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Old 11-20-2018, 07:44 AM   #13
Maerin's Avatar
City: East Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Maerin
Vessel Model: Solo 4303
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 698
My transponder is a now-discontinued AMEC 101 Camino. Purchased from Milltech, highly recommend them. Works perfectly. NMEA 0183 output into a multiplexer with its own dedicated GPS as well as the VHF antenna which is purpose made for AIS. My experience with different AIS's is that the VHF antenna has a significant impact on range, I am not a big fan of splitters, just seems like adding a point of failure for 2 devices. Mount the antenna high and alone if possible. The dedicated GPS also allows for a redundant GPS, which was helpful when one went TU.

Regarding your older Raymarine, it may not use AIS, you'll have to read the manual. It also will need a dedicated NMEA connection to the AIS- to the point that it will have to be 38,400 baud. You can have multiple devices listening to the AIS output, but they must be configured to the proper baud rate. Rosepoint's NEMO gateway would be a big help, although as others have mentioned, certain Vesper models can act as a gateway. The guys at Milltech can guide you, it will pay you to gain some familiarity with the technical aspects of connecting all the devices unless you plan to have outside help. NMEA connection can be very frustrating with each manufacturer having slightly different schemes, color codes, etc.

One thing with NMEA to watch is configuring the sentences each device is transmitting. NMEA0183 is relatively slow with narrow bandwidth. You'll be tempted to just turn on ALL the sentences to make sure you have everything you need, but it can overload the network and cause it to lock up. Same with data loops with say GPS information being generated by multiple sources. So turn on ONLY those sentences you need, and avoid duplication between devices. A multiplexer or gateway will address that problem. It will be a big help to diagram out the connections and the sentences on the connections before stringing any cable. NMEA 0183 isn't plug and play, N2K is (well, it's supposed to be). Attached is a pdf that deals with NMEA sentences, very helpful.

I use an Actisense NDC-4; my system is all NMEA as yours is, and, although it's old technology by today's standards, once configured, it's pretty bulletproof. It's worked great for me in 8 yrs of full time cruising and some 30,0000 miles.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf NMEA__sentence_info.pdf (111.4 KB, 18 views)
Steve Sipe
Selene 4303 Maerin
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