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marigrace 08-12-2009 08:01 AM

Cheapest AIS
Hi All,
I am interested in AIS, but the cheapest way possible.
(AIS is Automatic identification system. For those of you who are not aware of this yet; It is an ANTI COLLISION SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL SHIPPING USED WORLDWIDE.)
We don't need a transponder, just a receiver that outputs to a laptop so I can find ships' GPS positions, heading and speed, who enter my security circle, which is set on a 20NM radius.
Yep, you guessed right, I am the navigator on our boat.:cool:
AIS data is transmitted on Ch 87 & 88 VHF and seeing we have 2 VHF radios and 3 laptops o/b; I thought that there must be a way to utilize our equipment, without buying more electronic boxes.
I've been looking around for months, on the internet for something.
When we were on the hard in New Zealand and talking to some locals, who put us in contact with a company here in Tauranga.
These guys put an audio filter in the radio.
The filter distinguishes between AIS data and interference.
It ouputs to the laptop and presto, we've got a pretty cheap AIS receiver. I'm not sure how it actually works, but it does.
We had this installed a month ago.
Included came heaps of usefull software on a dvd :) They even installed the software on all our laptops. We paid $130US.:D
And best of all, the software overlays on our MaxSea v10 charts and puts ships superimposed on the screen on the charts.
It beats radar hands down as it can 'look' around corners (islands) and without the usual radar 'clutter'.
This guy Adrian says that they send these filters, connector cable and software and all over the world for self installation.
Their website is Cheapest AIS SYSTEM for Yachts
I am sorry if this sounds like a commercial, but we are so happy with it, I just thought I share our experience. Marigrace :)

aa3jy 08-12-2009 09:50 AM

16 Attachment(s)
There's one cheaper....

Cover your Area on the Live Navigation Map


Clay AA3JY
s/v 'Tango'

bitman 08-12-2009 11:31 AM

i use a £40 scanner with a Discriminator Output connected to my laptop...

wookie 08-21-2009 03:04 AM

I wish to install AIS on my ketch i intend to have a dedicated ariel on the Mizzen mast what type is recomended?

bartvdv 08-25-2009 09:25 AM

fyi: AIS is NOT better than a radar, it is different.
Fishermen and other yachts might not have a transponder.
And ships with an AIS are not obliged to switch it on.
AIS is only supplementairy info and a nice add-on.

mintcakekeith 11-07-2009 06:41 AM

I bought a NASA ais unit and find it ideal for my needs. it does not output to computer etc which is a shame but being oldfashioned I prefer stand alone units.

night0wl 11-07-2009 07:44 AM

West Marine recently lowered the price on their Clas B unit. Send and recieve box...$499. I think its the best price for a Class B unit. You can use discount codes and free shipping and west rewards to get it down another 10-20%.

West Marine: AIS-1000 Class B “Send and Receive” AIS Transponder Product Display

rikhall 11-09-2009 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by wookie (Post 515460)
I wish to install AIS on my ketch i intend to have a dedicated ariel on the Mizzen mast what type is recomended?

Because AIS transmits in the VHF range, I bought a new VHF mast top antenna and moved the old one to the radar pole. The old one works perfect for receiving AIS and the new one give me an even better signal on VHF.



barnakiel 11-09-2009 04:18 PM


If you have a laptop then their black box unit, if not then the one with screen. I think in the US Sitex sold them, but NASA is still in the UK.


MJBrown 11-17-2009 05:39 PM

Just paid $435 for an ICOM5000 receiver only from Defender. I believe it was a boat show special.

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