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AIS transponder
Just a crazy idea. 
How about doing a AIS transponder from the OP framework. 
That would involved some radio interface...
it's illegal to operate a homemade ais transmitter in most territorial waters, and certifying it cost so many thousands it's only viable for commercial products.

This is really rather unfortunate and immoral as so many small boats don't have transmitters as a result of this bureaucracy, since they charge at least 10 times too much for one of these. It is not much surprise coming from a culture where it's illegal to camp on your own land, illegal to catch rainwater, and illegal to sell un-treated milk, illegal to build your own structures however you want, illegal to compost your own waste, and much more. all of this to save them the trouble of dealing with rare unfortunate events at the expense of decreasing the quality of life and freedom.

So because of these people who make lots of rules that do not affect them, we must sail on with no chance of alerting ships automatically even though the year is 2021: sad. No one really cares if you get run down if you aren't rich, because that is all that can afford to buy a transponder.

It would be very useful to build a homemade ais transmitter, but only use it in international waters or in case of emergency.
like stated earlier, there is legal stuff to consider, but I am watching this develop:
Peter of the MAIANA project has been very responsive, incorporating feedback, personally replying to inquiries, etc. And best of all, MAIANA works.

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