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Old 21-08-2011, 09:21   #16
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Bought a standard horizon gx 2150 radio and it works great for receiving ais. No special antennae , and it displays perfectly on my garmin chart plotter . After getting into some thick fog up by anacortes , thinking about adding a dedicated transponder . Lots of big traffic , and it would have been comforting to know they could see me too . If only to tell me to get out of the way .
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Old 21-08-2011, 09:48   #17
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

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Originally Posted by ami keren View Post
I decide to buy
MarineGadget Radar - AIS Receiver
thank's

Ami
If you will want to play with the settings of the gadget, I wrote a little tool to make it a bit more user friendly than using a serial terminal app - get it from https://github.com/downloads/nohal/R...GadgetTool.exe

Pavel
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Old 21-08-2011, 11:12   #18
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

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Hi Ami and welcome to the forum.

Thanks for the clarification but I knew intuitively what you meant. And agree with the answer that it's probably not worth it. Receivers are affordable enough and don't fall for the suggestion to use your existing VHF antenna with a splitter .. works electronically but not in practice. (Why? Because if you need to talk with a ship that may well be of concern to you then you are blocking the critical AIS data that might help you understand the situation while you are talking).

And please don't be put off by people who like to rant ... some of them seem to search for ways to show their ignorance.

So fire away the questions ... there really are no dumb questions, only sometimes you get dumb answers.

Happy sailing,

Terry
Terry,
I gotta disagree with ya about the danger of using your VHF antenna via an antenna splitter. I've had 2 years experience using my splitter set up with no precevied danger. Considering Class A transceivers, the type required on commercial vessels, have a default transmit rate of every few seconds. Class B transceivers, pleasure craft type, have a default transmit rate of every 30 seconds. Not really sure what kind of scenario your conjuring which could put you in danger. What I would be wondering is why one would put so much faith in an electronic gadget where possibly one position update would put your vessel in harms way. Besides Standard Horizon offers several VHF AIS radios so equipped.
Steve
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Old 22-08-2011, 04:12   #19
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

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I've had 2 years experience using my splitter set up with no precevied danger.
Steve,

I have six years experience using a single channel AIS receiver and numerous passages through the Singapore and Malacca straits. On two occasions I recall having a ship-to-ship conversation with ships that were close by and among the over 500 targets being received. I was NOT relying on the AIS but using it to sort out a close encounter situation.

I agree it is only an aid ... and hope your future encounters continue to be without concern.

And I am not ready to buy the hype from manufacturers who use a feature to sound attractive ... if it sounds too good to be true, etc.

Terry
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Old 23-08-2011, 17:46   #20
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

Hi Terry,

My company makes an AIS/VHF splitter and if I may say so... I don't think we hype it or make it sound like it's more than it is. There are advantages and disadvantages. You are correct that you can't receive AIS while you are talking on the VHF, but in practice our customers haven't found this to be particularly limiting. On the other hand, a splitter allows people to usually get the most range possible from their transmissions and makes installation on some vessels much easier, such as a steel boat that doesn't want to make new holes to feed antenna cables. If it makes the difference allowing someone to install AIS that wouldn't otherwise, then it's certainly worth it in my opinion.

I think the real issue with splitters is to ensure you use one that is specifically designed for AIS. Trying to use a passive VHF splitter won't do it. Also, watch out for signal loss. Some AIS splitters introduce a fair amount of loss.
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Old 23-08-2011, 18:32   #21
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

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I think the real issue with splitters is to ensure you use one that is specifically designed for AIS. Trying to use a passive VHF splitter won't do it. Also, watch out for signal loss. Some AIS splitters introduce a fair amount of loss.
Thanks Jeff ... some good points. The only splitters I saw six years ago obviously weren't up to today's standards.

Safe sailing,
Terry
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Old 27-08-2011, 01:58   #22
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

For everybody who wants use a existing scanner or vhf for receiving AIS signals via the soundcard, have a look at this site. Discriminator Output
Lots of technical info about how to get out the signals from your radio set.
Be aware that it illegal to make changes to your VHF set, as this will disable the type approval.
Dirk
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:53   #23
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

I used a cheap Puxing handheld VHF transceiver for an AIS receiver...about $50 on eBay...the discriminator output was even marked clearly on the main PCB and it worked fine as a cheap experiment....
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:03   #24
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Sound like great idea which model did you use and is it simple matter of just soldering to the discriminatory output on the pcb and connecting to sound in for ship plotter

Regards

Richard
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Old 09-09-2011, 23:55   #25
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

Yes, it's simply a matter of soldering an audio lead to the discriminator output and ground. It was a Puxing PX777. From memory the discriminator output is marked 'e' on the main PCB -but I may have that wrong.

I was surprised how reasonable the performance was even on the stubby aerial. I used AISMon to convert the audio in to NMEA.
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Old 10-09-2011, 00:15   #26
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

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Originally Posted by Svsilvergirl View Post
Bought a standard horizon gx 2150 radio and it works great for receiving ais. No special antennae , and it displays perfectly on my garmin chart plotter . After getting into some thick fog up by anacortes , thinking about adding a dedicated transponder . Lots of big traffic , and it would have been comforting to know they could see me too . If only to tell me to get out of the way .
Did you use your unit's fog horn? If so, what d'you think? If the summer was any indication, I'll be using mine every morning all the way down the Cal/Mex coast.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:17   #27
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Actually , o just bought a pa horn but haven't mounted it yet........need to get that fine , more that the boat its prolly at the dock for the rest of the season , lots of projects to do before we take off next year
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Old 16-09-2011, 02:23   #28
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

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Ami...
after reading Discriminator Output and looking inside my handheld VHF, I just bought the 120EUR AIS receiver at Radar Gadgets - ADS-B aircraft radio receiver - Virtual Radar Looks like a toy but works acceptably and fits in any pocket.
I normally like playing with the solder, but in this case it was not worth it... For any solution you choose, remember the "the higher the antenna, the better" stuff.

Pavel
That is a nifty looking device. Might pick one up myself.
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Old 20-09-2011, 08:43   #29
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

Jeff I was wondering if your company calls your product a splitter? Or does it go by a different name?
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Old 20-09-2011, 13:08   #30
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Re: Use an Existing Marine VHF for AIS

It's unimaginatively called just a VHF/AIS Antenna Splitter. The model number is SP160. It also has a built-in low noise amplifier which increases AIS reception range beyond what you get by the extra height of the antenna. You can get more info on our website.
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