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Old 15-07-2013, 13:34   #1
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looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

Hello,

We have StandardHorizon Eclipse DSC+ vhf radio on our boat. However I feel like we are really missing a lot by not having GPS unit attached to it. DSC Distress alert really makes sense to me especially when you are sending coordinates with it. Plus it's a nobrainer for untrained crew to activate..

However we do not possess any plotter to feed any GPS data into the radio(we rely on charts+handheld vhf gps + Ipad navionics + mobile phones )

What would be the best solution to add GPS data to it other than buying a plotter, which I really don't wanna do (don't really need that).

Manual says radio can read NMEA-0183 v2.0 or higher. It also says NMEA supported sentences are GLL, RMC and GNS (RMC sentence is recommended)


StandardHorizon radio Eclipse DSC+

Thanks
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Old 15-07-2013, 13:39   #2
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

do not need it, just get spot.
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Old 15-07-2013, 13:55   #3
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
do not need it, just get spot.
How SPOT is going to send coordinates with DSC Distress Alert to nearby ships?
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Old 15-07-2013, 13:57   #4
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

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Originally Posted by parito View Post
How SPOT is going to send coordinates with DSC Distress Alert to nearby ships?
coast guard alert.
they call that crap out on the radio.
i heard it the entire time i was sailing in the long island sound... if they are very close, you can tell them where you are.
otherwise you will need a plotter, very overkill on a 21' sailboat, thou i have one on my 22' powerboat
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Old 15-07-2013, 14:02   #5
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

Any GPS unit that puts out the required sentences will do.

I would use something like a Garmin 17 or else a small handheld like Garmin 72 (make generic, others make equally good stuff).

17 is the cheaper solution.

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Old 15-07-2013, 14:03   #6
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

While I get your point and appreciate your answer this is not the solution I am looking for.

I am considering SPOT, however I personally believe DSC Distress alert with GPS coordinates in it is much more effective way of informing nearby vessels AND coastguard.

Plus there's no annual fee for this service as with SPOT.
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Old 15-07-2013, 14:08   #7
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

Just Google "NMEA GPS Puck". You should find plenty of options, some should be pretty inexpensive. Agree that you want DSC with GPS if at all possible. Be sure to register for an MMSI number.
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Old 15-07-2013, 14:41   #8
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

Mind some pucks will pop up with USB connect. You want a serial, my guess.

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Old 15-07-2013, 15:05   #9
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

I sympathize, finding a fixed mount GPS that is just a GPS is getting more difficult.

I installed the identical radio last week and connected it to our ancient Garmin 120XL. Worked as soon as I connected the last of the wires. Might be able to find something like that on E-Bay if you don't mind the used route, and it gives you a basic display without going over the top.

I have used these:

Byonics - MicroTrak

in my day job, they put out RMC. You'll either have to provide 5V someway or buy their 12-5V adapter.
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Old 15-07-2013, 20:03   #10
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

Older handhelds usually have the straight serial out. I have a monochrome Garmin etrek Vista that does, and I now have an older Lowrance Globalnav ($5 - flea market) with a 12v adaptor that also puts out serial NMEA0183.

Only problem I can see is that they don't turn themselves on when power is supplied; you have to manually turn them on. A GPS receiver that starts itself when power is supplied would be preferable.
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Old 15-07-2013, 21:33   #11
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

You can get an external power cord for the etrex & leave it on all the time. A pair of AA batteries lasts about 8-10 hours in those things, so I can't imaging that the drain on a boat battery bank would be very noticeable. The only problem that I've noticed with the etrex is that they get decrepit after spending any real amount of time on a boat. I've taken dead ones apart & done an autopsy on them a few times. They have a bunch of pin in socket connectors in them that get crudded up from salt air &/or mechanical vibration. Often, bending the case a little will get them to work again for a short time.

Back around 2001 or so, I bought street map software from Rand McNalley that came with a GPS puck to attach to a laptop. I think that the software may have been called Street Finder 2000. The software with puck was only around $100 in total, so I can't imaging that the pucks could cost all that much by themselves. The puck was pretty rugged. Two laptops died before it did & I was traveling a lot at the time. This puck had a serial connection. I don't know what connection that particular radio wants to see.

The guys over on the I Fish board say that the Standard Horizon GSU-5H will do what you want. It sells for $139. That sounds like a lot to me. The difference in price between a VHF that will accept a GPS signal & a VHF with a GPS built in, probably isn't that much. A GX1700 is about $230 at West these days.
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Old 15-07-2013, 21:55   #12
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I second the gps72. It'll work just fine below deck wired to the house batts and the radio
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Old 15-07-2013, 21:56   #13
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I second the gps72. It'll work just fine below deck wired to the house batts and the radio
Sorry, meant 76. Or for that matter any cheap garmin handheld with nema out
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Old 16-07-2013, 00:11   #14
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Re: looking for cheap GPS solution for StandardHorizon VHF

Heh,

If I would have known there are so few cheap standalone gps receivers on market I would have bought vhf with internal gps instead..

found one on ebay, not the best deal in the world, but I need it quickly...

Marine GPS RECEIVER ANTENA for Raymarine LOWRANCE NMEA | eBay
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Old 16-07-2013, 10:35   #15
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I use a Garmin GPS60 for this, has worked fine. Also have a Garmin GPS17x feeding the Raymarine chartplotter. This comes with a few mounting options (surface, under surface, or pole) and it would work well as a standalone solution too.
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