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Author Topic:   Intrigued by AIS
fno posted 02-13-2013 09:33 PM ET (US)   Profile for fno   Send Email to fno  
Being intrigued by [another discussion about the sorry state of GMDSS and DSC usage], I took a look at the Standard Horizon website only to find that they have a fixed mount model that incorporates a built in GPS receiver. This is the Explorer GX1700 @ $230. I also found a AIS receiver integrated model Matrix GX2150 listed at $400 on a S-H outlet website. I find it interesting that I can buy an AIS receiver that comes with a VHF radio for such a low price and that it will integrate with other devices using NMEA-0183 protocols. What I would like to understand is, that the integration of the Matrix 2150 with say a Lowrance or Simrad product provide worthwile AIS information on one of their chart plotters. I would not mind spending the $300 compared to $700 dollars for the NAIS-400 from Navico if the Standard Horizon will provide the same information on the screen. I do not consider myself knowledgable to make this decision. Perhaps others with more familiarity can provide some input.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-13-2013 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here's what AIS looks like on Garmin 740 using a SH GX 2100 as the source input. Note the 2100 AIS data is the same as the 2150.



jimh posted 02-13-2013 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You may be a bit confused about the term "Class-B". I edited it out of your article. It only applies to transponders. AIS receivers are mostly all the same. Some very early models only monitored one channel at a time; most now monitor two channels simultaneously.

Here is a fairly recent round-up of AIS receivers that are stand-alone receivers:

AIS Receiver Round Up

Since I compiled that list, it has become more common to have an AIS receiver combined with a VHF Marine Band radio. Standard-Horizon was the leader in this field. At his moment there are also very nice new radios coming from NAVICO that offer AIS. See the discussion in

New VHF Radios from NAVICO with NMEA-2000

You seem to want to compare an AIS receiver to an AIS transponder. They are completely different devices. 99-percent of recreational boaters will not have an AIS transponder. Many recreational boaters will have an AIS receiver.

What you are going to see on the screen depends more on the chart plotter than on the AIS receiver. I show many examples in

AIS Ship Spotting

with displays from PolarView NS and from a Lowrance HDS-8

Also, here are two more recent articles I have written about AIS:

AIS Class B Transponder Round Up

AIS Antenna

jimh posted 02-13-2013 11:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Showing the location of AIS targets on a chart plotter should be straight-forward. About the only value-added situation that might occur if you used a particular brand of chart plotter with the same brand of AIS receiver and VHF Marine Band radio would be if the two devices were nicely integrated so that from the screen of the chart plotter you could control the radio to make a DSC call to a particular AIS target just by using the chart plotter screen to select the target.

I have not seen any actual instance of this sort of integration happening yet in any of the gear I have used. This sort of integration will be nice. If you see a target on the chart plotter and want to call that vessel using DSC, it would be nice if the chart plotter could provide a fast and easy way to do it. Or, perhaps the radio itself will offer the feature, and the chart plotter would just be icing on the cake if it did could do it, too.

fno posted 02-14-2013 06:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Jimh--thanks for clarifying my confusion on the existing discussions of transponders vs. receivers. My interest with this began after my purchase of a Simrad NSS-8 chart plotter. I do not need or really want a transponder. A receiver at a lower price point would be interesting to incorporate with my chartplotter. It seems that Simrad is one step ahead of me also. I will look into their VHF options. If I do get one, I will report back on it's suitability as a radio and AIS reciever.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-14-2013 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I have a Simrad NNS8 installed next to my Garmin 740 on my 210 Ventura. I also have a SH GX2100 connected to the NSS8 so I can display AIS targets on it in addition to the Garmin 740. It works as advertised.

Photo of Dashboard


jimh posted 02-14-2013 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I will compile a list of VHF Marine Band radios that have AIS receivers, but I am waiting for the Miami International Boat Show to end. There are often new product introductions made there. I expect to find some new radios or chart plotters come on the market.

There is a lot to like about the Simrad chart plotters. In general they seem very sophisticated in how they present features like DSC and AIS. I am sure the NSS-8 will present AIS in a proper manner.

jimh posted 02-14-2013 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For a small boat, receiving AIS as part of the VHF Marine Band radio will typically be preferred to using a dedicated AIS receiver. A dedicated AIS receiver will need its own antenna. An AIS receiver as part of a VHF Marine Band radio can share the radio's antenna. Since a small boat will typically not have room for a separate and dedicated AIS receive-only antenna, combining AIS and VHF Marine Band radio into one device is very attractive.

A single antenna could be shared between a VHF Marine Band radio and an AIS receiver, but some sort of antenna coupler device will be needed. These devices often cost as much as radio or a receiver. I don't see much application for them on a small boat.

The added cost of an AIS receiver in a modern VHF Marine Band radio appears to be less than $100. At that incremental cost, if you are planning on buying a new radio, it becomes hard to resist adding an AIS receiver.

fno posted 02-14-2013 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
Thanks, Tom. I figred you would already have done this or know something about it already. Do you have anything else networked to your NSS? I will PM you with more questions if it is OK with you.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-14-2013 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
PM or email me glad to help.
jimh posted 02-14-2013 11:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Or, just exchange information here. I am sure it will be of interest to other NSS-8 owners.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-15-2013 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
The only thing I have networked to my NSS8 is the WM 2 Sirius Weather Module. I have my Garmin 740 and Simrad NSS8 connected via N2k backbone so they are able to exchange positional andsonar (depth/water temp) data. They are good companions when it comes to exchanging data.

This is what the NSS8 sees on the N2k network Simrad%20to%20Garmin%20N2k/shot3.png

This is what the 740 sees on the N2k network Simrad%20to%20Garmin%20N2k/23FEB12_1722_03.jpg Simrad%20to%20Garmin%20N2k/23FEB12_1722_04.jpg

Both the 740/NSS8 can display each others equipment software versions. Simrad%20to%20Garmin%20N2k/23FEB12_1722_02.jpg

The NSS8 can use its own Simrad positional data or the Garmins. It's selectable. Simrad%20Garmin%20Network%20Bridging/shot20.png

Here's the NSS8 using the Garmins positional data. Simrad%20Garmin%20Network%20Bridging/shot12.png


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