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Old 07-08-2007, 17:19   #1

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Sitex AIS Radar

Does anyone know if the Stiex AIS radar has an audio alarm,if a ship shows up in range , or how much power it uses?

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Old 08-08-2007, 06:11   #2
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Can't find out about this one without a call to Si-Tex (727-576-5734), but most AIS recievers have a user settable CPA (Closest Point of Approach) alarm. Note that this unit is not a radar, but an AIS reciever/decoder and display. AIS has nothing to with radar, except interfacing as a display. It also interfaces with compatible PC based charting software and compatible chartplotters. It's about the best new device to come into the recreational boating field since affordable GPS. Every large commercial vessel operating in US waters is required to have an AIS transponder. With an AIS reciever interfaced to your chartplotter, every large commercial vessel within a 30 to 40 mile range will appear on your screen, along with:
Length, breadth, draft, tonnage, vessel type, vessel name & call sign, course, speed, and, if the captain has entered it, destination. The reciever also tells you CPA, and time to CPA. The data is collected on the subject vessel and broadcast on a special VHF channel. Within the constraints of VHF reception, it is not subject to weather, horizon visibility, or obstacles. These units are going to become very popular anywhere recreational boats share the water with commercial traffic. I recently found a reciever black box selling for about $200.
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Power consumption is very low, little more than a VHF on recieve.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:19   #3
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I recently found a reciever black box selling for about $200.
Got the same unit, great little AIS recieiver.
Hooked it up to a S/H cp180i plotter...Perfect combo and all for about $600.00.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:51   #4
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Sitex is re-branding the NASA Marine products (NASA is a British company), the "AIS Rasar" and the "AIS Engine". Briefly, the AIS Radar is a stand-alone unit, not using a PC or other external device. NASA also makes the "AIS Engine", which is a receive-only black-box, and outputs a serial NMEA stream for interface to an external PC / Chartplatter / etc.

I can't find any specs on-line for the AIS Radar, but it does appear to have an audio alarm. From their website you can request that Sitex email you a spec. There is a user's review on the March 2007 "Practical Sailor" (which I can't find at the moment), and I recall that the alarm was quiet, the backlight was too bright, and the software fairly primitive, but the unit is relatively (?) low-power and the user was generally pleased with the unit.
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:22   #5
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If the Sitex is identical to the NASA, then it has an audio proximity alarm (Note this is not the same as a CPA alarm). Quoting from the 'User Instructions' (i.e. a scrappy little booklet with no diagrams or button hierarchy - don't get me started) : "With the alarm selected an audible alarm will sound when any AIS carrying vessel is within the inner range ring on the radar screen". So that's a definite maybe!
The power consumption is not quoted but I run mine with a Garmin GPS72 off a separate 2.1A-h battery and it lasts about 10 hours so my guess is that it draws about 100-150mA??
Here is what I wrote about the unit on another forum:-
NASA ‘Radar’: On the plus side, it has a display that most people can interpret and it displays information clearly. It consumes very little power and critical target information can be continuously displayed while other targets can be monitored on the PPI screen. However it does not provide that very basic requirement of ‘target bearing’ or even CPA. It also does not output the AIS in NMEA sentences so that other devices can extract and process the information. This is an excellent idea spoiled by poor product management and support (so typically British!). It is a good interim purchase.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:43   #6
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Love it.

I've had the NASA "radar" for over a year and it is great. The alarm is loud. The device is stand alone, giving me an additional independant gps and I value it a lot. I usually sail alone in the PNW. I got it because of a trip accross Juan de Fuca when the fog settled in. I was very nervous crossing the shipping lanes, and now I feel much better about avoiding the shipping.

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ais, radar

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