FAQ AIS Share – RTL AIS Driver

FAQ for my Android APPS AIS Share and RTL AIS Driver

What is it ?

The app convert your android phone, tablet or TV Box to a fully offline real dual channel AIS receiver.


Is it free ?

There is a free app for testing your equipment with reduced GUI and with a limitation to 1000 received AIS messages. Read this tutorial https://ebctech.eu/installation-rtl-ais-driver/

AIS Sharee costs a few euros , that pays the homepage provider cost. This is a DIY project, if you are looking for a professional AIS receiver, there are many on the market starting from several hundred euros.

Why two apps ?

More or like because when I started to develop RTL AIS Driver 2015 for my own i wanted to create many different apps which use the RTL AIS Driver as hardware gateway platform. I am not a full time app programmer, this is like a hobby so up to now i created only AIS Share.

The driver app will run as a service for AIS SHARE app. The service (background process) will run only on request of AIS SHARE ( only the signal processing part of the driver will run )
There is no negative effect on battery drain with this solution. (the driver app runs as process of AIS Share on request, as if it were integrated into AIS Share)

Is my android device compatible ?

see Android hardware

Is my RTL-SDR stick compatible ?

see RTL-SDR Dongle

The app shows “Exception…” ?

Try it with another USB OTG cable. In most of the cases this is the reason.
For example I had very bad experience with a cheap Micro USB HUB like this.

Micro USB Hub
bad experience

Note: The system will work with USB hubs.
see some recommendation here USB OTG cable

Try to disconnect the dongle and reconnect it.

If the message “Disconnected unexpectedly” or a similar message appears after some time of running it could also be the reason that some vendors like Huawei or ZTE have a very aggressive power saving policies, see next topic.

Believe me or not, sometimes it also just helps to reboot your Android device.

Do not press the pink play / stop button to wild. Wait some seconds after click.

The application runs for a while, then crashes or just stop to receive

There could be some reasons.

Some manufacturers like Huawei or ZTE have very aggressive power saving policies and force to close background apps without notice. If you experience this issue , the only solution is manually whitelist both the RTL SDR Driver and the AIS Share app in your phone / tablet power saving. Instruction for different vendors can be found here.  dontkillmyapp.com
On my Android 11 Samsung Tab S7 i had to put both apps AIS Share and RTL AIS Driver on the exclude battery optimization list. see https://dontkillmyapp.com/samsung#android-11

Another reason could be the USB OTG adapter / cable , which have a loose connection or it just is such a poor quality that the needed power for the USB dongle will not be stable. See some recommendation here USB OTG cable

Are there any tutorials available ?

Yes see

or a good external tutorial AIS-Dekoder für Wifi unter Android – open-boat-projects.org

or just have a look at


Can I use RTL SDR Driver or AIS Share in my country ?

RTL AIS Driver or AIS SHARE does not have any technical limitations regarding location of usage and can operate everywhere where it is legally allowed to. The RTL AIS Driver or AIS SHARE development team will not be held responsible for any legal issues that might be caused by usage or possession of the app. It is your responsibility to comply with your local law before using the apps as clearly stated in the Terms and Conditions you receive bundled with the app.
DO NOT rely upon AIS Share or RTL AIS DRIVER for safety of life or property. DO NOT use these app for navigation purpose.

I can’t receive any AIS messages ?

What kind of dongle you are using ?
If you use, I call them cheap dongles ( see RTL-SDR Dongle ), then you have to find your PPM, which is individual for every dongle. see https://ebctech.eu/find-your-ppm/

Are you test your equipment in an area where there is ship / vessel traffic ?

Use a proper antenna see Antenna
If you are using such a short antenna which is sometimes included with an RTL SDR dongle then you have to be very very close to ships / vessels (something like 50m)

bad example

Compatibility with other RTL SDR apps

My app will not influence any other RTL SDR related apps like SDR Touch or the RTL2832U Driver app you have installed.

