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Old 02-02-2015, 18:41   #1
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Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

There are at least two active threads, both of which have posts on the Vesper AIS equipment. I have been in contact with Vesper (Jeff Robbins) as well as following these threads. I really like the capabilities of the Watchmate 850 (not the Vision model). The Watchmate has several strong recommendations for it from active cruisers which means a lot to me.

If I get one I am considering locating it on the cabin top underneath the dodger where I can see it easily from the helm and the cockpit. The vendor states that it is "daylight viewable". I have had several laptops and have seen other nav devices that advertise their units as "daylight viewable".

In my experience most of are not very viewable in daylight. I have had good experience with VHF radio screens, some chartplotters, and others. My specific question is to those who actually have the Watchmate on their boats. What comments would you make on the visibility of the 850 in daylight? It may be excellent, I just want to get some thoughts from users with a lot of experience with it.
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Old 02-02-2015, 18:56   #2
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Sorry ours is mounted at the chart table so can't give you a sunlight viewable report. Other than saying its a great piece if gear



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Old 10-02-2015, 10:10   #3
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Maggie,
YES!
Yes, the Vesper WatchMate's (WM 650/670, WM 750, and WM 850) ARE 100% daylight and sunlight viewable!

Like most (all) good resolution mono-chrome LCD displays, they work very well in direct sunlight....and in all lighting conditions...

Direct sunlight, whether clear and sunny, or cloudy, they work 100%....

Daylight, but shaded by a bimini-top, etc. you may need to adjust brightness / contrast to suit your desires, but they are 100% viewable...

Below-decks, in controlled lighting, the backlight is completely adjustable for day or nighttime, or anywhere in between....and they are 100% viewable here as well...

I own a Vesper Watchmate 650 display (connected to my AIS transponder), which I've used now for a couple years (and prior to that, I used a stand-alone AIS receiver/display since 2006).....and it works perfectly!

I also own a Vesper Watchmate 750 AIS receiver/display, which I have used out in the open, in open, direct clear sunlight and in daylight under bimini-top, and on my patio on-shore (watching AIS targets w/ my roof-top antenna)....



Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
. I really like the capabilities of the Watchmate 850 (not the Vision model).

If I get one I am considering locating it on the cabin top underneath the dodger where I can see it easily from the helm and the cockpit. The vendor states that it is "daylight viewable". I have had several laptops and have seen other nav devices that advertise their units as "daylight viewable".

In my experience most of are not very viewable in daylight. I have had good experience with VHF radio screens, some chartplotters, and others. My specific question is to those who actually have the Watchmate on their boats. What comments would you make on the visibility of the 850 in daylight? It may be excellent, I just want to get some thoughts from users with a lot of experience with it.
Understand that this is not like "laptop" displays, as this is a mono-chrome (B&W) hi-res LCD display with adjustable contrast and adjustable backlighting....

Also remember like all LCD displays used outdoors with lots of UV exposure, when it is not in use please KEEP THE COVER OVER THE DISPLAY, so that it stays clear and usable for years and years....(I have a 15 yr old Raymarine instrument display, which is now a spare, that still works/looks good...and that's 'cause I kept the cover on it when not in use....and I had to replace the plastic cover which rotted-away from the UV over the years!)


Bottom line:
Yes, the Vesper Watchmate displays (WM650/670, WM750, and WM850) are "daylight viewable"!


Fair winds....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:21   #4
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Maggie,
YES!
Yes, the Vesper WatchMate's (WM 650/670, WM 750, and WM 850) ARE 100% daylight and sunlight viewable!

Like most (all) good resolution mono-chrome LCD displays, they work very well in direct sunlight....and in all lighting conditions...

Direct sunlight, whether clear and sunny, or cloudy, they work 100%....

Daylight, but shaded by a bimini-top, etc. you may need to adjust brightness / contrast to suit your desires, but they are 100% viewable...

Below-decks, in controlled lighting, the backlight is completely adjustable for day or nighttime, or anywhere in between....and they are 100% viewable here as well...

I own a Vesper Watchmate 650 display (connected to my AIS transponder), which I've used now for a couple years (and prior to that, I used a stand-alone AIS receiver/display since 2006).....and it works perfectly!

I also own a Vesper Watchmate 750 AIS receiver/display, which I have used out in the open, in open, direct clear sunlight and in daylight under bimini-top, and on my patio on-shore (watching AIS targets w/ my roof-top antenna)....



Understand that this is not like "laptop" displays, as this is a mono-chrome (B&W) hi-res LCD display with adjustable contrast and adjustable backlighting....

Also remember like all LCD displays used outdoors with lots of UV exposure, when it is not in use please KEEP THE COVER OVER THE DISPLAY, so that it stays clear and usable for years and years....(I have a 15 yr old Raymarine instrument display, which is now a spare, that still works/looks good...and that's 'cause I kept the cover on it when not in use....and I had to replace the plastic cover which rotted-away from the UV over the years!)


Bottom line:
Yes, the Vesper Watchmate displays (WM650/670, WM750, and WM850) are "daylight viewable"!


