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Old 02-06-2019, 11:41 PM   #1
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Vesper XB8000

I am looking for feedback from anyone (and everyone ) who uses the above AIS, particularly as it pertains to the anchor alarm function. How does it work for you? Is it easy to use, reliable, etc.?
I am trying to decide if this AIS is worth the extra cost for our use, compared to say an Em-Trak B100 (half the price). I know that is not an apples to apples comparison, but I do understand the other features the Vesper offers, but the anchor alarm function seems like a great idea!
I did post an earlier thread regarding AIS, and received lots of good info, but nothing about this feature (probably cause I didn't ask )

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:13 AM   #2
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Did you see this thread about how it worked on a coastal voyage? Sea Biscuit now in Greenwell Point 550nm in 62 hours
(I always thought vespers were prayers offered in Church).
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:08 AM   #3
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We installed a Vesper unit on Oma prior to the trip up from green turtle bay to chicago. Unit did everything we needed - bridged the NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 network. Wireless access point, gps and AIS. The anchor alarm worked well. We were anchored behind a towhead in about 1-2kt current on the Illinois river when the anchor alarm woke us. With visions of us floating down the river we went on deck to find the wind had blown us up current. Had I looked at the iPad (which runs the anchor alarm,) I would have seen that were were upstream, not down stream, and might have put some pants on prior to going on deck... feedback. Great unit, anchor alarm works well.
Paul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
I am looking for feedback from anyone (and everyone ) who uses the above AIS, particularly as it pertains to the anchor alarm function. How does it work for you? Is it easy to use, reliable, etc.?
I am trying to decide if this AIS is worth the extra cost for our use, compared to say an Em-Trak B100 (half the price). I know that is not an apples to apples comparison, but I do understand the other features the Vesper offers, but the anchor alarm function seems like a great idea!
I did post an earlier thread regarding AIS, and received lots of good info, but nothing about this feature (probably cause I didn't ask )

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:34 AM   #4
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I bought the 8000 mainly for the anchor alarm after a drag and soft grounding one rainy night.

I came to appreciate the AIS wireless features running Watchman on my iPad and use it over the NMEA connection to my MFD.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:19 AM   #5
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Following this. I had the Vesper XB-8000 installed on Monday, and I had the optional amplified antenna added. Won't have a chance to really use it fully until March.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:40 PM   #6
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I'm not a big anchor alarm user. Usually, just keeping the cell phone with a charting app running next to my berth is enough. When I really need an alarm is when I'm just a few feet from the rocks on either side, and no alarm is going to warn me in time anyway. Needless to say, I don't sleep well in those anchorages.

That said, The Vesper is well worth the price. I've used it for three seasons now and it's one of the most useful devices I've ever bought.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Anyone else feel free to add to this.
Looks like I will probably go with the Vesper, as I haven't heard a negative report.
I will go the dedicated antenna route as it costs less than the splitter and is supposedly "better".
Tom
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Thanks for the replies. Anyone else feel free to add to this.
Looks like I will probably go with the Vesper, as I haven't heard a negative report.
I will go the dedicated antenna route as it costs less than the splitter and is supposedly "better".
Tom
Tom, from what my electronics guy told me these have an internal antenna that works fine without an external at all.

However, as I said above, I wasn't comfortable with this, so added the amplified antenna. $250.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:41 AM   #9
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I have the unit, easy install, operates just fine and good support. I don't use the anchor alarm, but probably could. Overall very happy.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post
Tom, from what my electronics guy told me these have an internal antenna that works fine without an external at all.

However, as I said above, I wasn't comfortable with this, so added the amplified antenna. $250.

Hi Menzies,
I wonder if we are talking about the same antenna? I am talking about the antenna for transmitting and receiving (VHF style antenna) so as not to share it with the radio, as opposed to the GPS antenna. I am hoping not to have to install an external (outside the boat) GPS antenna for this unit.

For the GPS antenna, Vesper suggested placing their supplied "external to the unit" GPS antenna somewhere inside the boat, as usually (assuming a fibreglass boat) it works fine like that.
SeeVee,
Thanks for the comments on the unit.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:17 AM   #11
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Tom, he is here finishing the AIS and chartplotter installs on the bat, I will clarify with him.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:49 AM   #12
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I have two of these. The anchor alarm works well, though no better than most other anchor alarms. You can leave just it running and not all the other instruments which saves batteries. The unit itself is very good, and factory support is excellent. I wish they would add to the anchor alarm the ability to specify a sector of the anchor circle as a fence. Very often what I want to know is if I have swung significantly, not just dragged out of the circle. A big swing indicates a change of tide or wind, which might warrant a check. The only one that offers that as far as I know is Furuno.

If all you need is an anchor alarm, the iOS "Anchor" app works very well. May be available for Android too, don't know.

You can use the Vesper supplied antenna inside, usually works great. It is quite tall though, so if mounting say above the headliner, you can also use any amplified patch antenna (ebay for $10 - $20) with an SMA connector. As I recall is uses the 5V version rather than 3.3V.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:29 AM   #13
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I've an XB-8000 and was planning on a separate antenna, the retailer I bought it from, who only does AIS, said that they have had more problems with interference between separate AIS antennas and VHF antennas than with splitters. He recommended using the Vesper splitter. Made it super easy, no finding a place for another antenna and running wire. The splitter also has an output for am/fm radio.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean9c View Post
I've an XB-8000 and was planning on a separate antenna, the retailer I bought it from, who only does AIS, said that they have had more problems with interference between separate AIS antennas and VHF antennas than with splitters. He recommended using the Vesper splitter. Made it super easy, no finding a place for another antenna and running wire. The splitter also has an output for am/fm radio.
Yep, that is what he is putting in:

VESPER XB-8000 HIGH PERFORMANCE AIS TRANSPONDER PACKAGE W/AIS ONLY ANTENNA

VESPER AMPLIFIED AIS / VHF / FM ANTENNA SPLITTER
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:35 PM   #15
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Many opinions, lots of them conflicting, as to separate antenna or splitter. The arguments appear to be interference between antennas or more connections and possible failure points (the splitter itself, the connectors, etc.).

I talked to the antenna manufacturer yesterday, (I know, not an unbiased source), and they stated that I shouldn't have interference as the 2 antennas will be at least 6 feet apart horizontally, and one will be mounted 5 feet higher (the VHF) than the other (AIS). Each antenna is "tuned" to give optimum performance for the specific device. I already have mounts and wire clamps in place (so no new holes needed), so I guess I will give the 2 antennas a try. I will replace the wiring as well. Hope I don't regret that
Thanks for all the info and advice, and it looks like I will go with the Vesper unit.
Tom
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