Friday I mentioned that Standard-Horizon’s Matrix AIS radio won the Innovation Award for Electronics – quite an honor. Now that I have a real internet connection and can post pictures, let’s take a closer look at this unit.
The Matrix AIS impressed us for a couple of reasons: the Class A and B receiver shows AIS targets on-screen, and by highlighting a target you can then call it directly using DSC; it displays your position in relation to AIS targets; and it gives you CPA (closest point of approach) alarms. The AIS reciever uses the same antenna as the VHF, so you have one less mounting job to worry about. And we found it incredibly easy to use both VHF and AIS functions. But here’s the real kicker: the unit lists at $399. The least expensive stand-alone AIS receiver costs that much, and many units go for twice the price. That essentially makes the DSC VHF radio free!
Another aspect we consider when judging for the Innovation Awards is how big an impact the innovation will make on boating. And again because of the amazingly low price-point, we think that impact will be huge. Now, people rigging a new boat can get AIS and their VHF while saving a heck of a lot of cash. In fact, I’ll bet that many people who wouldn’t have opted to get AIS at all will now consider it – why not, when the effective purchase price just dropped by half? Whether you’re rigging a new boat, replacing your radio, or considering buying an AIS reciever, check the Matrix out – this is one product that’s a hands-down winner.