Particularly not when it comes to electronics and navigation. For a while there I thought I could buy a CSB200 Class B AIS Transponder, combine it with Tiki Navigator through an old laptop and using the existing VHF and GPS antenna. By connecting it all I could get a modern AIS system combined with an up to date navigational system – and use my old laptop.
Too good, of course. I mailed to Dolphin Maritime Software Ltd check out if this would work out nicely. If nothing else, I could at least get the transponder cheaper. However, Dolphin says; “We would advise that the CSB200 really needs both a dedicated VHF antenna and a dedicated GPS antenna.This is because as a Transponder it must synchronise transmissions with other AIS units in the area, using GPS time, so it needs to listen all the time for AIS transmissions.Also you could posibly damage your VHF-radio or your CSB200 if you connect them to the same VHF antenna.”
Besides – Tiki is not AIS ready yet, and the Dolphin Maritime software to get a good AIS picture on the laptop costs extra 140Gbp. The extra cost of a new external GPS and VHF antenna I don’t know yet.
The good news is
that the total price of the CSB200 Class B AIS Transponder delivered in Norway by Dolphin will be 560Gbp, which amounts to 6720Kr. + vat 25%, a total of 8400Kr. which is still below what I have to pay at Skagerak Maritime.
So much for making it easy!