With more and more AIS Transponders being installed on pleasure boats, fitting and using a “Silent Switch” is definitely recommended and we should all do our bit to reduce chart plotter clutter by following the etiquette of only transmitting your position when crossing shipping lanes or in bad weather.
When an AIS transponder is in “Silent Mode” it continues to receive position/target reports from other vessels, but it no longer transmits its own position.
All Digital Yacht AIS transponders have the option of fitting a remote silence switch and we are often asked by customers if they can fit an illuminated Silent switch so that it is easy to tell if the transponder is in Silent or normal mode. The simple answer to this is “NO” you cannot fit an illuminated switch directly to our transponders as they are just sense lines and will not either turn on an illuminated switch or appreciate having the boat’s 12v supply connected to them through the illuminated switch.
There is a way to in-directly connect an illuminated switch to our AIS transponders though, by connecting it via an automotive relay. The image below shows how to wire the relay and illuminated switch to the White and Blue wires of our transponders that control the Silent mode.
In this configuration, when the switch is illuminated the transponder is in Silent Mode and when the switch is off the transponder goes back to normal mode transmitting your position.