Zanshin I Raymarine AIS 500 Transceiver

AIS stands for “Automatic Identification System” and is the marine counterpart of aviation's transponder. The IMO (International Maritime Organization) requires that all ships traveling internationally with 300 gross register tons or more are required to have a Class A AIS system. Some countries require that small vessels carry Class B receivers and some even require transmitters and there are ongoing discussions about expanding AIS use in the EU.
AIS uses GPS and other information on a vessel and transmits this via VHF. The signals are digital and can be read by anyone with an appropriate AIS receiver (available for under US$300 these days). This information can be sent to chart plotter or ECDIS systems and displayed. Part of the signal that is sent is the course/heading/bearing/speed/GPS position so systems can compute if there is a chance of collision or crossing and this, in turn, triggers off alarms. Class A vessels transmit a lot of information including their destination, vessel type and rate of course change while Class B vessels (such asZanshin I) transmit much less data.
I love playing with the AIS system. Targets are displayed as triangles and I can click on them and get their AIS data which also includes their MMSI (unique ID given to boats with communications equipment) which allows contacting them via DSC so that nobody else catches on. Plus it is better to hail “ULT Behemoth” than “Hello Big Ship About To Run Me Down” on the radio! In addition to receiving this information, my AIS unit also broadcasts my boat's information and thus warns the big ships if there is a chance of collision or if the CPA (closest point of approach) is too near for their liking. That will let me sleep better at night, since with AIS coupled to the radar alarm system there is a much smaller chance of having things go “bump” in the night.
A really cool site is at Marine Traffic, one can track and see AIS vessels worldwide in near-real-time!
After spending some time getting the AIS system installed and networked, I turned on the chartplotter and, as one can see, the AIS display is working. After spending some time getting the AIS system installed and networked, I turned on the chartplotter and, as one can see, the AIS display is working.
[18°4'2.2"N 63°5'14.72"W ]
After spending some time getting the AIS system installed and networked, I turned on the chartplotter and, as one can see, the AIS display is working.
Seadream 1 AIS data Seadream 1 AIS data
Seadream 1 AIS data
1120 views since 2017-02-04, page last modified on 2017-04-12.