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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #11  
Old 06-10-2014
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Re: AIS Receiver installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yofy View Post
No, we are always in range of ships here.

with a proper VHF plug


Dedicated antenna.

The installation is fine. I think that I may be missing a driver although when I bought the AIS receiver they assured me that I didn't need any other program or driver. Anybody know of a good site where I can download a driver for AIS to C map?
Three suggestions:
  • Hook up your VHF radio to the antenna and do a radio check. This will determine whether the antenna is the problem.
  • If you're running Windows, check Device Manager and make sure that you see the USB-Serial adapter. If you do, your should have the needed driver. If you see a device called "Unknown" with a yellow question mark on it, then you're definitely lacking the needed driver. Virtually all USB to serial adapters are built on one of two chips - Prolific or FTDI. IIRC, Prolific is not supported by Win7 or later. FTDI is. If your adapter has a Prolific chip, I believe you need to throw it out and get one by FTDI.
  • If you do have the right driver, install TeraTerm or some other terminal emulator. You need to see the raw NMEA data coming through, and TeraTerm will give you the ability to experiment with different baud rates.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 06-11-2014 at 08:11 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: AIS Receiver installation

You don't mention whether you have tried connecting it to a Chart Plotter yet. I take it you might be bench testing this? Connecting it to a Chart Plotter via the Nav Out Data connection would be a good place to start as far as seeing AIS Targets. That would rule out any problems with the unit and antenna. You won't need the GPS IN Data yet, at least not until you want others to see where you are.

I recently assembled a small PC for the boat, but I made sure that the Motherboard had a legacy Serial Port so that I didn't have to mess with Serial to USB converters. I know me bragging about my PC doesn't help your current situation, but if you have a Desktop PC you could buy an add in Serial PCI(E) card. If it's a Laptop does it have a PC Card Slot? I use a Serial PC Card in my laptop for serial connections with OBD Diagnostics Connectors and Software for my cars. It seems to work well.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2014
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Re: AIS Receiver installation

Also your unit has a built in Power Divider/Splitter for connecting to a VHF Radio and a single Antenna. I'm curious as to how well that functions.

My Simrad stuff came from the factory installed with a splitter and single antenna. It seems to work fine but I am considering running another cable and antenna when I finally get the courage to scale the mast to install a TV and WIFI antenna. I agree two separate are better, and I'm most concerned about the lessened VHF Radio Reception and Transmission, the AIS I could care less about, it is really a nice to have but not a need to have. Another 100ft of coax and an antenna isn't going to break me.
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Old 06-12-2014
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Re: AIS Receiver installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missingyou View Post
Also your unit has a built in Power Divider/Splitter for connecting to a VHF Radio and a single Antenna. I'm curious as to how well that functions.
I've had an MXA-5000 installed for a little while now (to a single mast-head antenna) and haven't yet noticed any issues with the VHF around reduced range, etc. It was pretty easy to set up and, following the instructions, worked straight out of the box. You need to be talking for a long time for it to lose the AIS targets.

Assuming the DB9 connector was wired according to the manual, I suspect the OP's issues will be related to his choice of USB adaptor and/or baud rate. I'm using OpenCPN which has an in-built serial data monitor, making it easy to check that the comms is working properly.
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Last edited by Classic30; 06-12-2014 at 02:17 AM.
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