Windows 10 and AIS Receivers – Quick Reference Guide

All of our Marine Electronics are compatible with Windows  7/8 and 10.  The drivers will support most set ups back to XP and they should self-install.  A new COM port will automatically show up in Device Manager when you plug it in. The USB connection can always be checked using a Terminal Monitoring Application such as Hyperterminal or PuTTY.  Settings and procedure can be checked here using the appropriate manual for your model.

Frequently asked questions include:

Q             Have just plugged in a new A022 into a Windows 10 64 Bit tablet and the Device Manager shows the device under “Other Devices” and STM32F4-Discovery in FS Mode. Properties displays Code 28 “Drivers for this device are not installed”. Device Manager says This device can not start (Code 10)

A             All of our Receivers should work under Windows 10 and the drivers should automatically install, it should be ‘Plug’n’Play’.  However, occasionally this does not happen.  Often this is because the operating system on the PC has been upgraded from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10 rather than having a clean Windows 10 install.

Solution: Uninstall the drivers and reinstall

The official Manual or Application Notes can be accessed here and there are a number of threads on the forum about Windows topics, this user supplied link has been helpful.

Legacy Operating Systems

Q           I bought an AIS Receiver Dongle QUARK-Elec QK-A021  produced by your company. It works flawlessly with the computer under Windows 7. In the product description is a note, ‘it works with older versions of operating systems’. However, my attempt to install it on Windows 2000 professional failed.

System announced: “incorrect driver.” Attempts to find a suitable driver on the Internet failed. Do you have another version of the drivers for earlier operating systems? I need a driver for Windows 2000 professioal.

A              The oldest version QK-A021 can automatically support is XP. We do have an older version driver which may work with Windows 2000. If you email us on we will send it to you.

Quick Reference Chart for WiFi Remote Controllers

Another easy comparison chart, this time for WiFi remote controllers.

Find out more:

Wifi Remote Controllers

Special Offer this Month:

QK-W015 Smart Wifi remote control module/Switch From Internet with Power plug and Three RF Power Sockets

Or our other models:

Online Mall

Quick Reference Chart for GSM/SMS Remote Controllers

We know that working out which controller you need can be confusing so we put this comparison chart together to make it simpler:

Quick Reference Chart for GSM/SMS Remote Controllers

Another Great Review for the QK-A031 Multiplexer

Test QK-A031 NMEA

The multiplexer is of quality and its price is incomparable! Commissioning is easy without having to load the interface for PC or Mac operation. The wifi works very well and especially, it allows several addresses at the same time on all platforms, PC, Mac, IIOS, Andro, Linux …. The must is the possibility to adjust the flow rate on all Inputs and outputs so as to be in phase with the AIS at 38500 Baud and the NMEA at 4800 Baud for seaTalk for example. Ultimately, the most would be to have NMEA 2000 … but to date the QK-A031 is of the best in NMEA183!

The original review in French:

Test QK-A031 NMEA en français

Le multiplexeur est de qualité et son prix est incomparable! La mise en service s’effectue sans difficulté à condition d’avoir chargé l’interface pour le piloter en PC ou en Mac. Le wifi marche très bien et surtout, il autorise plusieurs adresse en même temps sur toutes les plateformes, PC, Mac, IIos, Andro, Linux…. Le must c’est la possibilité d’ajuster au mieux le débit sur toutes les entrées et sorties de façon à être en phase avec l’AIS à 38500Bauds et du NMEA à 4800Bauds pour le seaTalk par exemple. A terme, le plus serait d’avoir du NMEA 2000… mais à ce jour le QK-A031 est de ce qui se fait de mieux en NMEA183!

You can find this review on

Tindie logo


QK-A031 NMEA 0183 Multiplexer with SeaTalk Converter and Station Mode

One of the big bugbears of this brave new world of technological marvels is cross-compatibility.  Many customers have said to us, ‘If only it would connect with my Raymarine’

No longer! We have solved this long-standing annoyance.  Our solution:

QK-A031 NMEA 0183 Multiplexer with SeaTalk Converter

Able to receive input in NMEA and SeaTalk formats this unit can interface between your existing Raymarine instruments by converting SeaTalk to NMEA and combining the four channels of data for output via the NMEA wired output port, WiFi and USB simultaneously.

