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Author Topic:   AIS on the Mississippi River
6992WHALER posted 06-25-2012 09:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for 6992WHALER   Send Email to 6992WHALER  
A couple weeks ago, I spent a weekend on the Mississippi river south of Wabasha MN.

This was the first time I was able to us my Standard Horizon GX2100 as an AIS receiver after I connected it to my Garmin 3206 GPS units last fall.

I was surprised at the range I had on the winding river, the radio has a 15 mile range and I noticed one AIS target at 13.6 miles. This range was achieved after I switched from my 8 foot antenna to my 3 foot whip antenna.

This information will be really helpful in avoiding 2 hour plus delays caused by tow boats at the locks, and to avoid surprise encounters coming around the bend on dark nights.

The Radio screen is showing two AIS contacts. The Cynthia G has been selected thus turning her line and circle Black (the dot almost in the center of the screen is her). current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ10QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8713. jpg

The two AIS contacts on the GPS screen: current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ12QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8708. jpg current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ11QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8709. jpg

Cynthia G. Esper off the bow in person and electronically. current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ5QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8726. jpg current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ4QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8727. jpg current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ7QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8723. jpg current=IMG_8747.jpg#!oZZ8QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs18.photobucket. com%2Falbums%2Fb115%2Fjohndraby%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DIMG_8722. jpg

I probably saw 6 tow boats that weekend. The important information was correct but other things like draft was wrong on a few (36 ft or more).

The Garmin GPS would show new AIS targets before the radio would show them. I find that interesting because the radio is giving the information to the Garmin GPS

K Albus posted 06-26-2012 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
The Owner's Manual for the GX2100 shows that you can adjust the range of the AIS display to 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, or 15 nautical miles. The default setting is 15 nautical miles. I assume that you were aware of the adjustment range and had it set to the highest setting. Would the radio show ships that were more than 15 NM away on the AIS list, even though they weren't shown on the AIS map?

On the GX2150 there is an additional range setting of 25 miles. Also, I believe the AIS screen on the GX2150 shows the selected range. The AIS screen on the radio is helpful. I keep mine set at the 10 mile range. I usually keep my GPS/chartplotter zoomed in quite a bit closer. With the radio's AIS screen set at 10 miles I can see approaching ships that are not yet shown on the zoomed-in chartplotter display. Also, the AIS targets can sometimes get lost in the clutter on the chartplotter. The AIS display on the radio helps by identifying the general area to search for the target.

K Albus posted 06-26-2012 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
By the way, John, I really like how your Garmin 3206 displays the AIS targets as filled-in red triangles. My Simrad NSS8 shows them as black triangle outlines. Like I said in my previous post, the targets can easily get lost in the clutter on my NSS8. I'm going to have to play around with it to see if I can get the targets to show in a different color or format.
tmann45 posted 06-26-2012 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
What was the range with the 8-foot antenna before you switched to the 3-foot antenna?
K Albus posted 06-26-2012 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Does the AIS system provide information about the barges or just the tug/tow boat?
bluewaterpirate posted 06-26-2012 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I'm seeing 20 mile AIS responses in the open ocean using my SH GX2100 connected to an 8 foot antenna.

For KA ..... I didn't connect my Simrad NSS8 my SH instead choosing to stay with the Garmin 740 to SH connectivity. Garmin by far has the best AIS displays at the moment.


Screenshots 2187-1-1.jpg?t=1292250997 jpg?t=1292193074


6992WHALER posted 06-26-2012 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Kevin, I had the radio set to 15 mile range. No info on the cargo just the tug. Some had destination information. One North bound said it's destination was LA arrival Feb 10, 2013?

tmann, 13.6 is not the maximum range it is the furthest away that I noticed an AIS contact. Unfortunately it was coming in my direction so I did not get to see how much more range I had.

It will be interesting to see if the radio will receive AIS information over 15 miles. I have to believe it will.

6992WHALER posted 07-13-2012 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Last week I was up on lake Superior.
I noticed one AIS contact at 23.5 miles.

It did not show on the radio but it was on the Chart plotter with all of its information.

There were several islands between the AIS contact and myself.

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