Automated Information for Shipping
Being within sight of the River Severn where infrequently commercial vessels ply I considered buying a radar to plot their arrival. I then discovered there was a new identity system being introduced call AIS. Automated Information for Shipping. I was fortunate enough to borrow a receiver to trial it. A complete disaster as not a signal anywhere, so I returned the receiver to its owner. What I did not realise was I was so early on the project that very few vessels actually had a transponder.
About a decade ago I discovered "Shipplotter software" and the Marine Traffic web site and Sharpness had a station and plotted craft coming up the River and into the Dock. What I also found was that the station was blind to most craft above Purton on the Canal or the River. This was the chance I wanted and I purchased Shipplotter software and a Digital Yacht AIS100USB receiver. Gotcha! the maggots started to appear on the screen and I was able to subscribed to the University of the Agean site which links to Marine Traffic as Station 1026 providing unique location for craft North of Sharpness and in good conditions as far as Worcester.
This has operated almost seamlessly ever since save for a lightening hit which destroyed the receiver and fried the antenna.
In addition to the main operating system and being an Android fan I am currently using a Droid box and a monitor with a Quark AIS Receiver running Boat Beacon from those marvellous people Pocket Mariner, down the Wye. That is just to watch the Boats go by.
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