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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 12-06-2010
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AIS: Standalone Vs. Overlay

Good morning all,

I've been hard at work this weekend researching and pricing out the components for big electronics upgrade. One question that's still on my mind is whether or not I need a dedicated AIS display or if I will be ok using the overlay on my Navigation device. I mainly cruise in some pretty busy waters so AIS is a no brainer. I also like that a dedicated display with low power draw can be on and receiving when my nav system isn't. So for those of you who use AIS my questions are (in no particular order)

1) Dedicated or overlaid on charts?
2) Should I get the Simrad AI50 to go with the all Simrad system I am planning or is their a better standalone device to consider? Note: I realize that I can share AIS data either from the standalone to the new NSE or from the NSE to a standalone screen.
3) Receiver or Transponder?

As always, thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Greg
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Old 12-06-2010
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Probably no right answer for everyone. If power is an issue, I suppose that deserves some consideration.

AIS is most important to me when visibility is low. In those conditions, I would most likely be navigating with everything I have available. The chartplotter at the helm would certainly be on, so that's where I'm most inclined to display the AIS data. If I had a separate unit, it would have to be mounted at the helm too. Having it down at the nav station does me little good.

I'm researching these options right now too.
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I totally agree the dedicated display would have to be at the helm, and that results in a number of other considerations for me not the least of which are space and aesthetics ... but I actually think I might use (note: I have never had one to date) AIS even in good visibility. My family and I cruise in some pretty busy areas depending on the time of year, and sometimes even on a really clear day all the traffic can be a bit confusing. This is where I think a dedicated AI50 might be worthwhile as it would alleviate clutter on the charts. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of the all in one approach, and the Simrad NSE I am looking at seems like it can do it all, charts, radar, weather, AIS, etc., I'm just wonder if I find myself in a dangerous crossing situation it would be worth having a place to look instantly that's only showing the AIS related details. Have you done much research on AIS alarms? I've heard some of the units aren't very intuitive and go off every time you point you bow at another ship. I know myself well enough to admit if the damn thing goes off every few minutes, I'm going to start to tune it out or turn it off.
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Old 12-06-2010
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Why choose...why not get an AIS with a limited display and route its NMEA 0183 output to the chartplotter. This gives you both, and eliminates a single point of failure besides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donner74 View Post
Good morning all,

I've been hard at work this weekend researching and pricing out the components for big electronics upgrade. One question that's still on my mind is whether or not I need a dedicated AIS display or if I will be ok using the overlay on my Navigation device. I mainly cruise in some pretty busy waters so AIS is a no brainer. I also like that a dedicated display with low power draw can be on and receiving when my nav system isn't. So for those of you who use AIS my questions are (in no particular order)

1) Dedicated or overlaid on charts?
2) Should I get the Simrad AI50 to go with the all Simrad system I am planning or is their a better standalone device to consider? Note: I realize that I can share AIS data either from the standalone to the new NSE or from the NSE to a standalone screen.
3) Receiver or Transponder?

As always, thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Greg
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Definitely the way I am leaning SailingDog. Any suggestions on which one to get? Simrad? Vesper? Something else. I'm gonna avoid the Standard combi VHF unit. What I'm really leaning toward is a standalone display that presents AIS info clearly like blips on a radar.
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From the sounds of it, you are doing all systems from scratch. Just a warning if you are integrating older equip. I learned today that my 6 yr old Raymarine chartplotter is incapable of using AIS data, Even though it technically has the ability to receive it through NMEA inputs, it doesn't know what to do with it.
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Old 12-08-2010
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We have a receiver Smart-Radio-SR161, routed through a MUX to my laptop running a moving chart software (FUGAWI) and to the helm into our Garmin 440 chartplotter. I think I might be able to route it into our RADAR as well - have not tried yet.
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