Device location - follow outside source e.g MarineTraffic

Afternoon Pepsperts!
We have a few devices which connecting the GPS is not an option or the connected GPS antenna is not optimally located and gets sporadic fixes e.g. only when heading north…
It would be nice to be able to get a devices InControl2 location following a 3rd party data source e.g. marine traffic.

Just for example, we have one vessel that has an MBX installed on the top deck in a weatherproof locker. The GPS antenna is located just inside the door (cellular antennas are located on the mast an get great results!).
This yachts goes days staying in the same location in InControl2 even though we know the vessel has moved. The day that the deck crew decide to wash down and have to open that locker, the device gets a new GPS fix

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Why can’t you install an externally mounted GPS antenna?

A lot of our installs don’t have an external mounted GPS antenna, this is due to a few different reasons but the following are some of the contributing factors;
-Using antennas which don’t have an integrated GPS antenna e.g. Poynting OMNI-402
-Unable to pass any more cables through bulkhead and watertight penetrations on the mast
-Not aloud to install an additional antenna (already convinced client to install more than they want for the cellular)

We install a GPS antenna if possible but more often than not, its just not possible.
Would be loverly to just enter the vessels marine traffic ID (aka “shipid”) into InControl2 and have it follow that.

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Hello @Harry_Thompson,

Although getting the data from an external website sounds nice, marinetraffic is a subscription based system and thus would require you to have an account to make the constant API calls that you wish to have. If that is an expense that you can carry, nice, but I know most of my clients would simply ask why would you need that?

Turning that question though, turning to the Peplink technical team here, I know the MAX router provides the GPS position in NMEA format to the IP network on port 60660. Does the MAX router also have the capability to read NMEA data from the network? meaning if the NMEA stream is available from the ships GPS system, amongst other NMEA data, would it be possible to have the MAX read and upload it into the IC2 interface?

This would require potentially a purchase of an NMEA adaptor to get it from the NMEA network onto the IP network, but at least in my case this already often is there for other HW like guest information systems.

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I am very familiar with boats. I have yet to encounter one that you couldnt add more antennas somewhere.

The gps antenna need not go on the mast. It just needs to be outside, preferably with clear LoS to sky.

AIS tracking is not necessarily real time. There are some quirks with it. I would follow what the other poster is suggesting about tapping into a NMEA interface if its really a problem to add a tiny gps antenna.