AIS Station supplanted

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    Gilles Gilles

    Good morning Marc,
    yes your station is working normally.
    the principle of AIS, it is the 1st station which receives the signal which carries it even if you have the boats in your cover.
    Maybe the 1745 station is better located than yours, antenna better unobstructed, higher, more efficient (antenna gain in DB) etc ...

    hoping to have helped you in understanding the operation,

    Best regards

    Gilles
    Molénez (station id 3905)
    Brest
    France

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hello Gilles,

    Thanks a lot for your explainations who confirm what Marinetraffic's helpdesk told me last week.

    One more question: is there any solution to increase the power of the antenna ?

    As you can see, the station and the antenna are already in height

    Thanks in advance for your advise.

    Sincerely,

    Marc

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    Sergio Parola

     

    Hi Marc, I understand your worry.

    I have experienced it with my station (4372, Albisola, Italy, where everything is studied, build and tuned for max performances) and may be demoralizing.

    Gilles is right, but there are 2 other things to verify and it’s not easy without MT collaboration:

    - Latency and speed of your LAN (you may easily test it), of your ISP WAN and connection to MT server

     - AIS data filtering and discarding by MT (that is necessary for data quality, but often is very severe and demoralizing, e.g. 60 of 60 or more results in 1h lost! All the best ones by distance, e.g.)

    Your antenna position seems similar to mine, optical to a near port, Savona/Vado in my case. Nevertheless I’m “supplanted” in a lot of positions by other stations, often faraway. Seems I’m not “supplanted” only for hidden positions or weak AIS transmitters that cannot be received by other stations.

    I would like to better understand all that! You too?

    Sergio

     

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hi Sergio,

    Reading your post, I think we're living the same issue... That's a bit sad to do our best to provide the network with the most data that possible and and see that only "peanuts" are shown on the map coming from our AIS station !

    I'm trying to find a solution to boost my antenna for maximal performence. Can I install a special "box" between the station and the antenna to increase them ?

    I think that one thing inducing the problem in my situation is the latency and speed of my connection. In fact, to provide an internet connection to the station, I'm using a router equiped of a 4G sim card (D-Link DWR-953) because the LAN network avalaible is too far from the top of the silo where the station is...

    I'll follow your advices and contact MarineTraffic's IT Heldesk to ask them to realise a check up of my station performences.

    I've already had contact with them, and the only tip they told me to try was to decrease the decay factor (from 60 to 5 minutes) of my station in the settings on the station's dashboard but that seems not changing anything in my situation...

    I'll keep you informed of the situation hoping MT is able to change something at distance.

    Thanks again for your advices.

    Sincerely,

    Marc

     

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    Sergio Parola

     

    Hi Marc,

    please wait a while to contact MT, also my doubt are incompletely exposed and unresolved with them… Maybe it’s better to deeply understand and then make a clear request for both stations, that now I see are very different, but with similar issues, seems.

    Decay factor should not affect results on MT site. During decay time vessels are showed on your dashboard, after they are no more received. Setting may need hours/days to take effect. I use 4’.

    Now I have no time to analyze, if you like please wait a while. At first sight your Sirio GP3E is perfect for you, but coordinates let see it in a terrible position, not corresponding to pic. “Box” seems unnecessary, but your station has a performances weakening since July 19…. (continue below)

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    Marc Stachulec

    Dear Sergio,

    Oups, sorry, I already sent this morning a request to MarineTraffic IT to check once again the parameters of my station...

    You're right, since the 19th of July, I performed the maintenance of the station changing the decay factor as proposed by MT and securised a bit more the wifi acces of my router.

    The decay factor changing nothing on the map, I think I will restore it to the previous value.

    Strange thing, I've not moved the station or the antenna an the performances seems less good...

    Marc

     

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    Sergio Parola

     

    … same weakening for Station #1745! Possibly others, but not mine that has SW version: V1.5.1 (MT dashboard/about).

