SailNet Community banner
  • SailNet is a forum community dedicated to Sailing enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about sailing, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, repairs, reviews, maintenance, and more!

AIS Install NMEA2k/0183

3591 Views 29 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  KimBP
Finally got around to install the new AIS:

Went the splitter route instead of getting a second antenna.

Okay so NMEA 2000 right ? no problem.. except that my vhf is IC-M422 which is NMEA0183..
MANUAL : Instruction Manual.pdf


so now (correct me if im wrong) my options are:

1. Get a new VHF whose interface works with NMEA2k ~$150-200
eg: Icom M330 Compact Fixed Mount VHF | The GPS Store

2. Change the whole thing into NMEA0183 instead of 2k. which means getting a new antenna and toss out the splitter, and network cables.. ~$100

3.Try my luck on one of these converters ? ~$200

Would love some guidance.
looks like keeping my vhf and going to NMEA0183 is the cheaper option.. but is it the right choice ?


Edit: vhf is currently connected to LOWRANCE elite7, which has its own gps. nmea slot on the chart ploter is not being used.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 6 of 30 Posts
Don't do #2.

What problem are you having, or what are you trying to do? If your VHF is currently connected to the Lowrance NMEA0183, it can stay connected. You just connect the AIS to the Lowrance's NMEA2000. Well, technically you create a NMEA2000 network and connect the AIS and Lowrance to that.

That AIS also has an NMEA0183 port if you need it to send/receive 0183 data to/from something.

Alternately, I think the Lowrance can internally convert and output 2000-0183 (and maybe 0183-2000).

So you are saying that I dont need to mess with the vhf at all ?
I connect the Lowrance to the Ais via nmea2k 'drop in cable' and all is good ?
That would be amazing.

I've finally set up the 2k network.
On the network, the AIS and Lorwrance unit are in via drop-in cable.
The vhf antenna is connected to VHF and AIS via splitter.
GPS antenna is installed and connected to AIS.
Lowrance unit is connected to VHF via nmea0183

Switched the unit on, did all the install/setup, set the unit on long range mode.
after a little while of red blinking (error), the ais blinked amber and green indicating it is in long range mode.
Excellent !

I switch on my Lowrance to see if i can get any AIS signal from boats around but nothing.
Am i wrong in expecting to see AIS signatures on my chartplotter ?
how do i set this up ?

See less See more

My Plotter is connected to the AIS, not to the VHF.

My VHF is connected to my AIS too, but independently to the plotter.

Plotter is connected to AIS via nmea2k
plotter is also connected to VHF via nmea0183
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I would first verify the plotter can detect the AIS at the NMEA2000 network. I'm quite sure somewhere it can list all datasets including where they originate from.
Can you e.g. configure the Lowrance to use GPS data from the AIS?

Of course there is the risk that this Lowrance doesn't support showing AIS, but I think it is more probable that some setting need to be tweaked. Now that almost all boats transmit AIS positions it can be quite a mess to look at the plotter, so it makes sense to have a disable feature.

You can also try locating your own boat at e.g. Then at least you know your AIS can transmit (i.e. antenna cabling is not that bad).
The Lowrance is a budget range plotter. I don't know anything about it, but it might not have AIS display capabilities. That would be a shame, since it doesn't cost anything to add it, and AIS is very important nowadays.

What does the manual say about displaying AIS? Is there a section describing what NMEA2000 PGN's or NMEA0183 sentences it supports?

Under the NMEA2000 menu somewhere, is there a submenu to select data sources?

Thanks, will look into this
Not at the boat yet but manual doesnt mention anything about AIS:
pages 42-47

ill fiddle with tit when I get home
1 - 6 of 30 Posts