AIS transponders are designed to be capable of providing position, identification and other information about the ship to other ships and to coastal authorities automatically.
I’m using my Icom MA-510TR transponder and via USB I send the data to my Raspberry PI and to the Internet by 4/5G cellular modem (or in some cases, I use Iridium Go) and then sending my AIS data to 6 data systems out there. MarineTraffic.com and FleetMon.com are two of them.
MarineTraffic.com do have a lott of good information about AIS etc on their website – have a look
And here is what MarineTraffic was sending on their February News letter:
|Knut Steinar Fremme Operating Station 2646 in Novi Vinodolski, Croatia|
|Knut is a radio amateur who originally comes from Norway. He moved to Austria in 2018, then he left Austria just recently and now lives, more or less, permanently on his humble-sized sailboat in Croatia. Just a few days ago, he made some changes to his antenna and elevated it some more. You can tell how huge the improvement to his station coverage just by looking at this graph.|
|Who is Knut Steinar Fremme? |
Knut: “I was born in Norway in 1955 and always loved boating, but never had a boat of my own until recently.After my wife died, I decided to move to Austria, as I like to challenge myself by moving to another country. However, I made the mistake of getting a big house with a wide garden as it took most of my time, and I’m left with no time to do my hobbies. So one evening while I was sitting on the balcony and reflecting over life, I looked around thinking of what options I had. I came to realise that I should be happier if I bought a nice little sailboat, lived onboard, and travelled around the world. I have worked with technology, anything related to electronics and computer servers and networks for all my grown-up life, so I felt that I could handle and maintain a sailboat myself.The AIS transponder started to fetch my interest after I got my sailboat all set up. I made a small (Arduino) decoder for the SeaTalkNG and NMEA2000.”
How did you find out about MarineTraffic?
Knut: “My family was asking for my location all the time, therefore I started looking for options on how I could share my location. That’s when I found MarineTraffic on the Internet.”
As a boater, how do you feel that your position is visible to everyone?
Knut: “I find this to be a good thing. I’m not 30 anymore, and I feel somewhat good knowing that others can see where I am sailing when I am out there.Also as a security thing, other boats are able to see my location and also my boat’s name and my callsign.I will go from Croatia to Norway this spring and later on, I will cross the big blue and travel around for a few years as long as my health makes it possible.”
Any advice to your fellow station owners who are at the retiring stage or at a similar age??
Knut: “Just do it. The only thing you will regret when you retire is what you have not done.I feel so relaxed and good after skipping big houses and gardens. Moving from an overly big house and a garden to less than 35 square metres of living space. The world and the sea are now my garden.”
|Knut holds a non-restricted Yacht Master B 500 GT and found himself this sailboat in the photo. A Bavaria 2006 42 Match.|
|What is the best experience you have so far feeding AIS data to MarineTraffic?|
Knut: “It’s quite easy to do. The best part is I get to do my hobby. I’m using my Icom MA-510TR and via USB I send the data to my Raspberry PI and to the Internet by 4/5G cellular modem (or in some cases, I use Iridium Go).For the antenna, I was using a separate AIS antenna, but a few days ago, I installed an antenna for VHF and AIS combined together and mounted in the mast top (24m up) and then a splitter to VHF and AIS. The splitter also has a preamplifier for AIS inside 12dB (Vesper Marine AIS Antenna-Splitter SP160) that improves AIS coverage.Setting the IP and port number for the feed is the last step, and it works!And I find it amazing that I can bring something back to others by sending the AIS information for them to use.”
|Here is a photo of Knut’s working space, and you can check more about his dedication to his hobby on his webpage at QRZ.com|