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Author Topic:   AIS Class B Black Box Transponders
jimh posted 12-24-2012 10:07 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I have collected and organized information about currently available black box AIS Class B transponders at

jimh posted 12-02-2013 01:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I just noticed that the AMEC Camino-101 AIS Class B transponder has been reduced in price to just $399 from about $450. This price reduction may be in anticipation of the introduction of a new Class B AIS transponder from AMEC, the CAMINO-108.

The AMEC CAMINO-108 AIS Class B Transponder was recently approved for use by the BSH (Bundesamtes für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, a German marine agency) and CE R&TTE (the European Commission for radio and telecommunications terminal equipment), which are said to be the most rigorous tests for marine electronics in the world. The next logical step will be for AMEC to obtain approval from the FCC for their new transponder, which will make the CAMINO-108 available for sale in the USA.

With the cost of an AIS Class-B transponder now in the $400 range, we may see more small recreational boats employing Class-B transponders.

jimh posted 12-02-2013 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One aspect of investing in your own Class-B AIS transponder for your boat is, of course, the ability to participate in the AIS collision avoidance system. With an AIS Class-B transponder your boat will be visible to other boats with AIS receivers. Since most large ships and many smaller commercial vessels will have AIS receivers and transponders, your boat will be visible to them via AIS. This may be very useful in avoiding collisions with them.

An AIS transponder contains an AIS receiver, so one can consider the cost of buying a transponder should be measured as a incremental cost from buying an AIS receiver. The cost of a stand-alone AIS receiver is about $200. If we subtract that from the cost of an AIS transponder, we are looking at only an additional cost of about $200.

AIS transponders are required to have their own GNSS receiver. I presume the requirement was made to permit the transponder to operate as an independent device, that is, to be able to operate without being tied-in with other devices on the vessel, such as an external GNSS receiver. Thus one ought to consider that along with the transponder comes another GNSS receiver.

jimh posted 02-11-2014 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The AIS Class B Black Box Transponder article has been updated to include the COMAR CSB-200 product. The CSB-200 appears to be another SRT derivative product. The article continues to be the best collection of information about AIS Class B black box transponders I can find (or write). The price of AIS Class B black box transponders has now fallen to about $500 to $600. While AIS recievers are becoming more common as accessories to VHF Marine Band radios, one ought to consider joining the automatic identification system as a transmitting vessel. The cost is no longer a reason to refrain from sending your vessel's position via AIS.
jimh posted 03-16-2014 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I updated the list of available black box AIS Class-B transponders to include the AMEC Camino 108 and the Digital Yacht AIT2000.

I found the Digital Yacht website offers a MacOS version of the proAIS configuration and monitoring utility. I do not recall finding a MacOS version of this application prior to this.

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