Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-01-2012, 11:48   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 40
Portable AIS

My family charters a 40 boat each year for a week vacation. It was for this reason and off season trip planning that I started playing/using first SeaClear and now Opencpn. Last year we had lots of bad weather and I used Opencpn exclusively from the lower helm and it was great. The boat had chart plotters at both stations but the one at the lower helm was grey scale and difficult to use.

This is the perfect use for pc chart plotting, when your on a boat with strange to you electronics. On our own boat we have a color Navman and I love it because I know it.

This year we are chartering the same boat and I would like to add AIS to the mix for low vis times. Since its not my boat, it needs to be portable. I am not too concerned with range and although I am mechanically inclined I don't know much about radio. My first thought was to buy one of the many USB equipped receivers and then try to match it with a small portable antenna.

Now I am looking at purchasing one of these Digital Yacht Uais units:

Digital Yacht uAIS Smart AIS Antenna w/USB Power/Data

Does anyone have experience with them? I don't want to spend a ton of money, I would like it to receive its power from the USB and I want it to interface well with Opencpn. Does anyone have a suggestion for me?

Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
StargazerWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2012, 13:25   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
sinbad7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ubatuba,SP,Brazil (Ex Norway)
Boat: (Ex) Alu. 60' yacht-"Eight Bells"
Posts: 2,717
Images: 57
Send a message via Skype™ to sinbad7
Re: Portable AIS

StargazerWa

I have been using the SR162-dual channel AIS receiver with great success using an RS232 to USB conversion cable. It is both cheap and reliable. When I use it at sea,I connect it to the ship's 12v supply and a separate VHF antenna well removed from my normal VHF radio antenna. The USB connector is connected to my laptop.

You can as an alternative use a protective antenna splitter but I prefer to keep the two separate. At home I just use a mains transformer,a separate VHF antenna on the roof and plug the USB to either my desktop or the laptop.

My RS232 to USB cable installs as COM:5 which you configure in OpenCpn and you're ready to go.

http://www.navsoftware.com/sr162.html

Tore
__________________

__________________
"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
sinbad7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2012, 14:02   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 40
Re: Portable AIS

The boat we chartered didn't have a 12volt plug at the lower helm so I am really looking for something powered by a USB. I do have 110 from the inverter. How about a small portable antenna like those on a handheld have you experimented with that? I don't want to mess with the existing equipment. Thanks
__________________
StargazerWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2012, 18:36   #4
Registered User
 
HappySeagull's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: B.C.,Canada
Boat: 29'
Posts: 2,395
Re: Portable AIS

Stargazer,I haven't got one and they look very nice...however, if you don't mind me mentioning something to research anyways, being usb powered restricts the length of the usb cable from your laptop to about 12 feet due to powerloss in the cable.

The solution to that, only if it arises as a problem, would be a powered usb hub in the middle of any extensions.
For me, I'd be keener on an ais that plugged right into the laptop (close) with the AERIAL on the long piece of shielded antenna wire...seeing as this is a receiver only.Just a thought.
__________________
HappySeagull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2012, 19:26   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 40
Re: Portable AIS

Happy Seagull,

Thanks that is a consideration. Maybe I need to find an antenna shop and see what kind of options I have for a short portable antenna.
__________________
StargazerWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2012, 21:27   #6
Registered User
 
HappySeagull's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: B.C.,Canada
Boat: 29'
Posts: 2,395
Re: Portable AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by StargazerWA View Post
Happy Seagull,

Thanks that is a consideration. Maybe I need to find an antenna shop and see what kind of options I have for a short portable antenna.
...actually, a piece of stripped coaxial cable might work just fine for that...look up " dipole" or "emergency vhf dipole". If you are considering this as a portable unit, what could be simpler than a piece of wire?
__________________
HappySeagull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-01-2012, 23:56   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: On the go. Not in Prague.
Posts: 4,016
Re: Portable AIS

Stargazer...
Radar Gadgets - ADS-B aircraft radio receiver - Virtual Radar using an antenna from my handheld VHF glued with duct tape to a portlight above the navigation table is able to get signal from targets about 2.5 miles distant. Nothing special. In case you were interested in results of a "real experiment"

Pavel
__________________
nohal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-01-2012, 06:14   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 40
Re: Portable AIS

Pavel,

Thanks for some data 2.5 miles might be enough for my needs. Thanks. I am also going to look into the coax antenna solution.
__________________
StargazerWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-01-2012, 11:18   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Gemini 3200
Posts: 702
Re: Portable AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by StargazerWA View Post
I don't want to spend a ton of money, I would like it to receive its power from the USB and I want it to interface well with Opencpn. Does anyone have a suggestion for me?

Thanks in advance.
Would this meet your needs?

Nauticast Automatic Identification System Receiver / Cobham - Beacon Solutions

Although it has a USB connector it does require 12V (or 24V) power via a separate cable. If you can work around the fact that it isn't powered via the USB connection, it looks pretty reasonable. Prices range from $124 on Amazon to $150 at Milltech Marine.

Fabbian
__________________
fgd3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-01-2012, 14:48   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 40
Re: Portable AIS

I have looked at these before and they are a steal, the boat we have chartered the past few years has no 12v plug at the lower helm oddly enough. It has been confusing me that many saying they can be powered by USB (5v) also say they run on 9-24v. Weird
__________________
StargazerWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-01-2012, 16:29   #11
Registered User
 
HappySeagull's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: B.C.,Canada
Boat: 29'
Posts: 2,395
Re: Portable AIS

...if you wait a few years, all these will be cheaper, and better, I bet. Look how gps has gotten cheap.
__________________
HappySeagull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-01-2012, 22:07   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Gemini 3200
Posts: 702
Re: Portable AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by StargazerWA View Post
I have looked at these before and they are a steal, the boat we have chartered the past few years has no 12v plug at the lower helm oddly enough. It has been confusing me that many saying they can be powered by USB (5v) also say they run on 9-24v. Weird
I sent ACR an email suggesting they bring out a model made expressly for connection to a computer: rubber ducky antenna included, only USB cable for power and data. The customer service rep said he would discuss it with their product development engineers. Keep an eye on their Web site to see if they bring out what you're looking for.

Fabbian
__________________
fgd3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2012, 00:21   #13
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,865
Images: 4
Re: Portable AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappySeagull View Post
...if you wait a few years, all these will be cheaper, and better
Absolutely true, but there are quite satisfactory solutions available at reasonable prices *today*. If you want AIS capabilities now, I say go for it.

Personal computers are still getting better and cheaper. Should I have gone without since 1980? I think not.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2012, 00:49   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 40
Re: Portable AIS

I am going to go for it, just trying to figure out the best solution for me. Lots of great ideas, thanks.
__________________
StargazerWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2012, 01:06   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: West coast of Sweden
Boat: Najad391
Posts: 155
Re: Portable AIS

Maybe this is the solution.
Belfield Software - USB GPS & AIS Dongle
__________________

__________________
janp391 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ais

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Problem with AIS taku OpenCPN 4 03-10-2014 10:17
AIS Unit for Raymarine Chartplotter System mukilteomaniac Marine Electronics 4 23-01-2012 02:06
Route Properties, Missing Functions James Baines OpenCPN 13 13-07-2011 05:31
AIS Plus Other Goodies Windjammr Spirt Marine Electronics 0 10-07-2011 16:26
AIS Reception Issue twistedtree Marine Electronics 72 03-07-2011 04:57



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:26.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.