Cruisers & Sailing Forums (
-   Marine Electronics (
-   -   SR161 - AIS receiver (

phiggins 04-07-2006 13:05

SR161 - AIS receiver
I'm about to order an AIS receiver and was wondering since so many others on this site have ordered the SR161, could you tell me if its worth it? Also, would be interested to hear of any other kinds AIS receivers that anyone has. Thanks


CSY Man 05-07-2006 06:30

I have not odered yet, or decided on which way to go.

Been looking at the German Easy AIS :

thank you very much for your request which we got over echopilot.

Yes, we can ship easyAIS and easySPLIT to you to US. This is not a problem.

The unit prices are:
easyAIS: 312,-

The shipping to US by DHL, trackable, 8 working days is 28,-
The total would be 509,-
To inform you about the easySPLIT please visit our homepage:
The easySPLIT is quite a clever unit. With that you do not need to have an additional antenna for the AIS reception. YOu just use your existing VHF antenna.
Payment can be made by paypal to us to above email adress.

(Also you can make wire transfer, but this is more expensive for both)

Before you order, please check whether your chartplotter is able to interprete AIS data on the chartplotter screen.
(Raymarine, latest SW ca do so, also the most of the chartplotters using C-map charts.)

For that question you can have a look to our homepage as well, but this gives you only a very rough overview. The best thing would be to ask your local dealer or directly to the chartplotter manufacturer.

I hope my answers helped.


Weatherdock AG
Am Weichselgarten 7
D-91058 Erlangen


Also been looking at the Nobetec and a few others.

Any intersest in a "mass-order" to get the price down.....?


Talbot 05-07-2006 08:35

I have a NASA AIS engine feeding Shipplotter software on the laptop.

I decided not to use a splitter as any problems with it and it will burn out the AIS engine, whereas I have +12nm range on my AIS aerial mounted on the davits, and even better range from it as an emergency VHF aerial

(I have leads so I can use either aerial with either piece of equipment. I regularly get 30-40 miles from the masthead aerial on the AIS engine.

The NASA engine provides a serial interface which works perfectly through a usb/serial cable, whereas most others use the laptops sound card.

If you are displaying on your laptop it is better to provide a seperate GPS signal than through the NASA engine as shipplotter software doesnt record the gps sent that way. I use to split out a single GPS input to four seperate applications simultaneously so I can have both the AIS and the plotter running at the same time (plus a planning system that I have)

The shipplotter software is really good and provides warning of distance and time of CPA as soon as a signal is received if it meets a customisable condition. It displays on either a chart or a calibrated satellite photo (free downloads) and can record the complete journey for later enjoyment.

CSY Man 05-07-2006 12:16

Okay Mr. Talbot, thanks for good feed-back.

I found a supplier in the US for a reasonable price.

This is what I am looking at now:

IF I don't go with the splitter, how far will the AIS antenae have to be from a transmitting VHF antenae..? (Without damaging the AIS receiver)

Talbot 05-07-2006 12:21

Cant give you a distance - that would have to be from a radio tech man, who will probably play safe and say at least a couple of feet. Personally I was more concerned with having a viable system should I be so unlucky as to lose my mast!

CSY Man 05-07-2006 12:36


Personally I was more concerned with having a viable system should I be so unlucky as to lose my mast!
Yeah, I agree.
I have the regular set-up with primary VHF and mast antenae, etc., but also installed a secondary VHF radio with an antenae on the aft railing sticking up over the bimini top.
Thought of using that one for the AIS with a splitter, but you may have a poin't. It would cost me no more to install another VHF antenae for the AIS, but the best I could do was to mount it on the other side of the ship, about 8 feet away I guess...If not, on the same side, it would only be a foot or so away from the secondary VHF antenae...Too many antenaes on that side anyway: GPS, Navtex and VHF....The good ship Rhapsody looks like a Russian spy-trawler now with all them antenaes...:D

Talbot 05-07-2006 12:45

Do you use the secondary VHF at the same time as the primary, or is it an emergency only device?

If it is emergency only, you could consider using that aerial as either the AIS or the emergency VHF aerial, and have a bit of coax made up of a pl259 female plug to whatever the AIS uses (BNC 50 ohm on mine) so you can quickly convert the emergency aerial over to use for the AIS.

Alternatively, 8ft seperation should be fine.

CSY Man 05-07-2006 14:19

Yeah, the Nr. 2 VHF system is pretty much for emergencies only.

I do have a coax swithc I could use hoever: Left positon for VHF transmissions, right for AIS..Hmm, that may be the way to go.

The details are still on the drawing boar, a few more beers and I will have it figured out.


kimberlite 05-07-2006 18:02

I ordered the NASA "radar" ais unit.
very simple hookup took about 30 minutes.
it is a free standing unit and works perfectly.
fair winds,

Talbot 06-07-2006 08:54

1. Please dont call it a radar - it isnt. (NASA's fault)

2. If you are in a crowded shipping area, the automatic warning of vessels with a cpa within a specified distance is a great confidence boost. You can only get that from a laptop system (recommend Shipplotter)

I think I have heard of somebody attempting to get an output from that NASA display so they could use it on a laptop, but never heard whether they were successful

rsn48 06-07-2006 10:25

Many laptops today are shipping without serial ports, relying on USB instead, such is the case with my laptop. Secondly, in a smaller boat such as my catalina 27, having the laptop down below - which would be required in many weather conditions - wouldn't be ideal.

I have the JRC 18000 radar and chart plotter, I don't know if it would integrate or not, I'm guessing not.

AdamY 06-07-2006 10:30

I dont get why we cant make one of these. If you could take a VHF, tune it to the frequency and then feed that undisciminated signal into a laptop using a standard stereo mini cable you would be in business, this should be doable for much less than the prices these AIS systems are charging.

I remain in search of the cheap solution. In it's absence I will survive.;-)


Talbot 06-07-2006 11:00

My laptop has 3 USB ports and no serial. I have had some problems with a serial/usb lead before on XP (fairly common with prolific I am told), so I sourced a different type. I can thoroughly recommend these my system now has two (one from GPS and one from AIS system) no problems at all.

rsn48 06-07-2006 16:48

Thanks, I've bookmarked your link Talbot.

Talbot 07-07-2006 01:22

I also strongly recommend for the AIS software.

Just a happy user!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:38.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.