Corrupted NMEA Data

Corrupted Data

Today we had an interesting telephone call from a customer with one of our AIT3000 units that was not providing wireless data to his iPad. The unit had been working perfectly when installed earlier in the year, but on conducting some last minute system checks, prior to leaving for the Baltic, the customer found that the AIS data to his iPad appeared to be corrupted (see image above).

On seeing this screen shot, we immediately confirmed that the NMEA data was indeed corrupted as the majority of the characters were not your normal alpha-numeric ASCII dataset. Our first thought was that the unit had an internal fault but on further investigation we found that instead of trimming off and isolating the unused wires in the Power/Data cable, the wires had been tied back and taped up. Unfortunately the wires had now started to touch together with NMEA output wires touching NMEA Input wires resulting in the data corruption we had seen.

We asked the customer to isolate and trim back all of the wires and “voilà” the wireless data went back to normal and the iPad App could display the AIS and GPS data again. The customer was very relieved that his system was working again and we were reminded again how simple installation errors can cause the most unusual of fault symptoms.

Installation Tip – always trim back and isolate any unused wires.

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