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Old 09-08-2011, 03:36 PM   #41
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RE: Foggy

I like the fact that my son's tug has an AIS transponder and that I can follow his pecker tracks from the comfort of my easy chair on marinetraffic.com when he is on the job and know where he is in real time. Neat! Other than that, I see no benefit in having it in the area where I boat. If I were in an area where there was a lot of commercial traffic, if might be of use to show where the big boys who have the ability to cause you serious hurt are. But if all boats big and small had them, it sure might get confusing. Electronic information overload. Radar is good.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:32 PM   #42
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Foggy

*As I said before, the only reason I'd go with AIS is due the the under funded toy budget.* The problem with AIS is that it doesn't give you full situational awareness (non AIS-transmitting boats).* Radar shows everything, and even serves as a backup navigational tool, just like the depth sounder. Having said that, while a poor substitute for radar, a $200 USB-AIS seems like cheap insurance against a radar failure.


-- Edited by bobc on Thursday 8th of September 2011 07:33:06 PM
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:30 AM   #43
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Foggy

In my early flying days, I remember when "wing levelers" came out. Boy was that neat! And then they added "altitude holds" to supplement the wing levelers. Even better! Did I need those to fly the plane? No, my artificial horizon and altimeter were just fine but I must admit with the advent of auto pilots to go along with the other two, I was in heaven.

And how about when they added transponders to general aviation aircraft? Although you could not see the other aircraft, the controller could see them and YOU!

Remember the first aircraft radars? I certainly didn't need one but we added a brand new Bendix* (color) to the companies Cheyenne ll. While picking my way out of Davenport, Iowa one night, on my way to Scottsdale, AZ, it sure came in handy for keeping me out of and between thunder storms.

How about the invention of the automatic transmission? Who needed those? Hell, with a little release of the clutch & some light throttle, it was a piece of cake to hold the car still while stopped on a grade. (Not to mention the hydraulic brakes.)

AIS? Yes, it's relatively new and will continue to evolve. Do we absolutely need it? I suppose not but I guarantee you that it's here to stay and will get even better.

The title of this thread is "FOGGY", not CAVU! AIS is a big advantage when operating in FOG! A good radar on board and operated by a competent crew person is a "given" nowadays. Guess what? (I can still remember when it wasn't!)

*


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Monday 12th of September 2011 09:31:52 PM
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #44
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RE: Foggy

I've ordered a cheap USB-AIS receiver to use with OpenCPN mapping software. I'll let everyone know how it works out.

I've discovered another option that may work for some of you. If you have a smart phone, it seems there are AIS apps, plus the free website http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/. I knew about the website, but hadn't thought about people using it while on the water.

I don't have a smart phone with a data plan, so that option doesn't work for me, but I would think it might work for others who have good cell coverage in inland waters.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:47 PM   #45
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RE: Foggy

The AIS receiver arrived this afternoon and I had it working in less than 10 minutes.* I used a Radio Shack telescoping whip antenna, as this unit (Digital Yacht AIS 100) has a BNC connector.

I'm impressed.

Here's a plot with the unit on my kitchen table.** You can see the Mukilteo ferries, and the information that I received from a tug headed for Everett.* The update rate on the boats seems to be about every 10-12 seconds.

I plan on giving it a real workout this weekend - rain or shine.

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Old 09-16-2011, 03:18 PM   #46
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RE: Foggy

I think of the AIS as a combination of aviation's transponder and TCAS. It can provide a digital transmission like a transponder to make other appropriately equipped users aware of my position. As a helm display, it can provide me with enhanced situational awareness of those vessels appropriately equipped. It's no substitute for outside vigilance or radar monitoring, but it can provide me with info on some targets which is not available from other sources. AIS can also provide data re: vessel type, call sign and destination to other AIS-equipped vessels that a transponder cannot provide to TCAS aircraft.

"I can certainly see the value in the shipping industry, but for boats like ours it seems like putting a transponder on an ultralight."

Is it a panacea for all situational awareness needs? No. Can it help provide more information regarding the vessel traffic in your area? Yes. Is it worth the cost? Only the vessel captain can answer that. But to categorically state that it is overkill or not worthwhile for all boats like ours seems a bit closed-minded.

Having a transponder on light aircraft greatly enhances the ability of air traffic controllers and other pilots in TCAS-equipped aircraft to observe and take evasive action to avoid collision. Having a transmitting AIS on a boat, regardless of size, does the same thing, whether you notice it's happening or not. How many close calls have I missed because ATC or other pilots saw my transponder signals with enough time to take evasive action? I have no way of knowing, but I suspect quite a few. Would I like to see transponders on gliders and ultralight aurcraft? You bet I would since they often operate in the same airspace as the rest of us. I am not, however, in favor of MANDANTORY installations by FAA regulations.

AIS can be a great tool...another arrow in your quiver, but I hope that AIS never becomes a mandantory requirement for access to our nation's waterways. That, IMO, WOULD be overkill.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:41 PM   #47
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RE: Foggy

Quote:
FlyWright wrote:

AIS can be a great tool...another arrow in your quiver, but I hope that AIS never becomes a mandantory requirement for access to our nation's waterways. That, IMO, WOULD be overkill.
*When/if Big Brother requires automobiles to carry tracking devices, mandatory AIS won't be far behind.* Presently have a FasTrack device in my SUV for the convenience of paying tolls, but I'm still able to legally remove it.

There is also a privacy issue with AIS.* Its information is publicly available.* We could track each other's boat movements.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:37 PM   #48
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Foggy

"Its information is publicly available.* We could track each other's boat movements. "

Yes, I know some fishing guides who refuse to use them since they'd give away their honey holes.

BTW, I am also without the AIS as some of my electronics are, like my boat, bordering on antique.


-- Edited by FlyWright on Friday 16th of September 2011 06:39:02 PM
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:07 PM   #49
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Foggy

I've just returned from a overnight trip to Port Townsend. In spite of the weather reports, it turned out to be a great weekend. Things were a little lumpy Saturday morning between Deception Pass and Port Townsend, with 20k winds from the South. Things calmed down for a nice afternoon in town. It was wet and windy during the night, and the forecast for today suggested that it would be a rough ride home. It couldn't have been further from the truth. The trip from PT back through DP was perfectly calm -- a mill pond. It was great for spotting wildlife, including what we think was a mink whale that surfaced a few hundred yards from the boat.

Visibility was good both days, perfect for testing the new AIS receiver. The setup was a $200 USB receiver, with a Radio Shack collapsible antenna (not tuned for AIS) located on a shelf near the lower helm. I was using with Open CPN software. Though the setup was far from optimal for range, I was able to see boats out at least 5 miles. I suspect a tuned antenna on the flybridge would give me 20+ mile range.

All in all, I'm pleased with AIS. I find it interesting that you're able to see the boat's destination. It's kind of fun knowing that a cargo ship passing by is headed to Canada, or to Oakland. I also now know that the Victoria Clipper travels at 27 knots.

As this is a receive-only setup. I'm not too worried about being tracked 8-).


-- Edited by bobc on Sunday 18th of September 2011 10:09:14 PM
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