As the SeaTalk system operates on a single cable ‘daisy chain’ only one input port is required to give an effective interface into the NMEA network.

This allows all of your Raymarine telemetry to be utilised by plotters and AIS units that would normally be incompatible. It can also feed directly to a plotter program on PC or tablet via WiFi from anywhere on the vessel.  Finally you can navigate from your berth! (Though we absolutely do not suggest that you do that!).

The new version A031 (available from July 2017) offers both AdHoc and Station operating modes for even more flexibility, so you can connect peer-to-peer or through a router.

This enables remote access in addition to better range for larger vessels. SSID names and passwords are able to be easily changed at any time for security.  Initial configuration is through the USB port which can also be used for NMEA output.



The  QK-A031 is currently a receive only solution, but we’re working on that………


Find more details on the QK-A031 at:

and here:


Buy QK-A031 here:


QK-A031 Now Supports Station Mode

We always like to improve our products as we receive feedback from users so the new stock, available now, supports Station Mode:

as well as Ad hoc Mode:

This means you will be able to access the multiplexer remotely from anywhere on (or even off!) the vessel using a single AP or router, as well as connecting directly to it with your phone or tablet.

Customer Video of QK-A026 set-up

Jim Ferguson aboard the Mischief Managed recently purchased a QK-A026.

He made a YouTube Video Guide to setting it up and had some really nice things to say about it:

After I bought this I had really high hopes for it.  As it turns out my hopes have been mostly realized.  I can connect iNavX on my iPad and MacENC on my Macintosh computer wirelessly and receive GPS and AIS data while the A026 is happily providing AIS target data to my Garmin GPSMap 3206 chart plotter.  Anyway, I am ecstatic with the way this has worked out. 

Simple guide to AIS Receivers

AIS Receivers – Why do I want one? Which one do I need?


Why do I want one?

AIS, which stands for Automatic Identification System, is a convenience which is becoming a necessity.  As a part of the safety suite of your small vessel it cannot be overstated how useful having AIS can be.  Although not yet mandatory, it is a natural partner to GPS and other navigation aids to augment your perception of the water around you.  In increasingly crowded waters, it is easy to stray into shipping lanes, with AIS it will be that much easier to stay out of danger.


It comes in 2 main types: Class A, which is mandatory for ships over 300 tonnes and passenger vessels and Class B, which is optional for everybody else. Class B is what we manufacture and they also come in two flavours: Transponder and receiver-only.  We specialise in receivers for the leisure and coastal fishing market.  These will collect information on shipping around you but don’t transmit any information from you.

So, what do they do?


The principal purpose of AIS is to enable everyone on the water to avoid everyone else.  Which, when the weather is against you, can be difficult to say the least.  The Class A Transponders are required to transmit a considerable volume of information but it boils down to who they are, where they are, and how fast they are travelling.  Our leisure models take advantage of this to receive these signals and use them to plot who’s where in the environment around your boat.  This is not a replacement for looking out of the window, many smaller vessels may not have AIS transponders and will not be transmitting, but it will plot all the larger shipping and (hopefully) keep you out of its way.


Staying with the ‘thing of two’s’, receivers also come in two types; channel hopping and dual channel.  Transponders transmit on two frequencies; 161.975 MHz and 162.025 MHz. Channel-hopping uses a sophisticated algorithm to listen to both AIS channels alternately and then combines the information, dual channel listens to both channels simultaneously.  The main difference is that dual channel receivers process the information faster as they are picking up all of it at the same time, this allows for faster plotting.  Equally, with channel hopping, it is possible to miss some messages while the unit is listening to the other frequency.


AIS works on a VHF signal and often the best choice is to install a dedicated antenna separately to the radio antenna.  However, for various reasons this may not be possible or desirable so signal splitters are available, however, the sharing protocol means no AIS signals will be picked up whilst you are using the radio. It is not good practise to rely solely on WiFi  under any circumstances.

