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Old 15-09-2010, 12:52   #16
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To further Dave's reply, just above, anything that makes your little boat more visible to that big ship is always appreciated by the merchant sailors. My understanding is that Europe is years ahead of the United States in percentage adoption of class B over receiver only AIS devices as this area has more overlap between commercial (including high speed ferries) and recreational users. Obviously these early Class B adopters are realizing the value of being being seen as well as seeing. A couple of other side benefits not mentioned are the ability for authorities to track and find you more easily in an emergency. Plus the ever increasing coverage offered by shore based AIS stations hooked to the internet and offered at little or no charge to anybody with an internet connection. even on their smart phones. But don't fret.....as profusely discussed above -you can always turn it off.
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Old 16-09-2010, 15:32   #17
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Hi Everybody,
I found this thread very helpful in making my choice and have now purchased the AIS 500 (class B) through the supplier in Cape Town, SOuth Africa at a cost of R 12,000.00 (+- US $ 1,680).
I hope this was a reasonable price to pay?
This excludes installation
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Old 17-09-2010, 06:17   #18
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Cost of AIS class B in the United States

Not sure what the market price is in South Africa. In the state you can buy a class B for less then half of that. But there are also models that have more interface features that cost equivalent to what you are mentioning.
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Old 17-09-2010, 06:39   #19
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The west marine 1000 AIS transponder sells for $500, and has a silent mode button on the front. As far as I know, all the Class B units have the same interface and most of them are made in the same factory, so it doesn't matter too much what you buy. The transponders will interface to modern chartplotters and PC based programs like OpenCPN to display received targets, or you can buy a standalone display like the Vesper Watchmate (which has an excellent package of alarms and data presentation) for $500.

I've used the AIS 1000 since January, and have had several instances of ships altering course to miss me at a range of about 5 miles. I have also had a couple of cases where they said that their systems could display my position, course and speed, but could not get my name and vessel type.
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Old 17-09-2010, 07:30   #20
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Impi,

Don't feel too bad about SA's price, in the US it's $1200 at Defender.
You pay more for the Raymarine name but if you're building a nav system integration won't be an issue.

Ronbo

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Old 17-09-2010, 08:45   #21
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Was quite interesting because the dealer I purchased it from says he has suddenly recieved a lot of calls for this unit and apparently I got the last one in SA - others are three weeks away. Anyway, happy it will work with my Raymarine E120 plotter and sea talk - cant wait to try it out but installation only happens tuesday. Ronbo, how does one switch between 'stealth mode' and active?

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Old 17-09-2010, 10:57   #22
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Don, I have heard that some Class A devices on ships, particularly ones running older software will not always identify all the fields coming from your class B. Hence your partially decoded signal to them. Nothing you can do about it, but I think this problem should become less prevalent as their systems are updated or replaced as required.
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Old 17-09-2010, 11:10   #23
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Impi,

Perhaps the shortage of the Raymarine AIS in SA was due it's shortage around the world. Raymarine was in dire financial straits when FLIR bought them. They seem to have recovered, in fact, RM just introduced a version of FLIR's thermal night vision camera for navigating in the dark.

You'll find the "silent mode" in AIS layer setup. Toggle on or off.

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Old 18-09-2010, 03:05   #24
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The Furuno AIS FA150 (Class A) can be prevented from transmitting by entering the makers password and getting into the set up menu.
3 years ago working off the coast of Nigeria I had to call Furuno and get the password in order to shut down the AIS TX, not only did I shut down the AIS, but at night, we blacked out the boat, no lights of any description. Havingf been boarded in the past by 20 or so "pirates" off there heads on booze and drugs, waving guns and knifes about, was not an experience I wanted to go through again.
Off Somalia, pirates operate from mother craft, fitted with AIS, they'll spot you so long as you are within VHF range of them (not the coast)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
That statement is so incorrect that it hurts!

I've been a merchant seaman and I can assure one and all that the vast majority of merchantman out there do everything they can to insure that you have a safe passage.

Paul
Yep, I found that remark a bit hurtful as well. Most yachties who end up in trouble mid ocean are usually bailed out by merchant vessel
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Old 21-09-2010, 16:37   #25
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AIS Ramarine 500 NOW installed and tested today - FANTASTIC !!!! toggle to switch between silent and transmit mode is easy to use on the plotter itself. Overlay on Raymarine with the radar and AIS is GREAT! cursor placed on object gives details of vessels - safety ring settings for distance alarms and 'time before collision' alarm settings are great.
Thanks for all the advice and assistance from everyone on this thread - it truly has assisted a greenhorn such as myself.
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Old 21-09-2010, 17:05   #26
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AIS Ramarine 500 NOW installed and tested today - FANTASTIC
Nice piece of kit isnt it. sailed on a boat with one recently , awesome. The price is well worth it and that price is typical of N2K compatible ones at the moment.

dave
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Old 15-10-2010, 06:39   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
I've been a merchant seaman and I can assure one and all that the vast majority of merchantman out there do everything they can to insure that you have a safe passage.
Paul, thank you very much for this. I had heard that merchant vessels can (& often do) filter out class B AIS, but it seemed silly to me. We've had an SR161 AIS receiver for ~3 years & love it, especially when combined with OpenCPN's alarm functions. Most merchant vessels seem very willing to get out of our way when we tell them where we are & what our CPA is. But now that Mill Tech is selling AMEC Camino-101 class B transponders for only $495 we're thinkiing of upgrading.

Thanks to all contributors here -- Jon Hacking
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:01   #28
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So HAS anyone actually bought and used the AMEC Camino-101?? Thinking about making a purchase in the next month and wondering what we're not getting with that unit that we get from other similar (Class B, no display) units.
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Old 27-10-2010, 11:53   #29
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The AIS unit I bought is the best thing for boating since the Anchor. If you don't have one buy one. Boating near a busy Ship Channel, it has saved untold hassle, (and maybe my life). You can always turn them off when not needed, or if you are worried about being tracked. (note if they can see you on AIS they probably can see you on radar). Being called by name before they can even see you, and being able to answer and know instantly which of those blips is calling you, (even around a blind corner on the ICW, or the other side of the bridge), is priceless. On a foggy morning you are no longer surrounded by nameless faceless horns blasting at you out of the dark, or mysterious blips on the radar. Instead you are surrounded by a friendly screen with little arrows showing course, speed, and ship size and name. (although I have seen several that apparently didn't bother to fill in the required info, showing only course and speed). You can even program an alarm that only goes off if the courses intersect, or get too close. . In the ICW there are wide spots and skinny spots, passing a doublewide is best done at the wide spots. Usually, (before AIS), I would see a tug, realize there isn't room, full stop, call "tug that is about to run me over at mile no. please come in", frantically check the chart for a wide spot, pull a 180 and race to the wide spot before the tug arrives. Can be a pickle if you are being tailed by one and come across two doublewides passing each other. Now I can arrange a passing at a wide area with a tug by name, check his speed to see if we will arrive at the same time, all several miles before we even see each other. . Now no more surprises either for me or the tugs. Being able to call by name, (if you can read it on the hull your TOO close), is the most awsome feature, and if you call by name they will actually answer.
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Old 27-10-2010, 12:42   #30
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Yes, I agree that AIS is the greatest thing since GPS. We've been using a receiver for 2 years and fully understand the advantages. We're now planning on upgrading, and doing the research on which unit to buy. Looking at the AMEC, the Comair, and the ACR, just wondering if anyone has actually touched/felt/used the AMEC yet.
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