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New VHF for next season

Old 10-04-2011, 10:52 AM
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Default New VHF for next season

Have a perfectly good / working SH circa 2003 but wondering if it's time to ask Santa this year for a new DSC-D unit.

AIS looks interesting, but big jump in $$$$.

Anyone out there with a new DSC-D /AIS VHF on Eastern LISound/Thames River area?

How's the display of traffic?

Just another nice to have or worth the extra $$$$$?
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:11 AM
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I think adding AIS would be nice if you can interface it with your plotter, especially if you boat in an area where there are a lot of commercial ships. I have a plan to replace my VHF with this:

http://www.standardhorizon.com/index...3&isArchived=0

but since I would have to replace my RAM mic and I might as well replace my 12 year old antenna as well, it's going to be a $550 investment. I will also have to enlarge the cutout in the helm.

If you already have a DSC radio, registered, and connected to your plotter, you don't "need" it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:16 AM
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If you can put the AIS data on your plotter, it is very useful; otherwise on that small display, its pretty much just a novelty, especially where there are lots of AIS ships operating.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:09 AM
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I have the one on the link (GX-2150 and I have the GPS+DSC handheld, the HX-851. A great combo since you can test all DSC modes of operation short of full distress between your handheld, your fixed mobile and the USCG MMSI's.

I now don't bother with radio checks....just use DSC test against the USCG shore station MMSI. If I can get an acknowledgement, I know I've got enough watts in space.

AIS is nice but unless you are offshore or in harbors where a lot of commercial traffic are in and out, it's more of a novelty. It displays on my HDS and my radar overlays the return from the (usually big) ship as well. DSC positions are also displayed. Great for buddy boating.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by capecuddy View Post
I have the one on the link (GX-2150 and I have the GPS+DSC handheld, the HX-851. A great combo since you can test all DSC modes of operation short of full distress between your handheld, your fixed mobile and the USCG MMSI's.

I now don't bother with radio checks....just use DSC test against the USCG shore station MMSI. If I can get an acknowledgement, I know I've got enough watts in space.
You know the radios are working, but you don't know how well because you don't have much distance between the two. Also, you don't know if the nicrophone is working because you're not including it in your test.

I certainly don't want to encourage more random "radio checks", but in many areas, SeaTow has installed an automated radio check service where your actual broadcast is played back to you. Check with SeaTow in your area. You don't have to be a member.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
You know the radios are working, but you don't know how well because you don't have much distance between the two. Also, you don't know if the nicrophone is working because you're not including it in your test.

I certainly don't want to encourage more random "radio checks", but in many areas, SeaTow has installed an automated radio check service where your actual broadcast is played back to you. Check with SeaTow in your area. You don't have to be a member.
SEATOW's automated radio checks are an absolute god-sent. I now get radio checks periodically without worry of filling the air channles with crap. Once leaving port, and once out at sea to make sure my reception is good.

They honestly have done a great thing providing this service! Kudos to them
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gaa07 View Post
SEATOW's automated radio checks are an absolute god-sent. I now get radio checks periodically without worry of filling the air channles with crap. Once leaving port, and once out at sea to make sure my reception is good.

They honestly have done a great thing providing this service! Kudos to them
Yes they have but it's a shame the USCG didn't think of it first.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:00 AM
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Using DSC test makes sense for me on the Outer Cape because there is no SeaTow ARC stations positioned out there.

Handheld to fixed unit only validates DSC functionality and the fact that your chartplotter is properly integrated with your radio. You use the USCG MMSI (I use USCG National Shore Station and USCG Sector SE New England.) Those validate transmit and receive over a substantial distance.

End to end test....actually appears thought out.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:25 AM
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Capecuddy

Looking thru the GX2150 user guide and had a ?????

Do the AIS targets display on the GPS constantly or only when the AIS key is selected on the VHF?

Concerned that my 441s screen could get a bit cluttered in busy channels.

Thx
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:38 AM
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They display on the chartplotter all the time ..... the AIS function on the radio sends you the AIS display on the radio.

