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FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Old 09-22-2008, 02:39 PM
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Default FCC Approval of Class B AIS

The FCC has apparently released an order approving of Class B AIS...at last!
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Does this mean that sales of the class b senders and recievers will start soon?
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Just in time for the market to melt down....
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

It is not entirely clear if products will be immediately available--may require that the order be published in the Federal Register. Devices need to be FCC certified.
Then the end user may not input "Static Data" This includes the MMSI number, plus the name, port, dimensions of the boat--it must be done by a "Qualified" person--probably the Vender....There are many errors, even in the Class A units. Often confusion between feet and meters etc.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

I think that falls under the classification of "We gotta do something to justify taking two years to just say yes"
Ben Ellison at www.panbo.com thinks there is explicit approval in the wording of the Order for manufacturers who had petitioned for approval. If thats true then we will see product available as soon as they can blow the dust off the units in somw warehouse, rewrite the manual, change the firmware a bit, and stick on a big "I'm the FCC and I'm in charge here" label. Say a month. Look for prices starting at a grand for unit and antennas, and look for a drop in simple AIS receiver prices. There should be some bargain prices on Fred Pot's excellant SeaCAS hardware.

Big Brother Note: chill out; note the sequential number of this post!
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Fred, from SeaCas, informed me they were no longer selling any units after August 14th. I wonder if they will change their minds now?

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Captn Hank - 9/24/2008 9:54 AM

Fred, from SeaCas, informed me they were no longer selling any units after August 14th. I wonder if they will change their minds now?
I have installed several of their units and not a one of them has been very reliable.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Now that is good to know. From their website, it looks like it's the "bomb". I was ready to buy the unit, then Fred told me the news.

Thanks again for the info.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

I have installed Simrad's AI80 (after a failed SeaCas install) and it seems to be rock solid so far. We are getting AIS signals from 50 miles away with reliable results. The SeaCas unit was not picking up signals that were 10 miles away. There are alot of AIS units coming on the market. Go to Panbo.com and you can read all the news about AIS for hours on end. I think they even do an AIS shootout, but the way they tested the units was somewhat flawed so I don't think any numbers got published.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

I'm interfacing it to a Raymarine E120. I guess you know a multiplexer is needed to change the baud rate. I inquired about a Shine Micro "AIS-BX", this is the reply about received from them about interfacing with the E120;

After further research into the compatibility of the Raymarine E Series with the AIS-BX it has been determined that, when the Raymarine E series receives the VDO and other AIS messages from the AIS-BX it causes a crash. Currently, there is no way to disable the VDO and other AIS messages from the AIS-BX, as this is the core function of the device. We look forward to Raymarine’s solution to this software issue soon.

I hope that everyone can get on the same page, in the near future.

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Old 09-26-2008, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

On the E-120 you have only one input choice on the back of the unit to input AIS signals. You can then change that baud rate to the 38400 that is required for the AIS inside the E-120. The problem is when you ouput NMEA it is at that higher rate also (38400) and nothing else will then be able to read that signal. I did find a Multiplexer over on Panbo that is able to downconvert the 38400 to the standard 4800 baud. This would allow you control an Autopilot with the E-120.
If you go with Raymarines AIS I am not sure if the AIS signals are sent on to Seatalks High speed bus or not. Will have to research that.
Another problem that I have found with interfaceing to the E-120 is the AIS signal has GPS on it. If there is another GPS on Seatalk then the two will fight each other and the position on the E-120 becomes very unstable.
I would recommend that if you are buying an AIS then look for one that has a screen big enough for the maps to be seen clearly and use that as a standalone system. I would not try to interface to the E-120.
The last thing you want is an electronics package that is not reliable.


Hope this helps,
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

My AIS receiver lives very happily talking to one of my Garmins by dedicating one of the four available com ports to high speed. The Garmins exchange the information with each other in a very civilized manner. I'm looking forward to scoring an ACR AIS B asap. I'd like to see how the Garmins handle three GPS sources!
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:54 AM
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Default RE: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

That's one thing that is flawless with the Furuno NavNet 3D and FA-30 AIS black box. It has displayed the AIS targets and popup detailed data on the charts and radar from day one with zero problems. I get signal from pretty far away, at least 15 miles or so. Of course that depends on the antenna height of the big ship.

I suppose many of you have noticed by now the consequences of the exemption for commercial fishing vessels? I have yet to see a single one that had an AIS transponder whether engaged in fishing or just steaming, even big draggers. Same thing with our local ferries, which have a governmental exemption.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

That makes Sooooooo much sense.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: FCC Approval of Class B AIS

Yeah, now if we get it mandatory on charter boat operators and draggers, it will make fishing ever so much easier.

Hey, it's a safety issue!

Actually I could usually care less where the charter boats are. In fact, they are usually hard to avoid. But it would be nice to know where the draggers are working in the fall.
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