Exhibitor Icom Australia is releasing the MA-500TR Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) Transponder and the IC-M412 Marine VHF Transceiver.
It is the first Australian boat show where these units are launched. A demonstration model of the MA500TR was shown at Sanctuary Cove in 2010. The MA-500TR offers a cost-effective entry option into chartplotting.
AIS is an automated tracking system used by ships, marine emergency service organisations and other maritime bodies. It allows vessel positions and courses to be displayed graphically on screen and provides important information such as MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) numbers, speeds and vessel names.
The MA-500TR unit is waterproof to a depth of one metre for 30 minutes and is made in Japan to strict quality standards. As a transponder rather than a receiver, it also sends out the user’s information, which allows a vessel to be visible to other vessels.
A GPS receiver is included in the box while the unit features a full dot-matrix display. The exhibitor is also showcasing the IC-M412 Marine VHF Transceiver. This supercedes the IC-M411 model and can integrate with Icom’s MA-500TR AIS Transponder.
This unit can continually monitor channel 16 while scanning in the event that a distress call comes through. The DSC-enabled VHF radio is important for water safety as many Australian marine rescue organisations use DSC to monitor coastal activity. A total of 100 MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) numbers can be programmed into the transceiver.