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Old 17-12-2012, 09:52   #1
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VHF with AIS or GPS?

So having a brand new boat is cool 'cause you can make it just how you want it. I'm VERY KISS oriented, so massive integrated systems are out. But it's obvious that getting a new fixed VHF w/DSC is the way to go, thus needing GPS. And I wouldn't mind AIS (rx only) given the amount of commercial traffic here. So I'm looking at either a VHF w/ais and add the GPS, or a VHF w/GPS and add AIS.

OK, first, have I missed the VHF that has both? It would be nice to have it just a free standing unit with no need to interconnect.

Second, I have several sources of GPS input for the DSC, but I'm aiming towards least power draw, and 90% of the time wouldn't have anything but the VHF on if I could. So what would be the easiest, most power efficient way to get GPS into the VHF w/ais?
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:10   #2
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

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So having a brand new boat is cool 'cause you can make it just how you want it. I'm VERY KISS oriented, so massive integrated systems are out. But it's obvious that getting a new fixed VHF w/DSC is the way to go, thus needing GPS. And I wouldn't mind AIS (rx only) given the amount of commercial traffic here. So I'm looking at either a VHF w/ais and add the GPS, or a VHF w/GPS and add AIS.

OK, first, have I missed the VHF that has both? It would be nice to have it just a free standing unit with no need to interconnect.

Second, I have several sources of GPS input for the DSC, but I'm aiming towards least power draw, and 90% of the time wouldn't have anything but the VHF on if I could. So what would be the easiest, most power efficient way to get GPS into the VHF w/ais?
Why AIS (rx only)? Why don't you want the commercial traffic to see you?
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:14   #3
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

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But it's obvious that getting a new fixed VHF w/DSC is the way to go, thus needing GPS.
Under GMDSS you have to have a DSC radio nowadays, but note that while its very useful to have GPS position fed in, its not a requirement to operate a DSC radio with.

Given the evolving technology that AIS is, I would suggest that anyone today ignore AIS receivers and always consider a transponder, even if you just want from time to time to switch it into silent mode. Its actually way better to have big ships see you then you see big ships.

connecting a GPS to a AIS and/or a DSC equipped radio isnt a "massive integrated system" so really it is a KISS approach.

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Old 17-12-2012, 10:17   #4
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

Thank you DotDun for your question. I don't really care either way, it's a cost thing mainly.

Does anyone have any input to the questions I've asked? :-)
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:23   #5
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

Thanks Dave. True it's not required but it makes sense to use DSC fully.

The main question at hand is how best to supply gps (minimal power and connections)to the VHF w/ais or ais to the vhf w/gps.

The big point to see is that the VHF is always on underway. So minimal power consumption is the key. I rarely have need of a plotter, and AIS for me is mainly to know what the name of the next tow in line is, rather than "Tow boat headed west approaching the funny looking blue and red sailboat"
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:46   #6
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

If it is, as you said, that you want simplicity, then I would suggest three separate units (VHF, GPS, AIS). Then, if one fails, you still have two left. In a combo, one failure can take out two units. No good.

We have a VHF/AIS combo here. IT is OK but the small size of the AIS (VHF) screen is a limiting factor. The up side is that you can call the selected AIS ship directly - just select the AIS object and ask your VHF to call them up. Very convenient.

Trade-offs, trade-offs everywhere. Choose yours.

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Old 17-12-2012, 10:53   #7
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

Thanks b. As you say, three simple devices would be fine...but that's not how it works really. The DSC is kinda pointless w/o the gps (well, the red button anyway ;-) ), and I've never seen a stand alone ais.

I can imagine the AIS is limited by screen size, but I do like that you can just call direct. Good input, ty.

Reading my own thoughts I feel pretty strongly I will just go with the VHF w/gps. One can always use another gps ;-) and since I'll want the AIS rarely (heck, I may never get it lol), but the radio always, it just makes sense.
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:58   #8
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

you didn't miss it no such radio exists. the 'easy' way to do it is to stick with nema 2000 radio and there are few of those avail. I think lowance has a 2k radio w ais. but don't think its out yet
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Old 17-12-2012, 12:53   #9
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If your set on receive only AIS. ( despite my pontifical sermon) then the standard horizon VHF with AIS and a simple integrated GPS Garmin mushroom connected via 0183 ( ie two wires) is as about as simple as it gets . Absolutely fab radio as well

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Old 17-12-2012, 17:38   #10
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

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(...) ...but that's not how it works really. The DSC is kinda pointless w/o the gps (well, the red button anyway ;-) ), and I've never seen a stand alone ais. (...)
But that's not how it works ;-).

Most often, the VHF (unit) and the AIS (unit) are fed data from the GPS (unit). Hence three stand alone units, much as at times they end up in one package.

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Old 19-12-2012, 19:51   #11
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

My vote is for Standard Horizon GX2150, hooked to a GPS receiver. I havemine networked with my Raymarine Chartplotter E10. That way the ships appear on your chart plotter screen as well as on the small screen on the radio.

It was a perfect combination for the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest sea lanes in the world.
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Old 20-12-2012, 06:39   #12
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

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My vote is for Standard Horizon GX2150, hooked to a GPS receiver. I havemine networked with my Raymarine Chartplotter E10. That way the ships appear on your chart plotter screen as well as on the small screen on the radio.

It was a perfect combination for the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest sea lanes in the world.
X2

Nice unit. easy to integrate. works well. Nice screen. KISS

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Old 20-12-2012, 06:42   #13
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

I have this wired into a gps, no chartplotter: Standard Horizon GX2150.

Works like a champ.
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Old 20-12-2012, 23:51   #14
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Wow 3 in a row, the 2150 just went to the top of my list!
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Old 21-12-2012, 00:11   #15
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Re: VHF with AIS or GPS?

The cheapest (and simplest, most reliable, etc) way to get GPS data into the VHF would be one of the stand alone GPS sensors with NMEA0183 output, like the Garmin GPS 18x.

However, I have a chartplotter at the helm which displays the AIS targets from the SH GX2150. So there is two way communication - GPS data TO the VHF, AIS data back to the chartplotter. There's also the ability to display DSC targets on some chartplotters.

To be able to see ships 10 miles away on the chartplotter is incredibly useful. You can even highlight them and see name, size, speed, destination, etc.

Chartplotters with AIS and DSC support start at $400 (Garmin 441)
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