AIS 300 upgrade

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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby Disaster Relief on Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:45 pm

There is a similar system now required by 2020 in airplanes called ADSB. All are required to transmit GPS position, altitude etc. with very few exceptions. Receiving is not required but I wouldn't be caught without it, I want to know where others are especially the ones I don't see. There is the additional layer of Air Traffic Control in certain conditions but overall this greatly enhances awareness of other traffic and safety. Family and friends can also track your flight anytime not just in instrument conditions.

In boating some of this depends on your particular use. I'm used to this type of system because I am a pilot so it feels natural to me to have it. However a recreational boater that only boats during the day and doesn't travel in shipping lanes or busy places, fog, bad weather etc. may not benefit much. I like gadgets as much as the next guy but there are those that want simple.

I haven't decided whether the 600 would be a benefit to me yet, but that could change with my next cruise.

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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby ixlr8 on Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:56 am

I am considering ordering an AIS600 to replace the 300 when I order my boat. Maybe it is the pilot in me, wanting as much situational awareness as possible. But I figure an extra $300 dollars on a $200,000+ boat to be a minuscule expense for the increase in safety.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby knotflying on Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:30 am

ixlr8 wrote:I am considering ordering an AIS600 to replace the 300 when I order my boat. Maybe it is the pilot in me, wanting as much situational awareness as possible. But I figure an extra $300 dollars on a $200,000+ boat to be a minuscule expense for the increase in safety.


I am a pilot as well and I went with the 300. As we pilots know everybody plays by the same rules so when IMC everybody out there is accounted for. I have a problem with the fact that not everyone out there is transmitting. The big boys are so I can see them transmitting and avoid. It is the guys out there with no transmit and very often no radar that are my concern.

I installed the 300 more because the install was easier and the result I wanted was to see the big guys and avoid them. It worked out very well on the river systems on the loop. While cruising the PNW it worked out fine with the ferries and the larger ships. I find it somewhat annoying in busy areas where every large boat at dock keep theirs on and you see blotches of red and I turn off my alarm. On clear days I keep it off.
Having flown in New York Airspace frequently and boating in the New York harbor, mostly everywhere else is a piece of cake. For safety, until everyone is required to transmit I think the 300 does the job for me.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby a_nyc_scott on Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:10 pm

I view the upgrade to the AIS 600 much the same way as the EPIRP I keep in my ditch bag. In an emergency the AIS 600 system will transmit the boat's position to rescue organizations. Invaluable in cutting down on response time! Even if that situation never arises I am glad that it's there.

The cost is negligible considering the potential benefit of reducing the amount of time spent waiting for rescue. I upgraded my system during the winter.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby daveo on Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:50 pm

I work for San Juan County. About a year ago, one of our smaller County boats broke down. Of course, it was foggy. They were adrift radioing for help and were not sure where they were. Eventually, they tied onto a channel buoy and were able to radio the rescue County boat, the buoy number. If they had AIS, it would have been simple to motor up to them, even if they were drifting.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby BB marine on Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:44 pm

I agree the 600 lets another vessel know who you are and your location. I never thought of it as a vessel in distress tool. I see how it could assist. My method is my VHF, programmed with mmsi number, linked to my GPS. Press and hold the red bottom for 5 to10 seconds. Details of my vessel, my position, are broadcast to the Coast Guard and any other vessel in the area with a DSC equipped VHF are notified of emergency assistance needed. If you can send a message, give details of your emergency. If you can not send a message it is concidered immediate emergency assistance needed. I have AIS 300 but considering upgrading to 600 in the future.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby knotflying on Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:49 am

daveo wrote:I work for San Juan County. About a year ago, one of our smaller County boats broke down. Of course, it was foggy. They were adrift radioing for help and were not sure where they were. Eventually, they tied onto a channel buoy and were able to radio the rescue County boat, the buoy number. If they had AIS, it would have been simple to motor up to them, even if they were drifting.


If they had a GPS their coordinates could have been read off of that.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby baz on Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:58 pm

knotflying wrote:All points at this juncture are purely speculative. I would have to see data that would convince me that a small vessel transmitting made a difference in collision avoidance. Assuming the small vessel (me) has AIS receive, If I were dead in the water I would be proactive and contact the large vessel approaching and advise that I had no power. Once contact is made having AIS becomes secondary. Being a former pilot when conditions were instrument we all had to fly under the same rules and were coordinated through air traffic control and all had transponders (similar to AIS) so until all boaters are required to have AIS I look at it as an added safety luxury but not a full proof safety feature. As long as one vessel is transmitting and one receives then human intervention is obtainable.


Mike: The first thing that comes to mind in your scenario where you say "I would be proactive and contact the large vessel approaching..." is that you could very well be preoccupied with figuring out your 'dead in the water' issue with your head down and totally distracted and unaware of an approaching vessel on a possible collision course with you. Surely the AIS 600 transmit feature would help address this case.