    Check if the supplanted vessels on MT site are showed on your dashboard, in the same hour (attention, MT site is updated in the next hour or later).

    If you can, access your router dashboard and ping your SLR350Ni IP address (you find it in MT dashboard/settings/network/Ethernet or wifi), note the medium result of various tests (mine is 2.5mSec on wifi, 0.9mSec on ethernet). Then do the same with MT server IP address, you can find it on the MT installation email or easily on a MT “offline” warning email (mine is 32mSec to MT host 138.201.213.74, hetzner.com, Berlin)…

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    Sergio Parola

    No need to restore decay time, dashboard is more understandable with 4-5' (I have wrote before reading you!!! :)

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hi Sergio,

    I performed the ping yesterday on the server 5.9.207.224 and I obtain a latency of 54 ms.

    The latency of the wifi (I not climbed the silo to test the LAN) to the station is 4 ms.

    As you can see in the 2 pictures here enclosed, there is a big difference between the number of ships visible really by my station on the dashboard and on the map in the station's status page.

    I asked MT to add an extra filter in the status pages to able to see directly how  many ships are really visible by the station (without to have to access the dashboard). I hope they will implement that.

    I fellowed your advice and left the decay factor on 5 minutes

    If you want to fellow the conversation I've on the subject with Ilias (MT helpdesk), here is the link:

    https://help.marinetraffic.com/hc/en-us/requests/93261

    Best regards,

    Marc

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    Sergio Parola

    Hi Marc, the link idea is good. Time saving for Ilias an us, but doesn’t work: “This page doesn't exist. Sorry :( “.

    I replaced the original Raspberry Pi3 inside SLR350Ni with Pi3 B+ to enhance Wi-Fi performances. Here I refer to standard Pi3, as I think you have. I got 138.201.213.74 wrong: it’s my 4th MT server. The first is 5.9.207.224, same as for you, located in center Germany. Summary:

    - 4372, Albisola: Router to SLR350Ni by Wi-Fi 5 ms, router to ISP server 0.2 ms, router to 5.9.207.224 25.5 ms. Total ping time from SLR350Ni to 5.9.207.224 is 30.5 ms (28 ms with Pi3B+ 2.5 ms)

    - 3777, Terval S.A: Router to SLR350Ni by Wi-Fi 4 ms, router to ISP server ?.? ms, router to 5.9.207.224 54 ms. Total ping time from SLR350Ni to 5.9.207.224 is 58 ms

    To complete our basic network analysis lacks the ping from your router to your ISP server IP, you can find it in the router: Network access/WAN/PPP or similar, it’s NOT the DNS server IP (it may change, especially when reconnected. Any ISP server ping is 0.2ms in my case).

    I ping 5.9.207.224 in 25.5 ms from Italy, probably farer than you, don’t you think it’s interesting? My WAN it’s a max performances Fiber to Cabinet, which kind of WAN the “supplanting” stations use? FTTH? Certainly they reduce latency by 1.5-4 ms if they use Ethernet cable (1 ms) instead of Wi-Fi, but when I tested with cable @ 0.9 ms ...I was “supplainted” the same.

    ANTENNA: I assume your SLR350Ni is in the box on mast base. In this case your aerial set is the best (an enhancement is very expensive and difficult). But, how long is the cable? Minimal necessary length? RG58? (maybe we can gain something).

    Have a nice day!

    Sergio  

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    Sergio Parola

    Antenna 2: is the GP3E stylus L (see pic below) trimmed to 1.125 mm or better tuned @ 162 Mhz? Are the radials (horizontal elements) well above any near obstacle?

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    Marc Stachulec

    Dear Sergio,

     
    Router to ISP Server seems to be < 0.1 ms.
     
    My ping to 5.9.207.224 is maybe longer then yours because I'm working with a 4g router not an ethernet cable.
     
    I'm using an antenna  Sirio GP3-E (I think that's the one shown in your picture) who's set at the lenght requested.
     
    One thing I don't know: am I really tuned at 162 Mhz ? How can check If that's the case or how can I optimise it ?
     
    The horizontal elements have no obstacle above.
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    Sergio Parola

    Dear Marc, to easily understand WAN&LAN I made this pic:

    - 4372, Albisola accesses the ISP (and internet) via copper+fiber (FTTC, while FTTH is all fiber, both physical). SLR350Ni is connected to LAN by Wi-Fi (sometimes by cable to test), the main PC (browser, MTdashboard&utility) etc. via GB Ethernet.

    - 3777, Terval S.A accesses the ISP via 4G (Radio, LTE). Physical positions and LAN connections of SLR350Ni (in the antenna mast box?), router and PC (or other) are unclear to me, may you please define them?

    My idea was to discriminate between time to ISP (4G radio) and time to 5.9.207.224 (internet). Our simple analysis seems still incomplete, after the confirm by MT will be useful. If you will like to enhance your network (and not to be “supplanted”), a discrimination seems useful.

    Router to ISP Server < 0.1 ms seems to low, the ISP IP has to be different from 192.168.x.x. I have no experience in 4G/Radio connections to ISP, can’t guide you exactly. Another way is to ping 5.9.207.224 from Terval S.A. router, you will measure approximatively the internet time (if it is NOT a 3-4G/Radio, but a physical access, like Adsl/copper, FTTC or FTTH). The difference with 54 ms is the 4G etc. time.

    ANTENNA: Yes, Sirio GP3-E. The exact L is 1.124 mm.  The real/measured tuning needs professional instrument or transmitter+SWRmeter etc. and to work on the silos top. No need in a receiving station. As written in previous post, a work on the cable may give much more gain (my station 4372 is tuned in this way. E.g. yesterday it was the Italy 1st of 155 @485.1NM, on July 17 was the world 6th of 3575 @640.6NM, between MT stations and with 32m elevation only).

    What a hell of a job!!! Sorry to stress you, Marc :)

    Kind regards, Sergio

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    Marc Stachulec

    Dear Sergio,

    Thanks for your accurate reply!

    In these pictures, you can see my box in wich the 4G router is plugged by a cable to the AIS Station and right under the station, a part of the extra cable of the antenna who is rolled cleanly.

    The antenna is about 1,5 m higher on a matt without obstacle close to it.

    Do you think the fact of reducing the lenght of the antenna's cable unused in the box will help to have a better signal ?

    I performed the ping 5.9.207.224 from Terval's router (physical access), and I obtained 38 ms.

    Have a nice week-end ;-)

    Marc :-)

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    Gilles Gilles

    Good morning Marc,

    Remove the excess coaxial cable. You lose a lot with all this winding.

    And if you want to earn a bit of "db" change for coaxial "HYPERFLEX-10" to what I see in your photographs you do not have a lot of cable length.

    You will find your happiness on the German site: Wimo.com
    HYPERFLEX-10 per meter = 3.00 € (loss for 1 meter = 0.05 db)
    Bnc = 6.60 €
    PL plug, sale: 5.70 €

    you can also ask them to mount the plugs.

    I do not advertise, it's a very good and serious store.

    Best regards

    Gilles station 3905 France

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    Gilles Gilles

    Hello Marc and Sergio,

    The few millimeters of difference will not change anything, even 1 cm would have very little impact.
    We are talking about reception only,not transmiting .

    Best regards

    Gilles

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hi Gilles,

    I see you're french and I'm belgian speaking french, but let's continue answer in english for everybody who want to use Sergio's and yours tips! Cherry on the cake, that trains me a bit more my english ;-)

    I'm visiting the website you advise and I try to configure the cable with the plugs.

    The problem is that whan i try to set:

    1. Select connector 1: BNC Jack

    2. Enter cable length: 3 m (to measure correctly next week)

    3. Select connector 2: PL Plug

    But when I choose this configuration, there is no recommended cable avalaible...