Fair winds....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
Many thanks John for your info. I just purchased the Vesper 850 this week. I won't be able to install it for a few weeks (because of other projects in progress). I have not decided where to mount it though. As I noted I would like to have it viewable from the helm, or at least in the cockpit, but I may mount it down below. I am also investigating installing it on an arm secured down below, which would be adjustable so I can see it from the open companionway while underway. I am also considering putting it on an adjustable arm under the dodger so I can view it next to my chartplotter with minimal interference with a winch there. I had not thought of that before.

It is nice to hear that it will be daylight viewable. I understand what you mean in that a laptop screen is not comparable to the LCD. But what I have seen with some other LCD screens is that the contrast is not high enough in daylight. So all good with the Vesper.

Per another suggestion I want to be able to dismount the unit when moored any place where theft might be an issue.
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Old 10-02-2015, 18:11   #5
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I am also considering putting it on an adjustable arm under the dodger so I can view it next to my chartplotter with minimal interference with a winch there.
I'm curious why you would put it next to a chartplotter. Couldn't you just display all the AIS targets on the chartplotter? That would make having the Watchmate right next to it of very marginal value?
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Old 10-02-2015, 18:31   #6
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

I have a vesper display (650) mounted just below my chart plotter at the helm. The vesper display with the alarms alerts you to crossing paths of "targets". Then I see them on the chart plotter when I "zoom"in. Foe me the combination works well. The chart plotter (Standard Horizon CP300) is 7" and it's easy to not see potential targets. If you have a 10" or 12" display your results may be different. The vesper display to me is much more important to identifying potential problems as it "isolates" the only information you need, not mixed up with navigational marls, depths, and other info on the chart plotter screen esp if you are zoomed out somewhat on the plotter. Tim
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Old 18-02-2015, 14:09   #7
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maine50 View Post
I have a vesper display (650) mounted just below my chart plotter at the helm. The vesper display with the alarms alerts you to crossing paths of "targets". Then I see them on the chart plotter when I "zoom"in. Foe me the combination works well. The chart plotter (Standard Horizon CP300) is 7" and it's easy to not see potential targets. If you have a 10" or 12" display your results may be different. The vesper display to me is much more important to identifying potential problems as it "isolates" the only information you need, not mixed up with navigational marls, depths, and other info on the chart plotter screen esp if you are zoomed out somewhat on the plotter. Tim
Tim- when connected via NMEA183 to a chart plotter like Raymarine C95 it will display the same AIS info on the plotter as on the Watchmate 850??? Is that so?
I wonder since I want to buy this Watchmate and install it below the deck...with an external alarm inside the boat.
Please confirm/ selarpeter
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Old 18-02-2015, 16:44   #8
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

In general yes assuming the vesper 850 & raymarine chartplotter talk nice to each other. Suggest you research your plotter AIS info capabilities. If you're in USA I would contact Milltec Marine as they are AIS experts and also handle Vesper products. --Tim
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Old 21-02-2015, 07:27   #9
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

seglarpeter,
Addressing your specific questions....

1) Yes, it is perfectly fine to connect your Vesper Watchmate 850 AIS transponder to your Raymarine C95 plotter....

2) No, you should have no problems....

3) But, you need to be aware that depending upon what else you have connected to your C95, and how you C95 is configured, you will most likely need to configure one of your plotter's NMEA input for 38.4k baud rate (the AIS data transfer rate) rather than the standard NMEA rate of 4.8k baud....and you may end up needing to reassign a NMEA input of the plotter, for this purpose.....
And/or, in a worst-case scenario, again depending in how your nav/instrument system is wired/configured, you may end up needing a NMEA mux (multiplexer) or a NMEA to SeaTalkNG converter (NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 converter)....
{Not having you C95 (I have a E-120 and a E-80), nor knowing how your nav system is wired/configured, it's impossible for me to give an absolute answer...}



4) This is the most important question you asked....and the most difficult to explain in simple text on a page...
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by seglarpeter View Post
Tim- when connected via NMEA183 to a chart plotter like Raymarine C95 it will display the same AIS info on the plotter as on the Watchmate 850??? Is that so?
Quote:
Originally Posted by seglarpeter View Post
Is the same information displayed on both?

The Vesper Watchmate's have some UNIQUE features and display functions that other displays do NOT have, not even chartplotters costing 1000's of $$$...
So, while the short answer to your question is, mostly yes....mostly the same information is displayed on both....
BUT....
But, the Vesper Watchmate displays things differently (better), and has more "AIS info".....not the least of which is their "CPA Page" display, which is without-a-doubt the best graphical display of a vessel crossing, or vessel approach, that is on the market today!!

If you are in coastal areas, and/or areas with shoals or needing to make course changes around islands, and/or needing the radar to plot around heavy squalls, etc., then you may be running your C95, and might use its display to see/evaluate AIS targets....
But, in every other circumstance, especially on the open ocean, you will not need the plotter, and therefore will be running just the Vesper Watchmate....


