USCG Class A AIS Mandate Now Approved

If you own or operate a commercial vessel in US waters (ports, rivers, lakes, and seas) you are likely to be affected by this new rule. The United States Coast Guard is publishing a new rule which will require most commercial vessels operating in US waters to fit and operate a USCG certified AIS transceiver. On 23rd December 2014, President Obama signed the final rule documentation relevant to the new USCG AIS Rule. We expect it to be formally published in the coming weeks whereupon those vessels affected shall have a limited window of 7 months to install an AIS Class A transceiver to be operating legally.  Currently only vessels over 300GRT on an international voyage are required to have an AIS Class A transponder.  It is likely this ruling will impact on 40,000 vessels.

AIS Basics

An AIS transponder send your boat’s identity, position, course and speed to other vessels equipped with an AIS unit. This data can then be interfaced to a chart plotter display to present an overlay of targets with their heading information.   It greatly aids navigation and helps with collision avoidance.  Signals are transmitted over two dedicated VHF frequencies so typical range from a Class A unit is 20-30NM depending upon antenna height.  All commercial ships over 300GRT are mandated to carry a Class A AIS transponder and the new USCG ruling will also mean other commercial vessels in the US will require a Class A unit.  Class A units have a display to show an overlay of targets and also connect to the vessels electronic chart plotter.  Voyage data can be entered into the Class A display.

Other users including yachtsmen can opt for the cheaper Class B type units like the Digital Yacht AIT1500/AIT2000/AIT3000.  Class B units are fully integrated into the AIS system but have a lower 2W transmit power and only send their data every 30 seconds.  They also require a chart plotter to display target data

What equipment is required?

A USCG approved Class A transponder like Digital Deep Sea’s CLA1000 meets the requirement of the mandate.  Its built tough, is extremely reliable, fully approved and competitively priced as well as supported through a technical dealer network.

The CLA1000 requires two antennas – a GPS antenna (included) and connection to a dedicated VHF antenna.  It may be your vessel already has a spare VHF antenna but if not a good quality (3dBi) VHF antenna should be fitted and ideally a version which is tuned to AIS frequencies (162MHz) which are slightly higher than the normal 156MHz range used for voice traffic.  Digital Deep Sea can help specify the right antenna for your vessel and even have a bundle package available

CLA1000 Bundle HR

The picture above also shows a couple of useful accessories like our HSC100 fast compass sensor which can be connected to the CLA1000 to provide Rate-of-Turn and vessel heading data for the AIS transmissions.  Also show is our Pilot Plug cable allowing connection of a PC or MAC to the CLA1000

What’s in the box?

This video is a little old, but we’ve been in the AIS business for a while which helps us support you better.  Here’s a video showing what’s included with the CLA1000

I know I have to get one but are there any advantages of installing an AIS?

Nobody likes a mandate with deadlines for installation but AIS genuinely improves navigation, safety and will make vessels more efficient for the future.  Unlike radar, AIS positively identifies a target with MMSI, callsign and name allowing communications to be quickly established.  The CLA1000 can also decode ATON (AIS aids to navigation) – these synthetic markers show on an AIS display but may not physically exist allowing dynamic management of the waterways.  AIS Personal SARTs are also available for MOB applications.  Additionally the AIS network can transmit information such as weather to mariners in real time.

iPad, MAC and PC Navigation

The CLA1000 is fitted with a pilot plug connector on the front of the display.  This allows GPS and AIS data to be connected to other devices either wirelessly (to an iPad or tablet using our WLN10HS NMEA to WiFi Server or PilotLink) or via a cable to a PC or MAC.  Digital Yacht has a great range of apps like NavLink US – a full featured charting and navigation program with detailed NOAA charts and a great AIS overlay including vessel scaling

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How do I get more information?

You can get further information on the CLA1000 from HERE

List price on the CLA1000 is $2799 but there’s amazing deals and offers for all commercial operators either through your local dealer or direct from us.  Contact us direct on 978 277 1234 to learn more and get instant savings today.

New AIS Man Over Board Device from Ocean Signal

At this year’s London Boat Show we were interested to see a brand new AIS Man Over board device from UK manufacturer Ocean Signal. The MOB1 is Ocean Signal’s first AIS MOB device, but its specifications, small size and unique integrated DSC function (triggers a DSC Alarm on the boat’s VHF) put it firmly ahead of the McMurdo and Kannad devices.

Ocean Signal MOB1

AIS MOB devices are designed, either to be fitted to self inflating life jackets for automatic operation or carried and manually operated by each member of the crew, should they fall over board. On the assumption that the best vessel to save the MOB is the vessel that he/she fell from, AIS MOB devices transmit a special AIS message that can be picked up by all AIS equipped vessels within 4-5 miles of the MOB.

With a suitable AIS enabled chart plotting device, the position of the MOB is clearly and accurately plotted on the electronic chart, making it very easy to locate and steer back to the “poor unfortunate”. As the MOBs position is constantly being transmitted and received in real time, the fear and uncertainty of trying to predict where the MOB has now drifted to, is completely removed even in rough seas with strong tides.

All Digital Yacht AIS receivers and transponders are compatible with AIS MOB devices, correctly receiving and passing on the special AIS MOB messages to other displays and devices on the boat. For any vessel that does not have an AIS MOB compatible chart plotter or who simply want the security of having an independent AIS MOB alarm system, Digital Yacht’s AIS Life Guard product is ideal.

