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Old 25-11-2015, 09:09   #1
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Raymarine AIS 350

I am considering an AIS for our boat, we have a RM C-120W MFD now so considering the RM 350, assuming it will be a plug and play install.Like to hear from anyone else using this AIS, are you satisfied with the sensitivity, reliability etc.
thanks, Bob
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Old 26-11-2015, 19:03   #2
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Bob,
I'm hesitant to answer you, as I don't have a Raymarine AIS350...but since there are few out here using them, you may not find many responding that actually do have one....so, I thought I'd give you some seasoned advice...(if you don't mind?)
Let me apologize up front, for not actually answering your question, but rather telling you something that you may have already considered, but dismissed....sorry about that....(I really hate it when others do this....so, I'm REALLY sorry!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH260 View Post
I am considering an AIS for our boat, we have a RM C-120W MFD now so considering the RM 350, assuming it will be a plug and play install.Like to hear from anyone else using this AIS, are you satisfied with the sensitivity, reliability etc.
thanks, Bob
1) Plug 'n Play?? Yes, to some extent....but using a Vesper Watchmate would not present issues nor be much less "plug 'n play"...

2) $450 - $500 for a "back box" AIS receiver, with no display??? This is a rather high price to pay....you can find good AIS black box receivers for $200 - $250....and AIS receivers with displays for ~ $300....

3) Many/Most sailors who have AIS receivers, soon wish they had Class B AIS transponders....and Class B AIS transponders can be had for ~ $600 - $1000...

4) If you haven't looked at Vesper AIS products, please do so!! (they have some unique features that nobody else has...as well as Vesper having a keen understanding of both cruising boats AND the AIS system!!)
https://www.vespermarine.com/

WatchMate 750 AIS Receiver | Vesper Marine

WatchMate 850 Class B AIS Transponder | Vesper Marine

Vesper Marine AIS WatchMate 850 Transponder and Display


5) Depending on where and how you sail/cruise, you will find the extremely low-power consumption of the Vesper units to be either a nice feature or an absolute necessity!!!
(remember that in many situations, especially offshore, you will have no need to run a chartplotter 24/7....but, you will probably want to keep an eye out for AIS targets, or have others know where you are at....and having a stand-alone AIS system here is more than just "nice" for most...)



I have a Raymarine E-120 and E-80, and have AIS targets displayed on both of them....but almost never use them to view AIS targets!!
Here are some pics of my Nav Station (and cockpit E-120), the first two showing my Vesper Watchmate....















BTW, you may wish to do a search here and look for other threads on AIS...
Here are some recent ones....but, there are MANY other!!


AIS...all in one radio or computer/opencpn


AIS with VHF/SSB


AIS benefits








I do hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 27-11-2015, 07:05   #3
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

John, thanks so much for your detailed reply, much appreciated.

Our use of the vessel is perhaps a bit different than some. We are Canadian documented, kept in Florida all summer and used to cruise Bahamas in the winters, 4 to 5 months. We do have a new unused backup VHF antenna mounted on our arch above the cockpit.

So our expected use for the AIS is really two Gulf Stream crossings a year, partly at night, with some boat traffic. Little chance of being in heavy fog. We have a RM radar. Our Icom DSC VHF has a remote mic at the helm and that is where the VHF is almost always used. We have a proper MMSI number. We do not have a second MFD at the nav station. I do almost everything from the helm.

I believe a class B AIS needs to be programmed before shipping. As we are a Canadian flagged vessel I don't know if it can be done by an American supplier. I know our EPIRB had to be a special factory order when we purchased it from Defender. Maybe the same can be done with an AIS.

Obviously a Vesper Marine AIS would not be an issue. I have looked closely at the Vesper XB 6000 at $843 (Can) here, plus $30 shipping and 13% tax. I don't know if it would be over kill for our needs. I assume it would work well with the RM C120W. I've read so many tales of RM not interfacing well with other manufactures products I'm a bit nervous of trying that road.

Looking at exchanging our Icom VHF for a new one with class B AIS I have a couple of concerns. The selection of B class radios is small, they are expensive here in Canada. In addition I would need to buy the remote mic and cable (a $100 to $200 option). I probably would need to do some cosmetic work to fit a new radio in the existing hole in the teak interior. And it would be a real pain pulling the old cable out and fishing a new one in for the remote mic.

