We frequently get some common questions, so it’s time to put together a FAQ

1. Why?
Good Question. I started looking out at the harbour just after i moved to Halifax, and Stared researching what was going on. I figured if i was wondering, Others must be as well, so i started blogging. 10 years on, The rest, as they say, is history

2. How do you do the ship tracker thing?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. The service itself comes from marinetraffic.com, who allows the embedable google map centered on the location you choose.

All vessels over 350grt are required to transmit an ais signal (automatic identification system)on VHF. I have a 8′ VHF antenna mounted on my house connected to an SR-161 AIS receiver. The AIS receiver converts the VHF signal to an NMEA sentence. The NMEA sentence is sent to an old laptop running ship plotter which displays the signal on a chart or radar like display, and sends the update to marinetraffic.com. ( i Operate station 347)

NMEA is a common standard for navigation devices to communicate with each other. An ais sentence will contain a vessels name, position, course, speed, destination, eta, and mmsi number.

3. Who is the Signalman Guy on Facebook and Twitter?
The Signalman has no name, But he was used in the 1954edition of the Admiratlys Manual of Seamamship to Illustrate semiphore. I have scanned the Page Bellow: