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Re: VHF DSC Handheld with AIS?
Right now cost, and manufacturing volume is a limiting factor. Plus if they sell you an all in one unit, how can they convince you to buy all three.
But just wait, it will happen, (probably not a handheld AIS transmitter because the whole point of an AIS is that it is fixed to a specific point on a ship).
Read the RTD SDR thread. Some very smart guys are working on it. As soon as someone puts together a good working system, expect it to sell. Then the big guys will scramble and catch up.
Remember AIS got a very slow acceptance in the rec boating comunity.
Fears of mandatory compliance with a big expensive system designed for commercial ships, and "BIG BROTHER" heavy handed regulations, raised fears of ALL boaters being forced by LAW into buying a major expensive gadget, or face heavy fines.
Also the main purpose of this device among small fishing boats would be to steal each others favorite spots. Or give thieves, and other scofflaws your location.
The Coast Guards backing off from mandating small craft, the creation of the cheaper class B, and the perception of the usefullness, has caused AIS to grow more popular in the boating community.
Once the demand increases enough, the equipment manufacturers will take notice. Meanwhile buy the handheld VHF & GPS units, and they will compete to add more features as the popularity increases.
Standard Horizon was the first I know of to make a VHF & AIS combo unit, (I think they didn't want to compete with their Chartplotter & GPS). To combine the two requires two seperate radio receivers, (one MHZ & one GHZ). These are very seperate technologies.
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