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AIS on the Great Lakes?

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#2
I've listened for that signal a few times (granted, for only about 10 minutes each time), and never heard anything on the AIS freq here around Lake Erie. That would be cool if it's used. I have no idea one way or the other.

The only other thing I can compare it to is ACARS for aircraft, which I can always hear.
 
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#3
I have a 24/7 AIS feed monitoring the western basin of Lake Erie from near Toledo OH. There are also some others around the Great Lakes, including one from near Duluth that's up all the time. Plus there are some others, one from Cleveland that's usually up the weekend, and on occasion near Sault Ste Marie. Also there are folks sharing along the St Lawrence Seaway.

See also a screen shot I have from a previous thread:

http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37656

From what I'm seeing, essentially all commercial ships and tugs that are coming in and out of my area are up on AIS. Also most Coast Guard Cutters have AIS, but not the smaller local boats at Station Toledo. Overall it proves to be entertaining and informative to visually track activity while monitoring marine channel voice traffic.

Also keep in mind compared to ACARS, all transmissions are from ground/sea level and only 12.5 watts, so more of a challenge but very possible to get a consistent range of 20-25 miles from my experience. When the weather and conditions are right, signals from much farther as possible.

My current setup is using an Icom PCR-1000 for the data signal and a custom 160 MHz ground plane antenna in the attic.

Also the ShipPlotter group on Yahoo provides additional support and discussion from the diverse pool of international users. Hopefully this will pick up more in the states and more full time feeds will be up and around the Great Lakes area.
 
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#6
jpryor said:
I have a 24/7 AIS feed monitoring the western basin of Lake Erie from near Toledo OH.
OK, looks like I need to be more diligent!! ha ha

Jpryor, I looked at your screenshot. I assume the Great Lakes traffic on that shot came from your radio, while the other plots came from over the internet...?
 
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#7
OK, another question:

If you're in range of an AIS signal, can you hear it like you can hear an ACARS data burst?

I am tuned to 161.975 NFM, and occasionally I hear a slight break in the squelch, but that's it - I don't hear anything that resembles a data burst.

As the crow flies, I am 8 miles from the shore of Lake Erie, so if there's traffic I think I should be able to hear something.

I installed Shipplotter and turned on sharing and saw some ships outside of Toledo, but would really like to decode and share my own.
 
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#8
eorange said:
If you're in range of an AIS signal, can you hear it like you can hear an ACARS data burst?

I am tuned to 161.975 NFM, and occasionally I hear a slight break in the squelch, but that's it - I don't hear anything that resembles a data burst.
Yes, that slight burst of static is the data signal. The packets of AIS data are really short.
 
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