Kagstrom’s AIS Simulator, and good B news


Man, the AIS traffic was heavy out there in the Gulf of Maine! Actually I was using the very neat AIS Simulation software created by Mats Kågstrøm of Firma Mats Kagstrom. Specifically I was testing how many AIS targets a Raymarine E-Series can handle simultaneously, as I got a report from a user who says his resets randomly when more than 100 ships are within range. Well, I did see the test E slow down, even stutter a bit, but I was able to feed it the maximum number of targets the simulator can produce without causing a reset. That’s some 510 Class A targets (!), plus a Class B (which the E “saw”), and even SAR aircraft and ATON AIS target messages (which the E doesn’t seem to understand). You can see Kagstrom’s software in action below, and bigger here.

AIS Simulator is very thorough and is going to be terriffic for testing navigation hardware and software. But I’ll write more about later, because I don’t want to head back to my judging duties until I pass on the good news about Class B AIS. To quote one of the many cautiously optimistic emails I got on this subject yesterday (thanks, all!): “We heard from the FCC that it looks like the AIS Second Report and Order will be on the Commission’s Agenda for the Feb. 26 meeting. There is a *chance* that the item will be voted on before that time.” Maybe our letters and emails helped, but I also know that the GMDSS Task Force, the USCG, and the RTCM have all been making their feelings known to the FCC. The latter even spoke with an FCC legal aid, very effectively too, as judged from this PDF documenting the meeting (also a good summary of the situation). Cross your fingers!


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.

6 Responses

  1. Tim Flanagan says:

    Well I’ve certainly done MY part for Class B. I got tired of waiting and installed a receive-only AIS unit on my boat today. The way I figure, that makes it a virtual certainty that Class B will be approved within two weeks. 🙂

  2. Pascal Goncalves says:

    Hi Ben,
    Regarding the number of AIS targets, my Garmin GpsMap 420 shows only the nearest 20 ships showed on a maximum of 4 pages of 5 targets each…This is not a a shame?
    And even if I can mark one target on the map and ask the unit to show the details in the list, there is no way I can ask it to show me, on the map, a target in the list.
    The draw of the ships in the map (ship symbols) is horrible, there is no resize depending on the zoom level, and so the ships can be shown larger than the entire bay…
    I know that the software of the new Garmin series 4xx, 5xx, 4xxx and 5xxx are very similar, but if this piece of software is the same, I do not know how someone can give more than 4,000 bucket on a 5xxx unit …. a shame ….I regret to have payed 400 bucks on this junk …
    In the last 30 years I have owned 5 boats and more than 12 Garmin Gps, and I never have seen a gps unit so horrible .. For sure, I will never buy another “marine” Garmin gps unit in my life.
    I am looking for Raymarine and pheraps others brandas, even if more expensive, but so much better than Garmin…
    Pascal Goncalves

  3. Lionel Randall says:

    Do you have any information on the new software update on the Raymarine E-series. Acoording to the e-mail I received it now supports the new HD scaners. But my main question is did they make the display faster in regards to redraw and processing?

  4. Dan (b393capt) says:

    1) I miss Ben’s regular postings. Is the Miami Boat Show over today or yesterday ?
    I am sure Ben is about to make the wait worthwhile, as apparently there are many new announcements at the show. In the meantime, this is hard to endure.
    2) Did anyone notice you can make donations to Panbo? Choose “About” at the top of this screen, then next choose “Support Panbo” above the text that is above the picture, and finally scroll to the bottom and select “Make a Donation”. For myself, I donated an amount about equal to my most expensive magazine subscription.

  5. Sandy says:

    Ben has been writing furiously, but its all at madmariner.com . I haven’t seen a way to talk back, but he may be trying to make some time for income generating projects now that he has to feed Big Gizmo. Surely he must not be permitted to make any important equipment decisions without our concurrence!

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Sandy, There’s some confusion; all the posts on MadMariner appeared here first. But then again I only posted one entry during the Miami show week (got lost in the smooz).
    Trust me, I won’t buy anything without Panbot approval.

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