WatchMate Vision2 AIS Transponder Owner's Guide

Your Vesper Marine WatchMate Vision2 AIS Transponder is a Class B AIS Transponder with color touchscreen, NMEA-0183, NMEA-2000, USB and WiFi.

If you haven't registered your product with us, please register now. By registering your Vesper Marine AIS Transponder we'll be able to provide you with fast technical support and warranty service. You'll also be able to keep up-to-date with free firmware updates.

Free iPad, iPhone and Android App!

The Vesper Marine WatchMate app is a great way to configure and control your WatchMate Vision2. View and update your vessel information, monitor transponder and GPS status, show all AIS-equipped vessels on an easy to use "radar" plotting screen, control your Anchor Watch and more. We will continue to support and add new features to these apps so keep an eye out for updates on the app stores!.

Installation

The WatchMate Vision2 Installation Guide has important information about wiring and antenna placement. It also has information to help you get started with your WatchMate Vision, plus you will find more detailed information about operating your WatchMate Vision2 within the various sections below.

How do I turn it on and off?

Simply touch the screen for a moment. You'll see the Vesper Marine logo appear and after about a minute your WatchMate Vision2 will up and running. To shut it off, select Power Off from the Settings Menu. You'll get a confirmation dialog to be sure.

Hint: Your WatchMate Vision2 has a GPS Backup Power feature. To speed the time-to-first fix, do not disconnect or switch off the power supply to the WatchMate Vision2. If you do turn off the power supply it may take longer for the built-in GPS to acquire satellite data and a position fix. When you switch your WatchMate Vision2 off using the Menu option, it will continue to maintain the GPS almanac data as long as the power supply is maintained.

An extremely small amount of power is used to maintain the GPS data so it should not have any significant effect on your battery. However, if you wish to completely turn off your WatchMate Vision2, such as when storing your vessel for an extended time, disconnect or switch off the power supply.

Using the touchscreen

Your WatchMate Vision2 has a capacitive touchscreen. Scroll through the menu, zoom in and out, see vessel details and navigation data, change alarm settings and more with the most gentle of touches.

Use the area that is off the screen on the right to slide out the menu system. You can slide your finger along the off-screen area to scroll and flick the menu and then select any menu item by touching it on the screen.

Using a WatchMate Vision2 on fast vessels (>45 knots)

The GPS smoothing feature is optimized for vessels that do not exceed 45 knots. If you have a fast vessel then you must disable the smoothing feature. Otherwise, you will lose your GPS position when travelling in excess of 48 knots.

Configuring your vessel details

Your WatchMate Vision2 will not transmit until your vessel details have been configured. Your dealer may have already configured this information for you and this procedure can be used to verify the information is correct.

You must have an assigned MMSI number for your vessel. If you don't have an assigned MMSI, contact the relevant authority in your country.

Once you configure your MMSI number you cannot change it. If you need to change the MMSI, please contact an authorized dealer or Vesper Marine.

Your vessel details may be configured or viewed directly on the WatchMate Vision2 or using either the Vesper Marine WatchMate App for iPhone and iPad or Android phones and tablets. You can also use the vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility (see downloads section). To use the utility, download and install it on your PC, Mac or Ubutnu computer. You can connect to your WatchMate Vision2 via USB or WiFi.

On your Vision2, from the Settings Menu choose AIS Settings and edit My Vessel Details. Enter your MMSI and other details carefully since this information is transmitted to all vessels within range. Select the most appropriate vessel type and enter the location of the GPS antenna. You may enter the location in either metres or feet. Measurements in feet are converted to whole metres for transmission. As a result, not all measurements in feet can be represented.
Updating your vessel details

Setup WiFi to create its own network as an access point

Your WatchMate Vision2 transponder comes already configured as an Access Point. This is the most common way to use the WatchMate Vision2 and it allows you to connect up to 8 other devices via WiFi. A separate WiFi router is not needed.

The default network name (SSID) is VesperXB-[Serial Number]. Select this name from the WiFi connection screen on your other devices. The default password is printed in your owner's manual.

You can change the SSID or password by using the Wifi Settings on the WatchMate Vision2 or by using the vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility on a PC, Mac or Ubuntu computer. Vesper Marine recommends you change the password. To do this, use the WiFi Settings dialog which is accessed from the Settings Menu. Alternatively, you can do this by downloading the vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility (see downloads section) and installing it on your PC, Mac or Ubuntu computer. Use the USB cable that is included with your WatchMate Vision2 transponder to connect to the computer. Some versions of Microsoft Windows have the driver pre-installed, but if not or you are on Mac and you need the driver, you can download it.

