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The ICOM MA-500TR.
The current overlap of radar and automatic identification system (AIS) technology leaves sailors on small oceangoing craft in a quandary: Which is the more sensible system in terms of initial cash outlay, amperage use and overall service in ensuring safety and security?
Just as Loran-C and radio direction finders were long ago relegated to the forgotten graveyards of maritime detritus, so too has the short-lived CARD (collision avoidance radar detector) system given way to contemporary AIS technology. However, even with the convenience of AIS, radar is still regarded as the standard for dependable vessel tracking capability and collision avoidance. On the downside, radar uses significantly more amperage than the receive-only AIS systems currently available, which on a large yacht is still a negligible amount easily covered by a combination of the engine alternator and a generator set. AIS offers some — not all — of the advantages of radar at a fraction of the price, yet with much lower power consumption. Large yachts generally employ both radar and AIS in tandem for maximum protection.
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