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  AIS: Combined VHF Radio and AIS Receiver from NAVICOM

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Author Topic:   AIS: Combined VHF Radio and AIS Receiver from NAVICOM
jimh posted 03-20-2009 07:58 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
French marine electronics manufacturer NAVICOM seem to have the lead in the marine communications market with the recent introduction of their VHF Marine Band radio with included AIS receiver, the NAVICOM RT-650. As far as I can tell, it is the only radio on the market at the moment with an AIS receiver built into a standard VHF Marine Band radio at a reasonable price.

The NAVICOM website has details (in French) about the RT-650:

http://www.navicom.fr/

A re-seller in the United Kingdom has more details in English about the RT-650:

http://www.bmea.org/news/2008/ navicom-rt-650-dsc-vhf-radio-with-ais-and-wireless-remote-handset/

Vendors in Europe have the RT-650 radio priced at £246 (without tax), or around $355. The radio is also a Class-D DSC rated radio. Considering that the least expensive name-brand AIS receiver, the ICOM MXA-5000, sells for around $450 to $500, this NAVICOM radio is quite a bargain.

I haven't seen anything that would indicate that this radio has been type accepted by the FCC, so it might not be prudent to import one for use in the United States.

The notion that the French are leading in this marine electronic field, generally dominated by Japanese electronic manufacturers, is quite a surprise. Merci!

Come on STANDARD HORIZON--where are you guys with a competing radio?

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-20-2009 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I'm not a bit surprised. Makes good sense. One box, one
set of controls.

Having to have only one antenna adds to the savings.

And if they implemented the four receivers in software,
they only need one set of RF electronics. The Sirfstar
GPS chips do this for up to 16 channels at far higher
frequencies, and at a low cost.

Chuck

jimh posted 03-20-2009 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The region for boating in France includes the English Channel, which is probably one of the busiest waterways in the world for commercial ships. In that regard, a French recreational boater might be more interested than most recreational boaters in having an AIS receiver and a display of commercial ships in the vicinity.

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