HF AIS – Encapsulated in Digital Yacht AIS products for better performance

HF-AIS is an advanced technology that ensures an AIS transceiver reliably processes all transmissions in real time without error. An AIS transceiver with HF-AIS will typically allow you to see up to 30% more targets than transceivers without HF-AIS.  All Digital Yacht transponder products incorporate this technology brought to us by our chip set manufacturer SRT

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You don’t know what you don’t see – if your AIS transceiver does not process (decode) an AIS transmission, you will not see that target on your display. This issue affects AIS Class A, Class B and receivers.

HF-AIS technology solves this critical and unseen issue, which can result in you missing up to 30% of available targets and data. An AIS transceiver can be required to receive and then decode up to 2,250 transmissions every minute – 37 every second – with each AIS transmission containing up to 300 bytes (your GPS position, MMSI, Speed, Course etc), that’s a huge amount of information that must be continuously processed. When this data is not processed due to the transceiver being overwhelmed with transmissions, the data is lost forever – often up to 30% of targets. The lost transmissions could be from a nearby vessel on a collision course with you – therefore lost data and targets are of critical importance to your safety.

  • Proven to see up to 30% more AIS targets and data with HF-AIS
  • HF-AIS ensures all available AIS transmissions are fully decoded and processed in real time.
  • HF-AIS is advanced core technology, that combines hardware and software, embedded in the ‘processing brain’ of our AIS transceivers.
  • HF-AIS is particularly beneficial in busy areas where the volume of AIS transmissions can cause processing errors and lost data in transceivers without HF-AIS.

hf ais

HF-AIS technology is a unique combination of hardware and software embedded within
our AIS transceiver. It comprises a high performance processor (chip) which has the processing speed to easily cope with reliably decoding large amounts of data in real time
on which is highly efficient software that uses specialist architectures and structures
normally found in data heavy wireless applications such as 3G and 4G cellular phones.
This unique combination of hardware and software is HF-AIS and ensures that our
transceivers will reliably process all available AIS transmissions in real time and without
error.

The ultimate benefit is that you’ll get outstanding performance and the best AIS capability from our transponders.

You can see the effect of the technology in action HERE

Not all AIS receivers are the same….

BoatBeacon (a company with some brilliant marine telematics capabilities) are rapidly expanding their AIS base station coverage and utilising Digital Yacht AIS products for exceptional performance.  A recent installation in Benidorm shows that not all AIS receivers perform the same.  The picture below shows previous coverage using a 3rd party AIS.

AIS BENIDORM BEFORE

They then upgraded to a Digital Yacht AIS receiver and the performance improvements are dramatic – an 8 fold increase in data received and over 4 times as many ships all from the same location and antenna.  You’ll notice too how ATONs and AIS base stations are correctly decoded by all Digital Yacht receivers

AIS BENIDORM AFTER

You can also see the dramatic increase in data traffic in the graph below when the new receiver was turned on at 2:10pm.  Digital Yacht – better AIS solutions.

AIS TARGET GRAPH

TCP Connection Problems on Apple iOS 10

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Since Apple’s release of iOS 10 for iPhones and iPads, we have been getting a number of calls and emails saying that various navigational Apps that read wireless NMEA data from our products have stopped working, including our free iAIS app.

There are two modes/protocols that our wireless NMEA products can work in; TCP which is a reliable one to one type connection supported by most apps and UDP which is a broadcast protocol that allows multiple devices to all receive the same data.

When we started to investigate, we found that TCP communication on all Apps no longer worked with iOS 10 and UDP only worked on some apps. At first we thought this might have been an Apple API type change that had caused the problem, but then we discovered that changing the IP address of our wireless NMEA products from 169.254.1.1 to 192.168.1.1 fixed the problem.

The 169.254.1.1 IP address range is usually reserved for Ad-Hoc networks where there is no DHCP server and dates back to our first iAIS product (released in 2011) that only supported Ad-Hoc networks. With the release of Android, which did not support Ad-Hoc networks, we updated our wireless NMEA products to the more common Access Point mode but retained the 169.254.1.1 IP address, to avoid changing too many Apps and Documentation.

Now it seems that Apple are clamping down on TCP connections on Ad-Hoc networks and this means that all customers who have updated their iPhone or iPad to iOS 10, will need to change the IP address of their wireless NMEA product, if they have one of our; iAIS, WLN10, WLN10HS, WLN20, NavLink, PilotLink or AIT3000 units. Please note that our iNavHub and Sonar Server products are not affected by the iOS change.

To make this procedure as easy and simple as possible, we have created a new Tech Note that explains what needs to be done. Click here to download.

 

Looking for a Class B AIS transponder?

Its always good to have a few weeks at boat shows and listen to customer questions.  Differences between models always crop up as Digital Yacht have a big selection of Class B AIS transponders on offer.  We hope this document helps you decide which is best for your installation.  All units share a common technology platform so will give excellent performance and importantly have future proof SatTrak technology built in.

