Nauticast B mod, a “silent” mode switch
Most Class B AIS units have an SRM/Silent Mode switch on their casing, but the ACR Nauticast B instead provides a wire to a user-supplied switch. The plus is that you can more easily mount the transponder remotely, the minus is that you do have to install a switch, or only use the included software to control the functions. Incidently, that same software (similar to this) lets you choose the switch function: either to go in and out of silent (receive only) mode or to send a SRM (Safety Related Message, so far little used). At any rate, longtime Panbo reader Dan Gingras—a known LED fan—built the handsome Nauticast B switch above, and has kindly shared his design…
As you can see below, Dan’s LED circuit is pretty simple (he recommends TheLEDLight.com for helpful diagrams). “The power is from the panel switch that also powers the Nauticast B so that when I switch the little unit on, one of the LED’s will light depending on whether it’s in transmit or not. I used HOT GLUE to pot the back of the switch (a bit of a messy job, but it works) to hold the delicate 470 ohm resistor and insure that it doesn’t get shorted out.” Dan also sent a photo of the back and it is, um, less handsome than the the custom engraved front, but apparently the whole deal tests just fine. He’s also thinking of installing a Vesper AIS Watchmate (which recently got upgraded to include target graphics) as an alternate front end to the transponder. I look forward to reports from Dan about how well his Class B performs on the water. Actually I’d like to see as many Class B real world performance reports as possible, as it seems especially important now that we know the USCG is trying to decide which coastal commercial vessels will be permitted to use it instead of Class A transponders.
TH Class B, & come on FCC!
August 1, 2007
Nauticast B, the hardware
July 10, 2007
AIS B, shipping in Europe
November 20, 2006
Raymarine AIS plotting, “buddies” & more
April 8, 2009