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Old 28-03-2017, 10:43   #46
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

Good info here, thanks all. Yeah it's a tough call between the 8000 and the 6000 units for me. The price difference is about $200.

The external antenna is almost a downside because my bimini is getting cluttered, but if I could mount it below and still get a signal then that would be fine. Most of the other features of the 8000 seem redundant with my other existing gear, although I guess in the future I might have more apps on my iPad that utilize NMEA 2000 data, and the wifi software updates sound convenient too.

A good simple anchor alarm is a valuable thing; that could be the deciding factor. Does it require a 12v buzzer or does it sound an alarm on the iPad? You're right it would be nice to turn off the plotter at anchor. I already wired the AIS power supply together on the same switch as the Radar since I presumed I would be always using those two things together. I am out of free switches, so I think I would need to cut a hole and install another switch somewhere if I want to be able to leave the Vesper anchor alarm on without the B&G 3G Radar powered up as well. Not impossible, but another factor.

Just to clarify, the installation/setup for the VHF splitter (or dedicated AIS VHF antenna) is identical between the two units, right?

Hmmm....
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Old 28-03-2017, 11:32   #47
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
Good info here, thanks all. Yeah it's a tough call between the 8000 and the 6000 units for me. The price difference is about $200.

The external antenna is almost a downside because my bimini is getting cluttered, but if I could mount it below and still get a signal then that would be fine. Most of the other features of the 8000 seem redundant with my other existing gear, although I guess in the future I might have more apps on my iPad that utilize NMEA 2000 data, and the wifi software updates sound convenient too.

A good simple anchor alarm is a valuable thing; that could be the deciding factor. Does it require a 12v buzzer or does it sound an alarm on the iPad? You're right it would be nice to turn off the plotter at anchor. I already wired the AIS power supply together on the same switch as the Radar since I presumed I would be always using those two things together. I am out of free switches, so I think I would need to cut a hole and install another switch somewhere if I want to be able to leave the Vesper anchor alarm on without the B&G 3G Radar powered up as well. Not impossible, but another factor.

Just to clarify, the installation/setup for the VHF splitter (or dedicated AIS VHF antenna) is identical between the two units, right?

Hmmm....
Ya I'm pretty sure you will be rethinking the power. We run our AIS %100 of the time when in motion. We rarely ran our radar.. I mean really rarely, maybe twice a month to watch for storms. In fact we used it so infrequently that we opted to forgo it after our lightening strike. So far we have not missed it one bit. We never rand the radar to compliment the AIS capabilites. However, down here, the boats we would worry about at night all have AIS (big tankers, super yatchs and cruise ships).

I think you are going to find that the extra power used by your radar is going to be worth the price of a separate switch. For us, we wired the AIS to the same power as the plotter. If the plotter is running, the AIS is running!
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Old 28-03-2017, 13:32   #48
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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Ya I'm pretty sure you will be rethinking the power.
Fair enough, you make a good point. I'm pretty sure I want it separate from my plotter too, though. I can imagine plenty situations with zero risk of collision where I would rather not bother with AIS but still want the chartplotter on. I think I'm gonna go ahead with the 8000 and wire up a separate switch for it. Thanks for the help, all!
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Old 28-03-2017, 14:56   #49
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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Fair enough, you make a good point. I'm pretty sure I want it separate from my plotter too, though. I can imagine plenty situations with zero risk of collision where I would rather not bother with AIS but still want the chartplotter on. I think I'm gonna go ahead with the 8000 and wire up a separate switch for it. Thanks for the help, all!
We find that our XB6000 uses so little power that we leave it on all the time, from recollection I think every other item on the boat uses more except perhaps the compass light. No harm to have a separate switch though, you never know what needs you may have sometime.

