Garmin AIS, what I know so far

Garmin 3210 AIS Panbo

Above, me hearties, is an AIS target plotted on a test Garmin 3120 in my basement last weekend, at least minimally. For instance, the plotter should have been showing the vessel’s name by the time I took this photo (I know it was being transmitted), and the manual shows an AIS subtab in this Map menu that apparently doesn’t yet exist. So I’d say that Garmin’s AIS display is a work in progress, which is probably why the company hasn’t promoted it yet (despite all of Pascal’s prodding).  I’ll bet that the feature will get fully developed in future software revs, including CPA and TCPA controls. I hope too that the High Speed NMEA setting used for AIS reception will also be able to see GPS strings, which did not seem to be happening in my test (I was using a SeaCas combo AIS receiver and GPS).

But I had another reason to use this particular photo, bigger here. Trying the 3120 reminded me how neatly Garmin does this Map Setup menu, letting you see the effects of any setting change live in a chart window you can zoom/scroll. It works Great! 

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

7 Responses

  1. Pascal says:

    Thank You very much Ben, I was thinking that the initial support would be somewaht basic off course, but seems that it is totally basic; like you said, I hoppe that it will evolve asap to a function at least useable, and later, in subsequent softwares updates, it could reach to a level compatible with others AIS softwares in the market. I hoppe too that Garmin will undertand that AIS is a need of all mariner users, and a new fantastic technology, and introduce the same AIS support in all the 276/376/378/478 portable family as well. In the interim, I am buying a SR161 receiver to use AIS in my laptop with SeaClear and Ozi, thing that I previously had not think to do.

  2. Pascal says:

    Ben, I think this now: pheraps the unit you have tested could not be in the latest softare version? Since this pag do not agree with the mannual, it could be that?

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I’m hearing third hand that I may be mistaken about the Garmin’s ability to hear/display AIS “static data”, like Ship Name. That’s quite possible as this was a very limited test…only one target, in fact! My overall point is that Garmin definitely plans AIS support, but it’s not nearly done yet. I’m sure it will be much more complete soon.

  4. Pascal says:

    Have just give a fast reading on Chapter 11 f “C-Series Display Reference Guide” and I am very impressed with the complete AIS support on this unit with the 3.16 software update. See the new mannuals at:
    I just hoppe that Garmin makes something similar to this, and put it on the portable series including my 276C..

  5. Anonymous says:

    I gave a look again today at Garmin Website: they have deleted all AIS reference ind the descriptions of softwares updates for all models and from the downloadable units manuals.
    What could be the reason for this?

  6. lance says:

    Does the Garmin 3210 have a scroll feature, as the boat travels does the depth chart move?

  7. Gene says:

    I have a 3210 that I just connected with a Standard Horizon 2500 VHF that outputs AIS data. I have the targets showing on the 3210 but I too have lost the AIS subtab. I called Garmin and they are stumped. Did you figure this out?

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *