar. If I had to choose one over the other I would pick the radar.
Well, so would I, but I think going from "nothing" to VHF with AIS is probably a good start. The unit in question is quite good and versatile. I think radar and AIS work in complementary ways, but even getting an old Furuno 1715 or something old, decent and cheap involves a lot of work, loads of wiring, weight aloft and power below. I believe I've never seen radar on a Tartan 30, but then I don't live in a fogbound place. Radar is a big committment and if it's a tiller boat, it wouldn't even be easy to use underway.
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Old 18-07-2014, 21:55   #32
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Re: Please school me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Full function what?

The problem with AIS receivers is the owner actually believes he has the of the benefit of AIS, delaying/eliminating the purchase of a transceiver. In actuality, he has a half-assed solution. If you don't transmit, you don't contribute to the AIS system, you are of no value to the AIS system.

AIS receivers should have never been allowed!
I shouldn't have used that wording, apologies. I meant for the full compliment of what it offers - VHF, GPS, and AIS receiving. Yes, it's very limited, and relies completely on other vessels transmitting. Pretty sure everyone agrees on that point. As someone pointed out, the biggest flaw, so to speak, in having it, is if the operator is using it with a false expectation that suddenly every other boat out there will show up. I'm just saying that given the marginal increase in cost, how can it be a BAD thing to have that extra little bit in there as an option? Every little bit has to help, is my thinking, as long as done so without those false securities that a clueless operator might find themselves trusting.
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Old 18-07-2014, 22:25   #33
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

I sail in the PNW - Gulf and San Juan Islands - and have a Standard Horizon VHF with AIS interfaced to a Standard Horizon chartplotter/fishfinder. If you need to replace your VHF, going with AIS is a no-brainer. It is not a replacement for radar, but it gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Most big vessels have AIS transponders, and if you have a concern you can call them using DSC. You can see big vessels approaching where vision is obstructed (e.g. Active Pass, Turn Point). If you are caught in fog, you won't see everything but at least you will see ferries and commercial vessels coming. The closest point of approach alarms aren't very helpful - too many boats with AIS nearby, alarm tends to go off all the time; you acknowledge the alarm and then it sounds again shortly.
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Old 18-07-2014, 22:55   #34
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

i have the 2150 interfaced to a raymarine e7 (the early e7 is full of problems) and i think the 2150 features are very nice. it makes it easier to contact other ships by displaying there information, shows them up long before you can visually see vessels, the extra cost on a VHF is not much compared to buying a AIS on its own. i find it interesting looking at the ships data they provide, like there distance and speed ECT.. can help with your decisions long ahead of time needed. speaker inside the cabin is loud for alarms compared to a chart plotter beeping outside the cabin

I dont see any negative side to the purchase of the standard horizon 2200 so i would buy it! (wish it had transmit as well)
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Old 19-07-2014, 05:11   #35
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

Anything is better than nothing. More is better than less.

I was at West Marine the other day and saw a black box type AIS transceiver for $500-something. Just sayin. It does need something to interface with, since it has no display of its own. Still looks like a good deal to me.

Seeing ships is good. Seeing, ships and being seen by ships is better.

Active reflectors are okay except when they don't work. The best all purpose all situation radar reflector I have ever seen is cheap, and can even be homemade. Yup. The humble corner reflector, also called a diamond reflector. It's not yacht stylish, not pretty, doesn't have a fancy brand name or a string of patents, there is some windage and it would not be nice for one to fall and hit your head, but they work, with no electricity. A 3cm radar typically picks them up at 4 to 6 miles, no problem. A 10cm radar should do likewise, if set up for close in observation. These are the diamond shaped aluminum reflectors used by longliners to keep track of their line while the gear soaks at night.

Radar GOOD. Me like radar! A unit that will do a relative motion plot on a contact is a tremendously effective tool.

So what's best? Everything together, of course! But if budget dictates choosing between AIS and radar equipment, I would say look for a cheap radar, even used, for now (be sure the magnetron is still good, or that the used unit is heavily discounted and can still be serviced with available parts) and AIS later. In addition to the radar, one or more corner reflectors, and also optionally an active reflector. LEARN TO USE your radar. Learn to tune and adjust it for optimum performance at various ranges and weather conditiins. Learn to plot targets, manually if the radar can't automatically plot.

When you get AIS I recommend a transceiver rather than receiver for obvious and already stated reasons.

