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  #41  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
To my knowledge the integrated VHF/AIS units are all receive only.

To my knowledge there are no transmitter-only units available -- given the timing mechanism to avoid transmission conflicts I don't see any way to build such a unit.

Hmmm.... so does this mean that the integrated VHF/AIS-receive units that are coming from every VHF manufacturer are incompatible with any onboard AIS transmit capability?

I really like the fact that the GPS/VHF/AIS are all connected in one, dispensing with the need (and failure points and gain loss) of external connections. I also like that these integrated radios are cheap.

In the boat that I am hoping to buy the VHF is very old, and begs for replacement. Adding a AIS/VHF, would be cheap (compared to a transponder) and would get me started with AIS. However, I don't want to close the door on adding a transponder down the road.

Is there any way to add an AIS transponder/transmitter to a boat that has an integrated VHF/AIS unit without messing things up?

MedSailor

PS Another negative for splitters; my dad just installed one and I helped him with some of the wiring. The instructions say to wire it to the same breaker as your VHF to ensure that you never transmit with the splitter turned off. Why? The manual says if you transmit without the splitter being powered up you will fry your VHF.
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  #42  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Hmmm.... so does this mean that the integrated VHF/AIS-receive units that are coming from every VHF manufacturer are incompatible with any onboard AIS transmit capability?

I really like the fact that the GPS/VHF/AIS are all connected in one, dispensing with the need (and failure points and gain loss) of external connections. I also like that these integrated radios are cheap.
Having the AIS integrated with VHF also gives you the useful feature of selecting the AIS target and doing a direct DSC call to the ship. It's much nicer than manually entering an MMSI number.

If you installed an integrated VHF/AIS and later wanted to upgrade to a full transponder, you could just disconnect the radio's AIS output from your chartplotter and connect the transponder's AIS output to it instead. You'd still have the AIS on your radio (for making DSC calls), but the chartplotter display of your AIS targets would be coming from your transponder instead. (Or, leave the radio feeding your chartplotter and don't connect the transponder's AIS output to anything.)

Note that you would need a GPS signal to go to BOTH, so you'd have to split that wire (NMEA 0183 allows up to three devices off the same wire) or provide another GPS signal.

Not many people mention this, but if you want to put in a full transponder now, you should consider the SH GX2000 radio. That radio will interface with an external AIS transponder and give you the same targeted DSC calling capability as the GX2150 or GX2200. Just another thing to consider...
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  #43  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Hmmm.... so does this mean that the integrated VHF/AIS-receive units that are coming from every VHF manufacturer are incompatible with any onboard AIS transmit capability?


Yes. That is correct.

There is no VHF with AIS transmit capability.





Mark
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  #44  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
The manual says if you transmit without the splitter being powered up you will fry your VHF.
So one part accidentally blows up and it takes the rest with it.
Thats just what we dont want.
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  #45  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Hmmm.... so does this mean that the integrated VHF/AIS-receive units that are coming from every VHF manufacturer are incompatible with any onboard AIS transmit capability?
I think "incompatible" too strong a word. AFAIK, there is no reason you can't have AIS in your radio, and an AIS transponder in addition. You'll have two AIS receivers, and will need to pick which one you want to interface with your chartplotter. They'll be redundant.

"Incompatible" implies that the two would interfere with each other. As long as you configure it correctly, it should provide no interference. You might end up using only one of the two receivers.
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  #46  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
If you installed an integrated VHF/AIS and later wanted to upgrade to a full transponder, you could just disconnect the radio's AIS output from your chartplotter and connect the transponder's AIS output to it instead. You'd still have the AIS on your radio (for making DSC calls), but the chartplotter display of your AIS targets would be coming from your transponder instead. (Or, leave the radio feeding your chartplotter and don't connect the transponder's AIS output to anything.)
This seems like it would work for the chartplotter, but wouldn't I still need 2 antennas? One for the transponder and one for the radio? And wouldn't that mean that the transponder's transmissions confuse the radio's AIS receiver?

Would the above solution work with one antenna and a splitter splitting the antenna between the radio and the AIS tranceiver?

BTW, thanks for the SH2000 idea. That really would work, though it has the disadvantages of multiple external connections and separate units, and would require me to buy everything all at once. Nevertheless, it would work and I am considering it.

MedSailor
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  #47  
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Re: Entry level AIS?

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
...And wouldn't that mean that the transponder's transmissions confuse the radio's AIS receiver?
Oops, I hadn't thought of that. Maybe "incompatible" is the correct word after all.

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  #48  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

It seems like every year the radio manufacturers add one more feature to the radios. Integrated DSC, then GPS, now AIS receive.

Is it just a matter of waiting a year or two before AIS transmit is also added or is there some kind of fundamental antenna/radio or FCC roadblock to this happening?

Medsailor
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  #49  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Thanks guys, this is exactly the primer I needed.

I must say I'm really impressed with the integrated VHF AIS devices. AIS uses VHF so it makes a lot of sense to me to have both in one unit. It seems like it would save the hassle of a splitter and such. The Standard Horizon offering has AIS, VHF, DSC and GPS all in the same unit. Since there is a lot of cross over between these systems, it's nice to not have a bunch of external connections to make it all work. I also really like the "select your AIS target, and push one button to call them on the VHF" as shown in the video. That's just really quick and slick.



It looks like all VHF/AIS units are receivers only yes? Would there be a conflict of any kind by buying a transmitter only and installing that separately? If you put a splitter in the line with the VHF/AIS-receiver would it all go haywire? I'm not averse at all to a 2 antenna solution (after all, the good boats have 2 masts ) for redundancy.

The setup I am imagining is the standard horizon VHF/AIS-receiver attached to the mainmast VHF antenna and either a transmitter only, or a transceiver separately on the mizzen mast antenna. Would the mizzen antenna transmitting cause confusion for the main mast antenna receiver?

MedSailor
Med - I don't know if you saw my last blog entry or not, but this is exactly what I did on my boat. I have GPS/AIS, etc. all integrated into my iPad/iPhone chartplotters. Lots of redundancy and lots of flexibility - and all for under $1K (not counting the iPad).
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  #50  
Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Entry level AIS?

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
And wouldn't that mean that the transponder's transmissions confuse the radio's AIS receiver?
No.
When you have an AIS transceiver trasmitting, yes it will be picked up by the VHFs receiver, but will be FILTERED out. (As an option.)

Yes you would need two antennas as a splitter ALWAYS gives priority to the BHF. So in that case to the VHF/AIS receiver over the AIS transmitter.

And, of course if theres just one antenna it cant transmit and receive at the same time
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 04-21-2014 at 04:24 PM.
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