I hope you don't mind the detailed answers, even if they're not absolute...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 21-02-2015, 09:24   #10
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
seglarpeter,
Addressing your specific questions....

1) Yes, it is perfectly fine to connect your Vesper Watchmate 850 AIS transponder to your Raymarine C95 plotter....

2) No, you should have no problems....

3) But, you need to be aware that depending upon what else you have connected to your C95, and how you C95 is configured, you will most likely need to configure one of your plotter's NMEA input for 38.4k baud rate (the AIS data transfer rate) rather than the standard NMEA rate of 4.8k baud....and you may end up needing to reassign a NMEA input of the plotter, for this purpose.....
And/or, in a worst-case scenario, again depending in how your nav/instrument system is wired/configured, you may end up needing a NMEA mux (multiplexer) or a NMEA to SeaTalkNG converter (NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 converter)....
{Not having you C95 (I have a E-120 and a E-80), nor knowing how your nav system is wired/configured, it's impossible for me to give an absolute answer...}



4) This is the most important question you asked....and the most difficult to explain in simple text on a page...
Quote:



The Vesper Watchmate's have some UNIQUE features and display functions that other displays do NOT have, not even chartplotters costing 1000's of $$$...
So, while the short answer to your question is, mostly yes....mostly the same information is displayed on both....
BUT....
But, the Vesper Watchmate displays things differently (better), and has more "AIS info".....not the least of which is their "CPA Page" display, which is without-a-doubt the best graphical display of a vessel crossing, or vessel approach, that is on the market today!!

If you are in coastal areas, and/or areas with shoals or needing to make course changes around islands, and/or needing the radar to plot around heavy squalls, etc., then you may be running your C95, and might use its display to see/evaluate AIS targets....
But, in every other circumstance, especially on the open ocean, you will not need the plotter, and therefore will be running just the Vesper Watchmate....


I hope you don't mind the detailed answers, even if they're not absolute...

Fair winds...

John
many thanks John for your kind and explaining answer.
It sounds great that there will be no main problems. I have older ST60 instruments which I shall connect through Seatalk to Seatalk NG converter to this C95 plotter: speed, depth, wind...
so the only NMEA183 connection will be the Vesper AIS. /
I also read somewhere that this AIS WatchMate can also be connected to a PC/Mac through USB and run AIS data to Opencpn navigation software..... even when you have connected to Raymarine C95 through NMEAA...
with other words: the AIS Vesper sends data to both the Plotter and the PC.
Am I right? please confirm!
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Old 21-02-2015, 10:17   #11
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

seglarpeter,
Not having a Watchmate 850 (I have the Vesper Watchmate 650 and 750), but especially not having a PC nor OCPN, I cannot confirm this myself....(although I'd assume that the same NMEA 0183 output from the Watchmate 850 would be used for your PC input, along with the plotter input)
Quote:
Originally Posted by seglarpeter View Post
I also read somewhere that this AIS WatchMate can also be connected to a PC/Mac through USB and run AIS data to Opencpn navigation software..... even when you have connected to Raymarine C95 through NMEAA...
with other words: the AIS Vesper sends data to both the Plotter and the PC.
Am I right? please confirm!
But, wondering why you just do not ask Vesper???

Jeff at Vesper is a great guy, and the one time I sent a question by e-mail, I got a nice pleasant and detail response in less than one hour!!!!
(what a great company!!)

So again, I direct you to contact Vesper....and ask them any specific questions you have....


Fair winds...

John
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Old 21-02-2015, 11:24   #12
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
seglarpeter,
Not having a Watchmate 850 (I have the Vesper Watchmate 650 and 750), but especially not having a PC nor OCPN, I cannot confirm this myself....(although I'd assume that the same NMEA 0183 output from the Watchmate 850 would be used for your PC input, along with the plotter input)

But, wondering why you just do not ask Vesper???

Jeff at Vesper is a great guy, and the one time I sent a question by e-mail, I got a nice pleasant and detail response in less than one hour!!!!
(what a great company!!)

So again, I direct you to contact Vesper....and ask them any specific questions you have....


Fair winds...

John
thanks John. I ask Jeff at Vesper
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Old 21-02-2015, 13:54   #13
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

I had both the 750 and now the 850. Both fed lat long and AIS data to the OpenCPN program on my laptop. The 850 has a USB plug the 750 you need to hard wire
Chuck


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Old 21-02-2015, 14:35   #14
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seglarpeter View Post
I also read somewhere that this AIS WatchMate can also be connected to a PC/Mac through USB and run AIS data to Opencpn navigation software..... even when you have connected to Raymarine C95 through NMEAA...
with other words: the AIS Vesper sends data to both the Plotter and the PC.
Am I right? please confirm!
Yes, that's correct. All our transponders have a USB port that works great with openCPN. And you can feed your plotter and openCPN via USB simultaneously.
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Old 09-04-2015, 18:53   #15
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Re: Vesper AIS Watchmate 850 daylight viewable?

I have the vesper watch mate vision. Daylight readable. I'm in the Caribbean with lots of sun. Great piece of equipment and wifi to iPad compatible.


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