AIS, this ‘n’ that #5
Y-tronic just introduced a slick looking combo GPS and tuned AIS antennas meant especially for Class B transponders. Y-tronic is also showing the Trueheading Class B as FCC approved. I wish that was true but think it’s a mistake based on SRT’s pulled-back approval. I still don’t know what’s up with the FCC and Class B; anyone?
Meanwhile, the new Barcelona World Race (two-handed non-stop round the world…exciting) has amended its Notice of Race rules to permit Class B in lieu of Class A transponders. Interestingly, a racer must use AIS in the Med, around the Horn, and within 50nm of the gates, and use is “recommended at other times when ships may be encountered”. (Thanks to Adolfo at Atlantic Source for this!)
And Fred Pot at SeaCAS continues to improve his line of high quality true dual-channel AIS receivers, what with direct connect cables for Raymarine and Furuno plotters, a powerfully spec-ed multiplexer (below, built by Actisense), and now a significant price cut on all three receiver models. But Fred’s pretty leery about Class B, as expressed on his FAQ page. I share many of those concerns, which I summarized in a March PMY column. However, I do question Fred’s assumed 4nm range for Class B. I’m hearing better from Europe, though I haven’t heard much. I’ve got a nice apple for the first company that can loan me a U.S. approved Class B transponder to try out!