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Old 07-31-2017, 12:42 PM   #1
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Ais

It seems about time to install AIS on my trawler. At one time, I was considering a receive only unit or a new VHF with AIS receive capability.

I am beginning to lean towards a transceiver at this point but haven't made a decision.

So, what are people's thoughts on transceiver vs. receive only?

What are your favorite brands and model numbers to interface with Garmin MFDs?
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:29 PM   #2
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Garmin AIS 600. Seamless integration into your N2K network. There is one for sale on the Seattle Craigslist for $700.00 complete. I already have one or it would be mine!
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:37 PM   #3
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We have both- Rx only thru a Standard Horizon radio, and Tx/Rx via an EmTrak B100.

I prefer the EmTrak, as I can control it via a computer interface.

The Garmin unit above may be the way to go, as it should not need a standalone PC/Mac interface for control.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:39 PM   #4
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Transceiver all the way. AIS is only as good as the number of boats transmitting.

It's not always a welcome view point, but I think receive-only is only being a Taker from the system. With a transceiver, you are a Giver and a Taker. Please be a Giver too.

With the exception of Furuno, I think all the industry's AIS devices are made b SRT. Their own brand is Emtrak. It's very rare that I recommend West Marine for anything, but their price on the Emtrak Class B AIS was the best around about a year ago. I think the model is the B100 or maybe he B200.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
We have both- Rx only thru a Standard Horizon radio, and Tx/Rx via an EmTrak B100.

I prefer the EmTrak, as I can control it via a computer interface.

The Garmin unit above may be the way to go, as it should not need a standalone PC/Mac interface for control.

That may be true. But the PC interface is typically used only once or twice for initial setup.

Do you use it on a regular basis, and if so, what for?
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:12 PM   #6
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The way I understand it is, that it must be set up professionally for the individual boat before being shipped to the purchaser.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:28 PM   #7
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Wes, we have receive only integrated with our Raymarine chart plotter. I really like having it. However, I really want to get a transceiver. I have yet to figure out how I am going to add it however. I have two VHF radios on the boat now. I may just continue to use the AIS receiver that I have since it is integrated into my my RM system. I could then upgrade one of my VHF radios to one of the new radios with the integrated AIS transceivers. This would give me the Tx ability without the hassle of trying to integrate a transceiver into the RM system, which sounds like a pain.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:47 PM   #8
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The Garmin can be set up by the user.
I'm talking about a USA law requiring them to be set up before delivery to the end user.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:54 PM   #9
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FCC requires units sold in the USA to be programmed before being delivered to the end user. This is supposedly in place because we are too stupid to do it ourselves, however the information they (the seller) inputs is what WE give them. Go figure.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:00 PM   #10
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FCC requires units sold in the USA to be programmed before being delivered to the end user. This is supposedly in place because we are too stupid to do it ourselves, however the information they (the seller) inputs is what WE give them. Go figure.
Many of us apparently are that stupid. Many boaters have not set up their DSC information so when the CG gets an emergency signal, it doesn't tell them anything.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:15 PM   #11
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I'm talking about a USA law requiring them to be set up before delivery to the end user.

You are correct about that law. When I have purchased, it's been an extra step, but not a huge deal. Interestingly, when I bought the EmTek from west marine, they never asked for the programming info.

Either way before buying, I'd suggest reviewing how you will interface it to the Garmin, and confirm Garmin can support it as you expect. If you have an existing N2K network and Garmin can support AIS that way (which they probably can), you can just connect the AIS and garmin that way and it's pretty simple. If you need to a NMEA 0183 interface on the Garmin, be sure one is available and that it supports AIS.

Also remember that there is a GPS mushroom that has to be installed and of course the VHF antenna. If you can swing it, I highly recommend a dedicated AIS antenna rather than messing with a splitter. It might seem harder to install, but maybe not as much as you think. Installing the splitter takes time, they are relatively expensive, and you need to get power to it as well. And you will get better results from both your AIS and your VHF with separate antennas.

Good luck with the project!
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:22 PM   #12
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We have a transciever on our boat. Crossing Lake Ontario in a heavy rainstorm that literally was a white out on the radar, we were able to see and be seen by 2 600'+ ships. One was on a collision course with us. As I was getting ready to call the ship, he called us by name and asked us our intentions. We told him our intentions and he replied that he would change course to pass around our stern. We were not able to see him on radar, but did pick him up on AIS. More importantly he saw us since we were transmitting.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:33 PM   #13
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I have the Si-Tex MDA 1 Class B Transceiver. New they are just over $500 and can integrate with NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000. Works nicely with my Garmin chartplotters and tablet with Coastal Explorer.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:37 PM   #14
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We have had a transceiver for nearly 5 years of full time cruising on the east coast from New England to Florida. On several occasions ships were able to contact us directly to alert us to their intentions. AIS works very well in rivers and canals when radar may not identify a target on the other side of a point or a bend in th ecanal Many other times we have contacted contact a ship or a tug and barge in the ICW. They immediately know to whom they are talking. I do not understand why one would not want to transmit their position to other vessels. Our Sitex AIS has the ability to silence the transmitter. So if you want to be in stealth mode you can. I agree with the suggestion to have a stand alone AIS antenna. A splitter is expensive and may degrade the VHF signal.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
That may be true. But the PC interface is typically used only once or twice for initial setup.

Do you use it on a regular basis, and if so, what for?
To turn the Tx on or off, and to monitor the state of the system.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:05 PM   #16
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For me its a no-brainer to have a transceiver. The incremental cost is negligible and we have found several times that the additional safety margin has been important.

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Old 07-31-2017, 05:13 PM   #17
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For me its a no-brainer to have a transceiver. The incremental cost is negligible and we have found several times that the additional safety margin has been important.

Paul
The cost is not incremental, it's double or more. Still, for a boat part, that's not much.

The VHF radio with built in AIS receive is a pretty simple install. Remove and replace and just two wires to the MFD. It gets more complicated with a separate unit. There are two antennas to install (one to buy, one included), power to run and the connection to the MFD.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:22 PM   #18
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90 percent of the targets most of us might run into arent broadcasting either.

If doing the loop or running tbe Western Rivers, I would install one.

Better to be good with radar than compacent with AIS.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:26 PM   #19
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To turn the Tx on or off, and to monitor the state of the system.

Got it, thanks. Just so others are aware, most, if not all AIS devices have provisions to wire an external mute switch. So if that's important to you, it can be done without the PC interface.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:43 PM   #20
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90 percent of the targets most of us might run into arent broadcasting either..
This is very true, especially the 50' sportfish that just went by throwing a six foot wake. The one you want to call out by name and give him a courtesy lesson on channel 16 for all to hear. But, I'm planning a trip to and through New York Harbor where the big dogs play. Also, friends and family will be able to monitor my progress on the Internet.
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