SevenStar Class B AIS transponder, a new face

 SevenStar AIS B c Panbo

Well, I attended most of the 3.5 hour GMDSS Task Force meeting at NMEA—with USCG, FCC, and other relevant parties present—but I still don’t know exactly when Class B AIS will actually be on the market, especially here in the U.S.A. But I did for the first time put my hands on one, and, surprise, it came from a company I had never heard of. The SevenStar Electronics SeaTraceR Class B AIS is based on a transceiver developed by Software Radio. The engineer who was toting it around said that is has received IEC approval and will soon be on the market for around $1,000. It is set up to connect to a PC with a small program that allows entering the MMSI just one time, either by a dealer or user (one of the issues yet undecided). An interesting feature I did not know about is that SRM Sent LED. Apparently the Class B standard includes the ability to send some sort of distress text message, using a ‘panic’ button connected to the unit. The SeaTraceR can supposedly be reprogrammed so that the button instead activates a Quiet Mode—receiving, but not transmitting—which is an option some users really want. More on AIS soon.

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.

2 Responses

  1. Holger says:

    Class B units are all capabale of broadcasting a short safety related message (Msg 14). The length is 1 slot, which equals 14 letters. The content shall be predefined to prevent users from chatting. Message content can be either distress or for example “Fishing w/ net”.

  2. Joe says:

    One negative – If everyone has AIS the screen will look like an outbreak of some disease with collision alarms going off every 10 seconds on a busy Saturday.

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