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Old 22-03-2018, 08:09   #1
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Using AIS GPS

I'm installing a Vesper XB-8000 AIS Transponder with built-in GPS. I have older (~ year 2000) Raymarine chartplotter and instruments all connected via SeaTalk. My Raystar 120 GPS is ancient, lacks the battery backup and sometimes takes a while to acquire a GPS fix. I also have a SeaTalk to NMEA 0183 bridge.

I'm thinking about using the XB-8000's GPS, take its NMEA 0183 output, set to 4800 baud and connect that to the NMEA/SeaTalk bridge. That would give me the RMC and GPS NMEA data on the SeaTalk network. I could then remove the Raymarine GPS. I realize I won't see AIS targets on my RL70C chartplotter.

Do you see any issues with using the XB-8000's GPS as the main boat GPS?

Should I install the Vesper external GPS antenna? I can probably mount the XB-8000 in the aft locker, clear of other electronics/gear. It would be 3' away from my Raystar GPS antenna, inside the hull.

How reliable is the XB-8000 NMEA data when set to 4800 baud (since AIS data is usually output at 38400 baud)?

Thank you,
Don
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Old 23-03-2018, 04:08   #2
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Re: Using AIS GPS

My Vesper 8000 with external antenna works perfectly. For technical questions I recommend Milltech Marine, Port Orchard, WA. 1-206-299-2217. They have a nice website. Milltechmarine.com. And are happy to talk AIS or related subjects. My personal highest recommendation.
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Old 23-03-2018, 06:38   #3
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Re: Using AIS GPS

I use a Vesper XB6000 as the main boat's GPS using NMEA 0183 and it works just fine. If you set the serial port to 4800 baud it won't output AIS so there is no danger if it getting overloaded.

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Old 23-03-2018, 06:46   #4
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Great - that's what I was hoping.

The XB-8000 has a built-in GPS -- would you recommend the external antenna?
Thanks
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Old 23-03-2018, 14:14   #5
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Re: Using AIS GPS

The XB6000 comes with an optional external antenna. I found it works fine without it so I didnít install it. Our boat is fibreglass, if you have a steel or aluminium one things might be different.
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Old 23-03-2018, 14:29   #6
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Thanks -- I'm going to first try without the antenna. I've had no issues with my SH GX2200 VHF/AIS radio, with built-in GPS mounted below in the nav-station.
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Old 23-03-2018, 14:37   #7
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Re: Using AIS GPS

I think Vespermarine recommend using the external antenna for the XB8000. Maybe it's just a more reliable signal ...
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Old 23-03-2018, 15:23   #8
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Vesper marine and their honcho Jeff Robbins (an active CF member) are quick to answer questions like this. You can reach Jeff via PM here or call their NZ telephone or email them. Superb customer service!

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Old 23-03-2018, 15:45   #9
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Re: Using AIS GPS

One possible issue is whether the AIS GPS output includes the optional magnetic variation value in the "RMC" output sentence. I don't know about the Vesper unit, but my ACR class-B transponder leaves that field blank.
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Old 24-04-2018, 16:19   #10
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Just a follow-up. I've installed the Vesper XB-8000 and connected its NMEA 0183 GPS output to my Raymarine NMEA/SeaTalk converter. This injects the Vesper GPS into my SeaTalk network. I've disconnected my ancient Raystar GPS (SeaTalk) and verified that the chart-plotter recognizes the Vesper GPS sentences!! One really nice feature of the Vesper XB-8000 is it multiplexes its GPS and AIS with input NMEA data, and broadcasts the combined data over wifi. This gives GPS, AIS, wind, speed, depth.... on wireless devices, iPad, iPhone, laptop.... This is great in my go-to iPad navigation app (SEAiq).

As far as the external antenna - I compared the satellites and signal strength with the built-in antenna vs. the external antenna. I saw no difference in the GPS coverage and signal. I did install the XB-8000 close to the hull and a high as possible behind the nav-station. I'm going to use the Vesper w/out the external antenna for a while and see if there's any problems.

