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provide AIS data to Icom M505 VHF?

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Hi together!
I am thinking about buying the VHF IC-M505 and wonder about how difficult it is to combine it with a third party AIS. The goal would be to have the M505 allowing for calls to select the DSC of ships 'seen' by the AIS. (which is possible in combination with the original ICOM AIS 500TR which I don't want to buy)

see for example

I wonder about if the IC-M505 can even work with MMSI information provided by alternative AIS receivers. What are the requirements for the data provided by AIS receivers so that the IC-M505 can digest them correctly?

4 Replies

  • The current ICOM M506 is combining AIS receiver to the VHF radio.

  • The ICOM IC-M505 is a discontinued product.

    I believe you are asking about the ability to set-up a DSC call on a radio as a result of an external AIS receiver providing data about AIS target vessels that it has received.

    So far, the only devices that I have encountered that offer the ability to initiate a DSC call to another vessel based on the other vessel having transmitted its MMSI in an AIS broadcast are DSC radios which have integrated an AIS receiver in the radio. Via the radio control panel, a target vessel can be selected from among AIS vessels in range, and a DSC call can be initiated to that vessel.

    Similar functionality may be possible between some radios and some chart plotters, but I think that the two devices will probably need to be made by the manufacturer in order for that level of integration to work. Also, I believe that only connection via NMEA-2000 is going to support this sort of integration. Since the discontinued ICOM IC-M505 does not have NMEA-2000, I tend to doubt you will be able to make it initiate a DSC call via its NMEA-0183 user interface. In NMEA-0183 there are not many sentences related to DSC. There is a sentence DSI, which perhaps could be used to set-up a DSC call, but you would need to verify that the radio you have can receive that NMEA-0183 sentence, that the chart plotter you have can generate that NMEA-0183 sentence, and--probably the hardest part--that the multi-function display associated with the AIS data provides the function of selecting a target to call.

    I have never seen an inexpensive, DSC Class-D radio that supports the DSI sentence.

  • Thanks, Jim, but actually it is possible to set up a direct DSC call via NMEA 0183. Vesper has made it work with several Icom models, info here:

    It's also possible to do with a multifunction display, as Garmin has shown (with it VHF radios over N2K):

  • Thanks for the notice that there are some Class-D DSC radios that can set-up a DSC call based on receiving a NMEA-0183 sentence DSI.

    The case of Vesper that you cited is a bit of a different story. Vesper is making the AIS receiver and the AIS display, and apparently they are smart enough to make it send an NMEA-0183 sentence DSI. That is works with certain ICOM radios is quite interesting.

    As a corollary topic, one might investigate which present-day DSC Class D radios supports the NMEA-0183 sentences DSI. I will follow up on this by writing to a couple radio makers to ask them.