[pskmail] Sailing with AIS and PSKmail

  • From: Pär Crusefalk <per@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: pskmail@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:43:20 +0200

Hi all,

Sailing season has ended for me, next week my boat is on land and I'll prepare it for winter.
So, now begins the "silly sailing season" when I get to prepare for next years sailing.

This year we had some semi long trips with legs of up to 80-100 nm and a few weeks at sea. While sailing I have my plotter right at the wheel and at the moment I lack AIS information there. We did cross the bigger shipping lanes and of course had to keep a sharp lookout, as always.
I will connect an AIS receiver to be able to see the other ships earlier/better. The bigger ferries do 30 knots so in a few narrow passages I would have liked to see where they were going earlier. But, I would also like to see other boats that use aprs on my plotter and of course I would like to have pskmail integrated too. So, I built an aprs to ais gateway. That way I can have both AIS, APRS and PSKmail tracks on my plotter. It converts APRS pos messages into NMEA AIVDM with AIS Payload containing AIS message type 1 (Position report class A) which any AIS capable plotter must handle. I intend to add type 5 also to get some more data across. I have it on a PC now but that won't do on the boat, I'm thinking arduino to save power and size.
So, I just wonder if that kind of thing could be interesting for others with boats? A small box that lets you connect AIS and APRS sources to a dedicated plotter or software (OpenCPN for PC or android works fine btw).

73, Per

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