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EM TRAK MARINE ELECTRONICS B100 AIS Class B Transceiver

Model # 12333951Mfg # 411-0001

$559.99

Customer Reviews
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Product Description

The B100 is engineered to provide you with reliable high performance AIS receive and transmit capability. Its built-in high performance dual channel receiver ensures you receive all AIS messages. Small and lightweight with NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183 and USB connectivity for easy installation, the B100 can be installed anywhere. Compatible with most chartplotters, PCs and Macs. SD card slot enables secure programming of the B100 as well as recording of AIS voyage data. For security in dangerous waters, a “transmit off” option is included.

In the US a third party is required to program the boat’s data and MMSI number into the AIS transciever. When you receive your B100 you will be directed to enter the required data onto a form atwww.em-trak.com/registration.aspx. In the meantime you can install your unit and it will work in receive mode, picking up and reporting AIS traffic around your vessel. Once you submit your boat’s data an SD card will be programmed and sent to you. Insert the programmed card into your unit and the transmit functionality will be activated automatically.

  • AIS Type: Class B Transceiver
  • Display Type: None, requires external monitor or PC
  • Antenna: 50-channel external GPS antenna included
  • Draw: Average power consumption 170mA at 12VDC, 2A peak
  • Voltage: 9.6-31.2V DC
  • Data Interface: NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183, USB
  • Included Equipment: GPS Antenna, 6'6" power and NMEA 0183 data cable, USB cable, CD with proAIS2 configuration software, mounting screws
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX2
  • Warranty: One Year

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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Em Trak Marine ElectronicsB100 AIS Class B Transceiver
 
3.6

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (5)
  • Easy to set up (4)
  • Simple controls (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Navigation (4)
    • Sailing (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Gearhead (5)
      • Primary use:
      • Personal (8)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-9

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    1.0

    Junk

    By Bon Temps

    from Caribbean

    About Me Gearhead, Long Distance Sailor

    Pros

    • Compact

    Cons

    • Difficult To Read
    • Flimsy
    • Unreliable

    Best Uses

    • Inexpensive Low Range Use

    Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

    From the start this unit would not consistently startup. The software was poorly designed and would not consistently connect with the unit. Finally after exactly 1 year the unit stopped functioning altogether. Of course Emtrak would not repair it. Even though it stopped working within the warrenty period but I was at sea. Finally Emtrak is not comparable with Raymarine. You cannot put it in silent mode

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Requires $250 splitter to use with VHF

    By EyePhotog

    from NC

    About Me Gearhead

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Large Boats

        Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

        Requires $250 splitter to use/share with VHF and a single VHF antenna.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Should be required if you travel near Co

        By Cpt. D

        from Dog River, Alabama

        About Me Liveaboard, Nerd, Outdoor Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Easy To Read
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Fast
        • Reliable Performance
        • Safer Than Radr
        • Strong Construction
        • Waterproof

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Commercial Areas
          • Expeditions
          • Fishing
          • Large Boats
          • Navigation
          • Sailing
          • Small Boats

          Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

          I use the PC Based charting program PolarNavy, it interfaced perfectly.

          I just completed a 1000 mile trip from Louisville, KY to Mobile, AL; This AIS saved me and the Boat several times.

          In Alabama, on the Black Warrior, my chart showed two targets sideways across the river, on two different hairpin turns, a half mile apart, not moving. I slowed form 17 Knots down to 10 knots. Once I came into sight I saw that the targets was a Beached Barge and tow hauling Benzene. Radar never saw the target due to the trees.

          The other time was when the fog came in so heavy on the Ohio River I could not see the bow of my boat. But I could see every AIS vessel within 20 miles.

          If you care about four family, your boat, and yourself, I Highly recommend this product before even considering radar!

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Play with the Big Dogs

          By SV MilDaMar

          from Gulf of Mexico and ICW

          About Me Gearhead, Professional Sailor

          Pros

          • Cheap For What It Does
          • Compact
          • Easy To Read
          • Easy To Set Up
          • Easy To Wire And Setup
          • Nice And Small
          • Simple Controls
          • Works As Gps
          • Works With Ais Radio
          • Works With Computer

          Cons

          • Kicks Out At Slow Speed

          Best Uses

          • Ais Segment Of Ecd
          • Expeditions
          • Navigation
          • Sailing

          Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

          Created an electronic package based around my PC, using domestic NOAA ENC and RNC charts and OpenCPN. B100 serves the AIS segment very well. It is multifunctional, thanks to the downloaded upgrade from the website, providing GPS and AIS input to both the computer and the Standard Horizon VHF radio. It is serving us well, even in the heavy traffic around New Orleans and along the ICW. Pays for itself many times over, in both service and piece of mind.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Compact and Easy to use

          By Moosetracks

          from St Petersburg, FL

          About Me Cruising Sailor

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Set Up
          • NMEA multiplexing
          • Software Diagnosis tools

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Navigation

            Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

            The instructions were fairly straightforward and easy to follow.
            You have to email Em-Trak for an SD card to configure unit in the USA, this takes a few days.
            After routing wires and connecting the unit and following SD card instructions it worked after a short start up delay.
            The Laptop USB connection required downloading the drivers from EM-Trak and installed easily on W7.

            The software utility was very helpful for getting GPS output on NMEA for high speed and low speed connections.

