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Howto disable STD Horizon AIS Receiver and integrate with AIS Transponder
I am new to marine Electronics, having just bought my first boat a 25 year old 38ft powerboat and would appreciate some help. I am currently working on setting up a N2K network which would connect my Std Horizon GX6000 to a Raymarine AIS transponder. According to the Raymarine manual I should disable the AIS receiver on the VHF to avoid conflicts. Does anyone know how to do this? I could not find any information in the STD Horizon manual on how to disable the AIS receiver, nor on getting AIS target data from N2K.
Much appreciate pointers on how to do this.
Hi Frank, Your question is coincidental as I recently messed with a sample GX6000 trying to solve another NMEA 2000 issue, as explained in the comments here:
At any rate, I don't think the GX6000 can turn off its AIS output over N2K, but also don't trust its manual on such subjects.
On the other hand, I'm not sure why the AIS output has to be turned off. I ran the GX6000 on a network that also had a Vesper AIS transponder and various Garmin and Raymarine displays did not seem to have any problem with the repeated AIS target data.
What are the displays on your N2K network that will display the AIS data?
Since my boat has no space (yet) for an MFD I plan to use an iPad with TimeZero (and a Wifi Gateway) or something similar to display the Raymarine AIS data. Not having a MFD setup at my console I would like the GX6000 to display the AIS targets on the N2K network (from the Raymarine AIS Transponder). Also since the GX6000 does not have an AIS antenna connected, it won't have good data. So having it display the data on the N2K network makes sense.
The Raymarine AIS Transponder manual explicitly requires disabling the AIS on the VHF. Raymarine seems overcautious to protect themselves. They also do not support transmitting GPS data from the unit on the N2K network even though the unit is capable of doing so "to avoid conflicts". They only allow sending GPS data during test and require the user to disable the feature.
Anyway I am going to setup a "test" network shortly to do some experimentation. Main concern is avoiding conflicts on the network. Secondary objective is to get the Raymarine AIS data displayed on the GX6000, which does not have an AIS antenna itself.
Frank, I'm sorry to report that GX6000 was not able to read AIS data coming over NMEA 2000 on my boat last summer, which I confirmed with SH:
"It appears as of right now the GX6000 will not read AIS target data coming in through the NMEA2000 line.We will be working closely with engineering to see about updating this with a future firmware update."
I'll check on this but I don't see a new firmware update on the SH site since the one I wrote about around the same time:
I have now installed my network and can report that the GX6000 is causing troubles in my N2K network. It is sending AIS data while there is no AIS antenna installed. I have not found a way to disable sending AIS data over N2K. Having a Raymarine AIS700 in the network generates two sources of AIS data. I use a yachtdevices Wifi gateway and Timezero on iPad. In this setup the AIS overlay does not work properly, boat names are not shown only MMSI, until I disconnect the GX6000 from the network.
Very disappointing as I wanted to use N2K to get GPS from the GX6000 or to feed GPS into the GX6000 if using another GPS source. My current solution is to get a Furuno GPS receiver that can output NMEA0183 to feed to the GX6000 and NMEA2K to use on my network. I would have much preferred to get a standard horizon GPS antenna for the GX6000 and share the GPS on N2K that way, but that is not an option if the GX6000 messes up the AIS overlay.
Seems to me that Standard Horizon have not fully thought through the possible uses for this device.
I'm having a hard time understanding why two AIS receivers on the same N2K network would introduce any conflict to the display of the information received.
When an AIS transmission occurs (originating on another vessel), both AIS receivers should receive the exact same data/message (at virtually the same time) and generate the same PGN(s). Yes, there will be two duplicate PGN appearing on the network--differing only by the SRC field--but each would have the same Lat/Lon coordinates (and other data) from the transmitting vessel. The MFD would likely overlay the first encountered PGN with the same information from the second PGN. Such an instantaneous overlay would be imperceptible to the viewer. No problem.
On my boat, I have a SH GX2150 VHF/AIS Receiver and an Em-Trak AIS Transceiver, both operating simultaneously with no apparent conflict. The Em-Trak sends AIS target PGN on the network from its receiver, and the GX2150 (being a NMEA0183-only device) sends 0183 AIS target data (as well as DSC/DSE messages) to a B&G MFD (and also to a PC running OCPN). AIS targets appear just fine on both the PC and the MFD (which is receiving duplicate AIS messages-one in 0183 and one in N2K). Not exactly the same situation as yours with two duplicate N2K PGN, but similar enough, perhaps, to reveal any conflict.
Now, my GX2150 receives AIS messages over the same antenna used for my VHF transmission & reception. (i.e. there is no separate AIS antenna as in the GX6000). As a result, when I am transmitting the GX2150 will not "see" any incoming AIS messages (although they would be received by the Em-Trak). The newer GX6000 evidently provides for a separate AIS receive antenna so you will not "miss" any AIS messages when transmitting.
If you do not connect a separate AIS antenna to your GX6000, then either (a) the GX6000 will receive no AIS messages (and generate no AIS PGN) or (b) the GX6000 will use the VHF antenna to receive AIS transmissions, and operate much like my GX2150. I don't know how the GX6000 handles this, but if you disconnect the AIS antenna from the GX6000 and still see AIS messages received on the GX6000 display (i.e a non-empty AIS target list), then (b) must apply.
Perhaps Raymarine may explain the logic behind why they recommend "disabling" a separate AIS receiver when using a Raymarine transponder, and you could post the info here. One possible issue is generating an "alarm" on the AIS receiver from your own AIS transmissions. The AIS/VHF receivers like the GX2150 and GX6000 handle this by recognizing AIS transmissions containing your own MMSI and ignoring them. (You have programmed the same MMSI into both the VHF and AIS transceiver, right?)
A second approach is using the ability of an MFD to prioritize N2K messages received by using the SRC field. Often, duplicate PGN appear on the network from different devices (each device is distinguished by a unique SRC field), and a well-designed MFD enables you to select which data to display (and use) based on the SRC .