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Old 07-04-2013, 10:04   #31
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

Big thumbs up for the Vesper 850. Basically we never turn it off as we're either sailing and using the AIS function or at anchor and using the anchor alarm function.
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Old 08-04-2013, 23:09   #32
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

So Ok jeff, I would of course like the one with all the bells and whistles on but 3rd party logic makes sense. Also my boat is small. I have 200 watts solar and a wind gen, but the demands for electricity can be daunting so having something that sips power is great.

So I will need a VhF antenna. What size? The 850 will work under the dodger but not below decks without a gps antenna. So how do I buy one of these. Being in Northern Canuck Land:-)
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Old 08-04-2013, 23:50   #33
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

I personally think passive AIS (receive only) is sufficient for most yachts: cheaper, much easier to install (no GPS antenna needed), plus lower power consumption. This is especially valid for smaller boats.

The passive vs. active decision partly depends what you think the key AIS functionality is - my view is that for sailors the AIS is foremost a tool to better know where other boats are, and to provide data to better inform anti-collision decisions (especially at night). If you keep watch and follow reasonable nav practices, the active position-emitting AIS features should not make a difference... Of course, having an active AIS helps other boats out, but to the extent the installation is a barrier, I'd rather more yachts had a passive AIS than none at all...
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Old 08-04-2013, 23:54   #34
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

The 850 has an additional power saving mode which is designed for offshore. You can tell it to shut down the display and lighting when there are no other AIS vessels out there. It is still working of course, so when a vessel is received or you touch any button, it automatically turns the display back on.

Yes, you will need a VHF antenna or you can use one of our splitters to share your existing VHF antenna. If you are going with a dedicated antenna I recommend getting an AIS-tuned one if you can. It's not critical but it's nice and doesn't usually cost more. Choose an antenna that is omni-directional with 3dB gain and about 1m long. Mount it as far away as you can from everything else, particularly parallel metal objects like mast and rigging, and as high as practical. To get the best performance, use good quality cable, antenna and fittings.

If you want an example of an antenna that we use a lot, take a look at our website for the mast-head antenna. It is stainless so lasts a long time and has an L-bracket for mounting alongside something, hence the name. If that type of mount works for you and you can find an antenna like that then I'm sure it will work great.

You can buy from us or any of our authorized dealers that are listed on the where-to-buy page on our website. All our AIS transponders also have full Canadian approvals.

I hope you enjoy having your new 850 and let me know if any questions via our support page.
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Old 09-04-2013, 00:01   #35
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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I personally think passive AIS (receive only) is sufficient for most yachts: cheaper, much easier to install (no GPS antenna needed), plus lower power consumption. This is especially valid for smaller boats.
Actually the power consumption is essentially the same for an AIS receiver and transponder (ignoring the display side for the moment). That's because the transmission duty cycle of a Class B is so small. It only transmits for 26ms every 30 seconds. As a result, there is no appreciable additional power consumption.

But you must also take the display into account when considering the power consumption. For example, using a MFD, plotter or computer consumes a lot more power than a dedicated AIS display, regardless of whether it's a receive-only or transponder.

Whether it is easier to install also depends on the set up being used. You will have to wire up your receiver to the display (if it isn't an all-on-one AIS display) and that display will still need a GPS feed (although if it's a MFD or plotter you'll already have that).
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Old 09-04-2013, 00:40   #36
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I personally think passive AIS (receive only) is sufficient for most yachts: cheaper, much easier to install (no GPS antenna needed), plus lower power consumption. This is especially valid for smaller boats.
What is it with cheaper?! Cheaper, cheaper, it's even cheaper to not have AIS or no boat at all!

Easier to install?! Because no GPS antenna needed? What is difficult about GPS antennas?

Low power consumption was already adressed by Jeff.

But you forget the most important thing: the ships still don't see you! That is the whole idea about AIS: transponders so that you see each other. It is not invented for receive-only because then there wouldn't be anything to receive. Smaller boats use class-B transponders which are smaller, cheaper, easier to install and use less power. The rest uses class-A transponders, i.e. bigger boats and ships.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:02   #37
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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What is it with cheaper?! Cheaper, cheaper, it's even cheaper to not have AIS or no boat at all!

Easier to install?! Because no GPS antenna needed? What is difficult about GPS antennas?

Low power consumption was already adressed by Jeff.

