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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Aberaeron
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    334

    Question NASA AIS Engine testing

    My ‘new’ boat is fitted with a NASA AIS Engine connected to a Garmin 540GPS . As our home waters are in a relatively quiet area for large shipping (Cardigan Bay) we don’t get many ships transmitting an AIS signal, so I am having difficulty in working out if the AIS/Garmin set up is actually functioning. Apart from sailing 30 miles down the coast to wait for the Irish ferry to leave Fishguard and pick up their AIS transmission can anyone suggest a way of checking if the AIS is working?
    Last edited by Praxinoscope; 14-06-18 at 14:25.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    31,375

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    When I had one, many years ago I got a test bit of software from NASA, but my engine was running on a PC.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Aberaeron
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Hi Tranona

    Thanks, I assumed there was a bit of test software, but as you say yours was connected to a P.C.

    Praxinoscope

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Two sources come to mind, one a local yacht with a transponder through a club (surely one exists locally), and two, the local lifeboat might have a scheduled trip (i assume they have transponders and am not suggesting you summons them).
    Oh that level of paucity might exist in the solent.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Aberaeron
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Hi Blan321
    Thanks for your suggestions, I think the lifeboat might be the best option, we usually know when they are out on practice.
    I can sympathise with you on density of traffic around South Coast, but envy you the numerous harbours and anchorages.

    Praxinoscope

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    31,375

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Why not give NASA a call. I found them very helpful setting mine up and testing it from home.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    7,947

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    The little green ED under the power LED flashes when a message comes in, so if you see that flashing then you know *something* has come in. It also sends a test message when you turn it on though with no lat or long it might no get displayed on the garmin.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Aberaeron
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Hi GHA

    Thanks, the tip that the AIS sends a test message when switched on is useful, we have so little AIS activity in this area I could wait weeks for the green LED to flash with an incoming message.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,330

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Check your location on one of the web based ais sites and if there are targets shown there within 5-6 miles you should also receive them.
    www.marinetraffic.com
    www.shipais.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,433

    Default Re: NASA AIS Engine testing

    Look out for the CG helicopter based put of Caernarfon as another AIs source. I have tracked it over 40 miles away. It's height plays a great advantage for reception. . It happens to use our home port as a way point. I believe one pilot lives in the village! Open CPN has a brilliant display for it unfortunately it shows as a green fixed wing plane icon!

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