    When I choose "PL Plug, teflon", I receive recommendation for cables "Airborne 5 Koaxkabel 5mm" or "RG-58/U Koaxialkabel" but not for "Hyperflex-10"... Should I ask a special configuration?

    I'm a rookie, so I want to be sure to understand: as low is the cable's loss as good is the quality of the cable ?

    What are really the best connectors and cable to choose in my situation (AIS Station: COMAR SLR350Ni + Antenna: Sirio GP3-E)? Just to be sure to order the best one...

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,

    Marc

     

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    Marc Stachulec

    Gilles,

    About your second comment, If I try to set the cable lenght as accurate as possible, that helps only reception and not transmitoin.

    The problem to be supplanted by other stations who give faster their informations will not be solved but with a better reception I'll increase my coverage area, correct ?

    Marc

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    Sergio Parola

    Hi Marc and Gilles,

    Gilles anticipated what I wanted to write and he is right. You can increase distance and area with a better cable or antenna (but not to solve “supplanting”, I think: explanations in the next post, maybe Etherneth cable needed).

    Assuming your cable it’s the MT's standard RG58 type, 10 m length, you will gain 1.95dB with the excellent but big (10.3mm diameter) HyperFlex10 or 1.83dB with RF287UF (mine, 7.3 mm, I bought it on a good French site that sells also Sirio antennas), for a 3 m lenght. Those are very interesting values (do not expect miracles), but both the cables don’t match with PL and BNC connectors made for RG58 cable (5 mm). The cable quality is determined by loss, but also by 2-3 other factors.

    Tuning the cable we can do something more, for every cable! I will calculate for you the exact length, but it depends by the cable chosen: 3 m is enough for RF RF287UF but not for HyperFlex10. May you reduce the cable to about 1.5 m? (entering into the box via right side, if necessary). Let me know!

    Another drastical idea is to neglect the southern Mosa and focuse max power on the northern side… Are you interested? (a new Sirio antenna would be needed)

    Nice WE to you, Marc!

    Sergio

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    Sergio Parola

    Note: all the cables and antennas we talk about are ...made in Italy! :)

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hello Sergio,

    Thanks for your expertise!

    As I told you, I'll climb the silo a day of this week (tomorrow if the meteo is correct) to measure exactly what's the minimal lenght of cable I need between the station and the antenna to increase the performance.

    I'll speak with our electrician if that's possible for he think that's a good idea to drill a hole on the right side of the box because I'm working in a coal treatment industry and there is a lot of dust... If he told that's doable keeping the box dustproof, I'll ask him to do it.

    Regarding the best configuration cable-connectors, I already asked on Wimo's website (as Gilles advised) to know what's they think is the best in my situation. I wait for their reply...

    If I well understand, "Hyperflex-10" will be the best if the lenght is less than 3 m or the second choice should be "RF287UF" ? In the two cases, which connectors should I ask for ?

    Other question, the cable and antenna made with pride in Italy :-) , have you maybe another website to propose for my puchases ?

    Finally, no, I have to focus more on the southern side of the Mosa to have the best view in the direction of Liège and Namur, the nothern side being well covered by the 2 other stations who supplanted mine.

    By curiosity, how is it technically possible to privilege a side than another ?

    Spend a good Sunday,

    Marc

     

     

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    Sergio Parola

    Dear Marc,

    to tune the cable HyperFlex10, the best lengths for you are about 3.3 m or about 1.6 m (I’ll compute when you confirm). The shorter the better, but don’t stress. Dust (your it’s conductive) and water protection is important. With your GP3E, male PL (UHF) and male BNC for 10-11mm cables (like RG213 or the old RG8 not “x “) may match with HyperFlex10, but I can’t guarantee now. What say Gilles? My site is crtfrance.com, serious and efficient.

    To privilege a side, you need a directional antenna (your is omnidirectional). There are various types, with male N connector instead of PL. The back and the side areas are more or less neglected and the gain is more or less concentrated in the front direction, increasing much or very much. You can apply to South, maybe it’s easier technically, but there are disturbing roofs and hills. To N seems that you rarely reach the Rhein, you will reach it often, probably. All at first sight.

