(With apologies to Lewis Carroll.)
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All MMSI were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
I’m also waiting eagerly for news about FCC approval for Class B AIS in the United States.
But right this minute, I’ve got a new VHF radio to install aboard Two Lucky Fish; it’s a Raymarine Ray49 with two-way NMEA messaging, which should allow incoming DSC calls (such as distress calls) to appear directly on my chartplotter. Recall my disappointment when I confirmed that my Ray54 could not send position data to my chartplotter.
So I’m going to hook it up, and I’m going to program it with my BoatUS-provided MMSI number.
Or am I?
This Ray49 radio, like my Ray54, only allows you to program a MMSI number once. Then you’ve got to return it to Raymarine to reset it.
My concern: what if the FCC approves Class B AIS, but insists they be programmed with FCC-issued MMSI numbers that adhere to ITU guidelines? Will I need to abandon my BoatUS MMSI and get a new one from the FCC?
It ain’t the paperwork that bugs me. It’s the dang one-time-only MMSI programming on my Raymarine VHF radios!
So I admit it: I’m once again confused about MMSI numbers, with just enough information to make me a danger to myself and others. Maybe there’s no problem. Maybe I’ve misunderstood. Maybe I should just relax.
But heck, maybe THIS is the issue keeping the FCC from approving Class B AIS devices! Maybe they’re flummoxed by the prospect of conducting a wholesale data-integrity sweep of the existing MMSI databases for US vessels, but they’re simultaneously unwilling to allow AIS receivers to use (possibly noncompliant?) BoatUS MMSI numbers. That could be a really tough spot for the FCC.
Call it the Jabberwocky Problem.
It’s all just speculation, though. I don’t KNOW any of this. Anyone?