For years I have prattled on about how good the old Raymarine E120 is.
I thought it was time to bring mine into the year 2020 and have it show AIS information.
To be clear I am not transmitting AIS but the option to see AIS info is another great safety feature.
I bought a B&G V50 VHF which has an internal AIS receiver. There are some deals on these around and I scooped one up for £230. Must be the end of the line or something but prices have been slashed on these. I got mine from Cactus but I see force 4 also have the same price.
The trusty Icom MC421 has been removed and I just need to wait on a jigsaw coming to fit the new B&G in.
Unfortunately my set up means I'll have to run a STNG convertor to use my Nmea 0183 port which is the only one I have left.
The B&G does do 0183 and 2000 however when using the 0183 I found I could have the following two states.
B&G with DSC GPS info ( no AIS shown on E120 ) - nmea 4800 baudrate on E120
B&G without DSC GPS info ( AIS comes up on the E120 ) - AIS 38400 baudrate on E120
Having spoke to 2 very helpful tech support guys at B&G and Raymarine I was given the solution of using the converter to turn the 0183 into 2000 and up the baud rate to the required 38400 for the AIS info and to get the plotter and VHF to talk to each other at the same time.
I have to take my hat off to both of these guys for still giving me support on a 14 year old chartplotter.
Hopefully it all works. I just need to wait on the 2 cables required, luckily I have a STNG convertor lying ready to go so Ill take pictures when its all done and accurately price the conversion.
Maybe this info will help somebody else!