    Good climbing! If interested in directional antenna take pics, especially the views of the whole silo top and to desired direction.

    Are you still interested in network enhancement?

    Remember that you are now “supplanted” only in the MT site station windows, not in the Contest or on your dashboard, nor when the other stations fails for any trouble.

    Have a nice day, Sergio

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hi Sergio,

    I climbed the silo today, not so funny because there were a lot of dust on the top due overflow during the filing...

    Anyway, I measured today the real cable lenght I need to go from the AIS Station to the antenna and 270 cm seems to be the best in the actual situation.

    I'll be able to reduce it to 190 cm -200 cm if I drill as you suggest a hole on the right side of my box.

    I confirm that the cable used for the moment is :  RG58 C/U MIL-C-17 033222

    Here is what Wimo.com replied me today to know which cable and connector will fit the best :

    "Well, only you can tell if these connectors are the right ones. It's adviseable to use the connectors which are actually used on the equipment, i.e. do not use adaptor. Hyperflex-10 is a very fine cable, but maybe overkill for 3m. But as you please..." 

    What do you think about it ?

     

    Here is now a picture of the direction where that's the most important for me to find vessels and another of my antenna:


    As you can see, I'm high but there are some roofs in the area who are not very good for the reception and the other thing is that the antenna has been a little bit folded by the wind and not in the good direction...

    If I have to change the antenna for a new directional one, which one can I purchase ?

    Best regards,

    Marc

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    Sergio Parola

    Hi “black” Marc!!! ;-))

    Don’t drill, it’s useless because you can’t reduce to 1.6 m. Tuned cable measures are discrete, not continuous. We will use 2.5-3.5 m after exact compute. That also allows directional antenna, but a new round mast (tube) and type “N” connector is needed. Wimo reply is useless. Seems there is another roll of RG58 on the mast. If so, calculated gains are confirmed.

    GP3E is rated for 150 km/h max wind speed. Are you sure it was folded by the wind? We have to understand, also for the directional. Was an exceptional meto? Was this the cause of performance reduction around July 19-20 (also for 1745)?

    Before going on satisfying your desires, I need to deeply understand them and to focalize our work! What you really need your station to do? And, e.g., do you desire to win competitions or to make Terval work efficient? I will reply you with more time than now and suitable ideas… :)

    Good afternoon, Sergio

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    Sergio Parola

    All you may need for the cable, chose what you prefer:

    BNC 1501/10 PRISE BNC RG213 welding (FOR SLR350Ni)

    PL 259/9.7 MM TEFLON (FOR GP3-E)

    N/MALE CLAMP RG213 (FOR DIRECTIONAL ANTENNAs)

    CABLE RF 400 UF OR

    CABLE RG 213 U MIL C17

    Here you can speak French! ;-)

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hi Sergio,

    Thanks for the referencies and the website.

    I spoke with them, and they advised me about the antennas.

    My only dilem is to decide if I choose a directional one:

    https://www.crtfrance.com/en/base/275-wy-155-6n-155175-mhz-sirio.html

    Or a multi-directional:

    https://www.crtfrance.com/en/base/278-spo-158-5-158-175-colinn-f-sirio.html

    But I beleive I'll choose the directional one to have a better sight to the South of the Meuse who's less covered.

    After, I'll have to choose the cable. If I take the RF 400 UF, should I ask exactly 3109 mm ? A bit less or more will impact negativly the gain ?

    Then, crtFrance will advise me for the connectors who will be suitable with my cable and the antenna...

    Regarding me actual antenna who's folded, I think that's maybe due to a storms we had in the area some months ago...

    Yesterday, I unpluged and repluged the cable from the anatenna on the AIS Station and just with that, my coverage is better today. That looks very sensitive !

    Do you think the setting: WY 155-6N Sirion + RF 400 UF will be the best ?

