FAQ for AIS Class B AIS Transponder AIS CTRX from True Heading.

Q What power does my AIS CTRX use?
A The CTRX AIS Transponder uses 12 VDC.

Q Does my AIS CTRX consume much power? How much?
A In average less then 3.5 W

Q What antennas do I need to my CTRX?
A You need an active 5V GPS and a MarineVHF antenna for the Marine VHF band (156 MHz to 163 MHz) AIS frequencies are 161.975 and 162.025 MHz.

Q Can I use my existing GPS antenna and connect to the CTRX?
A Yes a existing GPS antenna if 5 V supply can be used with a splitter but normally its easier and cheaper to have a separate antenna for the CTRX.

Typical GPS antenna for AIS-CTRX that we supply:

Q I already have a GPS on my boat do I need a new one in the CTRX?
A Yes the CTRX and AIS Class B units in general needs its own GPS for transmitting the
correct position. If no correct position exists the unit will not transmit own ships data.

Q I already have a VHF antenna can I use that one for the CTRX?
A No the CTRX needs a separate VHF antenna.

Q Can I place my VHF antenna in the top of the mast with my other VHF antenna?
A Its not recommended. Instead we suggest to mount the CTRX VHF antenna on the aft
pushpit or in the aft stay (strutting). IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE CTRX VHF
ANTENNA IS PLACED ATLEAST 3-4 m ABOVE SEA LEVEL TO AVOID TO
HEAVY LOSSES AND DAMPING FROM THE WATER.

Q What types of connectors do the AIS CTRX have?
A The AIS CTRX has the following connectors:
GPS = TNC (To be mounted first for easiest mounting)
VHF = BNC
Data = 15 port d-sub on the transponder and a 9 port d-sub at the interface side.
Power = Lose cables (BROWN = POSITIVE and BLUE = NEGATIVE)

Q What kind of antenna cables is used with the AIS CTRX?
A Normally RG 58 cable type can be used for shorter distances. For longer cable lengths
is recommended to use a low loss cable type to minimize cable loss and thereby increase
coverage.

Q What type of interface do my CTRX have?
A The AIS CTRX provides serial data according to NMEA 0183 or IEC 61162-2 with to
types of connections. RS232 (None isolated serial data) as standard. RS422 prepared and
can be accessed after modification of the data cable according to the manual.

Q How do I connect my plotter to the AIS CTRX?
A The plotter needs to have a serial port (NMEA 0183 port) Follow the colour coding of
your manufacturers manuals and connect to the AIS CTRX as follows. This normally
requires that the AIS CTRX data cable is cut or that a extension is used.
e.g Raymarine NMEA cable is NMEA in A- is Green and B+ is White

FOR RS232

Data out from the AIS CTRX = PORT number 2 on the 9 pin d-sub (Color RED)
Data in to the AIS CTRX = PORT number 3 on the 9 pin d-sub (Color Green)
Ground = Port number 5 on the 9 pin d-sub (Color Blue)

FOR RS422

Data out A – from the AIS CTRX = PORT number 2 on the 15 pin d-sub (Color Orange)
Data out B + from the AIS CTRX = PORT number 10 on the 15 pin d-sub (Color Black)
Data in A – to the AIS CTRX = PORT number 3 on the 15 pin d-sub (Color Brown)
Data in B + to the AIS CTRX = PORT number 11 on the 15 pin d-sub (Color White)

Q What plotters can connect to my AIS CTRX?
A Please consult your plotter manufactuer for this issue. It is know that the following
brands and products should be able to handle data from the AIS CTRX:
GARMIN 292, 2010, 3010, and all new plotters from 2007.
NAVMAN
Northstar
Raymarine C and E series (Partly)
SEIWA
VDO

Q What PC navigation Software can connect to my AIS CTRX?
A Please consult your plotter manufactuer for this issue. It is know that the following
brands and products should be able to handle data from the AIS CTRX:
View from Nobeltec Admiral
Nobeltec Admiral and VNS
Sea Clear
Fugawi
Euronav
Yacht AIS (Y-Tronic)
MaxSea
TIKI
Tridentnav
Transas (Partly)
Aecdis (ADVETO)
Aldeberan (ICAN)

Q What data can I see with my AIS CTRX?
A You will be able to the see the following data from other ships
BIG SHIPS (Class A Transponders)

Dynamic data

Position, Speed over Ground, Course over Ground, True Heading , Navigational Status,
Type of position data (DGNSS or GNSS), MMSI

Static data

MMSI, IMO Number, Call Sign, Ships name, Ships dimensions

Voyage related data

Draught, Type of cargo, ETA and Destination

SMALL SHIPS (Class B Transponders)

Dynamic data

Position, Speed over Ground, Course over Ground, MMSI (True Heading also possible if
connected to Gyro or GPS compass)

Static data

MMSI, Call Sign, Ships name, Ships dimensions

OTHER DATA

Base Stations
Aids to Navigation AIS Transponders
SAR and rescue aircrafts/helicopters
Met data

Q Do all ships see data from my Class B AIS CTRX?
A 1st of all the other ship needs to have an AIS Transponder as well. 2nd it needs to have
a transponder that are capable of receiving the messages from Class B AIS Transponders
and 3rd it needs to have a presentation system that can show the Class B AIS targets on
some kind of display. Note that all types of older Class A AIS Transponders fitted on
Solas ships are not yet capable of see name, call sign and size of a Class B Transponder.

Q What is the coverage of my AIS CTRX?
A The most important for the capability to receive AIS data is the height of the VHF
antenna. The formula: Range ( NM) = 2.4 * (√Height of Antenna TX (m) + √ Height of
Antenna RX (m)

Q What can I learn from the leds on the front panel of the AIS CTRX?
A The led indicators gives various colour combinations for various alarms.

Green indicates that the transponder operates normally and is OK
Yellow indicates that the transponder does not have a GPS fix and therefore it does not
transmit any positions. You can still receive data.
Yellow and Red probably means that you have a problem with your VHF antenna or that
the transponder has not been programmed correctly. The CTRX needs all data to be
programmed before it can transmit. Yellow and Red can also indicate other problems but
the once mentioned before are the most common.
Blue means that you have the CTRX in silent mode (It does not transmit)

Q I can not programme my AIS CTRX with the included CD named END USER?
A That is fully normal since the unit has to be programmed only by authorized dealers
due to restrictions from many national legislators. The CTRX has to be programmed with
correct data before it can operate to its full capacity.

Q Can I use the CTRX as a receiver only?
A Yes the CTRX can be operated in “SILENT MODE” meaning it only receives data
from other ships but does not transmit any data about your ship. This is done easy with 3
second push of the button named “S” (SILENT) on the CTRX front panel.

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