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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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