Select the WiFi Settings from the Settings Menu to change your SSID and enter your new password.
Update the WiFi password

Setup WiFi to join an existing network

If you have an existing WiFi router, you can configure your WatchMate Vision2 to connect to it rather than create its own network. This allows you to maintain a single network connection on your other devices without having to switch networks to get access to your WatchMate Vision2 transponder. This also allows for larger networks than the 8 devices supported by the WatchMate Vision2 in its Access Point configuration.

To configure the WatchMate Vision2 to join an existing network you can use the WiFi Settings dialog accessed from the Settings Menu. Alternatively, you can use the vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility on a PC, Mac or Ubuntu computer. To do this, download the vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility (see downloads section) and install it on your PC, Mac or Ubuntu computer. Use the USB cable that is included with your WatchMate Vision2 transponder to connect to the computer. Some versions of Microsoft Windows have the driver pre-installed, but if not or you are on Mac and you need the driver, you can download it.

On the Vision2, from the settings menu select WiFi Settings. Turn off Create a Wireless Network. It will take a few seconds for the WatchMate Vision2 to reconfigure itself and display a list of networks within range.
Join and existing network
Using PC software to enter WiFi network password
Select the network you wish to join by clicking on its name. Enter your network password, if required. Your WatchMate Vision2 transponder supports WPA and WPA2 personal (PSK) WiFi security.

The default is to use DHCP which allows your WiFi router to choose the address for your WatchMate Vision2. This is convenient but the address can change if you switch your WatchMate Vision2 transponder off. To assign your WatchMate Vision2 a static IP address, untick the "Use DHCP" option and enter the IP address you wish to use. This must be an IP address in the correct range which your router has available for use as a static IP. See the manual for your WiFi router for details regarding static IP usage and the correct address to enter.


Your WatchMate Vision2 will now connect to the network. When it is done you'll see your selected network appear in the list with a blue tick next to it. If you are using DHCP, you'll need to know the IP address that your router assigned to the WatchMate Vision2. Click on the grey arrow next to the network name to see the IP address that has been assigned by your router. You will need this address to connect to your WatchMate Vision2 from other devices on your network.

Getting started with iNavX

Getting started with iNavX can sometimes be confusing. You need to install it from the App Store, download free charts or create an account to download additional charts, and configure it for use with your Vesper Marine transponder. To get started, here's a nice tutorial we've come across.

If you have more info you would like to share about getting started with iNavX or SEAiq (another good iPad navigation app we've used and can recommend), please let us know at [email protected].

Configuring iNavX on an iPad to connect to your WatchMate Vision

This video takes you through the steps to connect iNavX to a WatchMate Vision2 AIS Transponder over WiFi. Once connected, your Vesper Marine transponder will supply your GPS position to iNavX and AIS targets will be overlaid on the iNavX charts.

Current NMEA 2000 PGN list

PGN's Received:
127250 Vessel Heading
128259 Speed
128267 Water Depth
128275 Distance Log
130306 Wind
130310 Water Temperature
130311 Water Temperature
130312 Water Temperature
130314 Pressure
130316 Water Temperature
129283 Cross Track Error
192284 Navigation Data
129285 Route/WP Information

PGN's Sent:
127250 Vessel Heading
129025 Position
129026 COG & SOG
129029 GNSS Positions
129540 GNSS Satellites
129038 AIS Class A Position
129039 AIS Class B Position
129040 AIS Class A Extended Position
129041 AIS Aids to Navigation Report
129794 AIS Class A Static Voyage
129798 AIS SAR Aircraft Position
129801 AIS Addressed Safety
129802 AIS Safety Related Broadcast
129809 AIS Class B "CS" Static, Part A
129810 AIS Class B "CS" Static, Part B
129283 Cross Track Error
192284 Navigation Data
129285 Route/WP Information

A summary of NMEA Translations can be found here.

User guide

We believe you'll find your new WatchMate Vision2 to be easy to learn to use and encourage you to experiment with the various settings. See our online user's guide for a collection of usage notes, hints and suggestions.

