FAQ: General

Why is my VHF radio reception disturbed?

This might be due to the VHF antenna you are using. However, there is a solution for it. Please, connect the antenna cable of the car radio „without ground“ to the easySPLIT, i.e. only the inner conductor/pin is to be used. Do not connect the outer conductor/cable which is connected to the ground of the chinch plug or to the ground of the car radio!

The physical effect put in a nutshell: An antenna is always a dipole. Normally the inner conductor of a coaxial cable is connected to the upper dipole and the outer conductor is connected the lower dipole of the antenna. However, the customary antennas for pleasure crafts do not have a lower dipole. This lower dipole is simulated by an adapted network (i.e. simply a high-frequency transformer). The adapted network is adjusted to a frequency range of approx. 150 Mhz to 163 Mhz. Thus, the outer conductor of the antenna cable has the important function to adjust the antenna to the frequency range of 150-162 Mhz.

So, if you do not use the outer conductor, colloquially called “ground”, for the car radio plug, you simply have a „cable antenna“ for the car radio which should work fine for the VHF radio frequency range.

Why is the light not lit? High voltage drop?

Please, turn it on.

Furthermore, a too high voltage drop due to a small cable diameter might be the reason. This voltage drop (Ua) can be calculated as follows:

Ua = (lxpxI)/A

l = length of the wire (e.g. 10 m)

p = specific resistance (spoken: rho; copper = 0.0178 ohm x mm²/m)

I = current (e.g. 1A (ampere))

A= cross-section of the cable (e.g. 0.14 mm²)

Example calculation:

If you used a fairly thin cable (0.14 mm² cross-section) for the extension, the total cable length amounts to 10 m, the voltage drop would be about 1.3V. Due to this drop it may be possible that the internal voltage regulator will no longer be supplied with sufficient voltage and thus does not work properly. Another cause might be a simple short circuit (direct connection from + to -).

Does the easyAIS and easySPLIT work with APPLE Macintosh (Powerbook)?

The basic question is, whether the Powerbook has a serial COM interface (RS 232).
Some laptops do not have it. You can help yourself with a USB-to-COM adapter (which can be bought at e.g. Conrad, Media Markt, Saturn etc.).

The Apple or PC software (e.g. a terminal program) uses this COM interface and shows the encoded telegrams (ship reporting etc.), which have been received by the easyAIS. As the easyAIS works according to the NMEA0183 standard, the information is received as ASCII-telegram at 38400 baud (start and stop bit, no parity). Every common terminal program – no matter on which PC or Apple – can display these characters. In order to decode the AIS information you need a special software (e.g. a card plotter program with AIS functionality).

You can find a PC software on www.yacht-ais.de. Unfortunately, we cannot say whether it works with Apple or not.

Is all NMEA data passed through the GPS antenna or only the GPRMC?

On November 6, 2006 we changed some program parts in the firmware, since that time all NMEA data is passed through.

What is the minimum distance between VHF antennas that should be observed?

We recommend a minimum distance of 80 cm. (e.g. Simrad recommends 100 cm).

Please note: Regardless of the distance of the VHF antennas to one another, the antennas should be mounted as high as possible. The higher you mount the VHF antenna, the better is the transmission.

The FM output is limited at 108MHz. Is this a low-pass or band-pass, which passes the VHF range?

The frequency range of the VHF radio output is limited to 108 MHz, i.e. higher frequencies cannot pass this output. For this reason, the reception of DVB-T is not yet possible.

Information: The reception of wave bands outside the VHF range is not possible with most frequently installed VHF antennas, i.e. in the best case the lower range of the VHF-DVB-T-band may be received. The reception of higher VHF wave bands requires a change to a multi-band antenna. Due to the commonly used coaxial cables (RG58/RG213) and coaxial plug-in systems (PL259/SO239) the transmission and reflection losses in the plug and socket connectors increase at higher frequencies to such extent, that adequate reception of higher frequencies would only be possible with a loss of quality. For this purpose it would be necessary to replace the used plugs and sockets by VHF-suitable versions.

How can I register my radio unit?

If you want to operate a DSC radio unit or the AIS transponder easyTRX on a ship, you need a license for this radio unit.

You can obtain it from the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency). The Federal Network Agency of your radio station will send you a MMSI number, which should then be programmed into the easyTRX. If you already have a MMSI and would like to operate an additional easyTRX, you need to send a notification of change to the Federal Network Agency.

Then, please program your existing MMSI into the easyTRX. The following link provides detailed information:

Bundesnetzagentur Aussenstelle Hamburg Sachsenstr. 12 und 14 20097 Hamburg Tel.: 0049 40 23655-0 Fax: 0049 40 23655-182 email: seefunk@bnetza.de   http://www.bundesnetzagentur.de

Is there a possibilty to check if everything works properly?

When the red light flashes, the easyAIS is receiving messages. If there is no object in the proximity, the light is not flashing and nothing will be displayed on the plotter screen.

Is there a unit which combines the functions of AIS transmitter and receiver, weather fax and antenna splitter?

Unfortunately, as far as we know, no such unit is available on the market. Currently, only our active splitter for AIS transceivers is available. In order to realize your request, we suggest following:

  • AIS transceiver – easyTRX
  • AIS Class B active splitter – easySPLIT OCB
  • We recommend the “Infobox WIB3″ as weather fax
Is it possible just to transmit with an easy TRX?

Although you just want to transmit, it is necessary to have both antennas. The unit must receive the exact position, in order to transmit your position. So you need a receiver to get your position and a transmitter to send your position.

Can I connect my easyAIS-TRX2 to Lowrance HSD 5 or HSD 7 Units?

The plotters Lowrance HDS 5 and HDS 7 feature a differential type input for connecting external NMEA devices and therefore they require a bipolar signal at these points. Most commercially available AIS devices, transceivers and receivers are equipped with standard unipolar outputs. Our devices are built according to this standard.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to connect a capacitor  in-line with the NMEA positive signal between the NMEA output of the AIS device and the NMEA input of the chart plotter. Thus a 100% function is ensured.

Please use the inputs and outputs at 38400 baud, to avoid traffic congestion and potential loss of data at high AIS traffic volumes.

Please, note the following requirements for the capacitor:

  • Value: 100nF
  • Ceramic or plastic, does not matter
  • Voltage:> 16V DC

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