DY AIS200N2K, even better than it looks!

The picture tells a lot: Digital Yacht's new AIS200N2K is the first AIS receiver I know of with NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, and USB outputs. But get this: it can also multiplex 0183 input and gateway it to N2K, "so that traditional data such as depth, po...

26th July 2010.
By Ben Ellison

Digital_Yacht_AIS200_n2k.jpg

The picture tells a lot: Digital Yacht’s new AIS200N2K is the first AIS receiver I know of with NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, and USB outputs. But get this: it can also multiplex 0183 input and gateway it to N2K, “so that traditional data such as depth, position, speed and wind, which is available in NMEA 0183 format, can be converted to N2K within the unit.”  All for $519!  The press release doesn’t say what’s coming out of the USB port, but I suspect it’s an 0183 mix of AIS target data and 0183 inputs.  Maybe someone from Digital Yacht or its US and EU retail arm Cactus Marine can elaborate in comments, because I may lose my Internet connection any moment now…

I’m aboard Gizmo just off beautiful Isle au Haute island on the outer edge of the Maine Coast.  A lot of systems have been working great, a credit somewhat to months of learning and updating, but cell and WiFi connectivity not so much.  Though maybe I shouldn’t complain as right now I’m online with speed thanks to the Wave Comet and some kind person with an open AP named “linksys” (got to love it).  At any rate, I will be back at HQ briefly during this week but then out again until about August 8th.  Entries may be quite erratic, but product research will be intense ;-).
   Digital Yacht, incidentally, introduced a second AIS receiver today, the “value” oriented $229 AIS 100.  It’s true dual channel — not a single receiver trying to switch AIS frequencies and always missing some messages — and I suspect it contains a circuit board made by SRT.  I recently tried out an SRT reference receiver that’s about this tiny size and can tell you that it seemed quite sensitive and used under .1 amps of 12v.  Small can be beautiful.  Now to hike a long, high island.

Digital_Yacht_AIS100.jpg


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Ben Ellison

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Ben Ellison is electronics editor for Bonnier Marine Group, specifically Yachting and Cruising World. He previously was electronics editor for Power & Motoryacht and SAIL, as well as a writer for Ocean Navigator. His blog posts appear courtesy of his website www.Panbo.com, which has 80,000 monthly readers worldwide.
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