English company RadarGadgets, a brand of Mirrorbow Technologies Ltd, just put on sale a mini-receiver AIS to connect into a USB port.
This receiver runs on a single channel, AIS A or AIS B, but can operate alternating between these two. Everything is reduced, with this device : its size and price. Indeed, it is sold online at prices 120 € for Europe, taxes, packaging and shipping included !
- USB connection appears as a simple serial com port compatible with most plotting software (*).
- Output NMEA 0183 !AIVDM sentence
- USB powered (no cables to carry or install)
- Listen to Channel A (161.975 MHz) or Channel B (162.025 MHz), or alternating between the two.
- USB virtual serial port baud rate 38400 bps
- VHF SMA antenna connector, BNC adaptor supplied with (50R)
- USB extension cable supplied
- Sensitivity -110 dBm
- Dimensions 75 x 23 x 8 mm
I hope will have the opportunity to test this unit, because if it meets its promises technical, it will undoubtedly rage among boaters.
[Update 2/12/2012] Following the setbacks and investigations of an informed user, the unit is now fully opératonnel on Mac OSX with MacENC or GPSNavX. An guide d’installation performed by the user and adapted by me for Mac users is available.
(*) Prolific PL2303 driver use to download from this page.