National Coast Watch Doing a Great Job

NCI Mablethorpe Station

Since their formation in 1994, the UK’s National Coast Watch Institution (NCI) have been doing invaluable work around the UK coastline. With 50 stations, manned by over 2000 volunteers, the NCI are the marine watch keepers, alerting and coordinate MCA and RNLI rescue operations whilst also monitoring the general coastal environment and weather conditions.

A number of the NCI stations have Digital Yacht AIS units installed, including Mablethorpe (shown above) and the most recent installation was recently completed at Barry Island in South Wales (image below). Using one of our latest AISNet units, they were able to receive AIS targets all the way across the Bristol Channel and up the Avon.

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It is not always possible to get an internet connection in some of these very remote NCI stations, but in the Barry station, AISNet was able to send live reception data to an AIS webserver hosted by PocketMariner where it could be viewed online or on a mobile device using their Boat Beacon or our NavLink apps. The image below shows the typical reception the NCI station would see and you can click here to see a live view of the Barry Island station.

Boat Watch Live View

The NCI is entirely staffed by volunteers, with funding managed by a Board of Trustees based on a constitution agreed by the Charity Commission. It may not be as dramatic and high profile as the RNLI, but the work they do is of equal importance and relies heavily on local support and donations. If you ever chance upon an NCI station, just knock on the door and the officers on watch will give you a warm welcome and be delighted to show you what they do.

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NEW! Digital Yacht AIT1500N2K Class B AIS offers an easy installation for NMEA2000 systems

Digital Yacht have just released a new AIS Class B transponder intended specifically for easy installation on small yachts, motor boats and RIBs.  It’s designed to simply plug into an existing NMEA 2000 network to provide compatible plotters and instruments with AIS data.  As a transponder, it also sends vessel data to other AIS users.  Class B units require their own GPS in order to ensure they transmit accurate data and this normally means another antenna outside the boat.  The AIT1500N2K has a built in, highly sensitive GPS so it can work below decks on GRP boats cutting down on antenna clutter.  All that’s required to complete operation is connection to a VHF antenna or suitable AIS-VHF antenna splitter such as the Digital Yacht SPL2000.

AIT1500N2K Cutout HR

There’s a USB interface for programming and also for use with PC/MAC based charting applications.  Digital Yacht also have an optional WiFi adaptor for the NMEA 2000 backbone to allow data transfer to a tablet, smart phone or iPad – details HERE

ait1500n2k line drawing

“Many boaters see the huge benefits of AIS and want to embrace the technology but are put off by a difficult and costly installation.  The AIT1500N2K couldn’t be easier to fit – it even takes power from the boat’s NMEA 2000 network.  This standard is now embraced on just about every modern chart plotter or instrument system to allow plug ‘n play interfacing” commented Paul Sumpner, CTO of Digital Yacht.

The AIT1500N2K is available now and will be on display at the London Boat Show 2016 Stand C021

It costs £450/$699.95/€645 (excluding VAT if applicable) and further details are at http://www.digitalyachtamerica.com

AIS Transponder on a Jet Ski

Jetski on Trailer

Earlier this year we were approached by Al Charles who was attempting to combine two of his favourite past times; fishing and jet skiing. Al was passionate about making his Jet Ski suitable for offshore fishing around the UK coasts and proceeded to squeeze a complete suite of navigation equipment in to his Seadoo Jet Ski.

Al managed to install one of our latest AIT1500 Class B transponders, which shared a single Shakespeare VHF antenna, with the Icom VHF by using our SPL2000 antenna splitter. The AIS data was then displayed on a Lowrance combo chart plotter and fish finder.

AIT1500+SPL2000 on JetSki

Lowrance AIS on Jet Ski

Al who did all of the design and installation himself, including the fibreglass fabrication, had to work hard to get everything to fit within the tight confines of the Jet Ski, but as you can see from the photos on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/al.charles.144) the results are incredibly good. On numerous outings this season the installation has worked faultlessly, allowing Al to see exactly where all of the large vessels are while he is fishing and also transmitting his position while he concentrates on reeling in his next catch.

AISNET Plus – A powerful new AIS Base Station Receiver

AISnet+ is a new enhanced version of our popular AISnet AIS base station receiver.  Both models will continue to be available but AISnet+ features some new, unique interfacing capabilities.

Both devices are fitted with a network/RJ45 interface.  They are designed for installation on shore side facilities such as ports, marinas or platforms for connection to the internet via a suitable router.  Local AIS traffic decoded by the AISnet receiver can then be sent to AIS internet providers such as Marine Traffic and AISLive.

aisnet plus The new AISnet+ device brings new connectivity options with a sophisticated internal router allowing for Open VPN connections and wireless connectivity as well as via a LAN cable.  Like the AISnet receiver, it has also has a USB interface for a local PC or MAC.  Open VPN allows for secure AISnet to server communications for high reliability and security – its ideal for military applications.

