Though a “dual-channel AIS receiver” sounds pretty interesting and high-tech, you’re probably wondering what exactly AIS is, and why you need one. AIS stands for “automatic identification system,” and according to Wikipedia, it’s “an automatic tracking system used for collision avoidance on ships and by vessel traffic services.” In other words, these systems transmit ship ID, position, course, and speed, supplementing other navigational systems to help keep ships from crashing into one another.
So, if you’re a “landlubber,” something like this might not add much marginal value to your life, but if you, like many successful Tindie sellers, own a mega-yacht from profits reaped here, then I’d recommend picking one up today! Perhaps if you live in a coastal area, one of these receivers could be also be used to power a unique ship-tracking display.
If you do want something that is both low-cost and allows for creative uses, then the dAISy 2+ dual-channel AIS Receiver with NMEA 0183 is worth a look. It has several interesting features, including a serial NMEA 0183 data output socket that’s designed to line up with an HC-05/06 Bluetooth module!
At the heart of the module, its dual-channel setup is able to acquire and update ship positions better than its single-channel cousin, though both have a similar range. It’s an interesting technology that I hadn’t considered before, and if you find that intriguing, you can find even more AIS equipment at the Wegmatt Store.
A few interesting examples of what can using the Wegmatt family of AIS devices include: