Connecting our AIS units to Simrad/B&G/Lowrance Chart Plotters

Navico Plotters

Last week we visited Navico UK and carried out some tests of our AIS units connected to the latest Navico chart plotters. Navico are the largest marine electronics manufacturer whose product brands include; Simrad, B&G and Lowrance produce some of the most popular chart plotters and multi-function displays (MFDs) on the market today. Over recent years Navico have standardised the electronics hardware that the products from these three brands use but we have found that slight differences in the installation manuals have created some confusion for customers interfacing Digital Yacht AIS products to these plotters via NMEA0183.

To help anyone who is installing one of our AIS products to a Navico chart plotter, we have prepared a new Tech Note that explains clearly how to connect these products together via NMEA0183. For a copy of this new Tech Note please click here.

With older Lowrance 5” and 7” plotters we use to recommend the fitting of a small capacitor in the NMEA0183 positive line when connecting our AIS receivers to these units (see Tech Note 0008-2010), but after testing the latest Lowrance units, we can confirm that it is no longer necessary to fit the capacitor and our AIS receiver products will drive all of the latest Navico products.

Finally, for customers connecting a Digital Yacht AIS product to a Navico plotter via NMEA2000 (SimNet), there could be an issue with older Navico products not reading some of the Static Data, (Boat name, Call sign, Vessel Type, etc.) of Class B AIS transponders. We are pleased to report that with the latest Navico units and firmware updates, that this issue is no longer present.

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