SR 161 vs 162 question - SailNet Community

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Old 06-14-2008
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SR 161 vs 162 question

I know that the Smart Radio SR 162 receiver allows a GPS data stream at 4800 bpi to be merged with the AIS stream at 38.4 kb (at least I think I know that), for transmission to the Vesper Watchmate display. The question I have is, does the 161 do the same? I can't find much in the way of related documentation.
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Old 06-15-2008
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Both are class A AIS. It means these are receive only, so you can plot it into your chartplotter. As far as I know, only 162 can mix a GPS input at a different baudrate, and provide its NMEA sentence at the standard 38Kbps output (161 has a one single DB9 output), but that's not a problem if yor plotter has more than one serial input. Until now, FCC has not issued approval for Class B AIS in US waters, what people in the market just cannot believe how lazy they are for that. Class B will allow you to send AIS information as well, making you visible to other vessels too. Unless you have already one of them (162 is dual channel) I'd give up SRs, and wait for FCC approval to install a full Class B AIS.

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Old 06-15-2008
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According to the manual that came with my SR162, both have the ability to merge a 4800b stream with the AIS data, putting out 38.4kb. The only difference between the two is that the SR162 has a two-channel receiver, so it can get information from both AIS channels simultaneously.

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Old 06-15-2008
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Yes, my SR161 merges the GPS into its output stream.
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Old 06-24-2008
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Originally Posted by negrini View Post
Both are class A AIS.
Class A AIS units are for large commercial platforms (I don't remember the threshold, but it might be 100 GT inspected). Each Class A AIS transponder consists of one VHF transmitter, two VHF TDMA receivers, and one VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) receiver. Class A transponders cost about 3500 USD.

Class B is a spec for smaller craft that -- among other deratings -- updates more slowly. Currently, the FCC has not certified any Class B AIS units in the United States despite pressure from the USCG, marine manufacturers, and individuals.

The SR 161 and SR 162 are receive only devices that do not drop into either Class A or B categories since they are receive-only units. They are great bits of kit if you have a chartplotter than can interpret the NMEA sentences from them, but they aren't transponders.
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