FAQ: easyAIS 2nd. Gen.

Which AIS-data will be passed through the easyAIS?

With the integrated multiplexer in our easyAIS it is possible to connect all external NMEA data sources with 4800 baud and to up convert these to 38400 Baud. With regards to the data source type there is no restriction.

I would like to set up easyAIS to read GPS and other NMEA data in at 4800 baud and pass all of this data out with the AIS sentences on the NMEA out port at 38,400 baud.

Yes, all the NMEA and GPS input data with 4800 Baud are passed through and upconverted to 38400 Baud. (Together with the AIS Data)

Is there any method to check if all is working as it is supposed to work?

If the red led is flapping, the EasyAIS is receiving telegrams. The range of AIS could be up to 20 – 25nm under good conditions. If no target is nearby, you will see nothing flickering and nothing on your plotter screen.

Can I insert other NMEA data together with the GPS data input into the easyAIS?

Yes, the data are passed through.

Does the pass-through of additional NMEA-data only work in one direction?

1) Passing through of further NMEA data: The data is passed through only in one way that means pc data do not go back through easyAIS into the GPS.

2) Reduction of the baudrate: it is generally o.k. Many of our customers are using the lower baudrate of 4800 because of different facts. To do that we have had a jumper on the board in the first generation of easyAIS products. Now we do it by a special start up procedure which is described in the manual of the easyAIS 2nd generation. But it takes a little bit longer with 4800 baud until you have all data on your pc.

The typical result of the lower baudrate: For example if you have 160 targets (at the moment we know the Rotterdam harbour is the only one which has such a high number of targets) With 4800 Baud it takes about 40 seconds until you get all the dynamic data onto your display. If it is no problem for you to wait to receive the objects onto your display, you can use one port with 4,8 kB. But if you would like to have the objects in real-time you should prefer to use maybe a 2nd port where you can get the easyAIS NMEA data by 38400 Baud.

Does this receiver support Class B or does it need to be upgraded?

Both versions (A and B) of transmitters work on the same frequency and – what is more important – they use the same transmission protocol. The difference is the content of the telegrams – not how these telegrams are transmitted! Therefore: Our easyAIS is of course able to receive Class A and Class B data. No problem for that.

Can the easyAIS Class B receive telegramm?

In the past we hear from several persons again and again, that the easyAIS cannot receive Class B telegrams. The only short and clear answer we can give is: It`s wrong.

Please look again onto our homepage at the point: “AIS Capability”and read the difference between Class A and Class B transmitter. The telegrams and the frequencies are identical. If you receive a class A transmitter telegram, you also receive a class B transmitter telegramm. Do not be unsettled by such statements.

Summary: Of course, you can receive telegrams of a class B transmitter by an “easyAIS”!

Can I connect other NMEA inputs to the GPS data input of the easyAIS?

Yes, data are passed through.

Can I pass through only GPS NMEA data or can I also pass through other NMEA data 4800 by means of the into the easyAIS integrated upconverting multiplexer?

Our integrated multiplexer is converting NMEA 1083 signals from 4800 Baud to 38400 Baud, not depending whether it is a GPS or another signal. If you pass your fast heading signal through to our easyAIS into your C80, everything will work smoothly. (It works for one unit from which the signals are passed through to the NMEA input of the C80.)

Please don’t forget to configure the NMEA input at your plotter to 38400 Baud. You do not need a multiplexer at all.

Will the EasyAIS work with Navman Plotters?

Yes, the latetest generation of the Navman Plotters are easyAIS compatible.

I want to mount the antenna for easyTRX in the top of the mast e.g. 15m up - do you have any fixed solution for extension of cables?

With reference to the cable we did following:

The exsiting cable is already 5m long. We tested the VHF/GPS combination antenna with an additional 10 m long cable. At the end the total cable length was 15 m. The additional cable was a simple RG58 cable. It had a male TNC plug and a female TNC plug as extension plugs between the existing cable and the TRX. The plugs were crimped to the cable. This worked very well. All the satellites in our hemisphere were visible.

Therefore we can guarantee a 100% working for a cable length of 15m with RG 58. But as you know as better the cable is, as better the reception and transmission will work.

Will NMEA Data be passed through?

Yes, all the NMEA and GPS input data are passed through. Datas come with 4800 Baud are coming into the AIS and are upconverted to 38400 Baud -together with the AIS Data.