A cheap handheld VHF could be a good backup to your existing radio. Plus it is nice to have when taking the dink ashore.
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Old 19-07-2014, 07:37   #36
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
personally I would suggest a separate AIS class B unit rather then an integrated receive only unit,
dave
Apples and oranges - I'm not arguing the transponder issue, just the fact that the guy needs a VHF anyway and that getting one with AIS receive for little extra money has an advantage in communication (the purpose of a VHF) over one without.

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Old 19-07-2014, 07:43   #37
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
DSC allows you to "dial" (metaphor alert) the ships that you can see via their MMSI number to say
It is even easier than this on the Standard Horizon. You don't need to dial the MMSI number - you just need to highlight the ship on the screen and press "call".

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Old 19-07-2014, 07:43   #38
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Apples and oranges - I'm not arguing the transponder issue, just the fact that the guy needs a VHF anyway and that getting one with AIS receive for little extra money has an advantage in communication (the purpose of a VHF) over one without.

Mark
That is a good feature, but it's not the point.

He'll believe since he now has "AIS", why do I need a transceiver?

As long as every car has their headlights at night and I can see them, why do I need to turn mine on?
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Old 19-07-2014, 07:47   #39
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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That is a good feature, but it's not the point.

He'll believe since he now has "AIS", why do I need a transceiver?

As long as every car has their headlights at night and I can see them, why do I need to turn mine on?
I think you lost the point here. He needs a VHF. Are you suggesting that having one with AIS receive is a bad idea?

Your argument is similar to the ones made by those who keep telling me that because my AP is connected to my chart plotter, I will now run into reefs because I won't realize that I still need to do charting.

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Old 19-07-2014, 10:11   #40
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I think you lost the point here. He needs a VHF. Are you suggesting that having one with AIS receive is a bad idea?

Your argument is similar to the ones made by those who keep telling me that because my AP is connected to my chart plotter, I will now run into reefs because I won't realize that I still need to do charting.

Mark
I'm suggesting if he wants AIS to buy a real system, not a half-assed toy. A receiver is a toy. The value proposition for that radio over one without an AIS receiver isn't much if you have a real AIS system. He would be better to save the $100 and put it towards a real AIS system.

My point is those that buy receivers believe they have AIS and they don't! They seem oblivious to the fact that AIS is a participatory system.

Do you own an AIS transceiver or receive only? Would you have a transceiver if receivers were not available? These answers might explain your view on the value proposition of AIS.

Since you changed subjects, electronic aided collisions are real. But so are car accidents due to texting, etc.

Electronically Aided Collisions - Seaworthy Archives - BoatUS
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Old 19-07-2014, 10:24   #41
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I'm suggesting if he wants AIS to buy a real system, not a half-assed toy. A receiver is a toy. The value proposition for that radio over one without an AIS receiver isn't much if you have a real AIS system. He would be better to save the $100 and put it towards a real AIS system.

My point is those that buy receivers believe they have AIS and they don't! They seem oblivious to the fact that AIS is a participatory system.

Do you own an AIS transceiver or receive only? Would you have a transceiver if receivers were not available? These answers might explain your view on the value proposition of AIS.

Since you changed subjects, electronic aided collisions are real. But so are car accidents due to texting, etc.

Electronically Aided Collisions - Seaworthy Archives - BoatUS
I'm not sure how I changed the subject, or what texting accidents have anything to do with anything I wrote. Perhaps you mistook me for someone else?

We have a transceiver and a VHF with AIS receiver. I find the VHF/AIS imminently useful in several ways - one is the additional communication abilities it provides. This is a value that is not available at all with transceivers unless one gets very specific brands and ties them into a same-brand VHF and chartplotter. These are rare combos indeed.

I think your hatred of AIS receivers is making you see demons where they do not exist in VHF combos. There, the AIS receive has a very real and justifiable function specific to the radio, and has nothing at all to do with the overall choice of whether or not to install a transceiver.

Don't make the mistake of projecting your assumptions onto others - you will become one of those grumpy old men who are always banging on about the dangers of electronics, etc.

[Edit] OK, I just read the article you posted to. I guess my warning is too late - it looks like you already are a grumpy old man projecting stupidity onto everyone and blaming electronics.

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Old 19-07-2014, 11:11   #42
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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I'm not sure how I changed the subject, or what texting accidents have anything to do with anything I wrote. Perhaps you mistook me for someone else?

