Smart Radio AIS Receivers

SR161, SR162, SR162G

The Smart Radio SR161 and SR162 are compact, easy-to-install, stand-alone marine receivers that monitor the channels assigned to the Automatic Identification System (AIS). These receivers are specially built for marine environments for the intended use of deciphering Automatic Identification System data. Most commercial vessels are required to have an AIS transponder that transmits information about the vessel and its movements.  Information output by each ship equipped with an AIS transponder includes the name of the ship, size of the vessel, the speed and direction of travel as well as other vessel- and voyage-related information. The system is designed to assist vessels in identifying the traffic around them and to help with marine safety and collision avoidance.

Sample screen shot from Nobeltec charting software showing AIS targets (highlighted in yellow).

The SR161 is a low-cost, single-channel scanning receiver designed for recreational vessels and the SR162 is a full-time dual-channel receiver designed for recreational and professional use. The SR162G has all of the features of the SR162 but also includes an integrated GPS and an external GPS antenna.

These receivers can be used with computer-based navigation solutions using a standard RS232 serial port interface. When attached to a standard marine VHF antenna, these receivers can receive the information broadcasts from each vessel and output the data as an NMEA serial data stream. This information can be used by computer-based navigation systems that support AIS and by an increasing array of marine navigation hardware devices. The information provided by AIS is more detailed than what is available with radar. Now you can not only track multiple commercial vessels in your area, but you can also see the same ship information that is gathered by commercial vessels and the Vessel Traffic Service.

Recommended accessories: Smart Radio VHF Antenna Splitter

Product Features


GPS ReceiverStatus Indicators
SR161Scans alternately2 LEDs
SR162Simultaneous2 LEDs
SR162GSimultaneous2 LEDs
*Combines data from a single NMEA 0183 4800-baud source with the AIS data output stream.

Features common to the SR161 and SR162

  • High-sensitivity AIS data reception
  • Line-of-sight reception similar to marine VHF reception distances
  • Very low power consumption
  • Receives AIS Class A & B vessel reports
  • Sends information to a PC or chartplotter via a serial interface
  • Ability to track and display information on multiple targets
  • Easy installation: connect a VHF antenna (not included), 12 volt DC power and a serial cable to your PC or compatible chartplotter
  • Can be used with your existing VHF marine radio antenna using an appropriate splitter
  • Can consolidate incoming NMEA 0183 data from a GPS or other instruments into a combined high-speed data stream on a single serial port
  • Dual-channel support
Additional features of the SR161
  • Single-channel receiver that scans between the two AIS frequencies
  • When interference is detected on one receiving channel, the SR161 automatically switches to the alternate AIS channel
Additional features of the SR162
  • Full-time dual-channel receiver
  • Able to receive AIS information from both AIS channels simultaneously
Additional features of the SR162G
  • All of the features of the SR162
  • Integrated 12-channel GPS module and GPS antenna port
  • 16-foot cable attached to an external, magnet-mount GPS antenna

Software Support

The SR161 and SR162 can be used with many popular computer-based marine navigation packages. The following Windows-based packages have been tested and are known to work with these receivers:

  • Nobeltec Visual Navigation Suite (requires version 8.0 or later)
  • Nobeltec Admiral
  • Rose Point Coastal Explorer 1.1
  • Cap'n 8.0
  • Boatcruiser 2.0
  • Global Navigation Software NavPak
  • ICAN Regulus
  • DigiBOAT Software-On-Board
  • Xanatos Titan
  • EuroNav seaPro
  • Y-tronic Yacht-AIS
  • Seaclear
  • Navicon AIS Navigator
  • COAA Ship Plotter
  • Memory-Map Professional
  • MaxSea v12.5.3 with Mobiles Module

For the Mac, the following packages are recommended:

  • GPSNavX
  • MacENC

Any navigation package that can process NMEA VDM data from a serial port should work with these receivers.

Technical Specifications


  • Power supply range: 9-15 Volts DC
  • Power consumption: 1.5 Watt

Data Output

  • Format: NMEA 0183 version 3
  • Baud Rate: 38400 bps (default)
  • Output Message: AIVDM (all), GPRMC (SR162G)
  • Status Indicators: 2 LEDs for receiver and data transfer


  • Frequency: AIS1 on 161.975 MHz, AIS2 on 162.025 MHz
  • Dual-channel Scan Receiving (SR161)
  • Full-time Dual-channel Receiving (SR162/SR162G)
  • Integrated 12-channel GPS Receiver (SR162G)
  • Channel Spacing: 25 KHz
  • Sensitivity: -112dBm
  • Demodulation: GMSK
  • Antenna Impedance: 50 ohms


  • Dimensions: Body 115 x 75 x 28 mm (4.53 x 2.95 x 1.10 in.), Overall 131 x 92 x 28 mm (5.16 x 3.62 x 1.10 in.)
  • Weight: 400g (3 oz.)
  • Connections: Antenna (BNC), 12-Volt Power, Serial Port
  • Output Port: 9-pin D-subminiature socket (female), RS-232 serial
  • GPS Antenna Port (SR162G)
  • Magnet-mounted GPS Antenna with 2.5m (16-ft.) Cable (SR162G)

Packages include the AIS Receiver, a 1.5m (5-ft.) 9-pin serial cable, wiring and connector for 12-Volt power, product manual and a bonus CD-ROM with digital charts and software for displaying AIS information.

Copyright 2009 The Offshore Store PO Box 9480 Seattle, WA  98109 USA Phone +1-206-632-3025 FAX +1-206-632-0971