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GPS Antenna Installation Tips

Posted by Doug Miller on 4/7/2021 to Configuration Examples
GPS Antenna Installation Tips
This article provides some tips for getting the most out of your devices with embedded GPS antennas as well as how and when to use external GPS antennas to improve performance.

How to Choose an LTE Router for Your Boat

Posted by Doug Miller on 2/24/2021 to Products & Technology
How to Choose an LTE Router for Your Boat

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused companies and workers to find ways to work remotely, many of our customers were looking for a way to stay connected while working from the boat. Others simply wanted a way to go cruising but still be fully connected for doing email, social media, web browsing, file sharing and viewing movies on Netflix and Amazon.

This article builds on my initial first impressions of using a Peplink MAX BR1 MK1 router for enhancing connectivity on my own boat and explores how to select an appropriate router that meets both your needs and your budget.

Using the AMEC B600W SOTDMA AIS Transponder with the iNavX app to display AIS

Posted by Doug Miller on 1/12/2021 to Configuration Examples
Using the AMEC B600W SOTDMA AIS Transponder with the iNavX app to display AIS
With our current promo that features a free subscription of the popular iNavX marine navigation app, we are providing guidance on using the AMEC B600W SOTDMA Class B AIS Transponder with Wi-Fi support and the iNavX app on Apple iOS.

Reliable Mobile Connectivity While Onboard: The Modern Holy Grail

Posted by Doug Miller on 12/10/2020 to Configuration Examples
Reliable Mobile Connectivity While Onboard: The Modern Holy Grail
This article describes the decision process and installation steps I used to get a fully functioning, full-time Internet solution working on my boat using a Peplink LTE/Wi-Fi router.

Vesper Cortex Monitoring: One of the most compelling reasons to buy this product

Posted by Doug Miller on 10/21/2020 to Products & Technology
Vesper Cortex Monitoring: One of the most compelling reasons to buy this product
Last month I wrote an article about my first impressions using the new Vesper Cortex AIS / VHF solution. As promised, I am following up with a second article to focus on what might seem like a secondary feature but in fact may be one of the most compelling reasons to consider a Cortex system. That feature is vessel monitoring.

Using the wireless features of the new em-trak B900 series

Posted by Doug Miller on 9/8/2020 to Configuration Examples
Using the wireless features of the new em-trak B900 series

Em-trak launched the new B900 Class B AIS transponder series earlier this year and have done something no other AIS manufacturer has done. Instead of a one size fits all approach with the need to buy extra accessories, the B900 family comes in 8 different flavors differentiated by transmit power, VHF antenna splitter integration and wireless support. This allows you to choose the model that exactly matches your requirements.

In this article, we look at the wireless support found in the B922B924B952 and B954 and how to use the wireless capabilities with popular apps.

Vesper Cortex: First Impressions

Posted by Doug Miller on 8/11/2020 to Products & Technology
Vesper Cortex: First Impressions
This article documents some of firsts impression upon unpacking and using the Vesper Cortex solution for the first time with a focus on the AIS and VHF functionality. A deeper dive on the monitoring functionality will be covered in a future article.

AIS Transponders with NMEA Multiplexing: Why You Should Care

Posted by Doug Miller on 6/19/2020 to Products & Technology
AIS Transponders with NMEA Multiplexing: Why You Should Care
The article walks through the benefits of using an AIS transponder that supports NMEA multiplexing and converting NMEA 2000 data for use with modern marine navigation applications.

How to Choose an AIS Transponder

Posted by Doug Miller on 4/8/2020 to Products & Technology
How to Choose an AIS Transponder

One of the most common questions we get from customers is “how do I decide which AIS transponder is right for me?” After all, there are many different models and virtually every major marine electronics manufacturer makes an AIS transponder plus you have a number of AIS specialty manufacturers (such as AMECem-trak and Vesper) who make many different models. This article provides guidance on how to decide which AIS transponder best meets your needs.


Using the AMEC B600W SOTDMA AIS Transponder with the Navionics app to display AIS

Posted by Doug Miller on 2/15/2020 to Configuration Examples
Using the AMEC B600W SOTDMA AIS Transponder with the Navionics app to display AIS
We are getting a lot of questions about the new and improved Navionics app for Apple iOS and Android and how to make it work with AIS devices that include Wi-Fi support. This article walks through the steps to use the AMEC B600W SOTDMA Class B AIS Transponder with Wi-Fi support and the Navionics app on Apple iOS or Android.

