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Old 10-10-2019, 06:48   #1
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AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

I am mystified by a problem I'm having....

I have an ICOM M506 VHF with built-in AIS receiver and NMEA 2000 connection to my chart plotter (raymarine es)

This was working fine recently, but I wanted an AIS transponder, so I started installing a Vesper Marine AIS transponder and Vesper VHF splitter.

That 'worked' inasmuch as the indicator lights were green and tx light was flashing, but I wasn't getting AIS data to the chartplotter through the Vesper Marine NMEA2000 output.

So I disconnected the AIS transponder and VHF splitter, and went back to my original setup - but now am not receiving AIS data on the VHF, neither through NMEA to the chart plotter nor through the integrated AIS display on the VHF unit itself.

I feared I may have damaged my antenna somehow, but the VHF still transmits and receives voice no problem.

Any thoughts on what could be going wrong or what to try next?
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:50   #2
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Have you tried calling the manufacturer(s)?

Some like pointing the finger at the other but then some try to take some responsibility and try to help you anyway.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:58   #3
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Need to correct myself already... the VHF IS receiving AIS signals, but not plotting them visually, as it must not be getting GPS - which should have been coming from the Raymarine plotter's built-in GPS through NMEA 2000 cable.

So would appear something wrong with that NMEA cable/connection. The connection is physically good. I'm not sure how would plugging that NMEA 2000 cable into the Vesper AIS transponder have broken anything.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:07   #4
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Vesper transponder (any transporder, really) requires its OWN gps signal. Depending on which vesper you have, its gps antenna is either internal or external (i have the 8000, which is external. It sounds as if your chartplotter is confused. Id look at data sources in the chartplotter, and check that you still have ais o erlays turned on.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:26   #5
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Thx,

The Vesper Transponder has a built-in GPS which is working according to the status lights. When I installed the NMEA 2000 cable to the Vesper Transponder I assumed it didn't need further configuration on the chartplotter - should just send its data. And now that I've gone back to my original setup that isn't working - and I haven't reconfigured anything.

Oh well, a mystery indeed.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:55   #6
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

that's why I'm saying check 'data sources' in the es's system setup. not sure about AIS, but if you have multiple gps sources, you have to tell it which one to use (I prefer 'internal'). Same with wind, depth, etc.....and I presume, AIS

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Old 10-10-2019, 08:53   #7
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtPluck View Post
I am mystified by a problem I'm having....

I have an ICOM M506 VHF with built-in AIS receiver and NMEA 2000 connection to my chart plotter (raymarine es)

This was working fine recently, but I wanted an AIS transponder, so I started installing a Vesper Marine AIS transponder and Vesper VHF splitter.

That 'worked' inasmuch as the indicator lights were green and tx light was flashing, but I wasn't getting AIS data to the chartplotter through the Vesper Marine NMEA2000 output.

So I disconnected the AIS transponder and VHF splitter, and went back to my original setup - but now am not receiving AIS data on the VHF, neither through NMEA to the chart plotter nor through the integrated AIS display on the VHF unit itself.

I feared I may have damaged my antenna somehow, but the VHF still transmits and receives voice no problem.

Any thoughts on what could be going wrong or what to try next?

The vesper, and some other devices do not like having connections made or broken while powered. The vesper can be damaged if it has no antenna connected while transmitting. Be meticulously careful to remove power as you change things. Many times, OFF is not sufficient, remove power.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:00   #8
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

I have the Vesper XB-8000. It has an app available - watchmate - that tells you the status of everything on the unit. The 8000 has wifi, so I use that. However, you can also use a usb cable to connect as well. You may want to try that to make sure it is working correctly before you diagnose the the connect to the MFD.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:20   #9
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Also have the 8000 (connected to a Garmin chart plotter). It needed its own antenna.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:25   #10
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Sounds like both devices saw the other on the network and disabled AIS sentence transmission. Check both devices and ensure only one is master and the other slave for AIS data transmission
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:52   #11
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

I also suspect it is a bad connection somewhere. Simple to set up but connections are a weak link in system.
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Old 10-10-2019, 14:10   #12
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

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Originally Posted by Baba Buoy View Post
I also suspect it is a bad connection somewhere. Simple to set up but connections are a weak link in system.
I hate crimp connections. Always solder or use screw terminals. Every electrical o’crap on the boat has been a bad crimp connection.
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Old 10-10-2019, 14:31   #13
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Just throwing in another idea. Check how you've connected you new Vesper to the NMEA 2000 network. if not connected in properly, you can expect to have problems on the network in general. In simple terms, the NMEA 2000 network uses a backbone in which all devices connect via "droppers". Each dropper can only connect one device so you can't add a second device to an existing dropper.
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Old 10-10-2019, 14:35   #14
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

Do you have the latest software updates to the Vesper?
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Old 10-10-2019, 14:54   #15
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Re: AIS receiver not working after attempting transponder install

I think post 13 is wrong/misleading about the drop cables. A drop connection at the backbone CAN be connected to a multi-drop tap to feed multiple devices. The maximum length from the backbone to the end of the longest drop remains 6 meters.
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