(0) Item Hello, Guest

AIS Display Troubleshooting

This troubleshooting guide is an ongoing effort to provide you with straightforward and effective tools for diagnosing and correcting problems with AIS display.

GETTING STARTED
If you encounter an issue with AIS showing on your display (computer navigation software or chartplotter), begin troubleshooting by checking all wiring connections. The great majority of issues we encounter are caused by simple errors in wiring.

If you do not find a problem with wiring connections, check to see if your problem matches one listed below. If so, carefully follow the instructions to resolve the problem.
NOTE: Please read the warranty conditions in the documentation that came with the product or that can be downloaded online. The warranty does not cover failure due to incorrect installation issues so check – and double check – all connections before switching power on.
 If your problem is not listed, please let us know. We will be happy to help you find a solution.

AIS display capabilities began appearing in marine electronics for pleasure boats several years ago. If your chartplotter was manufactured before 2005, check the manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm that it is capable of displaying AIS information.

POSSIBLE ISSUES:


I can receive AIS targets on my display, but no vessel names are shown.

I can't get Rose Point Coastal Explorer to work with my AIS Receiver.

I can’t get Nobeltec Visual Navigation Suite to work with my AIS Receiver.

I am connecting my AIS Receiver to a chart plotter. However, my chartplotter does not seem to recognize the AIS Receiver.



ISSUE: I can receive AIS targets on my display, but no vessel names are shown.
ACTIONS
: The name of a vessel (and other static information) is transmitted only every 6 minutes. Be sure to give your receiver time to receive all of this data.



ISSUE: I can’t get Rose Point Coastal Explorer to work with my AIS Receiver.
ACTIONS:
  1. Ensure you are using Coastal Explorer Version 1.1 or later. Earlier versions do not support AIS.
  2. Use the menu “Tools → Options → Instruments → Port Settings …” to configure the serial COM port for your AIS Receiver.
  3. There is a known problem with earlier versions of Coastal Explorer where the “Auto Detect” feature does not work when searching for a connected AIS Receiver. Be sure to get the latest upgrades for Coastal Explorer.
  4. Manually set up the port for the AIS Receiver COM port. Be sure to select the correct COM port, set the interface to “NMEA 0183” and set the baud rate to 38400 baud. Check the “Listener” box and ensure that the “Talker” and “Repeater” boxes are unchecked. Select and click “Close” and then “OK”. You can use the “Troubleshooter” feature to check the output of valid AIS sentences.
  5. Coastal Explorer should start displaying AIS targets if you are in range of AIS transponders.


ISSUE:
I can’t get Nobeltec Visual Navigation Suite to work with my AIS Receiver.
ACTIONS:
  1. Ensure you are using Visual Navigation Suite Version 8.0 or later. Earlier versions do not support AIS.
  2. Use the menu “Tools → Options → Ports: Configure” to configure the serial COM port for your AIS Receiver.
  3. It is recommended to not use the “GPS/Port Setup Wizard” to detect your AIS device.
  4. Manually set up the port for the AIS Receiver COM port. Be sure to check the correct COM port. Then click on the “Configure This Input Port …” box. Select the correct “Port Speed” at the bottom of the dialog box. Select and click “OK” and then “Apply”. You can use the “View Data” feature to check the output of valid AIS sentences.
  5. Select the “Targets” tab and ensure that “Display AIS Targets” is set to “Yes”.
  6. Visual Navigation Suite should start displaying AIS targets if you are in range of AIS transponders.


ISSUE: I am connecting my AIS Receiver to a chartplotter. However, my chartplotter does not seem to recognize the AIS Receiver.
ACTIONS
:
  1. See our AIS Chart Plotter Reference page for full details on connecting your AIS Receiver to a chart plotter.
  2. Ensure that your chart plotter supports AIS data. Only recent chart plotter models support AIS. It is possible your model will support AIS with a ROM upgrade. Contact your chart plotter manufacturer to confirm that AIS data is supported by your model or if an upgrade is available.
  3. Ensure that the baud rate for the inbound NMEA port on the chart plotter is set to 38400 baud. This is sometimes referred to as a “high speed serial” setting (e.g. on some Garmin models).
  4. In some cases, the chart plotter will not display any indication that AIS is working except to display vessels on the screen if you are in range of transponders. Be sure to test your chart plotter in an area where transponder signals can be received.
  5. If your chart plotter supports AIS but does not support NMEA inbound data at 38400 baud, then you will need to change the baud rate on the AIS Receiver to match the supported baud rate on the chart plotter. This is usually 4800 baud.
To change the baud rate on the AIS Receiver to 4800 baud do the following:
Smart Radio    
AMEC
You'll need:
  • Computer
  • Terminal emulation program
  • Open DB-9 serial port on computer
or
  • Serial to USB adapter and an open USB port on computer
Steps
  1. Disconnect the antennas from the AIS Receiver.
  2. Connect the AIS Receiver to a computer running a terminal emulation package such as HyperTerminal or PuTTY and set it to the correct COM port and correct baud rate (38400).
  3. In the terminal emulation session, hit <SPACE> then <ENTER>. You should see something similar to the following on the screen:
      1. SR162 AIS Receiver
      2. RECE FRQ    R1F1619750
      3. RECE FRQ    R2F1620250
      4. INT RATE    I38400
  4. Enter the following in the terminal window to switch the unit to 4800 baud: I4800
  5. Hit <ENTER> and then “Q” and enter to save the change.
  6. Turn the power off to the AIS Receiver. Reset the baud rate in your terminal emulation package to 4800 baud.
  7. Turn the power on again to the AIS Receiver. Hit <SPACE> then <ENTER> to ensure that the new baud rate is active.
  8. The receiver should now be operating at the new baud rate. Reconnect it to the chart plotter and test for AIS functionality.
You'll need:
  • AIS Configuration program
  • Windows PC
Steps
  1. Install the AIS Configuration program.
  2. Run the program and connect to the device using the correct port and baud rate.
  3. Under the Configuration tab, go to the BAUD RATE page.
  4. Select the baud rate you wish to use.
  5. Click on "Config Device".

If this does not resolve the issue, please continue to the next step.

LIKELY CAUSE:
Bad serial connection wiring.
  1. With both your AIS unit manual and your chartplotter manual at hand, double check your wiring connections. Make sure the correct wires are used and that the connections are secure. (Wiring errors are the most common issue. Even if you are sure it is correct, it won't hurt to check.)
  2.  If the wiring is correct, double check that your chart plotter in fact supports AIS, that is has the latest ROM upgrades and that you are in range of AIS transponder broadcasts.
  3. If you are connecting an AIS receiver to a Raymarine chart plotter and it randomly reboots after some time, this is a known problem with Raymarine chart plotters. Please contact Raymarine for a resolution to this problem.
  4. See our AIS Chart Plotter Reference page for full details on connecting your AIS Receiver to a chart plotter.