I have bought an easyAIS (art. A-013). According to the instruction sheet the cabel must be attached on a sub-D plug with 9 pins. Unfortunately my notebook has only USB-ports. Is it possible to cut a standard USB extension cable and connect the two AIS wires (NMEA out+ and NMEA out-) with the USB-cable? Which pins or cable-colours are required for the connection?

Unfortunately, your suggested way does not work. It is not possible to connect with a USB plug.
The reason for that: serial and USB use different levels for data transmission. Also Windows needs a driver for every USB connector.
The solution for you will be this: You solder a sub D-9 connector onto the cable. The connector goes into a serial<->USB adapter. And you attach this adapter into the pc. We can deliver a SUP D 9 pole connector and also an adapter.

Will NMEA Data passed through?

Yes, all the NMEA and GPS input data with 4800 Baud are passed through and upconverted to 38400 Baud -together with the AIS Data.

I would like to plug in the easyAIS 1 (Nasa-AIS by AWNiemeyer) with my notebook. You delivered a NMEA-cable. May I connect the easyAIS via the serial port and an USB-adapter directly on the notebook?

The easyAIS can be connected with a pc (this is also in the manual on page 12).

Connection of the easyAIS to the pc: Please connect the white-orange cable with the pin 2 of the SUB D 9-pole connector (female) and the orange cable with the PIN 5 of the SUB D 9-pole connector. It is very urgent, that you take the right PINS. They are hardly readble at the plug, but they are signed. After that, please install the USB serial adapter on the pc. Then you can connect the SUB D 9 connector with the adapter.

Please note the interface must be configured correctly: 38400 Baud, 8/N/1.

Can the easyAIS receive and display the specifical datas from the barge AIS-senders (inland AIS) since 01.04.2008?

Yes it works very fine. We are located near by the rhein-main-donau-canal, 9km distance and we do daily continous receive 8-15 AIS objectives in the canal. The barger do not uses an other “AIS” as the navy. The method is standardized.

Can the sportboat-ais-data (class B) switch on or off temporally by overload?

It is possible with a special telegram.

The Message 22 by the class B AIS can stop temporally the transmitting a base station of a coast radio station. (It also can switch the transmitting telegram from all 30s to f.e. every 60min or even longer, if needed). The class A transceiver on the ships can not do that. Class A sender can not manipulate a class B sender. But there are difference ECDIS-electronic chart display information systems (norm EN61174) on the commercial shipments which does join with the class A AIS by it can inhibit the class b sender via filter function on the ECDIS display.

Does the receiver support class B or is an upgrade necessary?

Both versions of transmitters (A or B) are working with the same frequency and what is more important, they have the same transmission-protocols. The difference is the content of the telegrams, not the way the telegrams are transmitted.

Therefore our easyAIS is certainly able to receive class A and class B data. So this is no problem.

Connection to PC is done with SUB-D9. As it seems such connection becomes rare for laptops, what will happen if I plug a SUB-D9 to USB 2 conversion tool. Will it work properly or not?

You are right, SUB-D9 is not state of the art. But it is a simple way to transfer the NMEA data via the serial input. Also right that with new laptops it only works with the serial <=>USB adapters. These USB adapters work fine, without a problem if you bear in mind 2 things.

A) If you use “VISTA”, check whether the USB adapter is VISTA capable.
B) Never connect the SUB-D9 before the USB adapter is recognized and fully installed by Windows. Only after all is installed you may
connect the easyAIS. Then you will not get a problem and it will work perfect.

I do not get any target signal from the AIS. What can I do?

This is pure a configuration problem.
Following points must be checked:

  1. Do you have AIS targets around (we had a customer testing the AIS inland, about 400nm away from the coast)
  2. Are the reception- LEDs at the easyAIS blinking?
  3. Are really the right cables connected? This must be double checked! Green and white from easyAIS and the right NMEA in and NMEA ground from the plotter – This is the number one problem.
  4. Is the Baud rate of the port used for AIS at the plotter set to 38400 Baud (If the baud rate is not correct, it never works)
  5. Is the right port dedicated to AIS reception in the config menu? (If e.g. you are connecting the AIS to port 2, and port 3 is configured to AIS reception it never works)
  6. Is the topic “See other ships” active in the in the config menu (the exact words of the topics depends on your plotter)? If this feature is not “ticked” the AIS will also not be shown.

One thing is clear, in 99,85 % it is never the AIS!

This can also be checked by looking to the LEDs of the 2 channels.
If the LED´s are blinking, AIS targets are received. The LEDs are directly at the end of the whole reception process, at the output of the connection cable.
If the LEDs are blinking NMEA data are also sent to the cable, to the plotter.


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