I know the RM 350 is not a popular choice for the reasons you outlined. I do not want buy it and find out it has poor sensitivity or other issues and is the reason for my original post, I had hopes to hear from an owner. The price now from Defender is $590 (Can) ($442 US).

If any of my assumptions are wrong I would be pleased to hear about them !

thanks again Bob
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Old 27-11-2015, 07:32   #4
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Bob,

You're very welcome!


I've actually got to be brief at the moment...more later..
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH260 View Post
I know the RM 350 is not a popular choice for the reasons you outlined. I do not want buy it and find out it has poor sensitivity or other issues and is the reason for my original post, I had hopes to hear from an owner. The price now from Defender is $590 (Can) ($442 US).

If any of my assumptions are wrong I would be pleased to hear about them !
--- So, directly on-point, the AIS350 should be just as good as any other AIS receiver (just at a higher cost than other options)...

--- The Vesper units will also work well and interface with your Raymarine system...and of course their displays can be mounted in the cockpit / at the helm...
(even though my main Vesper display is at my Nav Station, I do have AIS data sent to my cockpit E-120, AND actually have another Vesper Watchmate display to mount in the cockpit....I am an electronics pro afterall... )



~~~
But, most important here is that you are unfortunately mixing up a couple things...no worries, it happens a LOT!!!
1) A "class B AIS" is an AIS transponder (which transmits YOUR position, etc. as well as receives others AIS data), it is NOT an AIS receiver!

2) There are NO "VHF Radios" with built-in AIS transponders! (Class B nor Class A)

3) There are some VHF radios that do have AIS receivers built-in....as well as some VHF radios that will display AIS target data on their small screens (if you have a AIS receiver or transponder on board, connected to the VHF radio)...
But, since you already have an Icom DSC-VHF radio that works well, these options would probably be a bit of a waste of $$$...

~~~



4) I'm not aware of any reason that a US supplier of an AIS transponder (or even any supplier/manufacturer), couldn't program your Canadian MMSI# into your AIS transponder, should you desire to equip with a transponder...
(unlike EPIRB's, there are no "country-specific" codes that need programming....except of course for the MMSI#...)



I hope this helps...

Fair winds

John
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Old 27-11-2015, 08:21   #5
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Hi Bob,

The Raymarine 350 is receive only. Did you realise that?
So it doesn't need programming.
Yes its plug and play.

The Raymarine 650 is the transponder.
Its plug and play too. I have it running onto a laptop via USB.
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Old 27-11-2015, 09:06   #6
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH260 View Post
I believe a class B AIS needs to be programmed before shipping. As we are a Canadian flagged vessel I don't know if it can be done by an American supplier. I know our EPIRB had to be a special factory order when we purchased it from Defender. Maybe the same can be done with an AIS.
As already mentioned, the AIS350 is just the receiver. It sounds like you want the transponder, so its the AIS650 you need.

The MMSI and some vessel details needs to be programmed into it which can easily be done buy downloading the appropriate Mac/Windows software and connecting via USB

I'm happy with my AIS650's operation
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Old 27-11-2015, 17:04   #7
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

I had a Raymarine 350 and used it to display thru USB to a laptop running Raytech 6.2. I used it on the leg from Kentucky Lake to Mobile in 2013 on my cruise to Florida. I could not display AIS on my old Pathfinder chartplotter. I quickly found that it was limited just using the computer at th Nav station while I needed it at the helm. While enroute I bought a Digital Yacht IAIS that output to my laptop with USB and to my IPad and IPhone (both at the same time using UDP). I use INAVX for the app on both IPad and iPhone. Now I wish I had bought both a transmitter and receiver. This was a great solution for receive only. I'm thinking about making the trip again next fall and winter and will get either the Vesper or Digital yacht transceiver. Wifi is a must. I am favoring the Vesper at this time because I can silence the Transmitter from the IPhone/Pad app if I want to. There are advantages to being able to transmit. Going down the river the locks have AIS and you can see the tows around rather bends. At night, either in the river at anchor, or on the open water offshore, I think there is an advantage to being able to be seen as well as see others. There are Tims, I think I would want the transmitter off. For sure while at marinas.


