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Old 09-06-2014, 08:02   #16
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
More info on this AIS receiver, please!
I believe he is referring not to a complete AIS but just to an IC chip that is used to add GPS capability to an AIS or other electronics like a cell phone.

The point being that the chip needed to add GPS to an AIS or other device only adds $17 or less to the cost of the device.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:07   #17
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I believe he is referring not to a complete AIS but just to an IC chip that is used to add GPS capability to an AIS or other electronics like a cell phone.

The point being that the chip needed to add GPS to an AIS or other device only adds $17 or less to the cost of the device.

Just finishing adding a GPS to a design , excluding the antenna , cost $3,15 in 10k quantities

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Old 09-06-2014, 08:16   #18
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
More info on this AIS receiver, please!
Don,

The price quoted was for a single component (a complete GPS receiver module) required to design an AIS transmitter and how much it might impact the final price of the unit. I hoped it was clear.

Another required circuit is a VHF transmitter, certified for use on marine bands. However, I do not see a reason not to reuse a design from an existing DSC capable handheld VHF, and those aren't very expensive either.

So
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What the market will bear
seems so far the best explanation.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:30   #19
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally Posted by mrm View Post
Don,

The price quoted was for a single component (a complete GPS receiver module) required to design an AIS transmitter and how much it might impact the final price of the unit. I hoped it was clear.

Another required circuit is a VHF transmitter, certified for use on marine bands. However, I do not see a reason not to reuse a design from an existing DSC capable handheld VHF, and those aren't very expensive either.
Keep in mind, cost-of-goods for the components in system are trivial to the retail price of the system. COGS has to be way less than 25% (some companies less than 10%) for a manufacturer to make a sustainable profit.

The problem with the recreational marine market is lack of mass.

This is why companies like SRT are making the guts of several brand name AIS units. They can buy components in bulk, driving COGs down, then maybe add a small software feature to make it unique for the brand name.
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Old 09-06-2014, 14:58   #20
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Notice the government mandates that THEY have the ability to track us, for OUR protection and safety. And if you want to say no, these days your fellow sailors look at you aghast like you dissed Facebook or something. You don't want to be tracked? What's WRONG with YOU???
Considering that this "tracking" would have a range of 30NM or so... the point is moot, which didn't prevent a few from jumping on the bandwagon.

My feeling is that a yacht tends to be extremely isolated and potentially vulnerable if it becomes easy to find. AIS is the most significant step we have ever had in reducing the risk of getting run down by shipping, because it requires nearly all ships to transmit these days, so we can now detect nearly all of them very reliably.

What I usually hear from the transponder proponents normally equates to saying that they rely on others to take anti-collision action while they are dispensing themselves from keeping watch, this is the old "I am as visible as a supertanker" talk.


Back to the price argument, a VHF transmitter must also be FCC approved, it transmits on far more than two frequencies and still doesn't cost much. Volume has something to do with it, but rewriting the control software of a VHF would almost be enough to turn it into a small AIS transponder. It would just be short of the demodulator to extract the message, which would add a staggering 2 bucks to the gizmo.

In the meanwhile, the high prices of transponders keep the airwaves cleaner on 87B and 88B, so relevant traffic can use them more reliably and I can't see much wrong with that.
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Old 09-06-2014, 16:09   #21
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally Posted by OceanSeaSpray View Post
Considering that this "tracking" would have a range of 30NM or so... the point is moot, which didn't prevent a few from jumping on the bandwagon.
Actually, AIS signals can be heard by satellites. I read the article below to say that this came of somewhat of a surprise, and they currently can only process Class A signals due to the sheer amount of signal traffic, but that the problem will be remedied in the future with a new version of AIS that can be readily monitored from space.

Automatic Identification System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:13   #22
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

It's simple economics and economy of scale that account for 90% of the difference.

You will be hard pressed to find a boat over 25' that doesn't have a VHF and most above 15' have one. There are many manufactures and good competition. Other than tweaks, the designs are all paid for and production facilities likewise, so most of the cost is in materials and profit.

Originally, they were "discouraging" AIS transmitters on small pleasure craft so the market develped recievers and at first they were priced in the thousands. Below 40', I'm betting well over 75% don't have one (though it is changing quickly). To a lesser scale than VHF, they are in a similar production situation with suppliers creating competition and start up costs becoming an ever smaller part of the picture.

With transmitters now available, the recievers are old tech but design and production is already done, so they can still make money selling them at a cheaper price, knowing they are likely to be replaced in the near future as transmitters become more common. That said, they are quickly moving along the curve where more competition is entering the market and original design costs are already covered.
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Old 10-06-2014, 16:14   #23
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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My feeling is that a yacht tends to be extremely isolated and potentially vulnerable if it becomes easy to find. AIS is the most significant step we have ever had in reducing the risk of getting run down by shipping, because it requires nearly all ships to transmit these days, so we can now detect nearly all of them very reliably.

What I usually hear from the transponder proponents normally equates to saying that they rely on others to take anti-collision action while they are dispensing themselves from keeping watch, this is the old "I am as visible as a supertanker" talk.
Not sure your point here, my experience is that ships actively want to avoid sailing yachts and other small vessels, Ive seen large ships change course to avoid me well over the visible horizon, based on my AIS transponder data. This is a good thing.