    Sincerely,

    Marc

     

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    Sergio Parola

    Hi dynamical Marc!

    One of the directional WY series antennas (like mine) was already my idea for you. But they more suffer exceptional storms and side winds, notwithstanding their superior professional quality. The mast must be very stable and round, for pointing (so you try various headings; all installation must be very intelligent & precise for performances, protection and many types of future developments; I have personalized studies for you). Model 6N (6 elements) is the top in directionality & gain. If you like the real 10.5 (and not 9.5) dB front (0°) gain, you have to choose the WY140-6N (better SWR too). WY155 let you receive something more from the side areas (60° to 100°). Both receive near nothing from the rear (120 to 180°) and full front gain angle is about 30° (0 to 15°).

    I’ve seen your recovered good reception, happy for you! Probably the BNC was partially unplugged.

    When your GP3-E was new, its gain was 3.65 dB (good). Reaching 10.65 with WY140-6N, there are + 7dB! The tuned & high-end short cable gives + 2 or more dB. Total 9 dB!!! It’s great, means 8 times the transmitted power (not your case, now) and nears 3 times the receiving sensibility (with better Signal to Noise ratio, too).

    The 2 cables are near equivalent (some factors compensate others), 3 m let more elasticity for developments. Don’t worry for few mm, but cm are important. Cut at 3120 mm, to let the chance to remount or change a connector. WYs have a useful rubber cap for N connector: it must be inserted while building the cable! Have a silicon oil spray. Connectors I’ve write are suitable, you may ask superior quality particularly for “N”.

    Obviously you are getting the best (best of best! ;-). Good shopping. Think very well everything you need to minimize expeditions (or ask me).

    Sincerely, Sergio

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    Marc Stachulec

    Good evening Sergio,

    Dynamical and very interested by the subject ! ;-)

    Thanks for the detailled specifications, I already downloaded them on CRTFrance's website.

    I don't think the WY140-6N (range: 140-160 MHz) fit with the Comar SLR350Ni who's cadenced @ 161,975 MHz or 162,025 MHz. That's the reason why I opt for WY155-6N (range: 155-175 MHz).

    As you advised, I'll choose RF400UF cut at 3120 mm asking for connector "N" of high quality.

    The harder thing to do seems to set the correct orientation of the antenna:

    Should I direct the "spikes" of the antenna as shown on the website's pictures vertically to the sky or horizontally ?

    To point the front of the antenna to the area I want to reach (0°), should I direct the horizontal part of the antenna (on which the "spikes" are pluged) in this direction ?

    Please, can you send me some tips regarding the installation of the antenna to reach the good area ?

    Best regards,

    Marc

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    Sergio Parola

    Dear Marc, if you are really interested to Namur (bad direction, explanations by email), probably is better the Collinear to avoid disappointment and cover a wide area & distance. By the SWR diagrams, both the SPO-150-5 and 158 match at best @ 162 Mhz. Choose the longer SPO-150-5. Gain is 1.5 dB more than GP3-E, summed with the identical cable the total gain is 3.5 dB. Radiation in E plane is better. Very easy & non critical installation.

    To gain 0.8 dB more (total 4.3 dB with the identical cable, very good) and with the best SWR match, there is also: https://www.crtfrance.com/en/base/587-gpf22n.html a very long (better, you gain elevation) and not expensive omnidirectional GP (last one in stock!).

    Sincerely, Sergio

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    Marc Stachulec

    Hello Sergio,

    You're right, the SPO series or the GPF seems easier to install and to manage that the WY series.

    Will I really see a difference for about 3,5 dB in extra then with my actual GP3-E ?

    A thing is sure, they look stronger than GP3-E !

    Here is my email: mstachulecATg mail dot com.

    Reaching as far as possible in the direction of Namur is important for me because, for the moment, there is no public AIS Station avalaible is this direction...

    If you still aggree, please send me your documentation.

    Best regards,

    Marc

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