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Old 06-25-2009, 01:26 AM   #1
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I recently replaced my Smart Radio SR161 AIS receiver with a Comar CSB200 class B transponder. Since we do so many off-shore passages, I wanted to be able to see vessels using AIS and to be seen by the other vessels!



The installation was painless. I already had a second VHF antenna which was shared between a spare VHF radio and the AIS receiver via a VHF splitter. I removed the splitter and ran the antenna directly to the transponder. Should the need arise, I can simply move the VHF antenna from the primary VHF to the backup VHF.

The AIS transponder requires its own GPS antenna. This is required so that you can't feed it bogus position data.

The NMEA output of the AIS transponder goes to a RayMarine C-80 chartplotter, where the AIS vessel data is overlaid on the chart. I went to a neighboring vessel who had an AIS receiver and BlueJacket showed up! Yeah!

The following photo shows a target underway with basic information displayed. In this case it shows the vessel moving 17.2Kts on a course of 185T. The closest point of approach will be 5.25nm and will occur in 51 minutes.



If you ask for detailed information on the target, here's what you get:



Here's a photo of radar output with AIS targets overlaid in NY Harbor. Clearly this is an anomaly, but it certainly shows the power:



I'm selling my SR161 AIS receiver and VHF splitter via eBay at

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=320388826604.

-- Geoff
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:09 AM   #2
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Hi Geoff

Thanks for the post, very interesting. We are thinking of something very similar with our E 80 chart plotter and are wondering if you had compatibility issues getting the Comar unit to "talk" to the C 80 or was it instantaneous?

Did you look at all at the new Raymarine AIS500 unit (it's more than double the price of the Comar unit in Aust), hence our interest in the Comar. But have heard reports (from Raymarine of course who want you to buy their unit), of compatibility issues between the Comar unit and the Raymarine plotters.

Thanks

Dave
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