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Old 08-11-2012, 08:48   #1
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Location: Ft. Smith, Arkansas
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Need to purchase an AIS this week

Hello, new member, first thread. Also fairly new to cruising. Bought a 42 ft 1988 motor yacht. Planning to go Gulf Shores soon. Have older radar and chart plotter with GPS. Have been looking at AIS transceivers (apparently they are also called "transponders") as I am particularly concerned about the portion of my journey from Baton Rouge and around through the Mississippi Sound. Want to spend as little as practical. Due to my lack of intelligence I am thinking I need to get a transceiver with a screen on it - can't find anything less than around $800. I see some for less money but with no screen, and I'm not sure I can integrate those into my JRC 1800 radar/chartplotter and there is no one locally with experience or knowledge in these matters. Your input will be appreciated, especially regarding any specific unit that might meet my needs. Thank you very much.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:49   #2
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Re: Need to purchase an AIS this week

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Originally Posted by dabney View Post
Hello, new member, first thread. Also fairly new to cruising. Bought a 42 ft 1988 motor yacht. Planning to go Gulf Shores soon. Have older radar and chart plotter with GPS. Have been looking at AIS transceivers (apparently they are also called "transponders") as I am particularly concerned about the portion of my journey from Baton Rouge and around through the Mississippi Sound. Want to spend as little as practical. Due to my lack of intelligence I am thinking I need to get a transceiver with a screen on it - can't find anything less than around $800. I see some for less money but with no screen, and I'm not sure I can integrate those into my JRC 1800 radar/chartplotter and there is no one locally with experience or knowledge in these matters. Your input will be appreciated, especially regarding any specific unit that might meet my needs. Thank you very much.
I am using a Vesper 600? Watchmate screen which I got on a closeout sail from West Marie for $100 hooked up to a Miltech AIS transponder ($449), I have a separate GPS antenna and separate AIS antenna too. System worked great during a shakedown cruise recently. Be aware you will need to get a MMSI number from the FCC that has to be programmed into the AIS transponder unit by the company that sells you the AIS transponder. You CAN NOT program it yourself. So your first step is to get the number from the FCC. This is NOT the same free MMSI number that you can get from outfits like Boat U.S. So you will need to have the FCC issued MMSI number BEFORE you purchase an AIS transponder. If you just want to have an AIS receiver on board to monitor other boats AIS signals you will not need an FCC number.
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