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Marine AIS Equipment for NOAA WX DX

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    Marine AIS Equipment for NOAA WX DX

    AIS is a shipboard broadcast system that acts like a transponder, operating in the VHF maritime band, that is capable of handling well over 4,500 reports per minute and updates as often as every two seconds. It uses Self-Organizing Time Division Multiple Access (SOTDMA) technology to meet this high broadcast rate and ensure reliable ship-to-ship operation.

    AIS operates principally on two dedicated frequencies or VHF channels: AIS 1: Works on 161.975 MHz- Channel 87B (Simplex, for the ship to ship) AIS 2: 162.025 MHz- Channel 88B (Duplex for the ship to shore)

    The development of AIS has resulted in an increased demand for equipment to allow reception of these signals at 162 Mhz, including large Yagi antennas, low-noise preamplifiers, etc. DXers interested in monitoring the NOAA Weather Band can take advantage of these tools.

    For example, antennas designed for AIS reception work great on NOAA Weather Radio. Here are some:

    A 10-Element Yagi for just over $200:

    InnoVAntennas has a bullet-proof LFA low-noise AIS antenna for around $160

    Arrow Antennas makes a 3-element Portable Yagi for AIS

    Also available are preamplifiers and bandpass filters that can really help boost weak DX on the WX band:

    This one boasts a noise figure of only 1.5 dB

    I'm interested in hearing from other WX band DXers who are using AIS antennas, preamps, filters and the results that you're having. Please also post other gear that you find in this thread.