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Old 02-11-2020, 20:23   #1
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AIS setup

Hi

We are running Opencpn V5.2.4 and have a Vesper Watchmate 850, non wifi, we have been trying to setup the Vesper to talk and show ais targets on Opencpn via the USB cable applicable to the Vesper, has anybody done this set up and if so can you please advise of any settings that need to be changed either in the Vesper AIS or in Opencpn? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers Rod.
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Old 02-11-2020, 20:39   #2
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Re: AIS setup

Rod, this is exactly our setup. One critical piece of information you didn’t provide is what kind of computer? Assuming Windows....

When you plug in the Vesper USB cable and power on the Vesper it should create a “virtual com port”. You should then be able to go into OpenCPN, go to Options, then Connections. You’ll need to create a connection to the Vesper. In the connection box choose the radio button for “serial” then, in the drop-down box look for a port that is labeled Vesper. If everything is working perfectly you’ll see it there. If not perfect you may have to go into Windows Device Manager, look under the Ports section, and see what port number is assigned to the Vesper (if you get this far and still don’t see Vesper there was a problem with the driver installation - post back here).

Once the port is selected change the speed/baud rate to 38,400 and tick the box for “input on this port”. Click OK and you should have AIS data.

If you have other data sources with GPS information coming into O in some other way you may need to do some filtering - post back again in that case.

If you need them, USB drivers - Vesper
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Old 02-11-2020, 20:57   #3
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Re: AIS setup

Thanks for that info, we now have ais in opencpn, is there anything else that I need to set in opencpn regarding ais targets, eg: target settings, distance, info etc or is it all coming from the Vesper. Yeh win7 is the operating system.

Cheers Rod
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Old 02-11-2020, 21:04   #4
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Re: AIS setup

There are a ton of AIS settings in O, and some in the Vesper. If you’re looking for alarming, etc. that does not come from the Vesper - the Vesper will alarm based on the profile settings in the 850, but the profile settings are not transmitted to O.

In O, for a single target you can right click and do a “target query” that will give you lots of information. You can also select “show CPA” to have O dynamically draw your intercept with the other vessel.

For lots more stuff you can go back into Options in O and there’s a whole tab devoted to AIS configurations, alarming, etc.
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Old 02-11-2020, 21:19   #5
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Re: AIS setup

Excellent thankyou, having a play with it now and it seems to be doing what it's supposed to just finding some of the ais settings in O a bit confusing but I guess just a play around will sort it out.

Cheers Rod.
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Old 02-11-2020, 21:30   #6
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Re: AIS setup

Yeah, there are far too many settings to try and guess your use case.

For, us, offshore we use the Vesper alarm (we have a loud buzzer attached). Inshore we turn off the Vesper alarms and use O. In O, however, I don’t have any alarms configured, as I see targets that are of concern I use the “show CPA” tool. It easily handles several targets at the same time. However, I rarely have more than a couple targets of concern in view at the same time, so the manual approach works for me. In more crowded waters I might want the system to make a first pass for me, but I haven’t had to do that yet.
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Old 02-11-2020, 21:49   #7
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Re: AIS setup

We have an external alarm on the Vesper but as far as alarms go there IS always someone on watch, it looks ok and doing what it's supposed to so that's got to be a good thing.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:43   #8
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Re: AIS setup

We put our Watchmate 850 NMEA output to a TwinYAKKER wifi (the other NMEA input to yakker comes from our depth/wind/speed instruments).

Using wifi from TwinYAKKER, we can them view AIS, depth, etc.

We also have an external buzzer (very loud!) connected to our Watchmate. With a switch to turn it off easily/quickly.

NOTE: we have the Vesper external GPS receiver, added in after we had trouble losing signal to internal receiver when pitching at anchor (wind changed directions in the night, typical of Mexican anchorages). Never had that problem (losing gps) agsin.
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