I recently have recently installed the Digital Yacht AIS1000 Transponder aboard my vessel and I thought I would share my findings with the forum should anybody be thinking of installing a Transponder on there boat.
My boat is a 15 Metre steel trawler and we are not required to run AIS by law but for safety reasons I thought it would be a good thing to have, I have had a Nasa AIS ENGINE receiver on board until now for just reception of Ais.
After a bit of research I opted for the Digital yacht AIS1000 Transponder which was supplied very quickly to me from Seamark Nunn. The AIS1000 is a Class B transponder and comes complete with its own active Gps antenna which is terminated at both ends with the required plugs also supplied is an 8-core data cable, Usb cable and a CD containing the Pro-ais software to configure the transponder also included on the disc are various other useful tools should you need them. There is also a quite comprehensive installation guide along with a quick start guide. The AIS1000 is powered by 12 Volts so if you have 24 Volts you will need a small converter.
I already had a marine band antenna up the mast which was used for the Nasa receiver so the cable for that was already terminated with the required BNC connector to plug into the AIS1000. The actual unit itself can be mounted in any orientation so finding a spot in the wheelhouse was not a problem. That done it was a matter of following the very clear and easy to follow instructions and wiring the unit in after mounting the active Gps antenna outside on the roof and running the cable back to the unit. This cable has the TNC plugs already installed so it is just a matter of plugging it in. You can also install a swith in line to stop the transponder from transmitting which again was explained very well in the instuctions, the switch can be configured to transmit a safety message (ie. MAYDAY) if you wish.
Once all the cables were in and clipped up it was just a matter of running the Pro-ais software and configuring the unit. One thing to watch out for is you only get ONE chance to set the MMSI number if you make a mistake the unit has to be returned to the factory for reset this is a safety feature and I think is in common with other transponders, all the other ships data can be altered at any time by logging into the transponder via Ais-pro .
Once power is supplied to the unit it is a matter of watching the various Led,s to ensure it has a valid gps signal and to confirm it is installed correctly. Once installed you do not need to touch the unit again exept if you need to alter any vessel data it just looks after itself.
If anyone is thinking of a CLASS B Transponder I would have no worries recomending this unit for ease of installation and for overall good quality, It was supplied by Seamark Nunn who were very helpful to me when I was researching which transponder to go for so again I would recomend them as well. You can check out there Website at Seamark Nunn
Digital Yacht also do quite a range of AIS receivers so if your interested take a look at there website at digital yacht.
You can check out the data sent by the AIS1000 by going onto the Shipfinder site and doing a search for my vessel. At the moment we are based in Plymouth in Devon and coverage to Pinkfroot is not that special. We need someone local to Plymouth to upload there ais data to Pinkfroot so come on someone help improve this great site even more. I try to upload data as much as I can when we are at sea but I am a bit limited for an internet connction using only a dongle.
The Vessel details are:
Mfv Sarah Jayne
I hope this short reveiw has been of some use to you.