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Author Topic: AIS live - remote ship spotting!  (Read 2497 times)


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AIS live - remote ship spotting!
« on: April 02, 2008, 05:13:25 pm »

Don't know how many members have heard of AIS? The official blurb runs like this:

As part of the global maritime safety system, ships over 300 tons are now required to broadcast their positions using AIS.

A ship transmits "dynamic" information at intervals of between 2 and 12 seconds depending on the vessel's speed or 3 minutes if at anchor.

MMSI number
Navigation status, e.g. 'at anchor' or 'underway'
Ground speed, from 0 to 102 knots in steps of 0.1 knots
Rate of turn, 0 to 720 degrees per minute
Position (GPS latitude and longitude)
Heading and Course over Ground
Time stamp
Then every six minutes "static" information is transmitted:

MMSI number
Ship's name
Type of ship (See AIS Type below)
Width, length and draught
Antenna Location
Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

You can have UK coverage - which is free but not 'live' via: and the drop down menu allows you to look at what is happening. I recently followed the whole of the 'Riverdance' interest on AIS - right up to when she grounded.

However, the Dutch have gone one better and allow live AIS to be accompanied by a radio scanner, so allowing you to hear as well as plot the ships. The web page for the AIS is here: and covers all the Dutch coast. It has a radio on it - port control at Harlingen - but a seperate radio scanner is available from Ijmuiden - the entyrance for Amsterdam - and this runs 24 hours. You can find it here: The default station is Harlingen, so when you have the AIS maop up, change the scanner channel to Ijmuiden (if that is what you are listening to) and you are there - live movement and audio!

Yes, it is mostly in Dutch but most vessels use English.

Alas, the UK does not allow live scanner feeds (more is the pity) but as an adjunct to model boating, this is the next best thing to being at the sea side, with the fish and chips in the paper, watching them come and go!

Hope it attracts someone's interest!


Martin [Admin]

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Re: AIS live - remote ship spotting!
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2008, 05:25:59 pm »

Thanks Jonty, very intersting!
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Re: AIS live - remote ship spotting!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 06:14:15 pm »

Just had a look.   Loads of info and very interesting.   Something else to while away my time on.  Thanks,  Pete M
I`m not just old, I`m ancient

SS Daring

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Re: AIS live - remote ship spotting!
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 03:18:09 pm »

Try going to:

Really cool, and somewhat worldwide!

SS Daring
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