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An Overview of Icom's AIS range

by Ian Lockyer, Icom UK 11 Dec 2020 02:30 PST

With more and more leisure boats venturing further from their local shores, safety is paramount. Leisure boaters that sail in the same waters as large commercial vessels need to have their position information noted to avoid collision. This is what an AIS (Automatic Identification System) does.

AIS is a must to anyone sailing, either by wind or power and Icom offers several AIS solutions:

The MA-510TR is Icom's new compact, waterproof Class B AIS transponder. This all in one standalone unit combines transponder and display in a smart, compact design featuring an attractive 4.3-inch wide-angled colour TFT display which is easy to read, even under direct sunlight. This advanced AIS transponder features a whole host of important collision risk management functions as well as a navigation function that guides the operator to their destination.

When integrated with selected Icom fixed radios, the MA-510TR allows you to transmit individual DSC calls to a selected vessel instantly without manually entering its MMSI number. The MA-510TR AIS data output uses either NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183 formats for easy connectivity to most radars, chart plotters, and navigation systems.

As an alternative, the MA-500TR is still available. The forerunner to the MA-510TR, the MA-500TR is a compact, waterproof Class B AIS transponder has a dual-channel receiver allowing boat owners to receive AIS information (both Class A and Class B AIS signals) on two channels simultaneously. This real-time information is then displayed on its large, backlit full dot-matrix display giving the boat owner real-time vessel traffic information thus aiding navigation and collision avoidance. The MA500TR can also be connected to your plotter via the NMEA 0183 data standard.

Icom also offers offer IC-M506GE and IC-M605EURO VHF/DSC radios which feature AIS receive only-technology. These radios integrate via the NMEA2000 data network providing seamless operation and real-time AIS traffic information and DSC individual calling. Both radios also feature the 'Danger List' function which helps you find any dangerous target whose CPA is within six nautical miles and TCPA is within 60 minutes of your vessel.

The CB2000 Class B AIS black box Transponder Unit is also compatible with the IC-M506GE and IC-M605EURO and can be used to upgrade the radios from AIS receivers to AIS transponders via the NMEA2000 data connection. The CB2000 can be easily and discreetly installed due to its convenient size, simple 'plug and play' installation and requires a dedicated VHF/AIS antenna or antenna splitter.

Should you have any questions or want further advice about our current AIS range, contact our team on 01227 741741 or via the email at

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