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Old 02-27-2014, 09:05 PM   #1
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Which Class B AIS do you have?

So, right after finishing up the autopilot project, I would like to address the need for an AIS that interacts with the Garmin Chartplotter. Entering Norfolk harbor, New York Harbor and the inland rivers would be a lot less stressful if you were seen and could see others around you. I notice several makes that seem to use different terms that are confusing. I understand that a transceiver unit both transmits your location data and receives from other transmitting boats, a receiver unit only tells you about other local boats in your area, a transponder unit only tells other local boats about you and your position. So, what is metadata? Should I also look at the AIS system on the newer VHF radios?

The prices are all over the board on these things. Placing this incoming position data on the chartplotter seems more valuable than on the VHF radio but I'm not sure. Can I purchase and install this unit (the black box) myself or do you need someone to do it for me?

Has anyone else done it recently? What system did you choose?
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:17 PM   #2
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My understanding is a transponder broadcasts your position and depending upon whether you use a plotter or the device's screen you can see other boats too. I have a Standard Horizon radio with AIS built in and I can see targets with my plotter but they can't see me (except that I'm Miracle Metal and am, to all intents, a giant radar reflector).
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:18 PM   #3
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And to answer your question, I plan a Comnav Class B AIS. That's on page 6 of my to-do list.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:20 PM   #4
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Heres a nmea 2000 transceiver which should work with all modern chart plotters it sends (given you enter an mmsi#) and receives ais signals.
http://www.thegpsstore.com/Si-Tex-MD...FRJo7AodLgsADQ
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:35 PM   #5
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I have a Furuno class B AIS

It uses ethernet to talk to the furuno nav equipment
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:04 AM   #6
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We had Comar AIS receivers on the last two boats.

Now we have a Garmin AIS 600 Transceiver with a dedicated antenna.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:28 AM   #7
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We have a Garmin AIS networked to our Garmin 740s Plotter via N2K. You can also connect via 183 if necessary.

VHF is connected to AIS then AIS to antenna.

Gives AIS info on plotter and seamless radio operation.

Best 200 bucks I have ever spent on Craigslist!
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Razorbackron View Post
Can I purchase and install this unit (the black box) myself or do you need someone to do it for me?

Has anyone else done it recently? What system did you choose?
Haven't done it, but I am curious as well. Using Xsbank's (while he is "Learning to Fly") plans as an example, I found the manual and it all seems quite doable. Begin on Page 8 and follow the installation. Installation (after configuration) using NMEA0183, NMEA2000 or wifi all seems straightforward. For US residents, the configuration must be done by the retailer or an installer.

http://www.comnavmarine.com/download...ion_Manual.pdf
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:04 AM   #9
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Comnav AIS.

Easy to install: its own VHF antenna, GPS mushroom, fused 12V and then NMEA connection to chartplotter.

I did it in the USA and needed an MMSI before they will sell you one. I used my Australian MMSI of course, and it was fine.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:07 AM   #10
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I needed a new VHF radio. I always wanted an AIS receiver. I bought a Standard Horizon GX2150 which had an AIS receiver built in for $350!! The Garmin Receiver ONLY was $400+ depending on where you bought it. So I feel I got the AIS for free. Anyway, I have it hooked up with a Garmin 740s and am tickled pink with the whole set up....not to mention it sends GPS data back to the radio if you want to broadcast your position via DSC.

I think transponder is a generic term for an AIS transmitter. I may be wrong. But it is, in essence, a transponder.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:12 AM   #11
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Heres a nmea 2000 transceiver which should work with all modern chart plotters it sends (given you enter an mmsi#) and receives ais signals.
Si-Tex MDA 1 Metadata Class B AIS Transceiver The GPS Store
Except Furuno NaveNet 3D systems. They don't accept AIS via N2K, nor do they re-broadcast their proprietary AIS on N2K so other devices can use it.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:24 AM   #12
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I'd like to REALLY encourage you to get a full AIS transceiver (transmit and receive) so you can both see, and be seen. I think these receive-only devices are doing a huge dis-service to boating by leading people into believing they have AIS when they really don't. Tons and tons of people are checking "AIS" off their list because they can see the few boats that are transmitting, and now will never be visible to the rest of us. This seriously erodes the value of AIS, and slows it's full adoption.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:25 AM   #13
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I needed a new VHF radio. I always wanted an AIS receiver. I bought a Standard Horizon GX2150 which had an AIS receiver built in for $350!! The Garmin Receiver ONLY was $400+ depending on where you bought it. So I feel I got the AIS for free. Anyway, I have it hooked up with a Garmin 740s and am tickled pink with the whole set up....not to mention it sends GPS data back to the radio if you want to broadcast your position via DSC.

I think transponder is a generic term for an AIS transmitter. I may be wrong. But it is, in essence, a transponder.
Your GX2150 only receives AIS signals so it's not really a "transponder".