AISnet+uses the very latest generation, high sensitivity dual channel AIS receiver for the best possible receiver performance.  Both Class A and Class B transmissions are fully decoded including ATONs, SARTs and other specialist AIS signals.  Indicator lights are now built in showing receiver and network status.

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AISnet+ ships with a 110/220V AC adaptor (with universal plug adaptors for global markets) and a simple to use configuration application/CD for both PC and MAC.  It can also be powered from 12V DC.  It is available now priced at £1000 plus VAT where applicable ($1600/EUR1400)

Overview of Digital Yacht’s Wireless NMEA Devices

Wireless NMEA Products New

Since 2011, when we released iAIS, the world’s first wireless AIS receiver, we have been gradually building up a powerful range of wireless NMEA products. All of these products allow NMEA data (the marine industry data standard) to be taken from your onboard navigation equipment and transferred wirelessly to your mobile devices; tablets, smart phones, computers, etc.

With nine different wireless NMEA products in our range, it can be confusing for customers to select the best product for their needs. This article provides a simple overview of our wireless NMEA products which will hopefully make it easier for you to choose the right product for your application.

Product Description
iAIS AIS Receiver with Wi-Fi
AIT3000 AIS Transponder with Wi-Fi
iNavHub Wireless Router that converts NMEA0183 data
NavLink Wireless NMEA2000 Converter
PilotLink Portable Wireless converter for Class A transponders
WLN10 Wireless NMEA0183 Converter for Instruments
WLN10HS Wireless NMEA0183 Converter for AIS
SonarServer Wireless NMEA0183 Converter for Navionics App
WLN20 Dual Input Wireless NMEA0183 Converter

All of these products transmit wireless NMEA data that is readable by most of the popular navigation apps for Apple and Android devices. For more information on the latest Apps, please have a look at our Best Marine Apps for Apple iOS Devices or our Best Marine Apps for Android Devices articles.

The Navionics Boating App, the most popular navigation App for both Apple and Android devices, has recently added support for wireless NMEA and will now read wireless Depth and GPS data from the boat’s navigation system. Primarily this is to allow customers to create their own bathymetric charts using the Navionics SonarCharts™ “Live” technology, but it also allows non-3G iPads and even iPod Touch devices, that do not have their own internal GPS, to now be used for navigation. Digital Yacht have produced a special, simplified version of our WLN10, called the SonarServer that works with the Navionics App, although all of our other wireless products are also SonarCharts “Live” compatible.

If you would like to breath new life in to your boat’s existing navigation system, by going wireless and running the latest Apps on your new tablet or smart phone, then check what NMEA0183 or NMEA2000 interfaces your system has, decide whether you want to add AIS or not and then select the Digital Yacht wireless NMEA product that best suits your needs.

Illuminated Silent Switch for AIS Transponder

AIT2000 Power + Silent LED

With more and more AIS Transponders being installed on pleasure boats, fitting and using a “Silent Switch” is definitely recommended and we should all do our bit to reduce chart plotter clutter by following the etiquette of only transmitting your position when crossing shipping lanes or in bad weather.

When an AIS transponder is in “Silent Mode” it continues to receive position/target reports from other vessels, but it no longer transmits its own position.

All Digital Yacht AIS transponders have the option of fitting a remote silence switch and we are often asked by customers if they can fit an illuminated Silent switch so that it is easy to tell if the transponder is in Silent or normal mode. The simple answer to this is “NO” you cannot fit an illuminated switch directly to our transponders as they are just sense lines and will not either turn on an illuminated switch or appreciate having the boat’s 12v supply connected to them through the illuminated switch.

There is a way to in-directly connect an illuminated switch to our AIS transponders though, by connecting it via an automotive relay. The image below shows how to wire the relay and illuminated switch to the White and Blue wires of our transponders that control the Silent mode.

AIT1000-3000 Silence Switch Relay

In this configuration, when the switch is illuminated the transponder is in Silent Mode and when the switch is off the transponder goes back to normal mode transmitting your position.

 

NavLink iOS App Gets Canada Charts

NavLink US is Digital Yacht’s popular and low cost charting app for iOS devices.  It utilises detailed NOAA Government charts for excellent detail and clarity of US waters.  Navigate in real time, create routes and waypoints and connect to your boat’s GPS and AIS system via any of Digital Yacht’s NMEA-WiFi servers for real time AIS overlays and reliable positioning.  Your iPhone or iPad is transformed into a powerful, simple to use, touch screen chart plotter.

IPAD AIR MONTAGE TRANSPARENT

AIS presentations are fantastic with vessel scaling and course prediction vectors – advanced visualisations that really enhance navigation safety.

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Detailed Canadian Office CHS charts have now been added as a low cost (US$29.95) in app purchase.  To get NavLink US, simply visit the Apple App Store on your iOS device and download the app.  Contact us directly for details on our NMEA to Wireless devices for complete on board integration – details HERE

canada charts