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Old 30-12-2012, 16:57   #31
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Can you call a target from the Watchmate by selecting it and sending a DSC message directly or do you have to manually copy the MMSI into the VHF radio? In other words does the Watchmate interface with any VHF radios?
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Old 30-12-2012, 19:40   #32
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

If you have a VHF radio that supports NMEA DSC then the WatchMate will do it fully automatically. You just choose DSC when viewing the target details. It brings up a working-channel selection box which remembers your last choice. This allows you to confirm/change the channel you want to talk on. You then press the CALL button and it instructs the radio to call that vessel. When the call is acknowledged, both radios automatically switch to your selected working channel.

Unfortunately, not all radios currently support this. We've been working with various radio manufacturers to encourage them to add this since it's standard NMEA.
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Old 30-12-2012, 19:47   #33
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

That's great, thank you...
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Old 30-12-2012, 20:41   #34
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

I chose Vesper Watchmate 850 for the extremely low power consumption, stand alone capability and anchor watch keeping. It has great collision warning. We see class A as far out as 65 miles. Filters are great and the whole thing is so easy to use I rarely ever pull out the book. Even a newbe on board can figure it out by the screen instructions. It has NMEA 183. The contacty people are helpful and respond quickly. check with them regarding your communication issues. There is a newer version out now that may offer more optiions.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:11   #35
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrobbins View Post
If you have a VHF radio that supports NMEA DSC then the WatchMate will do it fully automatically. You just choose DSC when viewing the target details. It brings up a working-channel selection box which remembers your last choice. This allows you to confirm/change the channel you want to talk on. You then press the CALL button and it instructs the radio to call that vessel. When the call is acknowledged, both radios automatically switch to your selected working channel.

Unfortunately, not all radios currently support this. We've been working with various radio manufacturers to encourage them to add this since it's standard NMEA.
I have an 850 that is a couple of years old. It is a great piece of kit, but I just reviewed my manual and my AIS and this feature is neither documented (user manual or wiring diagrams) or present when viewing the target details (options are Menu, List and Home). It is a feature that I would like to have working.

I have the Watchmate NMEA out wired to my DSC VHF (ICOM 604). Do I need to hook up the NMEA out from the radio to the Watchmate? or is this a newer feature that has been recently added? (My Firmware 5.04.1826)

Lyndon
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:26   #36
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Has anyone added an aftermarket GPS to the Watchmate 850? Vesper wants to sell their antenna but I found a Gilson TNC GPS that looks like it should work. It is waterproof and only costs 21.00. It is also standard with a short wire I prefer for our installation.

Unique 3 ft GPS Antenna for Furuno Receiver GP 1650W 1650W NT 1810 1850 1850 NT | eBay
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Old 01-01-2013, 16:23   #37
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

LJH: Yes, DSC calling was introduced in a firmware update after yours and it should work with your 604. Simply request a firmware update via the support page on the Vesper Marine website and you'll get the download instructions. It's easy to update the firmware. Just plug your 850 into any USB slot on your PC and run the downloaded file. There's a number of other new features, etc. in the latest firmware and the download has full release notes and an updated owner's manual.

Once you've got the new firmware installed, you'll find a menu item on the target details that let's you place a DSC call to the selected target.

Nicholson58: The 850 supplies 3.3 volts to the antenna and the specs on the link you've posted indicate that antenna is probably compatible. One thing I noted though is it has RG174 cable. This is a high loss cable, particularly at GPS 1.5 GHz, and if longer than a few feet it would likely result in reduced performance. That's probably why they supply only 3 feet.

We aren't trying to gouge you with antennas. But we have to certify that our GPS meets the required AIS specifications and we can only do that with our own antennas. Also, our antennas come with pole and base mounts and 10m long high quality marine stranded and tinned cables that are detachable with a tiny connector on one end that is easier to route through small holes.

Required disclaimer: your warranty doesn't cover damage caused by incompatible antennas....
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Old 01-01-2013, 20:28   #38
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrobbins View Post
LJH: Yes, DSC calling was introduced in a firmware update after yours and it should work with your 604. Simply request a firmware update via the support page on the Vesper Marine website and you'll get the download instructions. It's easy to update the firmware. Just plug your 850 into any USB slot on your PC and run the downloaded file. There's a number of other new features, etc. in the latest firmware and the download has full release notes and an updated owner's manual.

