05/03/2018

Choosing the right AIS receiver

Whether you want a vessel tracker, AIS receiver, converter, or….

The key is to use exactly the right type of equipment at the right time.

New to AIS receivers ?

An AIS receiver (‘Automatic Identification System’) is simply an automatic tracking system used on ships (small & large) to find out where they are and what other ships are in the neighbourhood. The system is key to your safety and making sure you avoid collision with other other ships.

The key to choosing the right AIS receiver will also depend on the source of power you have available on your boat, the type of software (if you connect it to a laptop) whether you want to link it to other sensors or wifi and if you want to communicate with others.

In addition, choosing the right AIS receiver will not only help you if you get into problems, but will also help with accident investigation as it will provides accurate historical data on time, identity, GPS-based position, compass heading, course over ground, speed (by log/SOG), and rates of turn, rather than the less accurate information provided by radar

Hopefully our quick guide below will help,

FeaturesA021A022A023A024/026A027A028A051
DescriptionFunctionEntry level AIS
Single channel
auto-hopping

USB dongle
Compact portable dual
channel AIS
receiver

Outputs to USB
Compact entry level WiFi AIS receiver

Single channel auto-hopping

Outputs WiFi and USB
Dual channel AIS receiver
(+GPS in A026)

Combines AIS (+GPS) and NMEA 0183 input

Outputs WiFi, USB and NMEA 0183
Dual channel AIS+GPS receiver, with SeaTalkTM to NMEA converter

Combines AIS, GPS and SeaTalkTM input

Outputs WiFi, USB and
NMEA 0183
NMEA 2000 AIS receiver + GPS

Outputs USB, NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000
WiFi AIS Transponder
Class B

Outputs WiFi, USB and 2 x NMEA 0183
INPUT
connections
AIS dual channel
AIS channel hopping. (A single channel receiver that ‘hops’ between two AIS channels)[1]
AIS sensitivity (@30% PER)-104dBm-105dBm-104dBm-105dBm-104dBm-105dBm-109dBm
AIS range[2] up to...12nm12nm12nm22nm20nm20nm40nm
AIS antenna connectionSMA
(+BNC
adaptor)
SMA
(+BNC
adaptor)
BNCBNCBNCBNCSO239
NMEA 0183 input
SeaTalkTM bus input (SeaTalk
converting)
GPS module integrated
(requires GPS antenna)

SMA (A026 only)

SMA

SMA

TNC
Power source Powered throughUSBUSBUSBUSBSeaTalkTM bus (12V)N2K bus (12V)12V - 35V
MultiplexingMultiplexing
(A024) AIS+NMEA
(A026) AIS+GPS+NMEA

AIS+GPS+SeaTalk

AIS and GPS
OUTPUT
connections
USB NMEA 0183 output
NMEA 0183 output (RS422)✓x2
RS422 + RS232
NMEA 2000 network
WiFiAd-hoc and Station modes
Option to disable WiFi
Configuration
Configuration through USB
port. Configuration requires
Windows PC
not requirednot required
Compatible
devices and
software
Windows/Mac/Linux
through USB
Chart Plotters
Android/iOSUSB OTGUSB OTGWiFiWiFiWiFiWiFi
[1] Manually adjustable hopping interval rates (0.25 seconds, 1 second, 30 seconds and auto-hopping) Channel hopping will increase the number of messages received, in comparison with single channel receivers. However, part of some multi-AIS messages may be lost, due to the hopping nature of the product. If both the quantity and the completeness of AIS messages is important to you, we recommend the dual channel receivers.
[2] Mounted on a masthead, 20 feet above sea level.
* SeaTalk™ is a registered trademark of Raymarine.

All the AIS receivers in our guide can be found in our maritime AIS receivers shop or please don’t hesitate to ask for help on our forum or through our facebook page.

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