Its very easy to set up using the UDP/IP peer to peer sharing feature in ShipPlotter’s I/O settings. See screenshots below. Select enable in the UDP/IP peer-to-peer output, enter the IP address 184.108.40.206 and Remote Port number 5322 (see area circled in red).
Click OK when finished. You will return to the main program window. Click on the “Start” button and you should then see your data on this web page:-
Got an Android phone? Want a dual channel VHF AIS receiver for under $35? Now there is one thanks to our Boat Beacon app and the Android AIS Share app from ebcTech! All you need is an RTL-SDR USB dongle, an android OTG cable , the AIS Share app and our Boat Beacon app and you can see all the ships out to 30NM away (depending on height above sea level). No need for an internet connection, this is a truly standalone full featured AIS receiver and with Boat Beacon’s new NOAA US Marine charts you have an AIS chart display with Collision detection and alarms too. It takes just a couple of minutes to set it up the first time and then after that it works out of the box. Here is what you need:-
The RTL-SDR USB stick is a software programmable radio receiver and because of its popularity for use in picking up TV and fm radio broadcasts it is incredibly cheap. As low as $10. It is so powerful it can pick up and demodulate both AIS VHF frequencies at the same time. The one we recommend is the RTL-SDR.COM stick which is around $25 and has several major improvements over generic brands including use of the R820T2 tuner, improved component tolerances, a 1 PPM temperature compensated oscillator (TCXO), SMA F connector, aluminium shielded case with thermal pad for passive cooling and a telescopic aerial that you can extend to the correct length for AIS reception – 44.4 cm.
Next you need an Android OTG cable that lets you attach the RTL-SDR USB dongle to your Android device. They are typically less than $4 and we recommend the Y shaped ones which allow you to keep your device charging at the same time as using the RTL-SDR dongle.
Make sure you have our Boat Beacon downloaded and installed . Next download and install the AIS Share app from the Play Store. Set up of AIS Share is pretty straight forward (setup video for those who like watching youtube here ):-
Installation / First start
Start it one time. After that you can close the app ( RTL SDR AIS Driver )
Start the AIS Share app go to the setting activity
Set the PPM setting
This is really important. For the RTL-SDR.COM USB stick that we recommend this will always be 0 as it comes with a stable pre-tuned oscillator. Google it
Set up the UDP Share
Start the driver with the pink floating action button.(please do not start / stop too fast , if you have clicked one time .. wait a second )
Then check if you are receiving messages.
Finally, launch Boat Beacon, go to settings, scroll down to Local AIS, select UDP, then tap on Local AIS Port and enter 10111. AIS Share will continue to run in the background as long as the USB dongle is attached. Watch the ships sail by 🙂
There is also a short video showing the two apps in action together made by ebcTech here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p68y68Lqqgg&feature=youtu.be
With the help of a ShipPlotter user in Finland we have been able to run side by side tests of our Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS receiver with a mainstream commercial brand AIS receiver costing over 3 times the price. We are very pleased with the results, with the Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS receiver achieving almost exactly the same coverage/range/data rate of the well known commercial brand. Here are some stats comparing our Pocket Mariner AIS receiver on port 7018 (blue) and the other on port 5378 (red ) and screenshots at the same time of the coverage from the same aerial in Helsinki.
Rate of data received (bits/s)
We also found that the coverage/range for both the commercial AIS receiver and ours was significantly improved using a relatively in-expensive AIS frequency (162MHz) tuned filter and pre-amp on the aerial feed. We used and would recommend the VHF Pre-amp from Spectrum Communications (formerly known as the Garex pre-amp). They start at around £15 for the pcb built one and around £50 for a boxed version. The ship ranges in the screenshots below is approximately 150km (100Miles). The tropospheric conditions were good.
7018 Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS Receiver coverage snapshot
5378 Commercial AIS Receiver coverage snapshot
N.B. The buoys at the top of the screen (North) are over 350km away and most likely Synthetic Aids To Navigation being broadcast by a shore based station nearer our aerial.
If you are interested in having a Pocket Mariner Dual Channel AIS receiver please get in touch with us at . firstname.lastname@example.org
Our ship tracking network uses a global network of shore and ship-based radio stations, which receive signals from the AIS system that ships use to broadcast their positions as they travel. Our receiver stations share the ship positions with our cloud-based data server, which pushes them onwards and out to our apps and web services.
We are continuously working on increasing the coverage of our real-time AIS receiver station network. During the last three months we have added more than 100 new AIS stations across 5 continents bringing our live ship coverage to over 40,000 ships. We have supplied the AIS receiver for free for many of these sites. New volunteers are always welcome to join our AIS Network.
Here is a list of the most recent stations we have set up and a snapshot of our global coverage Q2 2017 (zoom in to see more detail)
If you are interested in adding coverage for your area, please read our Cover Your Area information – we can often provide the equipment free of charge.