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.

aisnet base station-01

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)

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

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 08.43.55

 

 

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.

European Space Agency and the International Space Station have AIS on board

Since 2010, the International Space Station has been equipped with a space-based AIS System receiver that allows it to track ships at sea from space. Since then, the system aboard the ISS has been receiving as many as 400,000 ship’s position reports from more than 22,000 different ships every day.

This video shows how this experimental system was used in 2012 to rescue a sole surviving crew member of a Norwegian vessel after it overturned in the North Atlantic during a storm.

For the technical, there’s details here on the scientific projects that the ISS is carrying out right now – click HERE.  We say get a Digital Yacht or Digital Deep Sea AIS Transponder on board today – and an AIS SART too!

dds family

 

 

Digital Deep Sea – Solutions for the professional market

Digital Deep Sea design and manufacture products for the commercial, fishing, workboat, naval and superyacht markets.  Here’s a guide for pro-market installers, users and dealers on our product line up which includes Class A AIS, wireless navigation solutions for Pilots and Captains and  a range of sensors.  Download it from here Digital Deep Sea Innovative Solutions

class a ais

Interesting AIS Applications – Tender Tracking

Most yachts above 50ft are now equipped with either a Class A or Class B AIS transponder.  Any superyacht carrying more than 12 passengers or over 300GRT is mandated to carry a Class A transponder like our CLA1000 – details here

But how about the yacht’s tenders or jetskis?

Adding a low cost Class B transponder to a yacht tender or jetski allows it to be easily tracked for safety and security. The Digital Yacht AIT2000 Class B transponder will provide regular 30 second transmissions of the tender’s position, course and speed and allow positive identification of the tender from the mother ship.  What’s more there’s no running costs or internet connectivity required for tender tracking with AIS unlike cellular based solutions.

The AIT2000 can also connect to a compatible plotter fitted on the tender to allow an AIS overlay of targets as well as making it easy for the helmsman to locate the mother ship.

Our new GV30 combo GPS-VHF antenna is ideal too for an unobtrusive installation.

 

jetski_ait2000VR 2

 

Here’s a reminder of some of the features of our AIT2000

  • AIT2000 – ultra compact Class B AIS transponder
  • Fit and forget solution – Waterproof to IP65
  • Supplied with GPS antenna – requires connection to VHF antenna or suitable splitter such as SPL2000 or can be supplied with our new GV30 combo GPS-VHF antenna
  • Features dual NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000 and USB interfaces for maximum flexibility
  • Remote silence/transmit inhibit feature
  • Class B AIS transmissions every 30 seconds for real time tracking

On board the mother ship, our  WLN10HS NMEA to WiFi server can be fitted to yacht’s main AIS system to allow wirelss tender tracking on crew or guest’s iPad/Phone – neat eh?  The WLN10 will typically footprint NMEA data over a boat up to 35m in length so crew can use an iPad or iPhone for navigation and tender tracking with apps like NavLink, iNavX and iAIS.

ait2000 plus wln10 for class a

Getting maximum Wi-Fi range on our PilotLink

PilotLink on Car Mount

Our PilotLink wireless NMEA server for connecting a Class A transponder to an iPad or other wireless device is proving very popular with commercial pilots and ship owners. PilotLink is the only wireless product in our range to feature an internal Wi-Fi antenna but its small ceramic chip antenna is very good and should have a range of 50m or more depending upon environmental conditions.

However, recently one of the Pilots who helped us in the original product testing reported that on some larger vessels, he was only seeing a 20m range. He also reported that if he held the PilotLink vertically and stuck it to the front window of the ship’s bridge that the range would suddenly increase and he could get reception from one side of the bridge to the other.

On checking the antenna data-sheet we confirmed that the antenna gave maximum gain when the Pilot Link was held vertically and also that if the PilotLink was laid flat on a metal surface, which is common when using it on a ship’s bridge, that the Wi-Fi range would be further reduced.

 

Pilot Link Signal Pattern

The drawing above attempts to illustrate how the Wi-Fi signals emanate from the center of the PilotLink – imagine a large doughnut approximately 100m in diameter with the PilotLink in the middle !

So after reviewing the Pilot’s feedback, backed up by the antenna datasheets, we recommend that anyone needing maximum Wi-Fi range from our PilotLink unit, should mount the PilotLink vertically, as far away from any large metallic objects as possible.

Whilst considering this issue, it occurred to us that a very good solution would be to use one of the many designs of mobile phone holders for cars. Although PilotLink is slightly thicker than your average mobile phone, most of these holders cope with a variety of different sizes and, as you can see from the photo at the start of this article, our PilotLink is held very securely by the spare holder we found in the office.

Mounting of the phone holder is easy, with the suction cup temporarily fixing to the front window of the bridge and, once adjusted for the PilotLink, it is held firmly in place. With these phone holders available from many online resellers and prices starting at just a few pounds, it is even worth considering one for smaller vessels, as a neat way to secure your PilotLink in rough conditions.

Aqua Adapt PCs Now Shipping

PCs are getting more popular on board and with the introduction of Windows 8.1 with its tiled interface, it makes a great choice for touch screen navigation and finger-tip control.  Many boaters use a notebook but they’re not designed for the hostile marine environment and also generally can’t connect to the boat’s DC power source without an adaptor or inverter.

Adapt PC

Digital Yacht have introduced a new chunky, mini PC designed specifically for use on board.  The Adapt PC connects direct to the boat’s battery system and operates from 8-19V DC.  It’s completely electronic with no moving parts and utilises the latest technology in solid state hard drives. It’s also passively cooled so there’s no fan to swirl moist air around delicate electronics.  Despite its tiny 200 x 110 x 70mm dimensions, it packs in a powerful Intel i3 processor and 8GB RAM as well as a 60GB solid state drive.  128 and 240GB options are also available.  With this spec, Adapt is ideal for use with graphics intense 3D navigation programs whilst still only consuming around 25W of power.  802.11 g/b/n Wi-Fi is also built in with dual antennas to improve performance.  This can be configured as a Wi-Fi server for remote display apps so a tablet or iPad can act as a PC remote display out in the cockpit.

With Windows 8.1 supporting multi touch features like pinch to zoom, it makes sense to pair the PC with a touchscreen.  The Adapt PC has two independent HDMI video outputs allowing two displays to be connected.

Most users want the PC to act as a hub for a navigation system to take advantage of software features like downloadable weather overlays, multi-screen chart displays or route optimisation.  Here the Adapt system really scores as two additional external modules have been developed to allow plug ‘n play NMEA0183 and NMEA 2000 navigation network integration as well as an Adapt Communication interface for internet access.  The Adapt Navigation interface has a NMEA 0183 input and a certified NMEA 2000 connection to hook up direct to boat networks.  Also available is the Adapt Communication interface which brings high power Wi-Fi to the Adapt PC for easy internet access whilst afloat.  This option allows access to shore side hotspots with ranges up to 5NM depending upon conditions.  The Adapt PC can also be set up to share this internet connection with other mobile users on board.

Both these interfaces match the rugged style of the Adapt PC and connect with just a single cable to the main processor.

The Aqua Adapt PC costs $1495 and the Navigation Interface is $625.  The Communication interface with high gain 36″ external antenna is $825.  Please contact us for GBP and EUR pricing

A sales presentation is available here ADAPT US DEALER PRESENTATION