AIS antenna vs splitter


Fritz Feiten
 

I’m adding AIS to my electronics inventory and trying to decide whether to go with one VHF antenna shared with the VHF via a “no loss” splitter, or a separate antenna for the AIS mounted on the arch with the solar panels, radar, etc. One advantage of the second option is that I’d have a second antenna for the radio in the event of losing the mast.

How have others with AIS resolved the second antenna vs splitter question.

Fritz Feiten
Orinoco Flow
fritz.feiten@...


Tom Sokoloski
 

Fritz,
I installed the Vesper XB-8000 this past spring, and couldn't be happier. It comes with a high quality splitter which even has an output for my AM/FM radio. I'm pretty sure that the VHF gets priority over the AIS when transmitting. 

--
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT


Lee Gerig
 

Fritz

 

I also installed the VESPER XB-8000 last spring. I did not notice in degradation in VHF performance, inf act I think I had improved performance.  There is also a port on the splitter that allows you to feed your AM/FM receiver from the same antenna.  I haven’t tried this yet, but have ordered the cable and will try it next summer.   VESPER was a great company to work with and helped me plan my entire installation including reviewing how their equipment interfaced with my all new RAYMARINE network.

 

Cheers

 

Lee Gerig

S/V Keelingtime #262

 

 

 

From: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> on behalf of Tom Sokoloski <tomsoko@...>
Reply-To: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Date: Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 9:47 AM
To: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Fritz,
I installed the Vesper XB-8000 this past spring, and couldn't be happier. It comes with a high quality splitter which even has an output for my AM/FM radio. I'm pretty sure that the VHF gets priority over the AIS when transmitting. 

--
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT


Fritz Feiten
 

Lee and Tom, thanks for the feedback.  It sounds like the Vesper XP 8000 and a single antenna is the way to go.  Did either of you already have a radio with an AIS receiver when you installed the Vesper?  If so, what issues did you have with conflicts between the two AIS receivers?


Fritz Feiten
Orinoco Flow



On Dec 9, 2021, at 7:02 AM, Lee Gerig <keelingtime1@...> wrote:

Fritz
 
I also installed the VESPER XB-8000 last spring. I did not notice in degradation in VHF performance, inf act I think I had improved performance.  There is also a port on the splitter that allows you to feed your AM/FM receiver from the same antenna.  I haven’t tried this yet, but have ordered the cable and will try it next summer.   VESPER was a great company to work with and helped me plan my entire installation including reviewing how their equipment interfaced with my all new RAYMARINE network.
 
Cheers
 
Lee Gerig
S/V Keelingtime #262
 
 
 
From: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> on behalf of Tom Sokoloski <tomsoko@...>
Reply-To: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Date: Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 9:47 AM
To: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter
 
Fritz,
I installed the Vesper XB-8000 this past spring, and couldn't be happier. It comes with a high quality splitter which even has an output for my AM/FM radio. I'm pretty sure that the VHF gets priority over the AIS when transmitting. 

-- 
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT 



Tom Sokoloski
 

Fritz,
That is exactly my case. For a couple of years I had been using a Standard Horizon GX2150, which has a built-in AIS receiver. It worked OK, but I always felt that there were other boats out there that were not showing up. Even though the GX2150 and now the XB8000 are hooked up to the same antenna, I feel that the XB8000 shows more AIS boats on the MFD, even the fringe ones. I have never seen a conflict with the two AIS receivers. My two GPS antennae (one for the MFD, one for the AIS) are only inches away from each other, below the side deck, in the the radio cabinet. I never would have thought the GPS reception would be that good, being under the deck, but a local electronics tech said he does it all the time, so I tried it too.   Unless a couple of people are sitting on the side deck, right on top of the antennae, my reception is outstanding. Who wudda thunk?
--
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT


Craig Howard
 

I also went the route of an antenna splitter.  I did this as part of a total electronics overhaul.  I'm now B&G everything.  I've got the NSPL-500 antenna splitter with a NAIS-500 AIS rx/tx.  Works great!  Like Tom, my GPS antenna is in the radio cabinet.  No problems at all, and a *very* simple GPS install.  

