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Thread: Chart plotter + AIS radio = happiness?

  1. #1

    Chart plotter + AIS radio = happiness?

    Hello all -

    I am installing a chart plotter/fish finder on my 19.5 and am thinking that by adding a new AIS capable radio I will better be able to dodge freighters when fishing the Straights. It is my understanding that a new AIS capable radio can be married to a new chart plotter/fish finder so that ships actually show up on the chart. Am I correct? And if so, can I get some brand recommendations?

    Thank you.


  2. #2
    Moderator Socal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Surf City, USA

    Answer is yes. My STD. Horizon VHF receives AIS transmissions and displays them as small triangles on my Lowrance HDS chart plotter. I am impressed with SH’s customer service as it took some guidance to wire the two together.
    An alternative is an iPhone app which will pick up AIS signals as well as provide data on the signal source. Less than $10 at the App Store.
    "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for" Will Rogers

    1982 28' Long Cabin "Molly Brown" welcoming Summer after a mild Spring. SUP paddlers slowly starting to come back.

  3. #3
    Administrator Binford's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Port Orchard, Wash.
    Welcome aboard, CaptDitty!

    Should work with any modern(ish) chartplotter. As long as you can link the radio and chartplotter, be it direct-wired, or through an NMEA network connection (NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000).
    -- Tim Taylor

    1979 Glasply 21-foot I/O Overnighter w/ 5.0L Volvo-Penta duoprop (Cardinal)
    1980 Glasply 19-1/2 foot hardtop cuddy w/ a fresh Mercruiser 470 (Chopstick)
    1980 Glasply 19-1/2 foot hardtop cuddy, soon to be with kf7gth (Chopstick II)
    1982 Glasply 16-foot runabout w/ 50hp Mercury OB (JV Junior)
    1986 Glasply 8-1/2 foot dinghy (presently unpowered & unnamed) SOLD!
    1978 Glasply 19-1/2 foot runabout w/ Mercruiser 470 (Beer Goggles)

    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

  4. #4
    Thank you Social and Binford. . .and thanks for the welcome aboard. Fish on and fair seas to you both! CD

  5. #5
    Be wary of relying on the AIS apps at sea. The apps depend on shore based stations picking signals up from off shore. While apps are impressive, it's tough to depend on someone's home based receiver station and residential internet in order to have a reliable picture of situational awareness. The best way to get the dependable picture of what and who's out there is by having your own AIS reciever to see what's around in your own proximity, and ideally a transmitter too so that they can see you!

    AIS will connect by NMEA 0183 or 2000 to your network.. 0183 can be tricky indeed. Good to hear SH support was reliable....

  6. #6
    gps chartplotter + ais radio is (IMHO) the next best thing to radar.

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