ACR Electronics, Inc. the world’s best known name in marine safety and survival electronics, introduces the newly FCC approved Nauticast B, a Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmit-and-receive transponder designed for recreational and small commercial crafts.
ACR Electronics, known primarily for its high-tech EPIRBs, Personal Locator Beacons and an assortment of emergency strobes and lights, has FCC approvals to sell the Nauticast B AIS in North America. ACR has been selling the system in the following countries: Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $1,180 US.
ACR’s Nauticast B AIS not only will transmit vessel information to surrounding traffic, but also allows the user to participate with neighboring vessels to avoid collisions.
An easy-to-install AIS solution with a data power cable and VHF and GPS antennas, Nauticast B allows users to announce identity, position, speed and course over ground to oncoming traffic?a major safety advantage especially effective in low visibility conditions. The Nauticast B AIS RS232 and RS422 NMEA electrical interface communicate data directly through the users’ chart plotter or laptop. USB adapters are available for laptop operators. The RS422 can interface with a NMEA multiplexer so AIS targets can be displayed on various manufacturer chart plotters.
The Nauticast B AIS also features a remote Safety Related Message (SRM) send button that saves the precise coordinates of an emergency incident and immediately generates a safety distress message to surrounding vessels. The SRM can be configured to allow users to operate in a stealth mode by only receiving AIS data and not sharing for added security to avoid being noticed by pirating vessels.
The VHF band antenna, included with the Nauticast B AIS, is factory-tuned to optimize receive-and-send frequency ranges. Fifteen feet of cable and PL259 connectors are included.
Contained within a sturdy, water-resistant translucent case, the unit is compact at 7.8″ (D) x 6.2″ (W) and only 1.84″ (H). Lightweight at just 13 oz, the unit won-t take up much space mounted under the dash.
The Class B transponder standard was developed and recently finalized to create an AIS transponder for use aboard vessels not required to install an AIS system to meet IMO regulations for larger commercial crafts. The concept of Class B was to create a lower cost, smaller and more easily installed transponder for use on vessels where external heading, rate-of-turn and other sensors are not needed or required. Class B transponders are compatible with the AIS network without interfering with the operation of Class A transponders on large commercial vessels.
ACR already markets two Nauticast A transponders, the Nauticast UAIS, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder designed for all Class A commercial vessels and the Nauticast2 AIS, a transponder designed for all non-SOLAS commercial vessels.
AIS, mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for both SOLAS and some non-SOLAS vessels, is a VHF-based, two-way transponder operating much like an air-traffic control system for port authorities and ships. For the leisure market consumer the Class B AIS is a valuable piece of navigation equipment that allows captains to make better decisions by understanding the intentions of large commercial traffic in the area.