Craig

On Thu, Dec 9, 2021 at 8:48 AM Tom Sokoloski <tomsoko@...> wrote:
Fritz,
That is exactly my case. For a couple of years I had been using a Standard Horizon GX2150, which has a built-in AIS receiver. It worked OK, but I always felt that there were other boats out there that were not showing up. Even though the GX2150 and now the XB8000 are hooked up to the same antenna, I feel that the XB8000 shows more AIS boats on the MFD, even the fringe ones. I have never seen a conflict with the two AIS receivers. My two GPS antennae (one for the MFD, one for the AIS) are only inches away from each other, below the side deck, in the the radio cabinet. I never would have thought the GPS reception would be that good, being under the deck, but a local electronics tech said he does it all the time, so I tried it too.   Unless a couple of people are sitting on the side deck, right on top of the antennae, my reception is outstanding. Who wudda thunk?
--
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT


Jeff Bird
 

Add my name to those recommending a Vesper splitter. Ten years ago I installed the Vesper SP160 splitter when I added my Raymarine AIS transceiver. It still works great, and is still available from Defender.

It allows AIS transmit/receive when the VHF is not transmitting. If you transmit on VHF for a long transmission, I occasionally get an error message about the AIS being unable to transmit, since the AIS is locked out during VHF transmission. Operation returns to normal immediately upon releasing the VHF mic button.

--
Jeff Bird
S/V Priorities C400 #53
Milwaukee, WI
mysailingfix.com


Jim King
 

I too have the Vesper splitter and I have a built-in AIS in my B & G VHF.  Works just fine for me.  No shortcomings that I know about or have ever experienced.

 

The B & G AIS feeds straight into my Raymarine Axiom MFD/Chartplotter.

 

Doesn’t really bother me much if I cannot see AIS targets 40 miles away.  I am receive only.  Tried to get a B & G or Simrad with built in AIS transmit and receive but could not find one.  So just using receive only.

 

Had Simrad VHF/AIS for 2 years…had the B & G now for about 4 months.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers,

Jim

C400 “Kashmir” (#335)

 

 

From: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Bird
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:17 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Add my name to those recommending a Vesper splitter. Ten years ago I installed the Vesper SP160 splitter when I added my Raymarine AIS transceiver. It still works great, and is still available from Defender.

It allows AIS transmit/receive when the VHF is not transmitting. If you transmit on VHF for a long transmission, I occasionally get an error message about the AIS being unable to transmit, since the AIS is locked out during VHF transmission. Operation returns to normal immediately upon releasing the VHF mic button.

--
Jeff Bird
S/V Priorities C400 #53
Milwaukee, WI
mysailingfix.com


Roger Calvert
 

I bought the XB8000 a couple years ago and just got around to opening it up last week.  I have a Vesper splitter and another GPS antenna that came with it.  I am confused about that external GPS antenna.  Since the VHS already has a GPS antenna mounted on the stern rail and the XB8000 has one built in, why do I need another external antenna?

 

Lee,

Could you possibly provide the information on the Vesper AM/FM antenna splitter, vendor, part number etc?  I also want to try to improve my FM reception and think that might help.

 

Roger

SV Surprise #276

 

 

 

 

From: Jim King via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:16 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

I too have the Vesper splitter and I have a built-in AIS in my B & G VHF.  Works just fine for me.  No shortcomings that I know about or have ever experienced.

 

The B & G AIS feeds straight into my Raymarine Axiom MFD/Chartplotter.

 

Doesn’t really bother me much if I cannot see AIS targets 40 miles away.  I am receive only.  Tried to get a B & G or Simrad with built in AIS transmit and receive but could not find one.  So just using receive only.

 

Had Simrad VHF/AIS for 2 years…had the B & G now for about 4 months.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers,

Jim

C400 “Kashmir” (#335)

 

 

From: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Bird
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:17 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Add my name to those recommending a Vesper splitter. Ten years ago I installed the Vesper SP160 splitter when I added my Raymarine AIS transceiver. It still works great, and is still available from Defender.

It allows AIS transmit/receive when the VHF is not transmitting. If you transmit on VHF for a long transmission, I occasionally get an error message about the AIS being unable to transmit, since the AIS is locked out during VHF transmission. Operation returns to normal immediately upon releasing the VHF mic button.

--
Jeff Bird
S/V Priorities C400 #53
Milwaukee, WI
mysailingfix.com

 


Tom Sokoloski
 

Lee,
The Vesper XB-8000 does not have an internal GPS antenna.  Another Vesper model (XB-6000) has an internal antenna. The XB-8000 requires an external antenna, and they expect you to use the supplied external antenna. In fact, here's a quote from the installation manual:
"The Vesper Marine GPS antenna is designed specifically for use with Vesper Marine AIS transponders. Performance cannot be assured unless you use a Vesper Marine GPS antenna. Use of a different GPS antenna may damage the XB transponder and void your warranty."
The term external is a bit of a misnomer. At the suggestion of a well-qualified marine electrician, I mounted the antenna about a foot away from the XB-8000, inside the radio cabinet, and the reception has been flawless. Regarding using the splitter for your AM/FM radio, I bought a BNC-to-Motorola Plug cable online for a few dollars, and my FM reception is now much better than a small dedicated FM antenna. The splitter is I believe manufactured by Vesper. It carries a part number of Vesper SP160. I've attached a few pix. Hope this helps.

Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT
On the hard in Glastonbury, CT


On Tue, Dec 21, 2021 at 4:06 AM Roger Calvert <rjlcalvert@...> wrote:

I bought the XB8000 a couple years ago and just got around to opening it up last week.  I have a Vesper splitter and another GPS antenna that came with it.  I am confused about that external GPS antenna.  Since the VHS already has a GPS antenna mounted on the stern rail and the XB8000 has one built in, why do I need another external antenna?

 

Lee,

Could you possibly provide the information on the Vesper AM/FM antenna splitter, vendor, part number etc?  I also want to try to improve my FM reception and think that might help.

 

Roger

SV Surprise #276

 

 

 

 

From: Jim King via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:16 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

I too have the Vesper splitter and I have a built-in AIS in my B & G VHF.  Works just fine for me.  No shortcomings that I know about or have ever experienced.

 

The B & G AIS feeds straight into my Raymarine Axiom MFD/Chartplotter.

 

Doesn’t really bother me much if I cannot see AIS targets 40 miles away.  I am receive only.  Tried to get a B & G or Simrad with built in AIS transmit and receive but could not find one.  So just using receive only.

 

Had Simrad VHF/AIS for 2 years…had the B & G now for about 4 months.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers,

Jim

C400 “Kashmir” (#335)

 

 

From: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Bird
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:17 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Add my name to those recommending a Vesper splitter. Ten years ago I installed the Vesper SP160 splitter when I added my Raymarine AIS transceiver. It still works great, and is still available from Defender.

It allows AIS transmit/receive when the VHF is not transmitting. If you transmit on VHF for a long transmission, I occasionally get an error message about the AIS being unable to transmit, since the AIS is locked out during VHF transmission. Operation returns to normal immediately upon releasing the VHF mic button.

--
Jeff Bird
S/V Priorities C400 #53
Milwaukee, WI
mysailingfix.com

 


--
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT


Lee Gerig
 

Hi Roger

 

The XB8000 does not have a bult in GPS antenna – it has a built in GPS receiver, but you need an external antenna to receive the GPS signal.  If you configure your system correctly then your XB8000 can probably use the GPS antenna signal from your VHF.  I had a separate GPS antenna for my Raymarine network, but I removed that and used the VESPER antenna because it has better specs.  That GPS data is on my Raymarine network and is available for any instrument that needs it. 

 

The Vesper splitter (SP160) allows the XB8000 to broadcast using your VHF antenna, but gives priority to the VHF radio.  (Here is link to the splitter brochure (https://downloads.vespermarine.com/docs/1702/VM_Splitter_Brochure_1702_A4_web.pdf )This splitter works better than any splitter I have used before.  I have not yet hooked up my AM/FM receiver to the splitter, so I can’t testify to that performance, although my plan is to try it this spring.  I have ordered the cable from Vesper.  (https://shop.vespermarine.com/parts-accessories/am-fm-patch-cable).

 

I hope this helps

 

Cheers

 

Lee

S/V Keelingtime #262

 

From: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> on behalf of Roger Calvert <rjlcalvert@...>
Reply-To: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 4:06 AM
To: "C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io" <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

I bought the XB8000 a couple years ago and just got around to opening it up last week.  I have a Vesper splitter and another GPS antenna that came with it.  I am confused about that external GPS antenna.  Since the VHS already has a GPS antenna mounted on the stern rail and the XB8000 has one built in, why do I need another external antenna?

 

Lee,

Could you possibly provide the information on the Vesper AM/FM antenna splitter, vendor, part number etc?  I also want to try to improve my FM reception and think that might help.

 

Roger

SV Surprise #276

 

 

 

 

From: Jim King via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:16 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

I too have the Vesper splitter and I have a built-in AIS in my B & G VHF.  Works just fine for me.  No shortcomings that I know about or have ever experienced.

 

The B & G AIS feeds straight into my Raymarine Axiom MFD/Chartplotter.