To confirm proper setup, I used Boat Beacon to verify my AIS transmission. My transponder is broadcasting my MMSI number, boat name, position, and other related information. This was only to confirm my AIS broadcast - the shore-based stations received my AIS transmission and posted on the internet, and you can view via Boat Beacon (or possibly Marine Traffic). I was pleased to see my boat, confirming proper transmission.

Paul - I verified the RMC sentences have the magnetic variation. Perhaps Vesper's updated their firmware?
Listening to:"http://192.168.15.1/"
Port no: "39150" (TCP)
...
$GPRMC,212356.00,A,3343.44929,N,11816.93152,W,0.07 2,340.21,180418,13.0,e,A*27

For a strange reason, the Vesper does not output the GPS satellites in view sentence(s). I don't see this as a problem. You can connect with the WatchMate app and view the GPS information.

One thing I've noticed is my iPhone keeps dropping its wifi connection to the Vesper wifi network. I think my phone might be trying to connect to the marina wifi. I'm going to experiment more with this.

Overall, I'm very happy with the Vesper XB-8000. Thanks for all the suggestions,
Don
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Old 24-04-2018, 20:03   #11
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Using AIS GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
Just a follow-up. I've installed the Vesper XB-8000 and connected its NMEA 0183 GPS output to my Raymarine NMEA/SeaTalk converter. This injects the Vesper GPS into my SeaTalk network. I've disconnected my ancient Raystar GPS (SeaTalk) and verified that the chart-plotter recognizes the Vesper GPS sentences!! One really nice feature of the Vesper XB-8000 is it multiplexes its GPS and AIS with input NMEA data, and broadcasts the combined data over wifi. This gives GPS, AIS, wind, speed, depth.... on wireless devices, iPad, iPhone, laptop.... This is great in my go-to iPad navigation app (SEAiq).



As far as the external antenna - I compared the satellites and signal strength with the built-in antenna vs. the external antenna. I saw no difference in the GPS coverage and signal. I did install the XB-8000 close to the hull and a high as possible behind the nav-station. I'm going to use the Vesper w/out the external antenna for a while and see if there's any problems.



To confirm proper setup, I used Boat Beacon to verify my AIS transmission. My transponder is broadcasting my MMSI number, boat name, position, and other related information. This was only to confirm my AIS broadcast - the shore-based stations received my AIS transmission and posted on the internet, and you can view via Boat Beacon (or possibly Marine Traffic). I was pleased to see my boat, confirming proper transmission.



Paul - I verified the RMC sentences have the magnetic variation. Perhaps Vesper's updated their firmware?

Listening to:"http://192.168.15.1/"

Port no: "39150" (TCP)

...

$GPRMC,212356.00,A,3343.44929,N,11816.93152,W,0.07 2,340.21,180418,13.0,e,A*27



For a strange reason, the Vesper does not output the GPS satellites in view sentence(s). I don't see this as a problem. You can connect with the WatchMate app and view the GPS information.



One thing I've noticed is my iPhone keeps dropping its wifi connection to the Vesper wifi network. I think my phone might be trying to connect to the marina wifi. I'm going to experiment more with this.



Overall, I'm very happy with the Vesper XB-8000. Thanks for all the suggestions,

Don

Don:

I have a somewhat similar setup: including the XB8000, but run my Nav system and autopilot off of an NMEA2000/SeaTalkNG backbone (in addition to the traditional NMEA0183).

I would recommend adding a NMEA2k/NextGen SeaTalkNG bus (if your chart plotter supports it), as itís a much faster network than NMEA0183 or plain SeaTalk. Also if you can, setup your ChartPlotter / MFD to ďauto-selectĒ the best available GPS source from the new bus. My Garmin MFD would typically pick the faster Vesper GPS (on the NMEA2K) bus over the older GPS on NMEA0183 once the 2K bus is powered and the XB8000ís GPS comes online.