For my cruising in the PNW Puget Sound area and the islands to the north there's very often foggy conditions (especially in morning time) and large ships and the fast moving Ferries in and about the northern islands are common. The Ferries especially do not slow down in foggy conditions and there was an incident the other year where a Ferry in fog conditions (I think it was foggy) in the San Juan islands mowed down a small sailboat. It cut the boat in two and it sunk in 250 feet of water.... the sailor survived thank goodness. Ref: http://komonews.com/news/local/state-ferry-collides-with-sailboat-in-san-juan-islands. If this incident was not during foggy conditions then this situation is even more dire IMO and would suspect the Ferry captain was severely distracted.

You never know how the fog conditions might manifest. You can start out early in the morning at the crack of dawn and visibility is good, then making a turn around the end of an island you run smack into thick fog.... what to do ????? Yes, you could turn about and go back or decided to venture onwards but slowly with full lookout, radar going, horn blasting every now and then, AND having AIS 600 to inform the big boys where the heck you are. For the extra cost of AIS 600 over 300 I'm really in no way concerned given the boat's safety and passenger's safety have multiple collision protection features being employed. Being 'dead in the water' within the PNW San Juan islands during foggy conditions scares the sh****t out of me.

I've elected to have AIS 600 for our new 2018 R-27 (an upgrade from the stock AIS 300). Andrew tells me the AIS 600 can utilize internal separate antenna rather than sharing the VHF antenna. :)
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby Bill & Donna Sibbers on Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:12 pm

Excellent upgrade and easy install. In the PNW (Puget Sound and the Salish Sea) this upgrade adds a significant margin of safety for relatively low cost.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby Boatagain on Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:29 pm

Andrew Custis wrote:The current AIS system is a Garmin AIS 300. If you want to upgrade to the 600, I believe you can put the antenna inside of the electronics cabinet instead of re routing the antenna to the cabin top which can be a bit of a chore. He will want to verify this with Garmin. Other than that, swap out the box and should be able to use the existing power connection.



Does anyone have their AIS antenna inside the boat as Andrew has suggested? If so, how well does it work?
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby baz on Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:03 pm

I'm having the Factory install the AIS 600 on our new 2018 R-27 and Andrew has told me it will use an internal antenna and not be connected or shared with the stock VHF antenna. I'll know later (In August timeframe) how well it works. ;) :o

To use Andrews words as best I recall concerning the AIS 600 antenna issue and sharing with the VHF... "we don't do that anymore... we use internal antenna which works better..."

So we shall see. :)

P.S.
Some Garmin warning info...

NOTICE
To prevent possible damage to your equipment, the VHF antenna must be connected to the AIS 600 before transmitting. This ensures that the power output to the antenna port dissipates properly when transmitting.

Electromagnetic Energy Exposure and Antenna Mounting
The AIS 600 generates and radiates radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME). Failure to observe these guidelines may expose persons to RF radiation absorption exceeding the maximum permissible exposure (MPE).

Garmin declares an MPE radius of 59 in. (1.5 m.) for this system, which was determined using 2 watts output to an omni-directional 9 dBi gain antenna. The antenna should be installed such that a distance of 59 in. (1.5 m) is maintained between the antenna and all persons.

When sharing the VHF antenna with a VHF radio, refer to the documentation provided with the radio for additional MPE information speci c to the installed VHF radio.

WARNING:
Radio operators with cardiac pacemakers, life-support machines, or electrical medical equipment should not be exposed to excessive radio-frequency fields.

Safe Compass Distance
Ensure that you install the AIS 600 transceiver box at least 15 3/4 in. (40 cm) from any compass. Test your compass to verify that it operates correctly when the device is operating.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby Boatagain on Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:24 pm

Thanks baz, that's very helpful. Wonder how the factory justifies an antenna inside the boat given the 59" perimeter specified by Garmin. Andrew, care to comment? And, can you specify what antenna you use for us diy'ers? Thanks in advance.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby HRowland on Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:34 pm

Boatagain wrote:Thanks baz, that's very helpful. Wonder how the factory justifies an antenna inside the boat given the 59" perimeter specified by Garmin. Andrew, care to comment? And, can you specify what antenna you use for us diy'ers? Thanks in advance.


I believe Andrew is referring to the GPS antenna that the AIS 600 requires. AIS transponders are required to have their own GPS source and can not use the same one as the chart plotter. The AIS 600 comes with a GPS antenna and cable.

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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby Bill & Donna Sibbers on Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:26 pm

Andrew is correct (as always). Mounting the GPS antenna internally works as advertised. Keep in mind your smartphone GPS works inside the boat and car just fine. Also, the installation recommended radius or distance from people can easily be accommodated on the R31 by mounting through the bedroom closet at the bottom shelf level and under the Garmin network system. We removed the shelving completely to mount the AIS unit. We also kept the AIS 300 unit as is and will likely reactivate when we upgrade to our next boat and take the AIS 600 with us as we will be keeping our boat name. Obviously will need to reprogram the AIS for new boat specs as well as edit our profile with the FCC.
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Re: AIS 300 upgrade

Postby baz on Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:22 am

Boatagain wrote:Thanks baz, that's very helpful. Wonder how the factory justifies an antenna inside the boat given the 59" perimeter specified by Garmin. Andrew, care to comment? And, can you specify what antenna you use for us diy'ers? Thanks in advance.


It's unclear to me what portion/piece of the AIS 600 components need to be 59" away from persons ? Is it the actual AIS 600 box ?
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