I am considering a GX2150 connected to my Garmin MFDs as well. I have a feeling those big ships aren't going to concern themselves too much with my little boat so as long as I know where they are I'll just stay out of their way.

Transmitting my location might be nice so friends and family could see where I am might be nice but I don't think it's worth the additional cost and complexity.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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I'd like to REALLY encourage you to get a full AIS transceiver (transmit and receive) so you can both see, and be seen. I think these receive-only devices are doing a huge dis-service to boating by leading people into believing they have AIS when they really don't. Tons and tons of people are checking "AIS" off their list because they can see the few boats that are transmitting, and now will never be visible to the rest of us. This seriously erodes the value of AIS, and slows it's full adoption.
If every jon boat had AIS transmitting capability, the ships would have to turn them off. It would result in far too much clutter. They are a requirement for boats above a certain size.

As I understand it, the US government was considering requiring all boats to install AIS transmitters for "Homeland Security" purposes. Fortunately, someone with a brain pointed out that anyone bent on causing harm could just cut the wire.

The biggest mistake I see is people using an "app" on their phones getting AIS locations off the Internet and thinking they have an AIS receiver. Internet AIS data is old and very incomplete.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:35 AM   #15
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just remember...till AIS is required for everything that moves on the water and even every navaid...your RADAR is by far the better tool.

Every boat that I have had a close call with in my foggy travel days both ICW, Chesapeake and Delaware bays was not required to have AIS.

For those that travel river systems frequented by large barge trains I certainly see your desire to at least be able to know what's coming.

Great tool but for many boaters ...but it's about the last electronic tool that will wind up on my boat because of how and where I boat (NJ to FL and back via the ICW).

I would be all over AIS if bridgetenders had to have a receiver....the bridge in Beaufort, NC almost closed on me because he had a guy go through ahead of me who hadn't spoke with him in over 15 minutes. He thought it was clear and almost closed on me. In the last 4000 miles of ICW travel...that's the closest I ever needed one and bridges I don't think are required to have them.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:42 AM   #16
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If every jon boat had AIS transmitting capability, the ships would have to turn them off. It would result in far too much clutter.
I don't buy the clutter argument. All those targets show up on Radar and we all seem to manage just fine. Why would it be any worse with AIS?

If someone is happy not being seen, then I think they also yield all right-of-way.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:56 AM   #17
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just remember...till AIS is required for everything that moves on the water and even every navaid...your RADAR is by far the better tool.
A couple of clarifications....

I'm not suggesting that AIS should be required, just as Radar is not required. Heck, even a VHF isn't required for rec boats.

I just think AIS is a very helpful ADDITIVE tool to aid in navigation. But it's only additive if people install it, and the value goes up exponentially the more people install it.

However, receive-only only helps YOU instead of helping you and everyone else who has AIS. The additive value of your receiver to the AIS community is zero because the pool of visible boats does not increase. Essentially you are freeloading off the rest of us who have added value to the pool of AIS visible boats by including a transmitter.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:10 AM   #18
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A couple of clarifications....

I'm not suggesting that AIS should be required, just as Radar is not required. Heck, even a VHF isn't required for rec boats.

I just think AIS is a very helpful ADDITIVE tool to aid in navigation. But it's only additive if people install it, and the value goes up exponentially the more people install it.

However, receive-only only helps YOU instead of helping you and everyone else who has AIS. The additive value of your receiver to the AIS community is zero because the pool of visible boats does not increase. Essentially you are freeloading off the rest of us who have added value to the pool of AIS visible boats by including a transmitter.
I think this is dangerous thinking in the rec boat community...as I said there's way more things to hit and kill yourself out there other than what has an AIS transceiver. Untill EVERTYTHING has one...you are better off learning to use RADAR like an AWACS aircraft or avoid traveling in limited vis.

I think they are great and think having a transponder is the way to go...but it just being a tool...and one farther down the food chain for how and where I boat...I wouldn't condemn another for freeloading (it is a safety tool even if underutilized in many people's way of thinking).
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:29 AM   #19
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I don't buy the clutter myth either. Just like terminal control areas for planes, controllers weren't overwhelmed by aircraft with transponders. It might get crowded at higher range rates, but knowing who's out there, how fast they're moving and where they're headed is incredibly valuable in any weather.

We also have a Garmin AIS 600 Transceiver with a dedicated antenna. It works wonderfully and was one of the easier installs we've done.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:49 AM   #20
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I don't buy the clutter myth either. Just like terminal control areas for planes, controllers weren't overwhelmed by aircraft with transponders. It might get crowded at higher range rates, but knowing who's out there, how fast they're moving and where they're headed is incredibly valuable in any weather.

We also have a Garmin AIS 600 Transceiver with a dedicated antenna. It works wonderfully and was one of the easier installs we've done.

Right, in fact, the more there are the more important it is to see them all.
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