Saturday, November 06, 2010

Standard Horizon 2100 AIS with Dedicated GPS Puck

The Standard Horizon 2100 decodes AIS messages from the same antenna that is used for voice communications. It can display AIS targets on the radio's small screen and also send NMEA AIS messages to a chart plotter. In order for the AIS to work at all the radio needs to know where it is. This means it needs NMEA GPS messages coming in.

The real way to do this is to send the GPS data to both the chart plotter and to the radio. I wanted to see if I could use a cheap GPS "puck" to feed the radio its own GPS data. Turns out you can.

I picked up a serial PS2/USB GPS puck from eBay for about $20. It needs 5 volts to work so above you can see my "breadboard" setup to do this.

I got a 5 volt regulator from Radio Shack (item 276-1770) and wired it into the boat's 12 volt supply.

All my alligator clips forced me to make a rough schematic.

Once the GPS puck got power it started sending GPS sentences to the radio. The radio knew where it was and started plotting AIS targets.

The puck works fine below decks sitting right on top of the radio.

Studying for Captain's License

Skip at Flagship Maritime Training is keeping the class busy. This is a good thing. His class is serious and interesting at the same time.

The boat is a pretty good place to get totally immersed in this.