Here's a video I did. SH 2100 connected to a Garmin 740. Actual underway displays

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/4996928_5919835

At about the 1:12 to 1:18 time frame in this video you'll hear an AIS alert from the SH2100. It will beep at two second intervals until you acknowledge the alert. It only beeps if the AIS vessel is a hazard.

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/5106277_5890464
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by frugal boater View Post
Capecuddy

Looking thru the GX2150 user guide and had a ?????

Do the AIS targets display on the GPS constantly or only when the AIS key is selected on the VHF?

Concerned that my 441s screen could get a bit cluttered in busy channels.

Thx

Constantly but you can manage by shortening the AIS activation range on the SH radio to closer ranges. I have my set for I thnk 40 or 50 miles? whatever the longest range is. You can lower it down to one or 2 I think.

Last edited by capecuddy; 10-07-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:12 AM
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The default setting for AIS activation range is 10 nm for both the 2100/2150. The other ranges are 1,2,4,10,15,20nm. I have my 2100 set to 10nm but still recieve targets at 10 -20 nm that are passed to my Garmin 740. I have all the audiable warning beeps for (cpa/tcpa turned off they will overwhelm you in a highAIS density area.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:42 AM
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Thanx for the replies. Really looks like AIS is slick, but maybe a bit more development is required regarding the alarms and displays?

Any units with selectable AIS display? Could rig up a dedicated 'outboard' AIS unit that gets switched on/off, but hoping to find an all in one like the SH.

Don't need my GPS display overwhelmed with AIS signatures and not able to display ATONS and other information effectively.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by frugal boater View Post
Thanx for the replies. Really looks like AIS is slick, but maybe a bit more development is required regarding the alarms and displays?

Any units with selectable AIS display? Could rig up a dedicated 'outboard' AIS unit that gets switched on/off, but hoping to find an all in one like the SH.

Don't need my GPS display overwhelmed with AIS signatures and not able to display ATONS and other information effectively.
I'm not sure more development is needed but that's my opinion.

Why not just install the SH unit and put a switch in the wires that connect it to the plotter? That way, you can turn the AIS display on the plotter on and off as desired.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:33 AM
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Just lower the activation range in the SH controls to limit the amount of traffic.

The capability is all there.....we each have to invest the time to learn how to control and use.

I like it. I also recommend turning off the CPA and TCPA alarms.....that's what gets out of hand.

I really like seeing the AIS targets especially offshore because they become excellent reference points for what you are seeing out there....almost like a substitute for landmarks out at sea.

Also a great overlay test on the radar....when I see my radar returns for a ship painting right over the AIS symbol, it shows everything is right with the works. Integrated radio, NMEA, radar and HDS all on the same page, so to speak.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:44 PM
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I have Ray C-120 plotter with Std Horizon 2150 AIS and it works great. and I CAN turn off the AIS display on the C-120 when I want to.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:40 AM
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Looking at this thread and the SH 2150 brings to mind a question. Why doesn't SH have NMEA2000 capability?
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:52 AM
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I got a Garmin 300VHF with AIS--great radio and got a really good price.

It's interfaced to my 4208 and 3206 GPS and displays eveyrthing on the handset display.

Also have a Raymarine 230 VHF and a SH handheld for back up. The Garmin is the best of the bunch, Now if I could just afford a Garmin Autopilot to replace my SIMRAD I'd be in super shape
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:54 AM
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Spent some time with the Garmin and the owners manual. Has the ability to turn AIS & DSC on/off. Problem solved.

Local marine supplier has the GX2150 for a good $$$$ right now.
Could be XMAS in October.

Thanx for all the input.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by frugal boater View Post
Spent some time with the Garmin and the owners manual. Has the ability to turn AIS & DSC on/off. Problem solved.

Local marine supplier has the GX2150 for a good $$$$ right now.
Could be XMAS in October.

Thanx for all the input.
Check the price at BOE. You have to add it to your cart to get the actual price.
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