AIS LifeGuard

AIS LifeGuard

Connected to the NMEA0183 output or the boat’s AIS receiver or transponder, Life Guard will immediately sound its internal 97dB alarm when it detects an AIS MOB signal and also drive an external alarm, relay or klaxon. What is more, LifeGuard can also detect the AIS MOB test message, sounding a short internal beep, ideal for testing the AIS MOB devices before leaving port.

MANOVERBOARD-01

For more information on the Ocean Signal MOB1 device please click here or to find out more about our AIS Life Guard product please click here.

 

New AIT1500 Class B AIS Transponder makes a splash at the London Boat Show

Digital Yacht complete their family of Class B AIS transponders with the introduction of the very affordable AIT1500.  Designed specifically to bring the benefits of Class B AIS to smaller vessels, it uses a high sensitivity internal GPS antenna to save on space and cut down on installation time. Simply connect to power and a plotter, plug in a VHF antenna and you’re in business.  It also has a 2nd output for a DSC radio (useful as a GPS source) and a USB interface for programming or for PC/MAC based navigation.

AIT1500 PNG

An AIS transponder send your boat’s identity, position, course and speed to other vessels equipped with an AIS unit. This data can then be interfaced to a chart plotter display to present an overlay of targets with their heading information. It greatly aids navigation and helps with collision avoidance. Signals are transmitted over two dedicated VHF frequencies so typical range from a Class B unit is 10-20 NM depending upon antenna height. All commercial ships over 300 GRT are mandated to carry a Class A AIS transponder.  Other users including yachtsmen can opt for the cheaper Class B type units like the AIT1500.  Class B units are fully integrated into the AIS system but have a lower 2W transmit power and only send their data every 30 seconds.

The AIT1500 is waterproof and tough and can be hidden away behind the console or tucked into a locker.  The NMEA 0183 interface is compatible with the vast majority of AIS ready chart plotters. There’s also a silence capability so the transmissions can be muted (keep those pirates away!) yet it will continue to receive AIS target data.  It joins the AIT2000 and AIT3000 in the Digital Yacht family.

The AIT1500 is available now and has a list price of £420 ex vat (EUR550/US$649.95).  More information from Digital Yacht TEL +44 1179 554474 (US 978 277 1234) or visit www.digitalyachtamerica.com.

See it first at the London Boat Show 9-18th January 2015 Stand A079/B080

Using Digital Yacht Wi-Fi products with OpenCPN V3.2 or higher

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In this second post about using our products with OpenCPN, we are pleased to announce the release of a new Tech Note that provides OpenCPN (Windows/Mac/LINUX) users with a clear guide on how to configure the latest Connection Manager (in OpenCPN since V3.2) to work with our Wi-Fi products.

OpenCPN is one of the most popular marine navigation software packages and is completely Open Source, meaning that Windows, Mac and LINUX users can install and use the software for free. For more information on OpenCPN please click here.

If you have one of our iAIS, AIT3000, WLN10, WLN20, PilotLink, NavLink or iNavHub Wi-Fi products that uses our Wireless NMEA interface and you want to use it with OpenCPN, then please download Tech Note 00062-2014 by clicking here.

Using Digital Yacht USB products with OpenCPN V3.2 or higher

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In the first of two posts about using our products with OpenCPN, we are pleased to announce the release of a new Tech Note that provides OpenCPN (Windows/Mac/LINUX) users with a clear guide on how to configure the latest Connection Manager (in OpenCPN since V3.2) to work with our USB products.

OpenCPN is one of the most popular marine navigation software packages and is completely Open Source, meaning that Windows, Mac and LINUX users can install and use the software for free. For more information on OpenCPN please click here.

If you have one of our AIS, GPS or Interfacing products that has a USB interface and you want to use it with OpenCPN, then please download Tech Note 00061-2014 by clicking here.

Digital Yacht Tech Training – A great resource

We’ve decided to publish our dealer training presentations on line so that the whole boating community can benefit.  Paul Sumpner, Digital Yacht’s CTO, was at the CA Clase distributor training event this week and presented a great overview on some of our core technologies including:

  • AIS – Hints and tips on transponder operation, programming and antenna selection
  • Wireless NMEA – differences between TCP/IP and UDP connections and app integration
  • GPS antennas and interfacing
  • Wireless internet and routers including common problems with accessing marina hotspots

Most importantly he covered lots of installation issues with hints and tips and important product selection advice.  Of course, reading a presentation on line is not as good as hearing the real thing so if you do have questions, feel free to contact us.

You can download the presentation from HERE  or click the picture below

tech training front cover

 

Wireless Navigation Takes Off at METS 2014

Digital Yacht have been pioneers in integrating consumer devices like iPads and tablets into your boat’s navigation system.  We introduced our award winning iAIS three years ago and our WLN10 NMEA to WiFi servers are installed on 1000s boats worldwide allowing NMEA data to be streamed to mobile devices.  The AquaWear WLN20 introduced this month enables wearable navigation for yachtsmen with its included wrist case allowing you to literally wear navigation on your sleeve – another first for the marine industry.  Find our more HERE

iais NEW MONTAGE

Other marine electronic equipment companies are also realising the potential so we decided to take a look around this years METS 2014 marine equipment show and video some of the other innovations.  Here’s the world’s first iPad radar from Furuno.

We are working with Furuno and Maxsea to get real time NMEA data (like GPS, instruments and AIS) into their apps from your boat’s navigation systems  making the connected boat a reality today.  Start looking forward to next generation navigation from Digital Yacht and our partners who share our vision.