[aprssig] Cruise Ships, APRS.FI, and AIS

Dave Baxter Dave at emv.co.uk
Thu Jan 15 08:04:50 EST 2009

AFIK APRS.fi has always had ship tracking facilities.

I have a friend who works for Carnival Cruises, and is also a ham
licence holder.  He has taken a 2m handie on a couple of ocasions for
his own use, no problem afik.

On his first trip, they could also use the ship's onboard wifi with no
restrictions, so skype calls home were no problem.  Subsiquent trips
though, just about any internet traffic that would need to go "off ship"
was blocked, unless you paid a large fee for a poor service, even as

Perhaps someone got a satelite internet bill, and had to pay for dozens
of laptops doing automatic updates as well as all the voip calls
perhaps?...   The ships have their own webservers, but the content is
limited and not that interesting he says.

However, he found in some places, there were genuinly free wifi nodes
reachable from the ship when in dock.

Take a good pair of binoculars, in the absence of hand held AIS RX.

Enjoy the trip.

Dave G0WBX.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Fellhauer [mailto:sparkfel at qwest.net] 
> Sent: 15 January 2009 06:03
> To: aprssig at tapr.org
> Subject: [aprssig] Cruise Ships, APRS.FI, and AIS
> While getting ready for my next cruise on the Carnival Spirit 
> (Feb. 16th to
> Acapulco) I noticed that APRS.FI has added AIS data to San 
> Diego Harbor.  This is fantastic!
> It appears they are getting their data from marinetraffic.com.
> http://marinetraffic.com/ais/
> I've also been using this KML file to track cruise ships 
> worldwide from seascanner.com www.seascanner.com/kml/kfben.kml
> At first I thought they were just interpolating a cruise 
> ship's position based on it's itinerary, but using San 
> Diego's Pier webcam you can see they are getting their 
> updates in real time.
> http://tinyurl.com/sjwr6
> Too bad Carnival bans all Ham Radio transmitting equipment 
> from their ships (and I am instituting my own laptop and 
> cellphone ban), but I'm tempted to bring a small scanner for 
> signal sniffing.
> I'm waiting for someone to come up with a handheld AIS 
> receiver.  The last cruise I was on we could see other ships 
> off in the distance, especially at night, and I was curious 
> as to see who they were.
> 73,
> Mark

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