AIS transponder

Finally decided this evening to get around to hooking up the AIS transponder I’ve had for a couple months but never installed.  There are actually two new devices: a Comar AST-200 VHF antenna splitter, and the Comar CSB-200 AIS Class B transponder.  Of course I still can’t actually transmit anything with the transponder since I’m still awaiting an MMSI from Malaysia.  I’m slowly making some progress on that front: Ima at Telaga Harbor has at least collected some information from me; it may take some more gentle reminders to get her to submit the application to SKMM.

Anyway, after some rummaging around in the electronics zone behind the nav table, which is a terrible mess, I managed to get power to everything, hook up various antenna cables, and otherwise hack all the necessary connections.  I’ll need to pick up a TNC connector for the GPS into the transponder, but otherwise everything else is straightforward.  Here’s the organized mess of electronics:

All of that will eventually get nicely wired and lovingly placed in the space behind the nav table, although first I think I want to clean out that space, which right now is a huge jumble of mystery wires and dust.

I tested the antenna splitter with the help of the handheld VHF and verified both TX and RX work like a charm.  Then it was time to fire up the AIS in OpenCPN.  Let’s just say the port of Singapore is crowded:

Despite the clutter here, it’s immediately obvious that this will be useful.  That said, I think it’ll be much more useful when I get the MMSI and can transmit, so all these other boats can see me too.

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