Regarding having a special switch for the plotter, does it not have it's own power switch built in? Both our plotters do.
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Old 29-03-2017, 05:24   #50
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

The anchor alarm requires you to have your AIS on and your app on either on your phone or Ipad.
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Old 29-03-2017, 08:02   #51
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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The anchor alarm requires you to have your AIS on and your app on either on your phone or Ipad.
And I presume it doesn't kill your battery like one of the anchor drag apps that rely on the device's own GPS? Or do you still need to leave it charging to make it through the night?
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Old 29-03-2017, 08:20   #52
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

I have not had any problem with battery life on my phone.
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Old 29-03-2017, 21:56   #53
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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And I presume it doesn't kill your battery like one of the anchor drag apps that rely on the device's own GPS? Or do you still need to leave it charging to make it through the night?
You use your phone or tablet to mark the spot when you drop anchor. The phone isn't needed after that. You can switch your phone off or throw it in the ocean and it won't matter The XB-8000 drives an external alarm on its own which you can place anywhere. You can also hardwire a switch to silence alarms. That said, you can use the app anytime to view your position relative to the anchor and breadcrumbs, move the anchor position, enable/disable, etc.

Similarly, you can tell the XB-8000 to sound the alarm for a collision warning based on CPA/TCPA. And it will also do it for an MOB (AIS MOB devices required of course).

Finally... even if you leave the app running it won't use up your battery so fast because it doesn't use the GPS in your phone like any of the anchor watch apps you've mentioned.
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Old 30-03-2017, 05:45   #54
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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YYou can switch your phone off or throw it in the ocean and it won't matter
Finally!

Thanks for the info, sounds good.
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Old 30-03-2017, 11:34   #55
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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You use your phone or tablet to mark the spot when you drop anchor...
OK, I didn't pick that up earlier. That's a pretty interesting feature, and really tips the scales in favor of using the XB8000 as an anchor alarm, instead of one of the apps I've used.

Lately I tend to just drop a waypoint on a charting app, and look at it every once in a while, rather than set an alarm. It's hard to pick a reasonable watch circle; too small and you get false alarms, to large and you lose the benefit of some advance warning before going up on the rocks. Creating non-circular zones is somewhat of a pain. Setting the alarm right at the anchor would be a big help.
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Old 04-04-2017, 20:27   #56
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

Just wanted to double check with you all that I do indeed need to pay $220 for a FCC ship station license since if I plan on using the AIS in Canadian waters. It seems like I do, but then AIS is not listed as a transmitter type on the FCC online form, unless it's considered something else.

Not sure what to pick as far as class of boat either; sloop is the closest I guess. I'm also hoping I can add my EPIRB number later since I haven't bought that yet. Any tips on this process?
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Old 04-04-2017, 20:51   #57
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

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Jack,
Also, understand that you cannot mount these two VHF antennas next to each other, as damage could occur, as well as certain interference making one or both units inoperable....these antennas must be separated by at least 6'....hardly do-able at the masthead....(if you desire the details, I will gladly explain....but, for now, just understand that most will mount their AIS transponder antenna on the stern pushpit, bimini top, arch, spreader, etc...or choose to spend the $$ on a good splitter/relay, such as the Vesper SP-160)



I do hope this helps!

Fair winds...

John

I can't seem to find any information about the proximity of the AIS and VHS antenna on the Standard Horizon Website, can you explain why they need to be 6ft apart

Thanks, Navi
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Old 04-04-2017, 21:25   #58
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

You're separating them so they don't interfere with one another.

AIS transponders and receivers use two VHF radio frequencies: 161.975 MHz (AIS1, or channel 87B) and 162.025 MHz (AIS2, or channel 88B), this may have changed as I didn't bother to research much on it. The wavelength there is about 5.9 (6) feet.

Transmit antennas too close to one another cause all sorts of issues, but the worst one is damage caused by overloading the receiving stations front end circuitry.

John knows what he's talking about and I haven't seen any bad advice from him yet. I'm pretty sure if you don't want to become an expert you can take him at his word on it.
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Old 04-04-2017, 23:14   #59
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

That makes the plan a little more complicated, so.... what if I mount the AIS antenna on the top of the Mizzen, and the VHS antenna 10ft lower on the side of the Mizzen?

Then is it all good ?
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Old 04-04-2017, 23:23   #60
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Re: VHF With AIS Transceiver, not just receiver?

As long as they are the 6+ feet apart they should be fine. Personally I would do it the other way around. I wouldn't want there to be a hole in my signal for emergency comms created by the mast. Ultimately it might never see it, but likely it will react/interact with it in some way. Everything is a compromise and that's certainly no different.
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