VHF Antenna: The most important factor for getting AIS to work well

Posted by Doug Miller on 9/12/2019 to Configuration Examples
Having sold thousands AIS devices over the years, you start to get a feel for the most important factors for ensuring that AIS works the way it should. In my experience, the most important factor is the VHF antenna connected to the AIS system. And when I say VHF antenna, I include the antenna itself, the cable, the connector and the location of the antenna. 
Regardless of whether you use a dedicated VHF antenna attached to the AIS receiver or transponder or if you use an AIS-capable antenna splitter, there are some basic things to keep mind that substantially impact the ability of your AIS system to send and receive radio signals. 
The following article covers my top ten recommendations for making sure your AIS antenna will work well with your AIS transponder or receiver.

Using a wireless Apple iPad with the Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF/AIS Radio - UPDATED

Posted by Doug Miller on 6/26/2019 to Configuration Examples
Using a wireless Apple iPad with the Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF/AIS Radio - UPDATED
We are getting a lot of questions about adding Wi-Fi support for marine devices that have no built-in wireless capability. This post walks through the steps to use one of our Wi-Fi adapters with a Standard Horizon GX2200 radio to stream the AIS, GPS and DSC data coming from the radio wirelessly to a mobile device such as an iPad.

Using Coastal Explorer 2017 (version 4) with the Standard Horizon GX2200

Posted by Doug Miller on 5/23/2019 to Configuration Examples
Previously, I have provided instructions for making an older version Rose Point Navigation Coastal Explorer work with the Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF/AIS radio. This article discusses how to make the latest version of Coastal Explorer (referred to as the 2017 Edition or Version 4) work with the GX2200.
The Standard Horizon Matrix GX2200 AIS/GPS Receiver VHF Radio is not only a VHF radio, but also includes a GPS receiver and an AIS receiver. The question we get from customers is, how can I connect this new radio to a PC and can I get AIS and GPS data sent to the PC? Fortunately there is a simple solution using our USB Breakout Cable that allows Coastal Explorer or any PC-based navigation program to use the GPS, AIS and DSC NMEA data that is received by this radio. While the wiring is very straight forward, you need to configure a few settings on the radio to make this work. 

TIMEZERO TZ iBoat + Vesper XB-8000 + FURUNO 1st Watch Wireless Radar: A new mobile solution for charting, AIS and radar

Posted by Doug Miller on 10/2/2018 to Configuration Examples
TIMEZERO TZ iBoat + Vesper XB-8000 + FURUNO 1st Watch Wireless Radar: A new mobile solution for charting, AIS and radar
While Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) go a long way towards increasing vessel safety and helping to prevent vessel collisions, many boaters also like to use radar for detecting vessels and other floating objects such as aids to navigation that do not have an AIS transponder. This article discusses a new solution from TIMEZERO aka Nobeltec that allows you combine charting, AIS and radar on an Apple iPad.

U.S. Coast Guard Takes Aim at AIS Transponder Errors

Posted by Doug Miller on 4/5/2018 to AIS News
The U.S. Coast Guard has recently announced new efforts to reduce the number of AIS transponder errors and will be enforcing compliance with civil penalties and fines. This article looks at the issue and how you can find and correct AIS errors.

Do commercial vessels ignore Class B AIS?

Posted by Doug Miller on 4/30/2017 to AIS News
We are often asked, do commercial vessels filter out Class B AIS transmissions or at least ignore them if they see them? We can't say for all vessels but here is an article that talks about the value of all AIS for one group of fast ferries in our area - the Victoria Clippers.

Coast Guard releases program to help AIS users confirm compliance

Posted by on 4/3/2017 to AIS News
The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) recently created a voluntary service that enables mariners to verify compliance with AIS carriage requirements.

Using Rose Point Coastal Explorer with the Vesper XB-8000 Class B AIS Transponder

Posted by Doug Miller on 8/19/2016 to Configuration Examples
The Vesper XB-8000 Class B AIS Transponder with Wi-Fi capabilities is one of our most popular AIS products. Many customers use the product with navigation apps running on Apple iPads but we also get a lot of questions from customers asking how to use the product with Rose Point Navigation Systems Coastal Explorer running on a Windows-based PC. This article provides guidance on connecting these two product together using wired or wireless methods.

Adding NMEA 2000 support to a Standard Horizon GX2200

Posted by Doug Miller on 7/31/2015 to Configuration Examples
The Standard Horizon GX2200 AIS Matrix VHF radio is one of our most popular products. This radio has built in AIS and GPS receivers and makes a nice self-contained AIS system - not to mention a great VHF radio. But one thing that is missing is the ability to use this device with a NMEA 2000 network. We have a solution. This article shows you how to easily add NMEA 2000 support to a GX2200 using the AMEC NK-80 NMEA 2000 Adaptor.

AMEC CAMINO-108 and Standard Horizon GX2000: a great low cost combo for AIS and VHF

Posted by Doug Miller on 2/12/2015 to Configuration Examples
Following our popular post on integrating the Standard Horizon GX2000 with the AMEC CAMINO-101, this article discusses how to use the latest AMEC AIS transponder, the CAMINO-108, with the GX2000.
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