Which Application should I use with my Quark-Elec AIS Receiver?

A question we get asked a lot!  There are an ever increasing number of Apps out there now, some good, some….less so.  We could go out and test every single one, but then we wouldn’t have time to do the R&D which drives our products forward.  We love the R&D part of our job, so we’ve put together a shortlist of applications which we know work and that cover most of the OS requirements out there. As you probably know by now, we like to encourage feedback and we love that our customers like to help each other out once in a while, so if you are using an app that isn’t listed here and you think it’s good, please give it a quick write up in the comments section.  Or drop me an email and point me in the right direction!

Quick reference chart for Navigation Apps
Quick reference chart for Navigation Apps

Windows 10 and AIS Receivers – Quick Reference Guide

All of our Marine Electronics are compatible with Windows  7/8 and 10.  The drivers will support most set ups back to XP and they should self-install.  A new COM port will automatically show up in Device Manager when you plug it in. The USB connection can always be checked using a Terminal Monitoring Application such as Hyperterminal or PuTTY.  Settings and procedure can be checked here using the appropriate manual for your model.

Frequently asked questions include:

Q             Have just plugged in a new A022 into a Windows 10 64 Bit tablet and the Device Manager shows the device under “Other Devices” and STM32F4-Discovery in FS Mode. Properties displays Code 28 “Drivers for this device are not installed”. Device Manager says This device can not start (Code 10)

A             All of our Receivers should work under Windows 10 and the drivers should automatically install, it should be ‘Plug’n’Play’.  However, occasionally this does not happen.  Often this is because the operating system on the PC has been upgraded from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10 rather than having a clean Windows 10 install.

Solution: Uninstall the drivers and reinstall

The official Manual or Application Notes can be accessed here and there are a number of threads on the forum about Windows topics, this user supplied link has been helpful.

Legacy Operating Systems

Q           I bought an AIS Receiver Dongle QUARK-Elec QK-A021  produced by your company. It works flawlessly with the computer under Windows 7. In the product description is a note, ‘it works with older versions of operating systems’. However, my attempt to install it on Windows 2000 professional failed.

System announced: “incorrect driver.” Attempts to find a suitable driver on the Internet failed. Do you have another version of the drivers for earlier operating systems? I need a driver for Windows 2000 professioal.

A              The oldest version QK-A021 can automatically support is XP. We do have an older version driver which may work with Windows 2000. If you email us on info@quark-elec.com we will send it to you.

Another Great Review for the QK-A031 Multiplexer

Test QK-A031 NMEA

The multiplexer is of quality and its price is incomparable! Commissioning is easy without having to load the interface for PC or Mac operation. The wifi works very well and especially, it allows several addresses at the same time on all platforms, PC, Mac, IIOS, Andro, Linux …. The must is the possibility to adjust the flow rate on all Inputs and outputs so as to be in phase with the AIS at 38500 Baud and the NMEA at 4800 Baud for seaTalk for example. Ultimately, the most would be to have NMEA 2000 … but to date the QK-A031 is of the best in NMEA183!

The original review in French:

Test QK-A031 NMEA en français

Le multiplexeur est de qualité et son prix est incomparable! La mise en service s’effectue sans difficulté à condition d’avoir chargé l’interface pour le piloter en PC ou en Mac. Le wifi marche très bien et surtout, il autorise plusieurs adresse en même temps sur toutes les plateformes, PC, Mac, IIos, Andro, Linux…. Le must c’est la possibilité d’ajuster au mieux le débit sur toutes les entrées et sorties de façon à être en phase avec l’AIS à 38500Bauds et du NMEA à 4800Bauds pour le seaTalk par exemple. A terme, le plus serait d’avoir du NMEA 2000… mais à ce jour le QK-A031 est de ce qui se fait de mieux en NMEA183!

You can find this review on

Tindie logo

 

QK-A031 NMEA 0183 Multiplexer with SeaTalk Converter and Station Mode

One of the big bugbears of this brave new world of technological marvels is cross-compatibility.  Many customers have said to us, ‘If only it would connect with my Raymarine’

No longer! We have solved this long-standing annoyance.  Our solution:

QK-A031 NMEA 0183 Multiplexer with SeaTalk Converter

Able to receive input in NMEA and SeaTalk formats this unit can interface between your existing Raymarine instruments by converting SeaTalk to NMEA and combining the four channels of data for output via the NMEA wired output port, WiFi and USB simultaneously.

As the SeaTalk system operates on a single cable ‘daisy chain’ only one input port is required to give an effective interface into the NMEA network.

This allows all of your Raymarine telemetry to be utilised by plotters and AIS units that would normally be incompatible. It can also feed directly to a plotter program on PC or tablet via WiFi from anywhere on the vessel.  Finally you can navigate from your berth! (Though we absolutely do not suggest that you do that!).

The new version A031 (available from July 2017) offers both AdHoc and Station operating modes for even more flexibility, so you can connect peer-to-peer or through a router.

This enables remote access in addition to better range for larger vessels. SSID names and passwords are able to be easily changed at any time for security.  Initial configuration is through the USB port which can also be used for NMEA output.

 

 

The  QK-A031 is currently a receive only solution, but we’re working on that………

 

Find more details on the QK-A031 at: http://www.quark-elec.com/products/marine/148-qk-a031

and here: http://www.quark-elec.com/doc/QK-A031_application_note.pdf

 

Buy QK-A031 here: http://www.quark-elec.com/onlinemall/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=86

 

Another cracking review for the QK-A021, this time from Spain!

A lovely review from Alfonso in Spain, see it in the original Spanish on our Tindie outlet 

   

Hi. I do not speak English, so I’ll say it in Spanish, which is my language.
I am delighted with AIS Receiver Google usb, it works perfectly, sometimes even without having connected the antenna. Shipping was fast. The price very, very good.

Thanks Alfonso! We’re glad you like it

Quark-Elec AIS receiver review and Boat Beacon

Hot off the presses at Pocket Mariner a fantastic new review of our receiver working with their software.  They compared it with some other top sellers and their conclusion was:

 

If you are on a small boat and your AIS aerial is at most 10m above sea level the VHF ship spotting horizon range will be about 12NM (see note at end on calculating VHF horizon range). The Quark easily met that target for spotting ships.

Read the whole review at pocketmariner.com

Customer Video of QK-A026 set-up

Jim Ferguson aboard the Mischief Managed recently purchased a QK-A026.

He made a YouTube Video Guide to setting it up and had some really nice things to say about it:

After I bought this I had really high hopes for it.  As it turns out my hopes have been mostly realized.  I can connect iNavX on my iPad and MacENC on my Macintosh computer wirelessly and receive GPS and AIS data while the A026 is happily providing AIS target data to my Garmin GPSMap 3206 chart plotter.  Anyway, I am ecstatic with the way this has worked out.