Yesterday Roger (a true DYI guy I’ve noted before) commented enthusiastically on Nasa Marine’s “AIS Radar.” It certainly does seem to provide a complete AIS listener for a very reasonable price, about $365, but I have some concerns. The main one is that Nasa “chose to simulate the plan position indicator (PPI) of a conventional radar display” (hence the name). In other words the target vessels are plotted relative to your own boat’s course and speed, not their true course and speed (though that’s shown in the data window). The goal is simplicity; a target on a collision course will generate a trail headed right at you. The problem is the plotting confusion possible when you change course or speed. Plus AIS Radar, like Nasa’s AIS Engine, only uses one frequency at a time—though that may not be an issue. And, finally, it does not support output to a PC. For more information, allGadgets has the manual posted here. Of course, my concerns may be unwarranted; I’d like to hear from users and/or try one myself.

Nasa Radar illustrated

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

8 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    I can’t comment on the AIS “Radar”, but I do have their AIS Engine, soon to be interfaced to Rose Point Coastal Explorer, which includes AIS functionality in their base release. I’ve found the Engine to be quite a bargain at a bit over $210USD.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Dave. I hope you’ll report on results. I sense that there’s a lot of interest in AIS listeners.

  3. B ADAMS says:

    would the AIS system automaticaly pick up boats fitted with dsc vhf radios or only vessels fitted with an AIS engine. also could the gps signal required be taken from the same signal that goes to the dsc vhf radio from the gps unit.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    An AIS receiver will only hear signals from AIS transponders. DSC is sort of similar–digital VHF–but unrelated. Yes, the same GPS can feed several devices but you may need a multiplexer for more than a couple as the GPS may not put out a strong enough data stream.

  5. Paul says:

    I have recently bought an AIS radar from NASA fitted on my sailboat with a VHF DSN and a GPS Furuno. It seems very efficient since from Boulogne I can see all the ships in the traffic lanes of the Strait of Dover and even from Boulogne I receive the beacon of Dover as a shore station. Unfortunately from time to time the message “GPS missing” appears on the screen of the AIS and of course I loss my position. Is it a current issue of the Nasa AIS radar ?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I try to get an answer to the question if the AIS receiver can be connected to my PC on which i run MaxSea, but am getting confusing answers.

  7. Roy McBride says:

    We had two single handers leave from Hout Bay, Cape Town They both had Nasa AIS, they headed for western Austraila and arrived safely, the AIS system was proven by both boats, one talked to thirteen ships, two who had not seen him, AIS is recommended and Nasa equipment is proven to work well, I can copy the full letter from the yachts to anyone who wants it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have just fitted Nasa radar ais it comes up gps missing and my chart plotter still says no ais can any one assist please

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