Boat Beacon now allows you to use AIS and GPS NMEA data directly from an AIS receiver and GPS on-board your boat via WiFi (over UDP or TCP) or Serial(USB). Boat Beacon seamlessly combines this with the AIS information it receives over the internet. If you travel outside mobile internet coverage or in an area where we don’t have good coverage from a local shore station, Boat Beacon can now continue to work displaying live ship data, calculating Closest Point of Approach (CPA) with alarms etc. from your VHF AIS receiver or AIS enabled VHF radio. On Android you can connect the NMEA serial or usb output from an AIS receiver or connect via WiFi. On iPhone you need to use WiFi. Here are some of the AIS receivers we have tested with Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, Digital Yacht, Comar NMEA-w2-Wifi, Weatherdock EasyAIS, Chetco Digital SeaSmart , dAISy AIS, Navico GoFree, Quark AIS (dual channel and usb stick) etc. More information on how to hook all this up is given below.
iPhone and Android AIS and GPS over WiFi.
If you already have AIS data available over Wifi on board then just enter the UDP port number (or ip address and port number for TCP) for the source and Boat Beacon will start using the data. With Navico GoFree and iPhone/iPad this is even more simple as there is a “GoFree” connect button in settings – just press and go. If you only have a usb or nmea output available you will also need a serial or usb to internet or Wifi adaptor. They range in price from $50 to $200. This is one example we have tested with at the $70 level – USR-TCP232-40
Here are some specific instructions for connecting Boat Beacon on Android to GoFree – http://pocketmariner.com/?p=1538
Android AIS NMEA 0183 and GPS over USB or serial
Boat Beacon will automatically launch and use local AIS data (and GPS if available) when a USB cable is plugged in between the AIS receiver and your Android device. You can set the USB mode on or off in settings in Boat Beacon.
For an Android NMEA 0183 connection you will need the following:-
You can get Boat Beacon from the iTunes or Android stores – Boat Beacon