Loads of new electronic devices found their way to Liberta this year! A long with the new chart plotter, sending and receiving AIS and a new VHF was installed. Also NMEA200 network was set up while we were at it.
Old and new technology
The old VHF went bust due to the short circuit. But it would have been too old anyways. In terms of installing, the new VHF was the easiest, as it could also use the old antenna. Some modifications had to be made of course for mounting as the device is a lot smaller than the old one. The new device is talking with the NMEA2000 network and it supports the DSC emergency. The digital selective calling sends a distress signal which includes the boat information together with its position by just pressing one button.
A bit more difficult device to install was the new AIS. AIS is a device that provides means to transmit boat information to see the boats/ships close by, where they are going and how fast. With the help of AIS it’s easy to see others using AIS on the chart plotter and avoid getting in to crash course with them.
Are they working already? The new VHF and AIS plugged into the NMEA2000 network.
I had to change the first AIS into a 100€ more expensive one to get it using the same antenna as the VHF. For some reason a separate splitter would have cost even more. Because the device is sending and receiving, it needs a GPS antenna to work. Although the device is functioning in the NMEA2000 network, it needs a separate antenna and cannot use the data provided by the chart plotter. Later I found out that this was not only problem in my device, but it is a function concerning all sending and receiving AIS devices.
Installing the new GPS antenna was easy itself, but the head needed changing. Luckily I had Timo helping me out so that was not a problem. But of course googling and fetching the part from the other side of Helsinki took its time.
Another issue that was causing gray hair was installing boat information to the new AIS device. An installation CD came with the device, but where can you put it? There hasn’t been a CD station in computers for years. And my laptops security check didn’t allow installing the program found online… finally I found a laptop I could borrow that had weak enough virus control to install the program and get it installed on the AIS… 🙂
Finally the AIS was installed and the wires could be hidden.
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