            This works great with my Raymarine E80 classic using the NMEA cable.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Works great but set-up requires help.

            By toddster

            from Oregon

            About Me Gearhead

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Can be updated
            • Includes vswr readout
            • Simple Controls

            Cons

            • Difficult to set up

            Best Uses

            • Navigation

            Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

            I purchased this unit to use with laptop-based chart plotter software and a third party VHF radio (Standard Horizon GX2000) that has AIS display functions. I also wanted to export the GPS data from the unit to the other devices. It took a few exchanges with customer service to get it to function, but once that was done, it seems to work quite well. It even received a good GPS signal with the (included) antenna sitting inside on the chart table.

            The main drawback is partly due to the strange US regulations that prohibit end users from configuring their own AIS unit. You have to send away for a configuration card. The item description suggests that the unit will operate in "receive only" mode until it is configured, but mine did not seem to. As soon as it was configured, it started receiving AIS data right away. If you have your MMSI number, a "qualified technician" ;) can configure the unit with the included software. However, as noted in another review, if you want the unit to output GPS data on the NMEA port this must be done with a custom configuration card. It cannot be turned on with the software. This seems like an obvious item for improvement. Note that devices like my VHF radio will not display any AIS data until they get this GPS feed, because they don't have the own-ship's position.

            The card reader will "automatically log voyage data" to a blank card but the included software does not read it, and there is no real clue on how to access it. Some other unspecified third-party software is needed. Since I do not have any immediate need for this feature, I did not pursue it further.

            A couple of other quibbles: The unit is quite compact, however since rigid connectors radiate out from the top and bottom of the unit, it requires quite a lot more space for installation than you might think. It also gets quite warm during operation; so far that has not been a problem but I would worry about a cumulative heat buildup if installed in a small cabinet with other radios. If mounted on a vertical panel, the indicator lights are on the bottom, where they may be impossible to see. Finally, the i/o cable is a bundle of 12 tiny wires. You will probably need to supply a terminal strip to bind these and sort out all of the possible connections. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the total installation can end up taking a lot of space.

            The unit did require a new AIS-rated antenna - my old fiberglass whip was unsuitable. But I expected that and prepared accordingly. One nice surprise was that the unit includes a VSWR readout (displayed on your computer with the included software) which helps with troubleshooting or at least reducing uncertainty about antenna installation.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Unit

            By Buzz

            from Huntington Beach, CA

            About Me Local cruiser, Technically Challenged

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Easy to install
            • Easy To Set Up
            • Inexpensive
            • Simple Controls
            • Works with Furuno

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • Sailing
            • Small Boats

            Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

            Great unit and was easy to get installed. Works beautifully and a great value. New technology makes the footprint small and the performance excellent.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Works great after support got us running

            By Peter

            from Tiburon, CA

            Pros

            • price

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

                We got the B100 for installation on a cruiser used for USCG Auxiliary patrols that include working with helicopters near busy waterways. Vessel Traffic Service really likes to know where we are when we have a helicopter working low to the water. We initially had an issue with the configuration file but tech support worked to expedite a new file. I wanted to output NMEA data from the B100 to the new VHF radio so that the radio would be fully DSC capable (displaying GPS data and able to send it with position reports or one touch distress call using the red button). Outputting the NMEA data via the low speed NMEA is not the default, but they can set that up in the configuration file, so anyone wanting that capability should request it at the front end. Connecting two of the output wires with a basic rocker switch allowed us to quickly wire a silent mode switch that will stop the outbound AIS position reports while allowing incoming data to flow. One thing we added was an inline fuse to the power wire.

                The SD configuration card installed easily. After configuration, we could see that the unit was receiving GPS and receiving and sending AIS, but we had a red light status. I worked with customer support via e-mail and Matt at Em-Trak responded in near real time as I worked through the issue. The information provided by the included ProAIS2 allowed Matt to diagnose the issue as a bad antenna connection. Switching the to antenna lead for the radio, we were able to verify that a bad connector was the issue. Now the unit is working great with the Nobeltec Odyssey software, allowing us to see AIS targets on the laptop display. Em-trak support is in the U.K., so the time zone difference could be an issue depending on where you are and what time you tackle any issues. In our case, Matt stayed at it past business hours to help us reach a faster resolution.

                I initially was baffled during installation when I turned off the breaker to shut the unit down and it did not turn off. Note that the unit can be nominally powered by the USB cord that links it to a laptop. USB power will provide enough juice for configuration and I think even receiving AIS, but not enough for transmitting.

                (5 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Cannot get it to work, slow tech service

                By Bobar

                from Roseville, MN

                About Me Gearhead

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Cannot self-diagnose
                  • Does not work
                  • GPS antenna bad
                  • Incomplete manual
                  • Not reliable
                  • Slow tech support
                  • Still not working
                  • Took 3 days to install
                  • Transceiver bad

                  Best Uses

                  • None

                  Comments about B100 AIS Class B Transceiver:

                  Product still does not work. Took a week to get a second configuration SD file. Then GPS does not work, although it did work for receive-only before I got it configured with my MMSI number. I have spent over 3 full days, over a couple of weeks, trying to get the unit to work. I will be returning it to West Marine. DO NOT BUY THIS.

                  Service and delivery comments:

                  Customer service did fix the first problem, although it took them 5 days to respond.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

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