School Amateur Radio clubs building AIS receivers

The School Amateur Radio Club Network ( got in contact with us to let us know about their work promoting radio clubs in Schools. They are a neat way to get in an extra shot of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) while exercising on-air conversational skills and tuning up enquiring minds. Amongst the many very interesting projects they help schools with ranging from high Altitude Balloon Telemetry to Robotics  one is an AIS receiver which shares its data with our network and others.  They provide details of the free DIY AIS Receiver project based on a Raspberry Pi Zero and an RTL-SDR dongle at and they say many AIS enthusiasts around the world have built their project and share their data with us.

Having taken a look at their excellent tutorial we hope schools and science teachers will pick up on it. We have also suggested they might want to include an easier aerial to build based on our experience with the simple dipole aerial which we made for the cost of a length of coax cable and got over 30NM range with – see