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Old 01-08-2015, 10:53   #1
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Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

After consulting the Google machine, I've only managed to make everything less clear in my head. So I'm here. Being in Colombia (the country) - it's not practical to call each of these manufacturers, sit on hold, and hope the rep has a clue - via email the manufacturers are useless. Input appreciated.

The goal is to connect the following equipment, so that I can see the information on the Garmin MFD and via my wifi network (iPad as the display, wifi network provided via Vesper XB).

The question: what is the best way to connect this stuff?

Here is the equipment in question:
  • Garmin 741 sx MFD (GPS, radar and transducer connected already) - has a NMEA 2000 connection
  • Vesper XB 8000 AIS (black box) - has a NMEA 2000 connection, acts as a repeater - all information received repeated via wifi and NMEA 2000
  • Standard Horizon VHF GX 2000 - has some bare wire, and operates on NMEA 0183. Source of immense confusion and frustration. Thanks Standard Horizon.

Here is what I understand as the best way to connect said stuff - feel free to crush my hopes and dreams of being correct.

GPS and AIS connect (simply) by NMEA 2000 connections provided - to NMEA 2000 backbone.

VHF uses bare wires to splice to Actisense NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 converter, which then connects to NMEA 2000 backbone.


What did I screw up?
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:42   #2
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

if you bought a gx1700. then you wouldn't even need to wire the radio


I would just connect nmea 183 from 741 to 2000 for gps. forget the converter.


though if you already have it, and can't return it. you can use it. but it's not needed.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:52   #3
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
if you bought a gx1700. then you wouldn't even need to wire the radio


I would just connect nmea 183 from 741 to 2000 for gps. forget the converter.


though if you already have it, and can't return it. you can use it. but it's not needed.
To clarify, connect everything (sans VHF) via a single NMEA 2000 backbone.

Then splice the VHF into the backbone. There won't be connectivity issues between these systems without the converter?
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Old 01-08-2015, 13:03   #4
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

the vhf connects to the 741, they both have nmea 183 wires.


saves you the cost of the converter. if you already have the converter. then you may as well use it.
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Old 01-08-2015, 14:36   #5
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Hey, great site! Much appreciate the spearfishing and freediving info.
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Old 01-08-2015, 14:51   #6
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Damn Nate.. What a Coincidence...

I'm headed to my boat (today) to connect up a very similar setup (only B&G MFD). I pre-connected everything in my lab to make sure it would work.

You don't need to bother with an Actisense converter if you don't want to. Both the Garmin 741 and the Vesper have NMEA 0183 connections on them. You can hook the Standard Horizon to either of those devices and gain DSC and AIS.

For NMEA 0183, just read the manual and hook it up so the "Data out" goes to the "Data in" and vice versa (colors don't always match). Then ensure your baud rate is set to 38400 and you will be good to go!
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Old 01-08-2015, 15:02   #7
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Alright.. I had a quick look (waiting for flight).. Here is the colors you would hook up.

If you hook the VHF to the MFD then this:
VHF MFD
Blue --> Blue
Grey --> Brown
Brown --> to ground
Green --> to ground

If you hook the VHF to the Vesper

VHF XB8000
Blue --> Grey
Green --> Yellow
Grey --> Green
Brown --> white
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Old 01-08-2015, 21:25   #8
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Perfect!

You guys saved me some money, thanks for the replies.
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Old 02-08-2015, 00:19   #9
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post

If you hook the VHF to the Vesper

VHF XB8000
Blue --> Grey
Green --> Yellow
Grey --> Green
Brown --> white
Just a clarification... to provide a GPS position only to the VHF radio, you don't need to connect the VHF NMEA output to the XB-8000 NMEA input. It won't hurt anything but isn't needed. You just need the XB-8000 OUTPUT to go to the VHF INPUT.

VHF XB8000
Blue --> Grey
Green --> Yellow

You then need to switch the XB-8000's NMEA output to 4800 baud.

However, if you want to provide both GPS and AIS data to the VHF I believe you'll need to connect both the MFD and the XB-8000 because the GX2000 (at least last I knew) doesn't accept both GPS and AIS on the same input and and the same baud rate. So to do this you need to connect the NMEA output from the MFD to the VHF Blue & Green and also connect the XB-8000 to the VHF yellow and white as follows:

VHF MFD
Blue --> Blue
Green --> to ground

VHF XB-8000
Yellow --> Grey
White --> Yellow

In this case you leave the XB-8000 at the default 38400 baud. This will put both GPS and AIS onto the VHF radio.

If you have any questions about this you can contact Vesper Marine at support@vespermarine.com
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:32   #10
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

You don't want the VHF AIS data on the bus, or even connected to anything. If you do, you will always see your own ship as a target. You only want to connect the DSC function to your chart plotter, and this can be done directly to the Garmin 0183 port - no Actisense needed.

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Old 02-08-2015, 12:43   #11
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

He has a GX2000 which I don't believe has its own AIS receiver. So if he wants to have AIS displayed on the GX2000 he can feed it from the XB-8000 and he won't see himself.

I agree that no Actisense is needed for any of these configurations.
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Old 02-08-2015, 13:35   #12
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Oops, I did confuse that with the GX2200.

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Old 02-08-2015, 14:24   #13
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Yeah, it's easy to get confused on the model numbers. I'm also not certain if it's the GX2000 that won't accept GPS on the high-speed input port. I recall that one of the SH radios wouldn't do that and so you need both GPS and AIS to feed it separately rather than a single connection to the XB-8000. That might be old info though and perhaps it's been changed.
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Old 03-08-2015, 19:55   #14
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

Fella..

I can confirm, pulling NMEA 2000 cable through a sailboat sucks. I hope you have a backbone and just need to run a few wires.

But pulling LMR 400 sucks more. Thick stiff stuff... I hate it big time.. If your VHF cable is working, I wouldn't repull it..
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:17   #15
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Re: Connecting VHF, AIS, GPS - NMEA0183 and NMEA2000

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
But pulling LMR 400 sucks more. Thick stiff stuff... I hate it big time.. If your VHF cable is working, I wouldn't repull it..
There is a flexible version of LMR400 that is more user-friendly. But it is still big cable.

You think LMR400 is difficult - we have 1/2" and 5/8" Heliac run through the boat!

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