If one believes this:
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: AIS over NMEA 2000, the shame sheet!
over NMEA2000 is STILL not fully implemented -- the standard PNG's are STILL not implemented by all the makers.
I do NOT want to buy the crappy Navico AIS
transponder, just so that it will be compatible with my B&G and Simrad
I kind of like this one: Digital Yacht - Light Years Ahead
. Which outputs to both NMEA2000 and NMEA0183, as well as USB directly to a PC. It will even accept power from the PC and work
as an AIS receiver if it loses its main power supply. And it comes with its own (external) GPS
receiver, all for less than $600.
But it sounds like Simrad
MFD's will still only read the custom N2K PNGs output by Navico
and Simrad AIS units. Carp.
I wonder if there is anything wrong with feeding AIS data over NMEA0183? The Simrad/B&G MFD's have NMEA0183 inputs and will (I am pretty sure) bridge the data to NMEA2000, or if not, they will certainly share the data with other MFD's over their Ethernet interconnections, which is all I really need anyway.
What do you guys think? And any other ideas about the best AIS black box transponder?