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Old 10-06-2014, 16:16   #24
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally, they were "discouraging" AIS transmitters on small pleasure craft so the market develped recievers and at first they were priced in the thousands. Below 40', I'm betting well over 75% don't have one (though it is changing quickly). To a lesser scale than VHF, they are in a similar production situation with suppliers creating competition and start up costs becoming an ever smaller part of the picture.
There is no evidence that the "they" were discouraging anything, in fact AIS receivers are not even part of the IMO/ITU spec. Its was merely seen as a cheap way to give non compliant vessels a way to see AIS fit vessels.

Becuause there is no standard for AIS receive, manufacturers could basically produce any type of solution, But were they to produce a Class B or Class A device, then they are subject to rules and type approve and have to follow quite a complex technical specification. Not to mention that the Class B spec took its time to be released and agreed.

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Old 10-06-2014, 17:06   #25
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Not sure your point here, my experience is that ships actively want to avoid sailing yachts and other small vessels, Ive seen large ships change course to avoid me well over the visible horizon, based on my AIS transponder data. This is a good thing.

Dave
Avoiding collisions is always a good thing, but I read his post as meaning that some he talks to have made installing an AIS the extent of their collision avoidance responsibility.

We never rely on other ships to correct course to avoid us. AIS lets us see potential collision situations so far in advance that we can make minute course adjustments to avoid the collision ourselves. Once we were in a situation where a course change by us would be a true burden (wing on wing downwind with the necessary jibe bringing us into another ship) - and that is where we simply highlighted the ship on our radio, pushed "call" and negotiated with the bridge directly.

I don't think the AIS receiver equipped VHF's get their due regarding this point.

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Old 10-06-2014, 17:10   #26
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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We never rely on other ships to correct course to avoid us. AIS lets us see potential collision situations so far in advance that we can make minute course adjustments to avoid the collision ourselves. Once we were in a situation where a course change by us would be a true burden (wing on wing downwind with the necessary jibe bringing us into another ship) - and that is where we simply highlighted the ship on our radio, pushed "call" and negotiated with the bridge directly.

I don't think the AIS receiver equipped VHF's get their due regarding this point.
One never relies on anything when navigating, but clearly ais transponders are better then ais receivers, the system wouldn't be much good if everyone relied on receivers would it. !!

there is no situation where a receiver is better then a transponder. Equally I have full confidence that we will see integrated VHF and AIS transponders in the near future

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Old 10-06-2014, 17:44   #27
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
One never relies on anything when navigating, but clearly ais transponders are better then ais receivers, the system wouldn't be much good if everyone relied on receivers would it. !!

there is no situation where a receiver is better then a transponder. Equally I have full confidence that we will see integrated VHF and AIS transponders in the near future

dave
I wasn't making a negative point about transponders. The AIS receive radio comment was independent of the other parts of the post. That was meant to convey that if one is buying a VHF, the small additional cost of an integrated AIS receiver is worth the dead-easy direct calling functionality it provides.

I don't know about that near future transponder part. Didn't someone from Standard Horizon come on here at one point and tell why that won't be happening? Maybe it was on Panbo? I hope you are correct, but I do remember somewhere a strong argument against it by someone in the industry…

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Old 10-06-2014, 18:50   #28
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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Also please remember that the USA is one country but the EU is not one country - it would be different if France said 45 days, Spain said 90 days, Portugal said 30 days ect -I don't know about that near future transponder part. Didn't someone from Standard Horizon come on here at one point and tell why that won't be happening? Maybe it was on Panbo? I hope you are correct, but I do remember somewhere a strong argument against it by someone in the industry…



Mark

Well I would draw comparisons with icom and early DSC. When DSC was young ICOM added a separate DSC class d controller , it eventually was integrated to form the types of DSC radio we have today. Equally they have brought out a AIS transponder as a separate controller, can't be long before that too is integrated.

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Old 11-06-2014, 07:19   #29
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

Dave, I didn't make that quote you attributed to me - don't even know what it is referring to.

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Old 11-06-2014, 07:46   #30
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Re: Why is an AIS transmitter so much more expensive than a receiver?

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There is no evidence that the "they" were discouraging anything, in fact AIS receivers are not even part of the IMO/ITU spec. Its was merely seen as a cheap way to give non compliant vessels a way to see AIS fit vessels.

Becuause there is no standard for AIS receive, manufacturers could basically produce any type of solution, But were they to produce a Class B or Class A device, then they are subject to rules and type approve and have to follow quite a complex technical specification. Not to mention that the Class B spec took its time to be released and agreed.

dave
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Only allowing Class A devices that were for big ships only and massively expensive was pretty discouraging.

I suppose if you want to get pedantic about it, you could argue it was the market discouraging it not the govt but the point is when they first came out, no one was suggesting these for small pleasure craft and there was a lot of concern expressed about pleasure craft signals cluttering up the system (we still get that complaint now from folks who can't handle an occasional docked boat transmitting that it is sitting quietly in it's slip).

Class B was the eventual outcome but by then production of recievers was already happening creating the split between recievers and fully functional units. I'm guessing in the next 5 yrs the recievers will fade away as no new development goes into the recievers and the economy of scale catches up making the differential cost negligible.
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