Iím somewhat surprised you were able to run the XB8000 -without- the external GPS antenna, as Vesper Marine indicates the XB8000 -requires- the external antenna (its optional only on the XB6000 (see https://downloads.vespermarine.com/d...171017-web.pdf ). You sure you have the XB8000 (and not the XB6000)? If so, you sure the XB8000 is -originating- GPS info, and not just repeating/bridging the older GPS ?
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Old 24-04-2018, 22:05   #12
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Re: Using AIS GPS

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Originally Posted by Seafarer7 View Post
I have a somewhat similar setup: including the XB8000, but run my Nav system and autopilot off of an NMEA2000/SeaTalkNG backbone (in addition to the traditional NMEA0183).

I would recommend adding a NMEA2k/NextGen SeaTalkNG bus (if your chart plotter supports it), as itís a much faster network than NMEA0183 or plain SeaTalk. Also if you can, setup your ChartPlotter / MFD to ďauto-selectĒ the best available GPS source from the new bus. My Garmin MFD would typically pick the faster Vesper GPS (on the NMEA2K) bus over the older GPS on NMEA0183 once the 2K bus is powered and the XB8000ís GPS comes online.

Iím somewhat surprised you were able to run the XB8000 -without- the external GPS antenna, as Vesper Marine indicates the XB8000 -requires- the external antenna (its optional only on the XB6000 (see https://downloads.vespermarine.com/d...171017-web.pdf ). You sure you have the XB8000 (and not the XB6000)? If so, you sure the XB8000 is -originating- GPS info, and not just repeating/bridging the older GPS ?
Yes, I have the XB-8000; one of my goals was to multiplex the data and broadcast over the built-in wifi.

You are right, per the manual, the XB-6000 has a built-in GPS antenna in the upper right corner, not the XB-8000. However, the way the XB-8000 appears to be working, it must also have a built-in GPS antenna. I verified satellite reception and signal strength -- identical with and without the external antenna.

Yes, I've disconnected the old Raystar SeaTalk GPS. There are no other GPS's connected to SeaTalk network.

I wasn't aware that you can set a GPS priority and select one GPS over the other. I've never seen anything like this in the manuals. I'm not sure how that would work with a SeaTalk/NMEA 0183 network. There's no way for the chartplotter to differentiate one set of NMEA 0183 GPS sentences from the other. I was worried that having both GPS's emitting ship's position, lat/lon will be different and chartplotter would respond to both sentences. Seems like it would add confusion to the network.

I'm going to leave the Raystar GPS installed and disconnected for a while and see how the XB-8000 works as ship's primary GPS.

I now want to verify whether I can safely run the XB-8000 without the external GPS antenna. I don't like mysteries!

Thanks for pointing out the issue with the external antenna.

Don
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Old 27-04-2018, 08:52   #13
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Emailed Victron technical support regarding XB-8000 w/out external antenna. They replied that the XB-8000 has a different GPS than the XB-6000, which is why the recommend using the external antenna. Even though it appears to be working w/out the external antenna, what may happen is the GPS may lose signal and AIS alarms will go off. They don't guarantee that the XB-8000 will work reliably without the external antenna.

Since I plan on this being my primary GPS, I'll snake the cable and install the external GPS antenna. I was probably going to do this anyway
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Old 27-04-2018, 14:27   #14
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
Emailed Victron technical support regarding XB-8000 w/out external antenna. They replied that the XB-8000 has a different GPS than the XB-6000, which is why the recommend using the external antenna. Even though it appears to be working w/out the external antenna, what may happen is the GPS may lose signal and AIS alarms will go off. They don't guarantee that the XB-8000 will work reliably without the external antenna.

Since I plan on this being my primary GPS, I'll snake the cable and install the external GPS antenna. I was probably going to do this anyway


Thanks for the follow through and feedback!
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Old 28-04-2018, 17:47   #15
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Re: Using AIS GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post

One thing I've noticed is my iPhone keeps dropping its wifi connection to the Vesper wifi network. I think my phone might be trying to connect to the marina wifi. I'm going to experiment more with this.



Overall, I'm very happy with the Vesper XB-8000. Thanks for all the suggestions,

Don


I have noticed the same thing. I turned off the ďlost connectionĒ alarm on the app and all seems fine
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