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Old 01-02-2011, 06:26   #1
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West Marine AIS with Older Chartploters

I am considering purchasing an AIS Class B transponder such as the West Marine AIS1000 unit. However I noticed that it has a NEMA 0183 High Speed 35,000 baud interface. My older GPS Chart Plotter (Standard Horizon GPS 175) uses the slower NEMA 0183 at 9600 baud max. Will the current AIS systems be compatible with my chart plotter?

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Old 01-02-2011, 07:11   #2
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No, it's not going to work. The AIS transponder only runs at 38400 bits/sec, so it's not going to talk to a 9600bps input. Does your chartplotter say it can display AIS data? I couldn't find specs for your model, but many of the older units aren't designed for AIS.

I have seen NMEA muxes that can accept 38400 input and retransmit over a slower output (there's usually little enough AIS data that this can work), but I would bet that your chartplotter wouldn't know how to display AIS anyway.

Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:21   #3
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That is what I thought would be the answer. The owners manual for the chart plotter doesn't mention AIS so I'd say it can't handle the high speed NEMA data.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:06   #4
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I have the West Marine AIS1000 unit and like it very much. Would rate it 5-stars. It not only feeds my laptop (running Coastal Explorer) with AIS, it also provide the GPS feed all in the one connection.
The AIS1000 unit is on the same circuit with my nav instruments so it's on when underway, even if the laptop isn't connected so I'm still broadcasting (unless I put it into stealth mode). If you have a laptop aboard there's lots of software to run it. I use a netbook -- only cost about $300+ and uses less than half the power of the full laptop (full laptop has a bigger screen, faster processor, DVD and HDD).
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