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Hello y'all.

I hope everybody had a great Turkey day! Maybe even took their boat out!

The time has come for us to replace the VHF radio. I have a Raymarine VHF 215 right now. I am looking for a suitable replacement. VHF218 maybe? Should I stay with Raymarine, if I switch to something else than Raymarine, should I be concern with any of the wiring and connections?

Thank you for your input!

 

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Chances are that other than power connection, the data connection are different (harness and wire colors) even within the same brand but different generations. Having said that, I would suggest, for compatibility reasons, going with the same brand if your existing VHF radio is connected to the same brand chartplotter, etc.

The all same brand electronics can make the interoperation smoother, but in reality almost any NMEA compliant device can be connected and talk to another NMEA device ... finding a person who can make it work could be a greater challenge here.

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On the data connection, NEMA0183 & NMEA 2000 connections should be the same between brands. I think Raymaine uses there own Seatalk connections. Thats if that what you want to do, meaning. Connecting your VHF to your GPS.

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As the other guys have mentioned, if you have other Raymarine electronics connected to the radio, staying with them makes sense.  Still, if you're willing to do a little wire management, changing brands isn't hard at all. The data languages will all be standard, just the wire colors may change from one to the next.

I recently put the Standard Horizon in my boat that has the built in AIS and GPS receiver. I still connected it to my Furuno GPS as a secondary GPS input, and it was no difficulty at all. I boat in some busy ocean shipping lanes, and having a basic AIS screen was very helpful, plus, the radio is high quality, and had some features I really liked (such as sound at the microphone, so I can hear it easier at higher speeds). I had replaced an old West Marine/Uniden that had a bad screen. Other than the screen, the radio was fine, and was the same radio I had in my previous boat. Still, with the same antenna, I find better range hitting the automated radio check stations along the coast here, and the Standard Horizon does a better job filtering background hash, allowing me to keep squelch lower and hear more conversation without bothersome static/noise. I expect it's simply got better circuit design. Of the various radios I've owned, either fixed or hand held, I will buy nothing but Standard Horizon at this point. I don't think you can improve on their quality or design.

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Jmiska,

I too have been shopping for a fixed mount VHF.  Wow have things changed since I bought my last one 25 years ago.  I liked the SH gx2200 with the gps and ais receiver, but since I'm shopping for the once a year coastal trip and hopefully the  Bahama run, I don't think I'd ever see much benefit having the ais receiver.  So I'm leaning toward the GX1700 w/ gps.  I think the gps is important to simplify emergency management.  That and it doesn't appear that my Hummingbird Helix-5 will export its gps info.  It has a com port, but I can't find any documentation on interface options on the Helix model except for the Helix-9.

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Man you guys have me thinking, my vhf has an 8' antenna, but I never could get the DSC hooked up. I'm wondering if I should pull the trigger on a new radio. Mine works and I've only used it a few times to report illegal activity on a few different reef s.

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20 hours ago, soldier4402 said:

if you don't go out far maybe a hand held?

 

18 hours ago, drewm3i said:

I have one of those too LOL! Also don't use it. I get cell service out to 10 miles and never go past that until next summer.

+1

For our boating area, I was going to have a SH GX1300 installed but after some thought and already owning 2 handhelds, decided not to and just go with the handhelds and cell phone.

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1 hour ago, Perseverance said:

 

+1

For our boating area, I was going to have a SH GX1300 installed but after some thought and already owning 2 handhelds, decided not to and just go with the handhelds and cell phone.

Yeah, I have a fixed with 8' whip too, it's just older and while it has DSC, I can't figure out how to hook it up LOL!

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38 minutes ago, drewm3i said:

Yeah, I have a fixed with 8' whip too, it's just older and while it has DSC, I can't figure out how to hook it up LOL!

If I venture into your hood I could try to help. I assume you are trying to feed gps position data to dsc radio.

What are brand/models of the two devices you are trying to interface?

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40 minutes ago, drewm3i said:

Yeah, I have a fixed with 8' whip too, it's just older and while it has DSC, I can't figure out how to hook it up LOL!

If it's an older unit and you want to use DSC, according to this article: Setting Up A VHF Radio With Digital Selective Calling

If you really want to be able to use DSC, it just might be easier to get a new unit that has built in GPS like the GX1600, which is under 150 deer.