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AIT1500 Series

All AIS transponders require their own dedicate internal GPS (you can’t use a NMEA feed from an existing GPS).  The AIT1500 series has a super sensitive internal antenna which cuts down on the need for another external antenna.  It will work well even below decks on GRP vessels but steel or wood will attenuate the signal too much.  The AIT1500 series is therefore great for RIBs, Center Consoles and GRP sail boats.  With many larger sail boats now fitting multi function displays in the cockpit, it can be unobtrusively installed in a location adjacent to the MFD and the same for flybridge motor boats.

The AIT1500 comes in two versions – one for NMEA 0183 based systems and one for NMEA 2000 systems.  The later is also self powered from the NMEA 2000 bus so installation really is plug ‘n play.  Both models have a USB interface for PC & MAC for programming and PC plotting.

AIT2000

Has dual NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 interfaces plus USB and ships with a dedicated external GPS antenna.  Its a great solution for wooden and steel vessels that require an external GPS antenna

AIT3000

Appropriately called “Nucleus” as it forms a hub in any marine electronics system.  It features our patented ZeroLoss VHF antenna splitter technology so the main VHF antenna can be shared with VHF and AIS which means no need for another VHF antenna and sophisticated connectivity including not just NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 but also WiFi for iPad and tablet interfacing.  Up to 7 wifi connected devices can be attached and neat NMEA interfacing allows instrument, AIS and GPS data to be used by hundreds of compatible apps.  There’s also a FM radio antenna outlet.

Here’s a 5 minute guide on Youtube and of course we’re standing by on email and phone to answer any queries.  Digital Yacht – for your biggest and best choice in Class B AIS.

New set of “How To” Videos on our Long Range Wi-Fi Products

WL510+iNavConnect

Getting a good long range Wi-Fi connection in a marina can be a challenge, particularly if you have not used the equipment for a while and cannot remember the steps involved.

To try and help make this a little easier, Digital Yacht have created a set of “How To” videos that explain how to connect to the two main types of wireless hotspots that you will come across on your travels; the “Open” captive portal type hotspot favoured by most marinas these days and the “encrypted” password protected hotspot that most bars and restaurants still operate.

At the same time we also created a third video that covers the important process of securing your boat’s wireless, by changing the default wireless network name and password, so that only the people you want to connect, can join your network.

We recommend watching them in the order shown below and simply click on the link to take you to the video on our YouTube channel…

  1. Connecting our WL510 to a Captive Portal type Marina hotspot
  2. Connecting our WL510 to a Password Protected type Restaurant/Bar hotspot
  3. Changing the default SSID and Password on our iNavConnect/iNavHub/iKConnect routers

IMPORTANT NOTE
After Apple changed the way their auto login feature of iOS and Safari behaved earlier this year, we now recommend installing the free Google Chrome web browser for maximum compatibility when connecting to hotspots, on your iPad or iPhone and this is also true on Windows PCs as Internet Explorer does not always seem to trigger the re-direct to the marina’s welcome/login page.

CLA1000 Fault Finding Guide

CLA1000 Bundle HR

Despite our popular CLA1000 Class A transponder being predominately fitted to commercial ships by experienced electronic installers, an increasing number are being fitted to pleasure craft and are often installed by the boat’s owner or an installer who has never fitted a Class A transponder before.

Installation is pretty straight forward, but there are a number of steps and procedures to follow:-

  • Mechanical Installation
  • Power Connections
  • GPS antenna installation
  • VHF Antenna installation
  • Interfacing*
  • Configuration via the supplied configAIS program

*Many CLA1000 units are interfaced to our HSC100, USB to NMEA Adaptor cable, Pilot Plug or PilotLink units.

Things do not always go to plan and with this in mind, we have released a Fault Finding Guide to help users, new to Class A transponders, work out what is wrong. To download a copy of our AIS Class A Transponder Fault Finding Guide, click here.

 

New iKommunicate Developer’s Guide (SDK)

iK GitHub Site

This week we launched a new iKommunicate Developer’s Guide on GitHub that aims to make it easy for developers to start writing HTML5 Web Apps or mobile Apps that read data from NMEA networks via the new Signal K open data format.

iKommunicate is designed to be a powerful and intelligent gateway that efficiently converts NMEA data in to Signal K data, but that is just half of the jigsaw. The other key elements are the apps and software that work with iKommunicate to make it a fun and useful addition to your boat.

Out of the box, iKommunicate will work with all Navigation Software packages and Apps that support NMEA network data over TCP or UDP and it will also include a couple of Signal K web apps to get you started. However, it is hoped, that as more and more developers realise the potential of Signal K, that a plethora of innovate and useful apps will start to appear, transforming the way we use out boats.

In putting together the Developer’s Guide, we realised just how easy it is to start developing apps and there is an awful lot of information, libraries and source code on the internet that you can draw upon as you become more experienced. Even if you have never looked at HTML5, http REST APIs or WebSockets, our wiki and example apps, will give you a good starting point and have you displaying Signal K data in no time.