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Old 07-07-2015, 13:55   #61
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

Gerhard,

you did not get the idea: if somebody wants to go this way he should implement it. I will not be a follower. The arguments are above.
Don't turn this into "the people here".

[Off topic]
It is just not correct to explain your discrepancy about a point of view or more explicit a judgement about a failure, a (wrong) argument or idea into something that this is intrinsic to this person, group, community or tribe, that those are not able to do it right, to have a insight or are just some.....
When it is intrinsic you will have just to stop to argue to even to opinion - then it is nature and fullstop.

Sorry getting philosophical (and boring a lot of contributors)
[/Off topic]
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:10   #62
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Marinetraffic also has subscriber services such as satelite AIS. I guess it's mainly used by shipping companies as a method to track vessels, but certainly the way of the future will be replacing AIS base stations with satelite stations, or at least complimenting the existing base stations with satelite AIS data for worldwide coverage.
AIS data is right there on each ship (and some sailboats with transponders) in VHF form right in front of the OP's boat in the Chesapeake Bay. If he's within 25 miles of the AIS signal, he doesn't need to wait for it to get sent to a network and resent back to him, he just picks it up with a (VHF basis) AIS receiver. Either a separate unit or one built into his radio (if he's thrifty, as I am) and he knows it's working as long as he has an antenna receiving.

Network (internet based), sat based, whatever, is great for someone who isn't within VHF range of the ships in question. Entertainment, indeed. Also, some guy who is sitting in a port might be interested in tracking what's coming down the coast or whatever. The guy who is worried about getting run down by a ship with AIS--if he's that sitting duck, he's within VHF (AIS transponder) range and there's nothing like being able to push that ship-to-ship call button and get them on the line while you're in the fog and you can say to the big cargo ship "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here" It is much better than connecting via internet even if you do happen to have a cel phone signal.

While playing leap frog across the shipping lanes or among large fishing fleets in fog all over the west coast from San Diego to Alaska, I can tell you that DSC "digital select calling" to an AIS target is golden and it's all VHF. Simple and it works wonderfully and reliably.

The OP/first post was stating he wanted basic functionality though and he seemed to think the internet method of getting AIS would do what he wanted. I don't think he wanted a reliable signal, he was more into "it would be nice if what I already paid nothing much for would give me even more features for no cost."

Should OpenCPN include the entertaining bells and whistles? If there's a good soul out there willing to add those features, sure, why not--they can always be turned off.
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:36   #63
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

This is truly a fascinating conversation. I truly see both sides of the conversation.

I'm going to add one more bullet point in favor of internet-based AIS: I don't only use OpenCPN on the boat. In fact I do most of my route planning from my office.

It would be handy to have AIS contacts on the map so that I could adjust my planned route due to commercial traffic, which is not always obvious on the charts.
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:42   #64
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

Matt, but why you will need OCPN then - just follow Vesselfinder (you can get even data from AIShub being a contributor) and observe how the screen fills up.
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:54   #65
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

Have to admit, I really like that fishing net AIS transponder. For $160, I can have a customizable transmitter to show the big guys where I am. Ok, it only has a range of 15 NM, but I assume that is at sea level. On the mast of my sailboat, perhaps that range would increase. Thanks for the info. I plan to read up on it more.

Earlier in the year (no fooling, it was April 1), I got caught by darkness while moving my sailboat to another marina. I almost got plowed by a 200 foot barge travelling outside of the channel. I never saw it. My guardian angel was working overtime for me that night. Had I been in front of the barge, I doubt I would have won that head on battle. Of course, I was out there without AIS. Just my CPF190i (hastily installed) and OpenCPN. I also had my cell phone. Wish I had known about Boat Beacon before I left the dock. That night, it could have saved my life. Lady Luck (or the big Man above) saved it for me. Lessons learned. Bought a "real" AIS. But I do wish I had installed a few handy apps on my phone as well.
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:56   #66
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by bcn View Post
Matt, but why you will need OCPN then - just follow Vesselfinder (you can get even data from AIShub being a contributor) and observe how the screen fills up.
I'm actually creating a route that I export from this PC, and then import onto the PC on the boat.

I could use two different products... and in fact may start doing so.
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Old 07-07-2015, 16:09   #67
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

I know that in many ways I am a Luddite, but I'd like to point out that a GPS equipped cell phone costs more than a basic SH AIS equipped VHF, and very nearly all cruising yachts are equipped with some sort of VHF. It is hard for many folks to believe, but not everyone has such a telephone on board, or wishes to pay for the service (which is much more expensive in some places than in the USA).

In short, I am aligned with those who view the concept of internet based AIS with great suspicion. Especially so when one considers the downward trend of AIS prices and the upward trend of smartphone prices.

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Old 07-07-2015, 17:26   #68
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by hsi88 View Post
Have to admit, I really like that fishing net AIS transponder. For $160, I can have a customizable transmitter to show the big guys where I am. Ok, it only has a range of 15 NM, but I assume that is at sea level. On the mast of my sailboat, perhaps that range would increase. Thanks for the info. I plan to read up on it more.

