ACR AIS simulator, very cool
Panbo—all AIS, all the time! I’m surprised to be writing so much on this subject, but there’s a lot going on, and you all seem so interested. Yesterday’s discovery was that ACR is giving away a PC simulation of its GlobalWatch Class A AIS set, an interesting all-in-one design that includes a qwerty keyboard. The software emulates all the machine’s functions, and thus is quite informative about the operational nuts and bolts of AIS, particularly its little discussed messaging and polling capabilities. There’s even a control panel that lets you manage the signals other vessels are sending. In this screen shot (bigger here), Dora has sent out a “Sinking!” alert and M/V Panbo responds (hey, it’s raining and ugly here). The software is in a zip file here, and seems quite safe and unobtrusive—I don’t think it writes even one line to your registry file.