We have a transceiver and a VHF with AIS receiver. I find the VHF/AIS imminently useful in several ways - one is the additional communication abilities it provides. This is a value that is not available at all with transceivers unless one gets very specific brands and ties them into a same-brand VHF and chartplotter. These are rare combos indeed.

I think your hatred of AIS receivers is making you see demons where they do not exist in VHF combos. There, the AIS receive has a very real and justifiable function specific to the radio, and has nothing at all to do with the overall choice of whether or not to install a transceiver.

Don't make the mistake of projecting your assumptions onto others - you will become one of those grumpy old men who are always banging on about the dangers of electronics, etc.

[Edit] OK, I just read the article you posted to. I guess my warning is too late - it looks like you already are a grumpy old man projecting stupidity onto everyone and blaming electronics.

Mark

We seem to have 2 threads going here.....

1) The op stated:

Quote:
Originally Posted by wristwister View Post
.....I need to do something about navigational/communications safety, especially when I get surprised by a fog bank while I'm transiting shipping/ferry lanes (happened several times so far, scares the bejeezus out of me). Of course, radar is probably the right answer, but not practical on this boat right now. So I'm thinking at a minimum, an AIS receiver/plotter might be a good idea. Add to that the fact that my VHF radio is a POS and needs replacing, and that it would be nice to have a back-up GPS on board, and THIS looks like an excellent solution to all my woes:.......
I'm stating that an AIS receiver is a toy. He needs an AIS transceiver. Since you own both, you have admitted to the value of a transceiver compared to a receive-only. You are proposing the VHF w/AIS receiver as a tool that allows DSC calling sans the tedious task of entering MMSI numbers. IMO, that value proposition is very small compared to the OP's stated goal. If you have a real AIS transceiver, the need to communicate via voice with another AIS equipped vessel is very small.

2) You drew an analogy to the different subject with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
....Your argument is similar to the ones made by those who keep telling me that because my AP is connected to my chart plotter, I will now run into reefs because I won't realize that I still need to do charting....
We agree on this topic, my point is that electronic aided collisions are real, at least in the eyes of the USCG and insurance companies, regardless of whether you and I believe it. It's a situational awareness issue not relegated to only boating.


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Old 19-07-2014, 11:33   #43
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Re: Please school me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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I shouldn't have used that wording, apologies. I meant for the full compliment of what it offers - VHF, GPS, and AIS receiving. Yes, it's very limited, and relies completely on other vessels transmitting. Pretty sure everyone agrees on that point. As someone pointed out, the biggest flaw, so to speak, in having it, is if the operator is using it with a false expectation that suddenly every other boat out there will show up. I'm just saying that given the marginal increase in cost, how can it be a BAD thing to have that extra little bit in there as an option? Every little bit has to help, is my thinking, as long as done so without those false securities that a clueless operator might find themselves trusting.
I suppose "false expectations" is a valid concern with a typical daysailer sort of recreational boater. I didn't get that impression here. Before I bought my SH GX2200, I got my ROC(M) certificate, which is a Canadian federal radio operation course that gives me a DSC qualification and allows me to operate an SSB in the marine frequencies. You learn a hell of a lot about COSPAS/SARSAT and GMDSS and how (and when) to do MAYDAY RELAY and all that good stuff with a DSC-equipped radio. All this came prior to getting an MMSI #. So maybe I should qualify my response in light of false expectations by saying "the more you know and have been taught, the more use you will get out of an AIS and GPS-receiver-equipped VHF with DSC, including an appreciation of its limitations".
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Old 19-07-2014, 11:38   #44
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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It is even easier than this on the Standard Horizon. You don't need to dial the MMSI number - you just need to highlight the ship on the screen and press "call".

Mark
Of course: the list of possible calls (and calls made before, like to fellow boaters) is right in front of one in a scroll). But it's hard to know the knowledge level of the original poster, and so I slip back into archaic terminology in order to make sure I am understood.

As there are a lot of freighters, workboats and marine police unit boats here in Toronto Harbour at any given time, I was rather impressed when I first hooked up the SH 2200 and saw I could hail them at will. It was a bit weird to have the VHF act like a cellphone.
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Old 19-07-2014, 11:44   #45
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Re: Please School me on VHF/GPS/AIS Combo Units

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That is a good feature, but it's not the point.

He'll believe since he now has "AIS", why do I need a transceiver?

As long as every car has their headlights at night and I can see them, why do I need to turn mine on?
Because you're an anti-vaxxer?
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