AIS-B questions - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-30-2012 Thread Starter
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AIS-B questions

I'm a bit confused about installation requirements for an AIS. If I was going to install one I would go with the B so that I could transmit my info. as well as receive. If you go this route do you need a separate VHF antenna or can you use a splitter with the existing antenna? And if you can, are there any drawbacks? One other question which is a bit odd because we have a pilothouse is that we have two chart plotters (both Garmin, different models, nema 0183) and I'm wondering if the info. from the AIS can be sent to both of them simultaneously (completely different systems, different antennas, etc)? Any make/model recommendations, I would want to be able to switch to receive only mode most of the time. There, I think that covers it. Thanks!

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

I can answer one question. I have used a AIS receiver through a splitter to a netbook running Open CPN. Apparently there is some signal loss in the splitter. I have not noticed it.

That should bump the thread.

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

Yes you can use a splitter, I just installed EM TRAK MARINE ELECTRONICS B100 AIS Class B Transceiver at West Marine

They also make a splitter they claim as 'zero loss' which is pretty dubious but what the hey I'd prolly still keep it in the family.

You mention 0183 which this one does, but I would HIGHLY suggest you try to go nema 2k. It is so much easier.

But as to your last question, Yes, you can have one 'talker' and multiple 'listeners' with 0183 so it will feed multiple plotters.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-03-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

My ICOM AIS receiver had a built in splitter...but it is receive only.

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post #5 of 16 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

Is there any advantage to having AIS target info appear on computer? My plan is to install AIS transponder with display (like watch mate 850 or Simrad A150) at nav table and have it repeat target data to chart plotter at helm eliminating unnecessary equipment and work. Also, if I am below in bad weather, I will be able to view commercial and other AIS traffic without being dependent on operation of laptop. Any thoughts?

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post #6 of 16 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

And do these splitters work when your VHF is already connected splitters box with am/fm radio?

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post #7 of 16 Old 05-04-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

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Originally Posted by stiffwind View Post
And do these splitters work when your VHF is already connected splitters box with am/fm radio?
Dude! Run another antenna!

**IF** you make it work, it will be a disaster to troubleshoot WHEN it fails, and this is not something to mess around with.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

A number of companies make VHF/AIS antenna splitters and their web sites provide quite a bit of information. Some of them have built in features that aid in any troubleshooting, such as Vesper Marine.

Antenna Splitter for Class B AIS Transponders
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-06-2012
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Re: AIS-B questions

Splitters are fundamentally bad, bordering on evil. You can make them work but the implications are really ugly. Reduced receive sensitivity, failure modes that can fry all your gear that share the antenna, missed packets, reduced transmit range, ...

Do yourself a favor and stick a dedicated AIS VHF antenna somewhere easy and convenient, like the pushpit.

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post #10 of 16 Old 05-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: AIS-B questions

Thanks for all the replies, and good advice.
SVAuspicious- I tend to agree with keeping systems separate but the gain in range by having the antenna at the top of the mast vs. 8'+- off the water is considerable. I'll have to do some more thinking about this.

John
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