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Old 08-24-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
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Loran-C in the PNW

Well, it hung on a few months longer than the rest of the continent but Loran-C in the PNW is officially dead now.* Most of the Loran stations were shut down back in Februrary or so but the PNW chain was left on, apparently because one of the stations is in BC and the Canadians had a different timetable for turning it off.

But when we went out this past weekend we were getting this loud beep alarm every eight to ten minutes*from the navigation panel we hadn't heard before.* I thought it was something in the multi-function depth/knot/time/etc display that I'd inadvertently turned on but eventually found that it was the alarm in the nice Furuno Loran-C unit that had come with the boat.* The signal indicators were blinking and the position was not being updated.

So that's that.* Now I've got to figure out what to put in the hole in the panel.**We don't need another radio, we've already got two independent dedicated GPS chart plotters, and we have a loud hailer/intercom.* So I'm thinking maybe a nice wind speed/direction indicator like we had on the racing*sailboats I crewed on.



-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 11:24:40 PM
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:05 AM   #2
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Yep, a weather station would be a goer, and there are wireless ones quite cheap.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:35 AM   #3
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

I'm not touching mine for now. You know how the gummit is... they're likely to re-start the system at extreme expense one day because somebody figured out it was a good back-up to GPS.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Yeah, we're in no hurry to take the unit out. It's not taking up space we need for anything else and it looks good in the panel so we'll leave it for now. Usually electronics get replaced because they fail or develop some intermittent problem. It's annoying to have a piece of electronics that functions just great but "they" rendered the system inoperative by shutting down the signals the unit uses.

I can't imagine it cost much to keep the Loran chains on the air. I don't know what the stations consisted of but it was probably a fairly simple transmitter that operated automatically and required maintenance and adjustment fairly infrequently. Given all the overpriced, over-staffed operations the government has today I would have thought the budget for Loran-C chains was not even a blip on the radar.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:37 AM   #5
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

"Given all the overpriced, over-staffed operations the government has today I would have thought the budget for Loran-C chains was not even a blip on the radar."
"

The sorrow will come when Iran or North Korea pops off a nuke in orbit and almost EVERYTHING goes down.

Sat Nav , power grid, banks most ,computers even car and truck units.

STONE AGE , since most commerce will be out as kids are no longer able to add or subtract (thanks teachers) so even ca$h will be hard too use.

How many months cash do you have under the mattress? 6 months?
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:15 AM   #6
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
FF wrote:

The sorrow will come when Iran or North Korea pops off a nuke in orbit and almost EVERYTHING goes down.

Sat Nav , power grid, banks most ,computers even car and truck units.

STONE AGE , since most commerce will be out as kids are no longer able to add or subtract (thanks teachers) so even ca$h will be hard too use.

How many months cash do you have under the mattress? 6 months?
FF,

Do you still have a bomb shelter?** Just asking?

If this all comes to pass you and your friends with guns will be able to get what ever you want and you won't have to worry about "kids that can't count".

The only thing you have to remember is that even some of the folks on the other side have them as well, and know how to use them.

*
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #7
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

In an attempt to get back to Marin's request for plugging a hole in his panel because of the removal of the Loran instrument, I offer the following suggestion. Although not a cheap solution, a FloScan is a very valuable thing to have. Not only does it inform you as to your present fuel usage, gallons remaining, etc., it also alerts you to fuel leaks, trends in your engine operation and distance remaining. I monitor mine frequently during my instrument scan. If your engine is not electronically controlled, a FloScan is very valuable.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

AIS unit if you don't already have that capability?
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
FF wrote:


The sorrow will come when Iran or North Korea pops off a nuke in orbit and almost EVERYTHING goes down.

Sat Nav , power grid, banks most ,computers even car and truck units.

STONE AGE , since most commerce will be out as kids are no longer able to add or subtract (thanks teachers) so even ca$h will be hard too use.

How many months cash do you have under the mattress? 6 months?
What the H*ll does this have to do with boating?**
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
Keith wrote:

AIS unit if you don't already have that capability?
I've thought of that--- we don't have that capability at present.* But I'm not sure how much value it would really add to our boating.* I admit I don't know that much about it as far as marine traffic goes.* I am*familiar with transponders and codes and radar display information and*whatnot in aviation.* As I understand it AIS provides vessel information like who it is, what it is,*where it's*headed, and how fast it's heading there.* I can see where that could be useful in some situations or some areas.* But so far in twelve years of boating these waters I can't think of an instance where*we needed that information in a way*we weren't already getting it.

On those occasions when we can't see traffic (or even when we can)*the radar tells us where it is, where it's going, and how fast it's going there relative to our boat.* So far*we've found that information from that source*is all we've needed.

I'm not saying AIS isn't useful or valuable but I have yet to see how it would fit into our boating operation in a way*that would warrant the investment.

-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 26th of August 2010 08:34:49 PM
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:51 AM   #11
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Marin,
AIS gives you that bit more than the dada.
Name ,rank and serial of the vessel you want to contact to check his intentions and also ensure that he knows you are there.
It is probly the greatest safety device we have been give access to in many years.
That is in regards to commercial shipping and their approach to we small minows in their big pond.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:38 AM   #12
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

How bout a great Magnavox Sat Nav , for the historical look?
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:45 AM   #13
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

