AIS news, Class B and more
So while I’m wondering if anything is happening Class B AIS wise, the U.S.C.G. was type-approving its first Class B device! Not surprisingly it is SRT’s OEM transponder, also first in Europe, which means finished units branded by the likes of Comar, SevenStar, and Trueheading. But first they need FCC approval. A representative told me last October that they would grant at least provisional approvals quickly, but now I’m not so sure. (Confirmed later in the day; the FCC is concerned about “the control and allocation of MMSI numbers.”)
Meanwhile, at least two major brand AIS receivers will be introduced at the Miami Boat Show, and while both apparently have some unique features, just the names on the boxes are going to be significant in terms of AIS awareness amongst recreational boaters. And there will be at least one other major brand electronics company showing a demo model of a Class B transponder that it designed itself. I also noticed that Shine Micro recently put up specs on its interesting, but not yet approved, hybrid AIS receiver MURS transceiver, which may be useful for tender tracking or I’m-not-sure-what. And, finally, Fred Pot reports that the novel “Safe Pass” method of displaying AIS targets will soon be incorporated into Y-Tronic’s plotting software. It’s all good.
By the way, I was glad to see “transponder” used in the USCG approval, as nomenclature is an AIS issue (for instance, I was wrong to use “duplex”). I understand that transpond is not precisely what these things do, but I think it works.
PS. And here’s an interesting tidbit gleaned from SRT’s news page: “New Brunswick Technologies in the USA” became a licensee in December. I’m 99% sure they mean Brunswick New Technologies. Hello Northstar Class B AIS?