Earlier in the year (no fooling, it was April 1), I got caught by darkness while moving my sailboat to another marina. I almost got plowed by a 200 foot barge travelling outside of the channel. I never saw it. My guardian angel was working overtime for me that night. Had I been in front of the barge, I doubt I would have won that head on battle. Of course, I was out there without AIS. Just my CPF190i (hastily installed) and OpenCPN. I also had my cell phone. Wish I had known about Boat Beacon before I left the dock. That night, it could have saved my life. Lady Luck (or the big Man above) saved it for me. Lessons learned. Bought a "real" AIS. But I do wish I had installed a few handy apps on my phone as well.
We got our SH AIS equipped VHF radio for only $220 on sale--no not a transponder just a receiver but it lets you get outta the way of the big ships. And you can use it to call the tug towing the barge

Barges do not always have an AIS, tugs do not always use their AIS. They can also choose update rates that defy logic too. Eye, ears, radar...
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Old 07-07-2015, 23:24   #69
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
They can also choose update rates that defy logic too.
This not the case. The update rates are defined by the standard and are not user settable.
A table with the update rates at the OCPN manual (where else?):
AIS | Official OpenCPN Homepage

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Old 08-07-2015, 00:29   #70
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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This not the case. The update rates are defined by the standard and are not user settable.
A table with the update rates at the OCPN manual (where else?):
AIS | Official OpenCPN Homepage

Hubert
That's part of the defying logic that I'm talking about . Basically a vessel underway can actually send AIS that it is *at anchor* even though you can see it is underway. When at anchor, position info is sent only every 3 minutes. Fast moving target close to you -- 3 minutes is a long time to wait for that change--and sometimes you can miss the signal depending on your receiver, then you're waiting a whole 'nuther 3 minutes for the update. I've seen the radar target moving and the AIS target stationary enough times to know this is an AIS problem. Choose/settable? maybe/maybe not. I always figure the capt'n is doing it because other signals are showing accurate (for other AIS targets moving on the screen). If the guy isn't giving the required GPS/NMEA stream to the transponder then it's not coming out, is it? Perhaps a glitch in picking up the signal can make it much worse. On the chart plotter when I see a moving target but pull up the detailed info and it says *at anchor* I figure the guy is choosing not to transmit the correct info or "setting a different rate of update."

Bottom line is things aren't always as they seem.
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Old 08-07-2015, 00:31   #71
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by hsi88 View Post
Have to admit, I really like that fishing net AIS transponder. For $160, I can have a customizable transmitter to show the big guys where I am.
For what it's worth... that device is illegal to operate on a vessel in USA, Europe and likely anywhere else. Without an FCC ID you also can't import it into USA.
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Old 08-07-2015, 00:42   #72
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Basically a vessel underway can actually send AIS that it is *at anchor* even though you can see it is underway. When at anchor, position info is sent only every 3 minutes.
That's not completely correct. On a Class A the user sets the "Navigation Status" which is Anchored, Underway, etc. When the Navigation Status is set to anchored or moored the reporting rate is based on the vessel's speed. If it is moving less than 3 knots then it sends its position every 3 minutes as you've noted. However, if it is moving faster than 3 knots it sends its position every 10 seconds.

When the nav status is not anchored or moored then the reporting interval is based on speed and course changes.

As you've observed, it is common for Class A users to forget to update their Navigation Status.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:36   #73
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by mattkab View Post
This is truly a fascinating conversation. I truly see both sides of the conversation.

I'm going to add one more bullet point in favor of internet-based AIS: I don't only use OpenCPN on the boat. In fact I do most of my route planning from my office.

It would be handy to have AIS contacts on the map so that I could adjust my planned route due to commercial traffic, which is not always obvious on the charts.
I had the idea to log all the commercial traffic for many days and then build a database of tracks which could be displayed as a plugin to opencpn. It might allow for users to select time of day, day of week or month in the year depending on if there is a strong correlation of this data to the shipping traffic. They could also filter based on speed frequency etc..
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:21   #74
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
I had the idea to log all the commercial traffic for many days and then build a database of tracks which could be displayed as a plugin to opencpn. It might allow for users to select time of day, day of week or month in the year depending on if there is a strong correlation of this data to the shipping traffic. They could also filter based on speed frequency etc..
This would be helpful for somebody exploring unknown areas for him.

So question from where getting sufficient traffic data for you (and to you)...
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:04   #75
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Re: Live AIS Via Internet

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So, the noise aside, what are the feeds and where are they?

I can imagine as the entities that run the service are (?) private entities, they may apply restrictions and charges (?).
Yes exactly. I had a look at the marine traffic API keys and they cost either per access or on a subscription basis where the fees depend on both area and how often you update:
AIS API Services - AIS Marine Traffic

I don't seem to be able to see prices for the API service without creating an account and signing in.

Any plugin would presumably have to cope with accepting a user's API key and be configurable to the type of service they'd paid for. Or be closed source with its own subscription model where the developer works something out with the data provider.

Personally I wouldn't use such a service as an aid to navigation (YMMV) but it might make nice eye candy on the chart whilst planning. Not nice enough IMHO to pay for though and definitely not nice enough to devote development time to and *then* pay for.
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