I want AIS mostly so I can call the towboat ahead of me by name, rather than "that westbound tow about MM145". Some of the towboats around here don't even have a name on the stern, or in letters so small you can't read them until you're right up on him passing.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:02 AM   #14
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
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I want AIS mostly so I can call the towboat ahead of me by name, rather than "that westbound tow about MM145". Some of the towboats around here don't even have a name on the stern, or in letters so small you can't read them until you're right up on him passing.
Thats exactly the spot I find it most useful, for $189 you can get a receiver or Standard Horizon has a VHF with an AIS receiver for about $300. The VHF also has a 30 watt hailer with fog signals! *That would be the cheapest way to go, no need to add an antenna just for AIS. Both of them can be hooked up to a chartplotter or navigation software that supports AIS. *
http://www.milltechmarine.com/Smart-...ver_p_167.html


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http://www.standardhorizon.com/index...41A0167DE2A031


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Old 08-27-2010, 12:52 PM   #15
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Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
Tidahapah wrote:
Name ,rank and serial of the vessel you want to contact to check his intentions and also ensure that he knows you are there.* It is probly the greatest safety device we have been give access to in many years.
I can see where it could be extremely valuable in some areas in some boating conditions.* But I don't see that it would add much value to our boating up here.* The waters we boat in--- which is where the majority of the commercial shipping traffic is--- are covered by VTS.* All the commericial vessels are on it and it provides all the same information you listed albeit not automatically.* It's a verbal system augmented by shoreline radar coverage of the shipping lanes.* We use it whenever we are going to be in or crossing a shipping lane in poor visibility.

Given the high volume of recreational boat traffic in this area I'm sure there have been some close calls over the years.* But in all the years we've been boating here--- since about 1987 or so--- I can only recall one actual collision between a recreational boat and a commercial vessel and that was off Vancouver when a totally inexperienced boater ran his brand new boat between a tug and its tow at night on his way to watch some fireworks.* The boat was run over by the tow and a fair number of the extended family on board were killed.* But AIS would not have made any difference in this case as none of the boat's nav gear was even turned on.

In the twelve years we've been boating in the GB and the eleven or so years prior when we boated and fished the same waters in the Arima I cannot recall a single time when we needed or wanted to contact a commercial vessel at all, let alone by name.* The only exception is Active Pass in the Gulf Islands, a narrow, high-current, dogleg pass that is used by the BC ferries running between the mainland and Sidney on Vancouver Island.* They always call entering the pass from either direction and other boats are expected to do the same if there is a ferry present.

So I can certainly see how AIS would be a very if not critical aid in crowded waterways with a high mix of recreational and commercial traffic like the ICW or along the Gulf shore.* But out here where there is lots of maneuvering room in and around the shipping lanes and ferry routes, plus VTS, I'm not convinced there is much return on investment with AIS.* I'm not advocating that people up here shouldn't get it, just that if you don't have it I don't see it being someting to rush out and get.* Unless it's real cheap and takes moments to install, which I don't believe it is.* At least not the cheap part.

All the boaters and fishermen we have known over the years here simply know to stay out of the way of the commerical vessels, and that ships and ferries are always moving a lot faster than they appear to be


-- Edited by Marin on Friday 27th of August 2010 01:05:02 PM
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:42 PM   #16
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

I have no opinion on what is or is not needed in the PNW as I have only every had the privilege of boating there once, for Sea Fair a few years back (awesome time by the way).**

I will chime in that there are some inexpensive (less than $200) AIS receivers that can interface with existing chart plotting systems, including laptop based.*

We have made good use of AIS, including radioing a tanker by name in the middle of the night while we were sailing*from SF*to Hawaii to make sure he saw us on HIS AIS or radar.* The AIS indicated we would*crossa little close for our comfort.* He acknowledged that he saw us on AIS*and after we spoke he altered course a bit and gave us a much wider berth.**Maybe they would have anyway or maybe we woke them up.* Who's to say?? *It did take quite awhile for them to respond but I've heard sometimes the commercial ships from overseas have to find a crew member that speaks English to answer the radio.

The flip side is, if you are in a crowded area like Marin is describing in the PNW*the AIS is really annoying as the "dangerous target" alarm will go off non-stop.* We only turn it on when we NEED it, like reduced visibility conditions.* Hopefully you have enough sense to stay out of the way of the big ships that you can see clearly without needing some electronic gizmo beeping at you!
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:55 AM   #17
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
Keith wrote:

I want AIS mostly so I can call the towboat ahead of me by name, rather than "that westbound tow about MM145". Some of the towboats around here don't even have a name on the stern, or in letters so small you can't read them until you're right up on him passing.
I'm with Keith on this....and I plan on making my next improvement an AIS 'cause it can get a little "busy" around here on the Gulf Coast and ICW with all the petro-chemical and many other industries dependent upon ships and tugs.

As recreational boaters I think it's fair to say that it just depends on your comfort level....however, I understand that commercial boats are required by law to have AIS (transciever) aboard and turned on.

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Old 08-30-2010, 10:34 AM   #18
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

I have been told that to buy an AIS that will show you the target on your chart plotter, the plotter must be NMEA 2000 compliant. Is that true? Are there any AIS systems out there that can talk (plot) to NMEA 183 plotters? (Not lap tops but NMEA 183 MFD chart plotters.)
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:18 PM   #19
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RE: Loran-C in the PNW

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:

I have been told that to buy an AIS that will show you the target on your chart plotter, the plotter must be NMEA 2000 compliant. Is that true? Are there any AIS systems out there that can talk (plot) to NMEA 183 plotters? (Not lap tops but NMEA 183 MFD chart plotters.)
My Standard Horizon CP1000 12"chart plotter will show AIS but does not have NMEA 2000. It does have NMEA 0183. So the answer to your question is NO its NOT true.


AIS is a simple system. Its basically a VHF radio receiver. It then decodes the messages and puts out the info on a common bus. That bus can be either NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000 depending on how the AIS receiver is designed.

Go look at some AIS receivers on the market today and you will see.
R.

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