But you forget the most important thing: the ships still don't see you! That is the whole idea about AIS: transponders so that you see each other. It is not invented for receive-only because then there wouldn't be anything to receive. Smaller boats use class-B transponders which are smaller, cheaper, easier to install and use less power. The rest uses class-A transponders, i.e. bigger boats and ships.
I don't disagree - I'm just pointing out that at the margins if cost/installation is an issue, a passive AIS is an option for a boat that doesn't want to go with full Class B active AIS. Installing an additional GPS antenna may not always be practical on a 2nd hand boat, and for many people cost is not so easily dismissed... I'm certainly intrigued by the power usage Jeff mentions, that addresses one concern.

I'll admit that going with a passive AIS is like going to Costco and buying a low-powered laptop when for a couple $100 more you could get something much better. Flawed, perhaps, but tons of people do that, and they have their reasons.

For my part, I don't absolutely need other boats to see me on AIS - I get enough peace of mind having better information to avoid other boats, especially the big/fast ferries & container ships that are the most problematic.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:06   #38
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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That's because the transmission duty cycle of a Class B is so small. It only transmits for 26ms every 30 seconds. As a result, there is no appreciable additional power consumption.
So as an example, what is the average power consumption (W or amps) of a display-less Class B AIS? Many mfgs quote the max power consumption in the specs, which makes it difficult to plan an energy budget.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:22   #39
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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So as an example, what is the average power consumption (W or amps) of a display-less Class B AIS? Many mfgs quote the max power consumption in the specs, which makes it difficult to plan an energy budget.
My ACR Nauticast-B class-B transponder specs a peak current rating of 2A, and an average power consumption of 4W. 4W would be 0.333 A @ 12 V. I recall measuring this and seeing a little less, but that should be a good budgetary number for a simple Class-B transponder. Other brands, with other interfaces and other features will be different.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:32   #40
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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I personally think passive AIS (receive only) is sufficient for most yachts: cheaper, much easier to install (no GPS antenna needed), plus lower power consumption. This is especially valid for smaller boats.

The passive vs. active decision partly depends what you think the key AIS functionality is - my view is that for sailors the AIS is foremost a tool to better know where other boats are, and to provide data to better inform anti-collision decisions (especially at night). If you keep watch and follow reasonable nav practices, the active position-emitting AIS features should not make a difference... Of course, having an active AIS helps other boats out, but to the extent the installation is a barrier, I'd rather more yachts had a passive AIS than none at all...
I just installed a Standard Horizon GX2150+ AIS/VHF. Was easy to interface with my Garmin GPS. Also have the bennifit of having a RAM mic at the helm that has AIS alarm and a small readout.
The radio will also place "direct call" to any AIS target. Also you only need 1 VHF antenna with this system.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:09   #41
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

This vesper system, does look impressive. At $1000 plus in my hands it is considerably more than, for a few hundred dollars you can have rhetoric I have been getting. But it does look like great kit.

Then I went back to the Web page and started to add up the bits you need to add on! Bloody hell another $400-$600 depending on what you go with. It is a bit like the Mazda Adverts that tell you prices start from....... then you add a few optional extras like wheels and seats.............

I want to go Sailing, Safely, but man is this just a rich mans game/dream or what?
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:43   #42
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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This vesper system, does look impressive. At $1000 plus in my hands it is considerably more than, for a few hundred dollars you can have rhetoric I have been getting. But it does look like great kit.

Then I went back to the Web page and started to add up the bits you need to add on! Bloody hell another $400-$600 depending on what you go with. It is a bit like the Mazda Adverts that tell you prices start from....... then you add a few optional extras like wheels and seats.............

I want to go Sailing, Safely, but man is this just a rich mans game/dream or what?
you can get a SItex Ais transceiver for $547 from defender, comes complete with an internal GPS and internal GPS antenna. You will need an external AIS antenna.

Dave
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:50   #43
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you can get a SItex Ais transceiver for $547 from defender, comes complete with an internal GPS and internal GPS antenna. You will need an external AIS antenna.

Dave
I don't see the $600 for an antenna...
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:24   #44
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

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All NMEA 0183 data that is wired for input to the transponder will also be available over WiFi. So for example, you can connect your wind/depth/speed to it and you'll be able to use/see that on your iPad too.

Do you think a future firmware upgrade could include converting and broadcasting NMEA2000 data to WiFi and USB as NMEA0183 ?

Otherwise it seems I'd have to buy a converter like the NGW-1 to use this function.

Also, can the WiFi be turned off ?
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:42   #45
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Re: Want the Best, Cheapest Easiest AIS solution:-)

Maybe I am doing the add ups wrong, but here is Vespers page. Showing cost for splitters antenna bases for antenna etc etc.

Antennas and Splitters

Then I have to import it into Canada! Yip easy $600 on top of unit price! I'll wait, it is a great piece of kit, but I need to see what I have left inmy kitty before I leave. But I drive a Toyota not a Rolls! I wish I wish!
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