Once you've got the new firmware installed, you'll find a menu item on the target details that let's you place a DSC call to the selected target.

Nicholson58: The 850 supplies 3.3 volts to the antenna and the specs on the link you've posted indicate that antenna is probably compatible. One thing I noted though is it has RG174 cable. This is a high loss cable, particularly at GPS 1.5 GHz, and if longer than a few feet it would likely result in reduced performance. That's probably why they supply only 3 feet.

We aren't trying to gouge you with antennas. But we have to certify that our GPS meets the required AIS specifications and we can only do that with our own antennas. Also, our antennas come with pole and base mounts and 10m long high quality marine stranded and tinned cables that are detachable with a tiny connector on one end that is easier to route through small holes.

Required disclaimer: your warranty doesn't cover damage caused by incompatible antennas....
Thanks Jeff,

Our Vesper Marine is the first device on and the last off on a typical cruise. It was not off for the entire 3.5 week vacation to the Canadian North Channel last summer. In addition to the advertised great stuff, We have located friends by finding their AIS while cruising far from home. I really think the anchor watch feature is one of the best around. I like the low power, stand alone and bread crumbs.

My installation is on deck and the antenna cable only needs to be 1 foot. I'm not trying to be excessively cheap. I plan to buy several of the antennas as spares. They also work on several other devices on board. Also, there is no way to stow the standard long antenna cable.

I have a similar BU-353 with USB that is input to SEA CLEAR and OPEN CPN. The BU-353 picks up a signal instantly indoors in my metal sided house stuck to the desk-top tower by its magnet base.

SO - from your notes above, I also should be able to download a software upgrade for the DSC direct? I have an NMEA connection to my Standard Horizon 2100 from the Watchmate but we have been unable to get the 2100 to see the GPS or the Vesper's stuff.
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Old 01-01-2013, 21:00   #39
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Yes, you can request the latest download from Vesper Marine - AIS Transponder and AIS WatchMate Firmware Upgrades

But the DSC calling doesn't work with a Standard Horizon. They won't support it.

However, you should be able to get GPS data to the SH no problem. Check the baud rates match. The default for the 850 is 38,400 baud, so you will likely need to switch it to 4800 in the setup menu. If that still doesn't work, then double check the wiring. NMEA-output-positive from the 850 to NMEA-input-positive on the VHF. NMEA-output-negative from the 850 to NMEA-input-negative on the VHF. If the VHF doesn't have a NMEA-input-negative then connect to the VHF signal ground (or whatever they call it).
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Old 01-01-2013, 21:03   #40
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

BTW: Thanks for the nice comments on the anchor watch. I also use that all the time.

And let us know how the GPS antenna works. I expect given your situation it will work nicely.
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Old 01-01-2013, 22:23   #41
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Jeff,
I have an 850. I don't have the serial number in order to get the firmware update. How do I get around this? Also, can you tell us if there are any major changes with the new firmware?
David
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Old 01-01-2013, 23:35   #42
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

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Jeff,
I have an 850. I don't have the serial number in order to get the firmware update. How do I get around this? Also, can you tell us if there are any major changes with the new firmware?
David
No problem since you are in our registration database. I've sent the download instructions to your email address on file. If you don't receive it, send an email to support@vespermarine.com and we'll get it sorted out for you.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:37   #43
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrobbins View Post
LJH: Yes, DSC calling was introduced in a firmware update after yours and it should work with your 604. Simply request a firmware update via the support page on the Vesper Marine website and you'll get the download instructions. It's easy to update the firmware. Just plug your 850 into any USB slot on your PC and run the downloaded file. There's a number of other new features, etc. in the latest firmware and the download has full release notes and an updated owner's manual.

Once you've got the new firmware installed, you'll find a menu item on the target details that let's you place a DSC call to the selected target.
Jeff,
Thanks. Up and running with the new firmware. The improvements are well done.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:22   #44
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Re: Vespermarine Watchmate AIS Transponder

Do you knwo if the DSC calling will work with an ICOM M505 and the latest firmware versions?
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