AIS Compatibility

Cris asked today...

Can you tell me which AIS systems are compatible with your DMK or anything I should be looking for when combining AIS with your system.

This a great question. There are two different formats of AIS output on the market. The first is NMEA 0183 being output at a rate of 38400 Baud and the second is NMEA 2000. The DMK Box can transfer both types of data wirelessly. However not all apps can currently read and display NMEA 2000 AIS data. I won't try to recommend any specific hardware in this article because that will depend on whether a person wants to transmit AIS data and whether he needs a new VHF among other factors. Right now I mostly use iNavX to show AIS data because it plots the ships on a chart. However sometimes I am using iRegatta and find it convenient to use its AIS page when I want to quickly see ships in my area. Both of these apps use only NMEA 0183 data.

Aboard my own boat I use a Standard Horizon Matrix 2150 VHF radio and a DMK 11A-GPS. Attached is a wiring diagram showing how I have it connected. I did it this way because it was a very cost effective way of updating my boat's electronics and getting a chartplotter with AIS overlay. I later integrated the DMK Box with my Raymarine ST60 instruments and added a NMEA 2000 engine data sender to the same system.

Wiring for Standard Horizon 2150 to DMK 11A-GPS