 

Doesn’t really bother me much if I cannot see AIS targets 40 miles away.  I am receive only.  Tried to get a B & G or Simrad with built in AIS transmit and receive but could not find one.  So just using receive only.

 

Had Simrad VHF/AIS for 2 years…had the B & G now for about 4 months.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers,

Jim

C400 “Kashmir” (#335)

 

 

From: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Bird
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:17 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Add my name to those recommending a Vesper splitter. Ten years ago I installed the Vesper SP160 splitter when I added my Raymarine AIS transceiver. It still works great, and is still available from Defender.

It allows AIS transmit/receive when the VHF is not transmitting. If you transmit on VHF for a long transmission, I occasionally get an error message about the AIS being unable to transmit, since the AIS is locked out during VHF transmission. Operation returns to normal immediately upon releasing the VHF mic button.

--
Jeff Bird
S/V Priorities C400 #53
Milwaukee, WI
mysailingfix.com

 


Lee Gerig
 

Tom

 

Actually, if you read carefully what I wrote , I said, the XB8000 has an internal GPS Receiver, but requires an external antenna.  And Yes, the XB6000 does have an internal antenna or you can buy an external antenna and the device will use whichever antenna has the best signal.

 

Cheers

 

Lee

 

 

 

From: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> on behalf of Tom Sokoloski <tomsoko@...>
Reply-To: <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io>
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 8:00 AM
To: <C400@catalina400-445.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Lee,

The Vesper XB-8000 does not have an internal GPS antenna.  Another Vesper model (XB-6000) has an internal antenna. The XB-8000 requires an external antenna, and they expect you to use the supplied external antenna. In fact, here's a quote from the installation manual:

"The Vesper Marine GPS antenna is designed specifically for use with Vesper Marine AIS transponders. Performance cannot be assured unless you use a Vesper Marine GPS antenna. Use of a different GPS antenna may damage the XB transponder and void your warranty."

The term external is a bit of a misnomer. At the suggestion of a well-qualified marine electrician, I mounted the antenna about a foot away from the XB-8000, inside the radio cabinet, and the reception has been flawless. Regarding using the splitter for your AM/FM radio, I bought a BNC-to-Motorola Plug cable online for a few dollars, and my FM reception is now much better than a small dedicated FM antenna. The splitter is I believe manufactured by Vesper. It carries a part number of Vesper SP160. I've attached a few pix. Hope this helps.

 

Tom Soko

Juniper #307

Noank, CT

On the hard in Glastonbury, CT

 

 

On Tue, Dec 21, 2021 at 4:06 AM Roger Calvert <rjlcalvert@...> wrote:

I bought the XB8000 a couple years ago and just got around to opening it up last week.  I have a Vesper splitter and another GPS antenna that came with it.  I am confused about that external GPS antenna.  Since the VHS already has a GPS antenna mounted on the stern rail and the XB8000 has one built in, why do I need another external antenna?

 

Lee,

Could you possibly provide the information on the Vesper AM/FM antenna splitter, vendor, part number etc?  I also want to try to improve my FM reception and think that might help.

 

Roger

SV Surprise #276

 

 

 

 

From: Jim King via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:16 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

I too have the Vesper splitter and I have a built-in AIS in my B & G VHF.  Works just fine for me.  No shortcomings that I know about or have ever experienced.

 

The B & G AIS feeds straight into my Raymarine Axiom MFD/Chartplotter.

 

Doesn’t really bother me much if I cannot see AIS targets 40 miles away.  I am receive only.  Tried to get a B & G or Simrad with built in AIS transmit and receive but could not find one.  So just using receive only.

 

Had Simrad VHF/AIS for 2 years…had the B & G now for about 4 months.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers,

Jim

C400 “Kashmir” (#335)

 

 

From: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io <C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Bird
Sent: Thursday, December 9, 2021 4:17 PM
To: C400@Catalina400-445.groups.io
Subject: Re: [C400] AIS antenna vs splitter

 

Add my name to those recommending a Vesper splitter. Ten years ago I installed the Vesper SP160 splitter when I added my Raymarine AIS transceiver. It still works great, and is still available from Defender.

It allows AIS transmit/receive when the VHF is not transmitting. If you transmit on VHF for a long transmission, I occasionally get an error message about the AIS being unable to transmit, since the AIS is locked out during VHF transmission. Operation returns to normal immediately upon releasing the VHF mic button.

--
Jeff Bird
S/V Priorities C400 #53
Milwaukee, WI
mysailingfix.com

 


--
Tom Soko
Juniper #307
Noank, CT