WatchMate 850 Class B AIS Transponder Owner's Guide

Vesper Marine

Your Vesper Marine AIS WatchMate® 850 is a Class B AIS Transponder with dedicated screen, NMEA-0183, USB and built-in GPS receiver and antenna.

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.

Installation

The WatchMate 850 Installation Guide has important information about wiring and antenna placement.

The install guide also has information to help you get started with your WatchMate 850. It shows the various icons you'll see as well as basic information about how to use the WatchMate alarms.

User guide

We believe you'll find your new WatchMate 850 to be easy to learn to use. We've worked hard to make it intuitive and encourage you to experiment with the various settings.

Download the Owner's Manual for detailed information on how to use and configure your WatchMate 850.

Please let us know if there are subjects you would like to learn more about.

Using a WatchMate 850 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 850 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 850 screen or the vmAIS Configuration and Status Utility (see downloads section). To use the utility, download and install it on your PC, Mac or Ubutnu computer.

Once you have connected your WatchMate to your computer, choose the "Configure Vessel Data" tab where your current details will be displayed. 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.
Using PC/Mac software to update your MMSI and vessel details

Downloads

WatchMate 850 Installation Guide

Here's where you'll find wiring diagrams, information about antenna placement, configuration and connecting other devices. 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 850. 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, update your NMEA 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, update your NMEA 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, update your NMEA 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 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 a serial port. For a serial connection you can use the USB port on your Vesper Marine transponder.

Some examples of navigation software that supports the WatchMate 850 over USB are Rose Point Coastal Explorer, openCPN, Nobeltec and macENC.

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 sending an email to [email protected]. 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.

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