All AIS Class A Transponders have a special “Pilot Plug” that is intended to allow a Commercial Pilot to quickly and reliably connect their laptop PC to the Class A Transponder when they arrive onboard.
The Digital Deep Sea Pilot Plug Cable, allows anyone to connect their PC to a Class A Transponder. Therefore receiving NMEA0183 AIS and GPS data via a USB port. With some models of Class A transponders, this cable can also be used to configure the Class A with static AIS data and/or the mandatory voyage data that should always be programmed in to a Class A transponder before starting a passage.
The NMEA to USB Adaptor works on PCs, Macs and Linux computers. It converts NMEA 0183 data, used by many marine systems, into a USB format that can be plugged into most modern computers. The adaptor is a bi-directional device so data can be sent to and from systems. It also has integral LEDs that flash upon receving data (green) and transmitting (red) which helps with interfacing issues.
The Pilot Plug Cable creates a virtual COM port on the PC. Navigation and charting software can use this to read NMEA data. The device ships with a multi platform driver CD so you can be use it on PCs, MACs and even Linux based systems. If you’re using the device with a Windows PC, you’ll get a bonus as we include SmarterTrack Lite AIS viewing software on the CD – effectively turning your PC into an AIS target display.