SeaLinks AIS listener, & more

SeaLinks SL161RThe horrid run of foul weather has finally broken here, and I’m happily on Cape Cod for a few days of “researching” a cruising story…so posting may be irregular this week. I did have a couple of very illuminating conversations about AIS listeners last Friday that I want to start sharing. It seems that the technology is moving even faster than we realized; two reliable sources predict that most every brand of plotter will read AIS target messages by next February’s Miami Boat Show! I also heard an interesting report on receiver quality. One of my sources says he tested a SeaLinks RadarPlus dual channel listener against a low cost Chinese-built model, and—given the same antenna and circumstances—the RadarPlus “saw” twice as many targets at almost twice the range. I look forward to my own testing, and yours, but right now I have to go boating.

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.

3 Responses

  1. Eli says:

    Really interesting. I wonder if the AIS listeners on new plotters will suffer the same lack of reciever consistency that can be seen with the Sealinks vs. cheaper Chinese alternative.

  2. Dan says:

    Hey Ben,
    Some softweare packages, like my Macintosh-based GPSNavX , have been able to read & plot AIS for quite a while already. Where have the Garmin, Furuno and Raymarine boys been all this time? (grin)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’d be interested in a proper head-to-head comparison, as I did a comparison of this “cheaper Chinese alternative” vs a very expensive Nauticast DS unit & found the Chinese unit to be better than the US$3500 Nauticast (which of course is a full transceiver, therefore the higher price).
    My findings are at:

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