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Old 09-16-2015, 04:23 PM   #1
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Questions on AIS Antenna

After last years trip on the lakes and Detroit River with the freighters, commercial boats and ferries which are all faster than me, I have decided to add ais class b transponder. I've bought a Comar csb200 that I'll install over winter or next spring. My question for those of you with experience in this area is should I go with a dedicated antenna or a splitter, I'am leaning towards a dedicated antenna, it seems to be the most simply and trouble free installation. What have you all have to say? Also if any of you have the Comar unit any tips on programming, installation or reviews would be much appreciated.


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Old 09-16-2015, 04:29 PM   #2
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I have the Garmin with built in splitter....however chose to use a dedicated antenna. Sorry have no experience with the Comar but am interested in why you chose it?
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:00 PM   #3
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I ran across some seller on eBay that had them at a very substantial savings on new units. I did some research but could not find much from anyone actually using one, my electronics are NMEA 0183 that I've done all the wiring on and this should add in with no problems, plus I like the silent mode. I did find this http://www.milltechmarine.com/Comar-...der_p_153.html



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Old 09-16-2015, 06:21 PM   #4
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When I installed my Raymarine AIS Transceiver, I mounted this antenna to a 4' extension so it would be 8'. It is dedicated to only the AIS.


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Old 09-16-2015, 06:36 PM   #5
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Go dedicated.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:00 PM   #6
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Our boat came with AIS. I'm pretty sure that the VHS antenna does double-duty.
In fact, I believe that the AIS is actually integrated with the VHS.
Does this sound right?
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:05 PM   #7
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Go dedicated.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:08 PM   #8
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Since AIS uses Marine VHF channels 87A and 88A, no need for a special "AIS" antenna ($$$). Any marine VHF antenna will work.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:11 PM   #9
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I went for a dedicated, not because I have a detailed technical perspective on what is better - I just felt for a few $ there is no chance of conflict and in my mind it is a lot simpler, and on boats my view is simpler is better!

I went for an em-track B100. It was inexpensive and has worked fine for the 3 years I have had it. There is a silent mode on it too, though not via a simple external switch like some others.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:39 PM   #10
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WWe went with a dedicated antenna, and made sure that the proper vertical separation requirements were met.

I do not know if other manufacturers have a vertical separation recommendation, but furuno does.
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Old 09-16-2015, 11:41 PM   #11
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I went for a dedicated, not because I have a detailed technical perspective on what is better - I just felt for a few $ there is no chance of conflict and in my mind it is a lot simpler, and on boats my view is simpler is better!

I went for an em-track B100. It was inexpensive and has worked fine for the 3 years I have had it. There is a silent mode on it too, though not via a simple external switch like some others.
Same here, em-trak B100, and a separate (dedicated) antenna. The splitter would probably work, lots of people do it that way, but just too much of a hassle for me, one more layer of complexity I don't need. VHF antennas are just not that expensive and I'm no Einstein when it comes to marine electronics. So my radar arch bristles with one more whip, oh well.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:53 AM   #12
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and made sure that the proper vertical separation requirements were met.

Something new. What is this?
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:00 PM   #13
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Something new. What is this?
On my Furuno AIS they recommend a 4' vertical separation so that the two antennas (radio and ais) are not blasting high power RF energy into each others receivers.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:51 PM   #14
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I may have to move my AIS or my VHF antenna. They are right next to each other....
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:42 PM   #15
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I may have to move my AIS or my VHF antenna. They are right next to each other....
Huh. My manual says a 4 foot separation (prefer 6) but doesn't say vertical so I just had the two antennas installed on opposite sides of the radar arch. I know the antennas put out a signal in a horizontal plane, but heck, the boats on either side of ours at the marina could have antennas at generally the same level and that doesn't seem to make any difference or cause interference. Hmmm...
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:32 PM   #16
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I believe the collective wisdom of the group have made their voices heard and reinforced my initial thoughts. My VHF antennas are mounted on the top of the arch, I'll mount the AIS on a small flat spot at the front center of the fly bridge behind the spotlight. Thank you for helping me with this project.


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Old 09-18-2015, 11:33 AM   #17
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Ooh! Ooh! Here's something I know about!

To avoid interference you want to have at least a half wavelength separation (either vertical or horizontal) between any two antennas that are transmitting in the same range of frequencies (as are Marine VHF and AIS). A full wavelength is better.

So, AIS operates around 162 MHz, which is a wavelength of about 1.85 meters. Hence, minimum separation should be about three feet, and better would be a little over six feet (more separation doesn't hurt).
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:42 PM   #18
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One more question for the group, the way I read the manual it has has a GPS receiver but it has a connection for a GPS antenna. Can anyone recommend a good quality GPS antenna that would be suitable for the unit and use on a boat. As always thank you for helping me sort this project out. Here is a screenshot on the info from the manual and a pic of the connection, the TNC On the right is GPS, the BNC is for the VHF antenna.Click image for larger version

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ID:	44858Click image for larger version

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Old 09-23-2015, 01:01 PM   #19
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Found what I need is a AG100 from Comar. Did a search and bought a Furuno GPS antenna with the the same specs for $26.00 shipped. When completed I'll have $300.00 give or take in this project. Now to find a VHF antenna.


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Old 09-23-2015, 01:24 PM   #20
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Wow my Raymarine AIS 650 came with a GPS antenna
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