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Old 01-21-2021, 09:38 AM   #1
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AIS. What more do I need?

I recently bought a used boat with a pair of Garmin 7212 Displays and an ICOM IC-M506 VHF with AIS capability.

I know next to nothing about this stuff other than how to navigate and communicate. The ICOM has an AIS display. It also displays current GPS info on its screen. A few questions for smart guys-

Does the position information come from the boat's GPS or is the GPS built into the radio?

Will my radio display this AIS info even if I don't have the "black box" required to send my info?

What do I need to add to this set up to have complete AIS capability? Or, do I already have it?

I understand that my vessel needs a dedicated number, MMIS or something like that and that I can get one for 25 bucks if I join Boats US. Can I just get the number from the FCC?

If a number has already been listed for my boat in the past, does it transfer?

Sorry. Reading, reading, reading and I am not finding the answers.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:24 PM   #2
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Hi Jeff,
Your ICOM radio requires an "external" GPS from what I can see on the web. It only receives AIS and does not broadcast your information. AIS info can be displayed on the radio "screen", but it would be a small display. The boat's MMSI number stays with the boat. So it will have to be "transferred" from the prior owner to you, with the information updated. Depending on whether or not you are going to travel with this boat internationally, you may need to obtain a different MMSI number if the present one was issued by Boat US?? Others on the forum will know more about this.
I am not aware of the practicality of "adding" AIS transmit to your system, other than just buying a new unit, for example a Vesper XB8000. That unit would give you a complete AIS system with an integrated anchor alarm and the ability to setup a WiFi network for various onboard data (boat related not an internet connection per se).
Hope that helps a bit. What boat did you decide on?
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:47 PM   #3
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I have not yet decided on a trawler. Still in the learning phase. This is for the boat in my avatar that I bought used last year.

My radio already displays my position so it's either got a built-in GPS or it's communicating with the boat's GPS.

I ran across an article on a sailing site where the guy only had to add one component to add AIS to his set up. Now, it was a lousy vid (minimal info on the system) and I am low on intelligence. Plus I'm unsure exactly what's on my boat. It came with a title and that's about it. If I can simply add a component to complete the system, I'll happily do that. And if not, I'll get it on the next boat.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:06 PM   #4
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In order to better guide you. You might want to see all the devices you have.

Personal, I would install a transducer (one that Rx and TX your info) so other boats can see you too. Vesper makes a great unit.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:32 PM   #5
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According to the ICOM Manual for this radio it does not have an internal GPS so it must be getting GPS from your Garmin plotters. Your internal AIS does not have a transmitter and is a receiver only. You need an MMSI number for your DSC Emergency button (under the little red cover). You should update info assigned to the MMSI number; this may include emergency contact info and your vessel name. Once the MMSI is entered, it can only be changed by sending back for a factory reprogram.

You should be able to port the AIS data from the VHF over to the Garmin plotters via a simple cable so that AIS data will show up on your map. The transfer of data will be either NMEA 183 or NMEA 2000 protocol. I have done this with a couple of instruments so I think anyone can do it. The GPS is already being transferred to your radio via a cable and one of these protocols.

Download the manuals for your instruments and they will show which wires need to be connected. Usually there is a little pigtail of wires pocking out the back.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:25 PM   #6
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Transponder. Just sayin.'
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:32 PM   #7
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GD,

Thank you very much. I just did as you recommended and downloaded all the pdfs.

Do you know if there is a way to determine if my radio already has an MMIS number? I bought the boat from its second owner and he had no idea. I'll dig into the manual as well, perhaps that topic is addressed.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:31 PM   #8
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The radio's manual will tell you how to install a new MMSI or possibly how to view it. Hit the menu button, and search about if you do not have the manual. If you see numbers in the field when you go to insert a new MMSI, well, the radio already has one.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:37 PM   #9
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Perfect. I wondered if that would be the case. Thanks to all.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:10 PM   #10
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Does your boat have radar, it looks like it to me, but small picture and old eyes.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:21 PM   #11
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Yes, it does. 4-foot open array Garmin GMR HD 25K $$$omethingorother.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:27 PM   #12
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Jeff - I think the ICOM Manual will tell you. My recollection is that you can change the display on the radio and one of the displays shows the MMSI number, if entered.

And I just scanned quickly through the manual and there is a diagram of the back side that shows two sockets on the back - one for NMEA183 plug and one for the NMEA2000 plug. Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:30 AM   #13
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