AIS System for Boats
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships. The information provided by AIS is usually the vessels ID, position, course and speed. AIS is intended, primarily, to allow ships to view marine traffic in their area and to be seen by that traffic. This requires a dedicated VHF AIS transceiver that allows local traffic to be viewed on an AIS enabled chartplotter or computer monitor while transmitting information about the ship itself to other AIS receivers. It should be noted that AIS is intended to supplement marine radar and not replace it as a means of collision avoidance.
There are VHF radios which can receive AIS information such as the Standard Horizon GX2200 VHF however it can't transmit AIS data to another vessel. The AIS information is received over the the same antenna as the VHF radio however an antenna splitter or (preferrably) a designated AIS antenna is required for sending information from an AIS transceiver. For Powerboats it is easier to have a designated AIS antenna but this poses a challenge for sailboats because the antenna is usually on the top of the mast and VHF antennae should be at least 2 feet apart from each other. An alternative choice for sailboats is to place the AIS antenna on the stern of the boat. Otherwise an antenna splitter is required.
Binnacle.com carries a large variety of AIS transponders from manufacturers such as Raymarine, Garmin, ICOM and em-trak. One of our more popular AIS systems is the Sailors Package from em-trak. This includes the B100 Class B and S100 VHF Antenna Splitter which enables a single VHF antenna to be shared by your VHF radio and AIS Class B.
The em-trak B100 provides the best AIS performance available and includes a GPS antenna and voyage data recording functionality. The em-trak S100 uses patented technology that ensures no loss of performance for either your VHF radio or AIS Class B – no other antenna splitter delivers true zero loss performance.
The ability to share a single existing antenna coupled with the B100 and S100 being the smallest, lightest and most robust devices in the market make installation as simple as possible.