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Old 22-11-2014, 17:25   #1
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Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

This AIS transponder model has been discussed with high regard numerous times on CF. It is normally $800. I just received a Milltech Marine email flyer that they have this on sale for the precisely evil price of $666 all next week.

They also have other things on sale, including a AMEC Camino-108 AIS transponder for $449.

It is good to see AIS transponders falling in price so quickly.

Mark
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Old 22-11-2014, 19:49   #2
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

You have to have an MMSI number to order one right? it has to be programmed by them? Any way I can get an MMSI this week, assuming I'm going overseas and the Boat US number isn't good?
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Old 22-11-2014, 20:00   #3
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

Yes, an AIS isn't very usable without an MMSI number. Don't get the BoatUS or Power Squadron number - that isn't even a good idea in the US.

If you have an FCC ship's station license (not ham license), you already have an MMSI #.

I don't know how to get one from the FCC quickly, but someone else might.

On the other hand, I have found Milltech to be exceptional to work with. I bet they would be happy to sell you a unit and wait for your MMSI to arrive.

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Old 23-11-2014, 05:51   #4
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
It is good to see AIS transponders falling in price so quickly.
Is that's what's happening here or are they clearing out 2014 inventory in preparation for new models to be released? I don't want to rain on the parade since it's awesome gear and great prices, but there still aren't really options for a Class B transponder under $400. That price floor has been holding steady for at least a couple years now even as receive-only units continue to fall in price. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a unit that has DSC VHF radio, Class B AIS transponder, GPS, and WiFi all in one box. If such a unit isn't released this year or next the marine electronics manufacturers are really asleep at the switch. Price it around $700 and it will sell like hotcakes.
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:42   #5
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

Received the same email as Mark. Wish the Vesper was such and evil price when we got our transponder!

I have one of the AMEC Camino-101 Class B transponders and it has been pretty solid. It is basically the same as the 108 but has NMEA2000 too.

Pretty sure $449 for a transponder is about as cheap as they come.

PS: Milltech has great support. Someone actually calls you back if they can not help you immediately!! The same day!!!
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:47   #6
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

Oops! What's wrong with a BOATUS MMSI?
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:51   #7
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

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Oops! What's wrong with a BOATUS MMSI?
Nothing is wrong with it just as long as you do not plan on taking the boat outside of the US, but for a lot of people here that's the whole point.
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:58   #8
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

The BoatUS and Power Squadron MMSI numbers are not internationally recognized, nor entered into an international database. The US is unique (I think) in allowing this. While it may not be a problem for use in US waters, if you are near another country (Canada, Bahamas, Mexico), this could be an issue. If you plan to travel outside the US, it definitely is an issue. If you program one of these numbers in your equipment and want to go outside the US, it is a huge hassle to send the equipment in and get it reprogrammed.

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Old 23-11-2014, 07:02   #9
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

Thanks for the info!
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Old 23-11-2014, 08:27   #10
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

...and my understanding is you CANNOT get the MMSI number changed once set by Vesper. It is set prior to being shipped into the USA.
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Old 23-11-2014, 09:24   #11
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You have to have an MMSI number to order one right? it has to be programmed by them? Any way I can get an MMSI this week, assuming I'm going overseas and the Boat US number isn't good?
If you get on the FCC web site and spend some quality time figuring it out, you can complete the application for ship's station license today. While I found it pretty convoluted and expensive (more than $200!), they did issue the MMSI 2 days later.
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Old 23-11-2014, 10:26   #12
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

Just a heads up

A friend of mine who is from Australia and already has an Australian MMSI number tried to buy an AIS in the States.

He was told by the US dealer that they were only allowed to program a US MMSI number into the set.
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Old 23-11-2014, 10:45   #13
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

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If you get on the FCC web site and spend some quality time figuring it out, you can complete the application for ship's station license today. While I found it pretty convoluted and expensive (more than $200!), they did issue the MMSI 2 days later.
Another thought: You might check with Milltech if they'd be willing do hold off programming the AIS until you get the MMSI. Usually you don't have to give it to the dealer until just before they ship it.
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Old 23-11-2014, 11:04   #14
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

I have programmed a bunch of these, all brands, when I worked at Defender. We occasionally programmed non-US MMSIs. We required a scan or fax of the buyer's radio license (or BoatUS confirming email) with MMSI. I only got one shot at programming the number and got several warnings before finalizing the number. The other information, such as name of vessel, type of vessel, and location of GPS antenna, can be changed by the owner.

It is just not true that Vesper MMSIs are only programmed in New Zealand. I personally have programmed many Vespers, all models, and all the ones we had needed to be programmed by us before we shipped them to the customer.

I have noticed many vessels with AIS that only have the MMSI programmed in. As a user of AIS, I find it very helpful when trying to identify a target, to know if it is a sailboat or powerboat, and its length. I hope more people with class B AIS will make sure that information is programmed in.


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Old 23-11-2014, 11:08   #15
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Re: Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS with NMEA WiFi

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Originally Posted by Telemark43 View Post
...and my understanding is you CANNOT get the MMSI number changed once set by Vesper. It is set prior to being shipped into the USA.

I cannot speak for Vesper, but for $20 several manufacturers can be reprogramed by Milltech. (USA)

Transponder reprogramming service

Of course you will have to remove the transponder from your boat and ship it to them, but not the end of the world.
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