Which one do I need?


We currently manufacture five AIS receivers. Two are channel-hopping, three are dual channel, all have a range of 55 nautical miles (LOS), work with Windows, Mac and Linux Laptops, work with chartplotters, output NMEA-0183 messages at 38400 bps on USB, are powered by USB and calibrated to a sensitivity of at least -106dBm at 30%PER. All but one interwork with GPS and that one has in-built GPS.  Three have WiFi and can output NMEA-0183 messages on that and two have RS422 connection as well.  


That’s a lot of information to take in so here it is in chart form:


AIS Reciever ⇨ A021 A022 A023 A024 A026
Attributes ⇩
Channel Hopping
Dual channel
Sensitivity @30% PER -105dBm -106dBm[1] -105dBm -106dBm [1] -106dBm [1]
Range[2] 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm
USB powered
USB data
USB NMEA-0183 output
Windows /Mac/Linux
Works with Chartplotters
Interworks with GPS GPS


[1] Next upgrade should increase this to -110dBm.

[2] Tested with a pushpit antenna mounted at masthead, 60’ above sea level.


The A021 is a dongle about the same size as a large memory stick, the A022 and 23 are around 2” across (5cm) and less than ½” tall (1cm approx) so all three can be slipped into a pocket and taken anywhere and connected in the field.  (Is it still a field if it is on water?)


The A024/26 are a little larger, but still very portable. All are straightforward to integrate into your systems.  All but the A021 come in sturdy aluminium enclosures and the A024/6 has fixing lugs for permanent positioning.  


The choice is yours! The very economical option of the A021 is a chance to dip a toe in the water for £41.99 (+P&P), more features are added as you go up the range and are priced accordingly but  if you already know you need the sophistication of the A026 it is also competitively priced at £106.79 (+P&P).


We sell worldwide and have satisfied customers from Southampton to San Francisco and we strive to provide customer service that helps our products stand out in the marketplace. We welcome feedback and suggestions from our customers so get in touch!


You can find more detailed information on our AIS Receivers at: at the end of the product description there is a link which will take you to the Application Notes.  If you have questions please leave a comment on the forum – we check it regularly and it’s often the quickest way to get an answer:

Or join the community at Facebook or Twitter;


Here are some of the things people have said about us and our AIS Receivers:


Funny is that they want to be really involved with their product and would like feedback from users. There they learn from. (Translated by Google)


Frank on Scheepspraet Forum

The Netherlands


Fantastic product A026

Jan. 30, 2017

I stumbled across this product while searching for ways to get AIS into OpenCPN with my Raspberry Pi. Not only does this provide AIS, but also GPS and connects to. NMEA 183 and routes that on wirelessly! I can’t believe it’s all there for a phenomenal price.

Glen, Denmark


Excellent receiver

Feb. 26, 2017

Bought this unit at my first attempt of receiving AIS broadcasts. I was on the lookout for a dedicated dual channel AIS receiver of good quality and reasonable cost. I was not disappointed. Excellent service and fast delivery. The unit works perfectly.

Alan, USA


Great product, works fine, excellent experience!

Feb. 20, 2017

Great product, works fine, excellent experience, we see important ships information and at moment works very well.

Shipping with no delay and client support works great.

Thanks guys.

Miguel, Portugal


Fantastic receiver. Almost as good as shipboard.

Nov. 16, 2016

I was so surprised at its size, especially for a dual channel receiver. The sensitivity and selectivity are excellent. Channel selection is automatic, no operator intervention required, it is truly plug and play. The performance of this receiver makes it worth at least 3 times the price.



Tampa Bay, FL



AIS receiver QK-A023

Jan. 13, 2017

I am absolutely satisfied with the QK-A023 so far.

It was easy to install and to integrate into OpenCPN . Both connections, USB and Wireless, worked seamless and without any problems.

I have only tested the receiver at home which is a few kilometer away from the next ships but even with a home brew VHF emergency antenna the reception was brilliant. I could see every ship that was announced by I am looking forward for the new sailing season to use the device on my boat.


Brilliant product!

Lars, Germany

You can read more reviews at