161MHz AIS decoder
The installation of an AIS decoder to detect ships around Melbourne.
Here are some example screenshots of OpenCPN with AISRec on Windows.
An interesting vessel is the SAR (Search And Rescue) Aircraft. It appears on both the AIS network and the ADS-B network.
Software Defined Radio Waterfall
Here is a video of the SDR# waterfall for AIS reception at 161.975 MHz and 162.025 MHz.
The receiver uses an RTLSDR usb dongle and an indoor antenna.
During 2019 I updated the antenna from a magnetic base antenna to a rabbit ears antenna.
The magnetic base antenna specifications say 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz which includes AIS at 161 MHz. There was not a more specific magnetic base antenna on ebay. It cost $12.
The rabbit ears antenna is for generic VHF reception. Installed with the elements aligned vertically. Sold from Radio Parts at a sale cost of $6.
The RTLSDR usb dongle cost $14 on ebay.
The 3m usb cable cost $9 on ebay.
There is a webpage on making an AIS decoder using an RTLSDR dongle on rtl-sdr.com
This reception solution uses the AISRec and OpenCPN.
The home page for AISRec is:
The Windows version is used i.e. AISRecWin.
Here are the network settings used.
The home page for OpenCPN is:
Here are the network settings used to connect OpenCPN to AISRec.
The Windows version of OpenCPN with an added map of Port Phillip Bay is configured using GE2KAP and Google Earth.
A blog detailing OpenCPN and GE2KAP, developed by Paul Higgins, is found at:
Here is a screenshot of OpenCPN before and after installing a Google Earth view of Port Phillip Bay.
This is what the running report from AISRec looks like after successful reception of AIS transmissions.