came with a Raymarine
AIS650 Transceiver. It has a dedicated antenna
on the arch. Performance is pretty poor. To be fair, I don't think it is the transceiver itself, but the antenna
, connector or the cable. Regardless, I prefer to use the top of the mast
antenna with a splitter. I had that setup on the previous boat
and was pretty happy. I can keep the arch antenna as a backup.
Instead of just buying
a splitter, I am thinking of buying
a SOTDMA transceiver with an integrated splitter. I have been thinking of upgrading to SOTDMA anyways, so this seems to be the right time.
Debating between em-trak B953, AMEC B600S or Raymarine
AIS700. Here are the pros and cons, the way I see it (integrated splitter and SOTDMA are common across all three):
- em-trak B953: Has an integrated GPS antenna. Although I have a GPS antenna for AIS on the arch, this is appealing. Not sure what the performance will be when I put it in a cabinet though. It will be below fiber glass and thin wood layer (I can always use the GPS on the arch if it doesn't work). Disadvantage is the lack of FM output in the splitter. Price is inline with B600S.
- AMEC B600S: Similar to B953 but doesn't have an integrated GPS antenna but does have an FM antenna output from the splitter. I have a dedicated FM antenna but it is buried deep and the admiral likes listening to the radio (not a hard requirement though). More appealing part is, I had a AMEC B108S on the previous boat and was pretty happy with it. Price is inline with B953.
- Raymarine AIS700: It has the worst of both B953 and B600S and about $300 more expensive (has no integrated GPS antenna and has no FM output). The only advantage is, I have an all Raymarine electronics set-up so it may be "more compatible", though I don't see any issue with with B953 and B600S over NMEA 2000. What I like on the current Raymarine AIS on the boat though, is the ability to silence the transmit function from the chartplotter. Still not sure if worth the extra $300.
Wondering if anyone had with any of these units and has any recommendations?