By putting it on-line we can add to it and make improvements quickly and we can post new information whenever we have more to share. Please let us know if there are subjects you would like to learn more about.

Downloads

WatchMate Vision2 Installation Guide

Here's where you'll find wiring diagrams, information about antenna placement, WiFi configuration and connecting NMEA 2000. In this guide there's also troubleshooting information and technical specifications.

Flush Mounting Template

Use this template to cut the panel for flush mounting your WatchMate Vision2. Use the included gasket and attach with the screws provided. You may have to cut the screws to fit your panel depth. If you are unable to see behind the panel, we recommend using 3mm threaded rod and thumbscrews (not provided).

Windows: vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility

Install this utility on a PC running Microsoft Windows (XP or later) to configure or check your MMSI & vessel details, change your WiFi connection details, update your NMEA 2000 configuration, monitor GPS and transponder status, assist with troubleshooting and provide for future firmware updates.

Mac OS X: vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility

Install this utility on Mac OS X (10.7 "Lion" or later) to configure or check your MMSI & vessel details, change your WiFi connection details, update your NMEA 2000 configuration, monitor GPS and transponder status, assist with troubleshooting and provide for future firmware updates.

Ubuntu: vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility

Install this utility on Ubuntu (12.04 or later) to configure or check your MMSI & vessel details, change your WiFi connection details, update your NMEA 2000 configuration, monitor GPS and transponder status, assist with troubleshooting and provide for future firmware updates.

USB drivers for Microsoft Windows

Recent versions of Microsoft Windows includes the USB drivers. However, if your system does not have them installed you can download them from here.

These drivers are supported on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

USB drivers for MAC OS X

The latest USB drivers for MAC OS X.

USB drivers for Linux

Support is included in Ubuntu 11.10, kernel 3.0.0-19. These are the USB drivers you can build for other Linux versions.

Firmware updates

Firmware updates are frequently available to resolve issues and add new features. Please request the update instructions.

What iPad, iPhone and Android apps can I use with it?

In addition to the Vesper Marine WatchMate for iPhone and iPad and the Vesper Marine WatchMate for Android , there are a growing set of 3rd party mobile apps for your phone and tablet that support Vesper Marine transponders with WiFi. We frequently post reviews of iPhone, iPad and Android apps for compatibility and features.

If you know of other good mobile apps that work with AIS and GPS over WiFi (TCP connection), please let us know so we can have a look at them.

What PC and MAC navigation software can I use with it?

You can use any PC or MAC navigation software that accepts AIS and GPS data over either a serial port or a TCP connection. For a serial connection you can use the USB port on your Vesper Marine transponder. For TCP you will use the WiFi.

Some examples of navigation software that supports the WatchMate Vision2 over both USB and WiFi are Rose Point Coastal Explorer, openCPN and macENC.

If you know of other PC or MAC navigation software that works with AIS and GPS over WiFi (TCP connection), please let us know so we can have a look at them and spread the word.

What about using navigation software on a PC or MAC that only works on a serial port?

You have two options for using navigation software that doesn't support TCP connections. The easiest is to use the USB port on your Vesper Marine transponder. When you install the USB drivers (downloaded from above) and then plug in your transponder, the driver creates a "virtual com port" on your computer. It will assign it a name like COM9. You then configure your software to use that port at 38,400 baud.

Another option is to use WiFi to connect your computer to your Vesper Marine transponder. Then use software to create a "virtual com port" on your computer from the TCP connection. We've recently tested free HW Group VSP3 Software and found that it works well for this purpose.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

If you have an installation question, need advice on antenna selection, or are having a problem and need troubleshooting advice, please consult our frequently asked questions.

Where to get support?

Contact your dealer for local support. Authorized Vesper Marine dealers are always there to assist you with in-depth product knowledge.
Or you may contact us for technical support by filling out this form. We'll help you with any problems or questions you might have. We constantly hear that we have the best technical support in the marine electronics industry and are ready to help you when you need it.support.vespermarine.com

Warranty

Your Vesper Marine product is protected by a two year world-wide warranty. A summary of the warranty is included in the Installation Guide and you will find the full details here.

Declaration of Conformity

For information on the relevant standards, please see the Declaration of Conformity.

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smartAIS, AIS WatchMate, WatchMate Vision2, WatchMate Wheel, DeckWatch, Virtual AIS Beacon, "Always On, Always Visible, Always Watching" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vesper Marine.