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" I can't figure out how to hook it up LOL"!

The owners manual should have a wiring schismatic. Your ether using NEMA 0183 or NEMA 2000.

0183, is just connecting input (VHF side) and output (GPS side) of the wires. Basically 3 wires, common (neg) and the input and output. Some units do use 4 wires, the neg side to both input and output. I suggest just twisting the wires together to test and than making a more permanent connection.

2000, is basically bus type network. Which is old technology, but in a boat with very limited accuses points works out great. Its plug and play, just add a power connection.       

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Iggy said:

 

" I can't figure out how to hook it up LOL"!

The owners manual should have a wiring schismatic. Your ether using NEMA 0183 or NEMA 2000.

0183, is just connecting input (VHF side) and output (GPS side) of the wires. Basically 3 wires, common (neg) and the input and output. Some units do use 4 wires, the neg side to both input and output. I suggest just twisting the wires together to test and than making a more permanent connection.

2000, is basically bus type network. Which is old technology, but in a boat with very limited accuses points works out great. Its plug and play, just add a power connection.       

 

 

It has 0183 and believe me, I've tried everything. Called ICOM, called Si-tex, read through both manuals, wired it up many different ways and NOTHING!

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AS I remember the 25 watt Marine VHF power limit, applies to either fixed or hand held.  That is why way back. They had 1 thru 10 watt units & a rare 20 watts.

Above 6 watts The AA batteries die out VERY fast.  Some handheld above 6 watts came with a plug in power cord AND a threaded ADAPTOR CABLE to connect to a vertical ship antenna If you needed more range.  The kit also included A power cable to clip onto a 12 vdc battery.

 

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5 hours ago, drewm3i said:

It has 0183 and believe me, I've tried everything. Called ICOM, called Si-tex, read through both manuals, wired it up many different ways and NOTHING!

I have not used 0183 in years. But if my memory is right, there is a baud rate & data bit length. Both units need to be set the same. Another reason to go with NMEA 2000. 

I believe on the Icom, that the Green & Yellow (Pos) are inputs. To green & yellow (pos) on the si-tex side.

Another way to check, on any 0183 output, you should see about 5V D.C. If you don't, its not outputting.

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On 11/29/2016 at 1:44 PM, drewm3i said:

Man you guys have me thinking, my vhf has an 8' antenna, but I never could get the DSC hooked up. I'm wondering if I should pull the trigger on a new radio. Mine works and I've only used it a few times to report illegal activity on a few different reef s.

Yes, Drew, you absolutely must have your DSC fully operational! You boat in the ocean, in and around the Gulf Stream, with heavy traffic. God forbid something goes wrong in a hurry. It might be that your only chance to get out a distress message is that red button on the radio. Without an MMSI number and GPS input, your distress signal is meaningless.

Drew and Duane, I would go with either of the Standard Horizon that has a GPS receiver built in. I'm amazed at how well it works. My radio is down under the helm/dash and pretty blocked from the sky. That's why I also hooked my Furuno to it, as a backup GPS input, in case the GPS in the radio can't get a lock. The Furuno has a large external antenna, WAAS and DGPS.  It's supposedly one of the most accurate GPS units available. The GPS in the radio gets a lock almost as fast, and is almost always displaying identical coordinates.

While you guys are at it, planning Bahamas runs, when you get your new radios, don't get the free MMSI from Boat US or USPS. Go to the FCC and get a proper ship's station license, which will get you an international MMSI. Any boat traveling outside US waters should have one. While you're at it, you'll need to get your marine radio operator's license, but that requires nothing more than stating that you can read, keep a log, and paying a fee.  Still, you'll need it to legally talk on the radio in foreign water. 

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On 11/30/2016 at 9:06 PM, Big Fun said:

Just got a new Motorola VHF from a guy selling them out of his car.  I was really lucky on Cyber Monday it has a bonus speaker.

7D6B07D3-A46D-450A-961D-A9EBADE60637_zps

I remember those exact radios in the school buses when I was a kid (many decades ago!).  You can tell it's either from a bus or a cab with a fixed frequency.

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Great inputs and great fun reading, thank you all.

so I can replace my VHF 215 with a in the box VHF240. The difference is that on a 240 there is no screen, everything is on the mic, but I do get a speaker that I can install high enough to actually hear something! 

What do you think?

Thanks 

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