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Vesper marine ais watchmate


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#1 wild violet

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:06 PM

Ive bitten the bullet and purchased one of these units i thought i would just use a 30 dollar aerial splitter fron burnsco but instructions say to buy one of their units for 430 bucks.Does anyone know how much difference a cheap one would make,would it still work?cheers
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#2 kiwi_jon

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:19 PM

If you are talking about the Pacific VHF/AM/FM band splitter then it will not work. You may get lucky and find that a strong local VHF/AIS signal may get through the AM/FM band pass filter but it will be a very weak output signal and unreliable.
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#3 wild violet

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:26 PM

Thanks for that am thinking i might just disconnect my vhf and plug aerial straight in to unit ,i have a hand held i can use to transmit cheers
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#4 ex TL systems

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:53 PM

Just buy another aerial and have one for radio one for ais
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#5 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:59 PM

I did a delivery of a biggun that had AIS fitted but it seemed patchy as did the VHF. A few weeks after I dropped it off the owner told me he had someone down to suss it all and the cause was a 'cheap arse splitter'. Replaced it with a good one and now both units work fine.

 

My splitter cost a couple of maybe 3 hundy... off the top of my head.

 

About a year ago a big brand new Harley arrived at work, the owner brought some of our hacksaw proof security chain he went hard on that. When asked about a padlock he said he was sorted. About 2 months later he came in again with a new bike for some more chain. On sussing his first bike was stolen along with the security chain. The only thing left behind was the remains of a padlock purchased from the Warehouse.

 

If you go and splash big on flash units don't be a tightarse when buying the bits it need to work properly.


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#6 wild violet

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:03 PM

Yea cant justify it i have to buy a gps aerial as well as it will be mounted inside steel hull,plug and play yea right
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#7 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:23 PM

I put a external gps antenna in as well even though I'm everything except steel, she is a bit of a show case of NZ yacht building materials used from 1975 thru to 2015.

 

I was told by some carbon can block the gps signal and I was told by some carbon can't block the gps signal. About then thought lets remove all doubt, I've done quite a lot of things in her for the same reason.


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#8 island time

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:57 PM

WV, sorry, but your approach is why some report AIS is useless. Please either spend the time to research online what you need, rely on a local specialists advice, or ask on crew.org!
Ais does not use the same frequency as your vhf radio. The antenna should be designed for ais, and dedicated to that task.
Alternatively, and for a small loss in efficiency, you can use a quality, powered ais antenna splitter that intoduces gain to help compensate for the loss in the splitter. Vesper’s splitter is an excellent example of this. Navico’s one is good as well. Neither of them is cheap (3-4 hundred) but they work well.
A cheap basic splitter wont work properly and can limit or prevent transmission or reception for both your vhf and ais.
The vesper ais units are, IMO , the best available, with great support.
Yes, I do sell them, but I would have told you this on here regardless of whom you chose to buy it from...
If in doubt about something boating related, ask on here before making a decision, some of the members have lots of knowledge and experience, it’s free to ask, and can save lots of $ and or anguish!
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#9 wild violet

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 06:23 AM

Thanks IT my vhf aerial is on top of my mast if i use that just for the ais surely it cant get any better? I have a hand held i can use for forecasts and transmitting so thats ok i only use it for forecasts mainly anyway
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#10 island time

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 06:39 AM

Thanks IT my vhf aerial is on top of my mast if i use that just for the ais surely it cant get any better? I have a hand held i can use for forecasts and transmitting so thats ok i only use it for forecasts mainly anyway

Well, that antenna is a vhf antenna, not a dedicated AIS antenna, so yes, it can get better than that, but the difference is small, so it’s ok to use.
However, class B AIS is a low power system. It will highlight any antenna issues you have, like age and condition of the coax to the antenna etc. if it’s 20+ years old, the coax is likely in poor condition. How was your vhf signal? Done a radio check with coastguard lately? If you have, and they reported loud and clear, then you are probably ok with that antenna.
Finally though, please consider that your vhf radio in your boat is 25 Watts, with a masthead antenna, and you handheld is likely 3 Watts, with a small rubber antenna. The range difference is substantial. VHF is a primary safety device, and personally I wouldn’t compromise it’s range for an AIS.
IMO you should get a proper splitter, or install a dedicated ais antenna. Ais antennas on the stern rail or on the spreader work fine, and does not effect the vhf.
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