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Old 29-11-2015, 11:02   #8
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Thanks guys, I've got it on the A & B, receive/transmit, see/be seen differences !
I think for now I'm going to buy the Standard Horizon VHF with DSC and AIS (receive only) built in. It is on sale at Defender right now plus a $40 rebate from SH,
Standard Horizon GX2200 MATRIX AIS/GPS Fixed Mount VHF Radio

For another $100 I'll order the remote mic, hopefully it will interface with the RM C120W OK.

thanks again, Bob
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Old 01-12-2015, 21:27   #9
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

I have a question, and hope this isn't considered hijacking. I'd like to replace my old VHF radio with an AIS transponder and radio. My equipment is Raymarine so I prefer to limit the brain damage and stick with the most compatible add-on's. If I buy a transponder, do I need to buy an AIS capable radio? I can't find recommendations for radios that best compliment the transponders. Raymarine reviews are very good but more expensive than others, is it worth the extra $$ to keep all your equipment with the same manufacturer ?

Thanks,
Chuck
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Old 01-12-2015, 21:41   #10
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

The radio has nothing to do with the AIS except provide the VHF signal to receive and transmit, so brand has no significance with AIS. You need a GPS signal and VHF. The GPS can be on an IPad if using the IPad to display (using INAVX app and the IAIS wifi) the targets. With my Raymarine, I outputted the signal via USB to a laptop hooked to my on board Raymarine GPS running RayTech 6.2.

I had a Raymarine 350 and changed it out to a Digital Yacht IAIS unit. You will need a splitter from your antenna so one line goes to the VHF and another to the AIS. You will also need 12 volt power. I ran both of mine off the VHF power feed because you have to use VHF with AIS, so it makes sense to power from that circuit.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:29   #11
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
The radio has nothing to do with the AIS except provide the VHF signal to receive and transmit, so brand has no significance with AIS. You need a GPS signal and VHF. The GPS can be on an IPad if using the IPad to display (using INAVX app and the IAIS wifi) the targets. With my Raymarine, I outputted the signal via USB to a laptop hooked to my on board Raymarine GPS running RayTech 6.2.

I had a Raymarine 350 and changed it out to a Digital Yacht IAIS unit. You will need a splitter from your antenna so one line goes to the VHF and another to the AIS. You will also need 12 volt power. I ran both of mine off the VHF power feed because you have to use VHF with AIS, so it makes sense to power from that circuit.
A lot of radios have AIS receivers built in. With a transponder, I'm assuming I wouldn't need need that feature? I have GPS and Radar on the boat but intend to get a dongle for my iPad so iNavXworks when we're further out.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:09   #12
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

If you want to interface with an IPad, you will need a way to get the signal to the IPad and InavX. The only way to do this is by Wifi. If you have late model Raymarine systems, they have apps that allow you to see the chartplotter, radar etc. my Raymarine stuff is 13 years old, so don't have that feature.

If you get an AIS built into your VHF radio, you will need something else to convert the signal to wifi and then to the InavX program. The Digital Yacht IAIS has that feature built in. You will need the IPad with GPS built in, or a dongle of some kind.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:14   #13
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Re: Raymarine AIS 350

Thanks for the reply JClark. I've got an older model C80 as the chart plotter. The GPS system, electronic compass, radar, auto pilot, wind and hull speed all can be monitored and controlled from the pedestal and there are three individual small screens for hull speed, wind speed and direction and something else. ( I bought the boat this summer and sailed it from Pensacola to Corpus Christi so I'm still figuring stuff out ) The auto pilot is less than a year old and has it's own screen as well as being slaved to the chart plotter, which I haven't figured out how to use yet. They seem to fight each other. I'm pleased w the C80 It works well and we have all new maps on a card for it.
The auto pilot is nearly useless in the Gulf due to the oil wells and underground cables. Every time I cross over a cable the boat takes a hard right or left and follows it. Scary the first 10 times it happened until we figured out what was going on.
So, I'm wanting to upgrade my VHF radio but am unsure of the most efficient and cost effective system. I want an AIS transponder so I can see and be seen and also in case I or my wife goes over the side we can turn around and get picked up using a personal AIS beacon. I want everything to work together and be controlled or monitored from the pedestal and or plotter.
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