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Best compatible AIS for my Axiom Lighthouse Raymarine
Our vessel is fitted with a 2017 Raymarine Axiom MFD. Our Radar is the new 2018 dome. We want to add AIS. Any thoughts
AIS is one of a few categories of marine electronics for which there's really no benefit to matching the brand of your MFD and other electronics. With this in mind I believe that you will get more value-added features from the AIS specialist brands, like Vesper, SRT, Alltek, than the major MFD manufacturer brands. In most cases those companies are OEM'ing their AIS transceivers from an AIS specialist anyways.
The class B/SO standard was approved several years ago and allows for faster transmissions, higher power, and a less conservative back-off in RF congested areas. Each of the manufacturers mentioned above has or is coming out with a B/SO product. I'm quite excited to get some hands on testing of Vesper's Cortex which offers AIS, VHF radio, and boat monitoring in a single box, but there are lots of really good products in this space. Also, ACR has designed and built their own B/SO AIS transceiver that also deserves a look.