Some of the other RTL SDR related app has an kind of autostart when you connect the USB dongle to your device. They are asking for permission to access the RTL SDR USB stick a soon you connect it. If you want to use my APP then you have to deny the permission for that app ( don’t worry they are asking every time you connect).

Only one app group can access the USB port, so it is not possible to use SDR Touch and use AIS Share simultan.

Believe me or not, sometimes it also just helps to reboot your Android device.

I can’t see any vessels / ships in Navionics , OpenCPN ,…

Try to use the offline test. see https://ebctech.eu/is-app-xy-compatible-with-ais-share/

Believe me or not, sometimes it also just helps to reboot your Android device.

Contact me at info@ebctech.eu and give some additional info’s:

  • Have you try it with the offline test ?
  • In real time, do you see the that the counter values are counting up
    see chapter 09-02 Message Type statistic at https://ebctech.eu/installation-ais-share/
    (That would mean that your are receiving AIS messages but for some reason you don’t see it in your plotter app)
  • Is your charting plotter app installed at the same device as AIS Share is running ?
    If not, both apps AIS Share and the map app like Navionics,.. needs to be in the same WiFi network and you need to know the IP Address of the device where Navionics,… runs.
  • Try to start AIS Share an your Navionics, OpenCPN , BoatBeacon,.. app in split screen mode. ( this should not necessary, just to test if something get’s better)

It works at RTL AIS Driver but not at AIS SHARE

Each app has it’s individual settings. All settings which you configured at RTL AIS Driver you have to enter in AIS SHARE as well.
Restart your phone / tablet and just start AIS Share. You don’t need to do anything in RTL AIS driver. But let the app installed.

It just doesn’t work

Some reasons could be
Faulty USB OTG cables or not enough power for the USB dongle

  • Faulty USB OTG cables or adapter or not enough power for the USB dongle
    see USB OTG cable
  • Reboot your Android device and try it again
  • Do not press the pink start / stop button to fast. After every click give some minutes.
  • Not in an area with marine traffic
  • Use a proper Antenna
    see Antenna
  • Android Hardware
    see Android hardware

Contact / Support

Contact me at info@ebctech.eu for free support.
Please give me some information about your android hardware , the dongle and the cable. Just send me a photo of your hardware setup. Helpful is also a screenshot of the error message or the output window at rtl ais driver.
I will try me best to support you.


  1. Hallo und guten Tag Herr Ebner,

    Eine sehr interessante Seite haben Sie da im Netz. Ganz wissbegierig bin ich mich hier am Informieren.

    Ich hätte Fragen zum AIS betrieben mit dem Smartphone. Bin heute erst auf die Möglichkeit aufmerksam geworden, daß man AIS Daten mit einfachen Methoden zugänglich machen kann. Ist es richtig, daß ich zu der Software (2 Apps) nur noch den DVB-T FM/DAB Stick und eine passende Antenne dazu benötige?

    Gibt es eine andere Lösung um auf die Antenne zu verzichten? Ich habe bei Ihnen nachgelesen, daß es zwar Sticks mit eingebauter Antenne gibt, diese aber kaum den erforderlichen Zweck erfüllen und genauer gesagt unbrauchbar sind. Meine Absicht war mein Smartphone, allerhöchsten mit dem eingesteckten Stick mobil zu nutzen ohne noch lange eine Antenne ausbreiten zu müssen.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen

    1. Hallo Herr Wolfsperger,
      Nein leider ohne Antenne geht es nicht. Die verschiedenen Dongles am Markt haben auch keine Antenne eingebaut, bei den meisten wird eine sehr kurze Antenne mitgeliefert die aber für den Empfang bei 162 Mhz kaum was taugt..
      Für den Anfang bitte nur mal die kostenlose App AIS Driver verwenden. Dann mal probieren ob sie was empfangen. Hat das geklappt können sie AIS Share downloaden.
      Für weitere Fragen einfach melden

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