For many years we have been successfully running one of our AISNet base stations in the house of our CTO, up on Portsdown Hill overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. All of the AIS equipped vessels operating out of Portsmouth and the central Solent were picked up and transmtted over a 4G data connection to one of the many AIS web servers operated by Pocket Mariner (the company who developed the very popular Boat Beacon App).
Many users of Boat Beacon and even the Portsmouth International Port authority benefit from this data and when our CTO selfishly decided to move house, the pressure was on to find an alternative location. Fortunately, the wonderful people at WicorMarine volunteered to become the new custodians and yesterday we went down to help them install the system.
WicorMarine Yacht Haven is located at the top of Portsmouth Harbour, with clear line of sight across the whole harbour and we hoped that the AIS reception would be as good as before.
Between the rain showers, the WicorMarine team mounted the VHF antenna on top of their weather sensor mast, while we powered up the AISNet and 4GConnect router and tested that the AIS data was being received and forwarded to the internet web server.
The results were much better than we had expected and if anything we were actually getting better all round range, than previously. As you can see from the image below, 175 targets all the way up Southampton water, as far West as Lymington and way out in to the Channel beyond Nab Tower.
Everyone at Pocket Mariner, Digital Yacht and WicorMarine were very pleased with the new installation and we hope it will continue to give perfect service for many years to come.
A big thank you to Scott Waddington and his team at WicorMarine for the use of their facilities and the professional and efficient manner in which they handled this new project.