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Old 25-01-2014, 20:41   #1
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VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

Evening everyone,

I thought I would share some developments with fixed VHF's since I didn't see any posts about it. It seems that both Standard Horizon and Icom will be offering fixed mount VHF's with DSC, built in AIS receivers, and internal GPS. I have long wished to have a product like this, so I'm pretty excited about it. Apparently the SH unit (dubbed the GX 2200 Matrix) will have the same MSRP as the current 2150, about $400. The Icom, the M506, looks to have some nice features, too, but at a higher price point. I remember reading $600 somewhere, but can't confirm that right now. Both have optional remote mics that are fully functional for using AIS/DSC at the helm. Here's some links in case you are interested:

IC-M506 (Coming Soon!) : VHF/DSC marine transceiver with NMEA 2000 connectivity and AIS receiver - Mounted VHF/DSC Marine Radio : Icom UK - two way radio transceivers, receivers and navigation products

Standard Horizon announces the new GX2200 Matrix AIS/GPS, now with integrated GPS - Professional Mariner - Web Bulletin 2013

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS/GPS and Raymarine Ray260 AIS/N2K VHF radios


I definitely have my eye on the SH GX2200 and the remote mic to replace my Icom M422. It is a good solution for me to meet my current AIS needs and to get Class D DSC capability.

Frank
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Old 25-01-2014, 20:47   #2
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

Given the reduction in pricing, I see no advantage and several disadvantages in both AIS receive only , and the reliance on one unit. My personal view is get a class B AIS transceiver

Dave
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Old 25-01-2014, 21:21   #3
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Given the reduction in pricing, I see no advantage and several disadvantages in both AIS receive only , and the reliance on one unit. My personal view is get a class B AIS transceiver

Dave
Of course a transceiver is better than a receiver.... one does one thing and one does both. Tell you what, you send me the extra cash, and I will install a new DSC VHF and a new class B transceiver! I'll even take a bunch of pics of it and post them here.

Not sure about the reliance on one unit thing, after all it's not like we don't have several VHF's and GPS's onboard now. This would just be a nice primary layer that provides good functionality and integration. Better communication is never a bad thing, and I think it would be pretty sweet to be able to DSC call someone that was showing up on AIS on my remote.

My post wasn't meant to be a debate about receiver or transceiver, or integrating vs standalone units, since we've done that here on CF many times. It was just sharing new product news of interest to perhaps a few of the cruising community.
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Old 26-01-2014, 07:51   #4
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

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Originally Posted by GeoPowers View Post
My post wasn't meant to be a debate about receiver or transceiver, or integrating vs standalone units, since we've done that here on CF many times. It was just sharing new product news of interest to perhaps a few of the cruising community.
So why don't they build a VHF with an AIS transceiver on-board? Ah yes, they will do that 3 years after these models come out. It's part of their continuing revenue plans....
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Old 26-01-2014, 08:23   #5
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

For four hundred bucks, seems a good solution to me. Was suppose to come out in January, now they are saying February. We'll see.
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Old 26-01-2014, 08:26   #6
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

While I have come to appreciate the value of an AIS tranciever, it is certainly better for a boat to be equipped with a receiver then without.

I applaud Standard Horizon for making this model available. I wrote them an email, and posted a request here, that they do this back when I installed my 2150 aboard Faith. The additon of the GPS chip just makes installation a little bit easier, and adds another level of redundancy.... I especially like that they came in at the same price point as the 2150.

Should they integrate a tranciever also? Yes, of course they should.. And I bet they do.

Just a reminder, Standard Horizon has a rep that frequents this board to answer questions and help troubleshoot problems. I you want it, might help to ask.

I love the free market!
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Old 26-01-2014, 08:42   #7
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

I think they got it backwards. Instead of a VHF with AIS, they should make a chartplotter with an AIS transceiver with a VHF inside that. The tiny screen on a VHF is pretty useless for AIS info, IMHO.
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Old 26-01-2014, 08:50   #8
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I think they got it backwards. Instead of a VHF with AIS, they should make a chartplotter with an AIS transceiver with a VHF inside that. The tiny screen on a VHF is pretty useless for AIS info, IMHO.
I do believe this will give you the ability to overlay the info on OpenCPN or others, so it can be done. To me I'm buying a new dsc capable/seperate GPS/ VHF that just so happens to display AISn provides collision avoidance. Bit of a no brainer if in the market for a new VHF., which we are.
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Old 26-01-2014, 09:04   #9
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I think they got it backwards. Instead of a VHF with AIS, they should make a chartplotter with an AIS transceiver with a VHF inside that. The tiny screen on a VHF is pretty useless for AIS info, IMHO.
Stu,

I remember someone made an integrated chart plotter and vhf a few years ago. Does seem like a logical step....
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Old 26-01-2014, 09:20   #10
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I think they got it backwards. Instead of a VHF with AIS, they should make a chartplotter with an AIS transceiver with a VHF inside that. The tiny screen on a VHF is pretty useless for AIS info, IMHO.
Great point. It's the INTEGRATION, stupid!
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Old 11-02-2014, 19:28   #11
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

Still gives CPA with alarm and displays the vessels info, push button connectivity, and should quite easily be integrated into OpenCPN. Mine should be here this week. Ive got autopilot and soon AIS into OpenCPN. Last part of my puzzle is a BR24 to integrate radar.
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Old 16-02-2014, 04:14   #12
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

Am I correct that the IC M506 is only NMEA 2000 and not 0183? Won't that limit its interconnectivity? Andrew
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Old 16-02-2014, 04:50   #13
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

I recently received my Standard Horizon GX 2200 from Defender. I wired it temporarily to test it out and familiarize myself with the unit. The GPS took less than a minute to acquire a position from inside the cabin (fiberglass boat). The AIS displayed about 10 targets from around the area (I am currently in Brunswick, Georgia). The user interface was easy to figure out utilizing both soft and hard keys. The CPA alarm was quite loud, not to be mistaken for any other boat noise. The alarm has multiple settings between .5 nm and 30 nm. I needed a new VHF and am not budgeting for an AIS transceiver, so this unit made a lot of since. For a couple hundred dollars more than a very basic fixed VHF, the 2200 offers a lot of very nice extras. However, I encourage everyone else to get AIS transceivers, preferably the more powerful class A, so that you will show up on my VHF radio!
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Old 16-02-2014, 10:30   #14
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Given the reduction in pricing, I see no advantage and several disadvantages in both AIS receive only , and the reliance on one unit. My personal view is get a class B AIS transceiver

Dave
I concur, and am evaluating the Vesper and Digital Yacht offerings for the option of "being seen" when we want that to happen.

But as the belt and suspenders logic prevails aboard, I have no objection to having AIS receive only on the VHF as it allows a quick way to see the MMSI of Very Large Ship Approaching and to give them a hail to see if they are aware of you without coming off the deck. I would not necessarily have the AIS transponder on unless I was approaching a busy harbour or crossing a TSS, which is where I think AIS is a huge advantage to the yachtsman.

I'm getting a SH GX2200 this week, in fact. It seems identical to the 2150, save that it's gone a 66-channel GPS instead of a 12-channel, which seems a minor improvement, but should allow quicker acquisitions.

I have a pilothouse and will actually have use for the loudhailer option. Beats yelling out the hatch.
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Old 16-02-2014, 10:34   #15
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Re: VHF with DSC, AIS, and GPS!

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Originally Posted by DawnTreader View Post
I recently received my Standard Horizon GX 2200 from Defender. I wired it temporarily to test it out and familiarize myself with the unit. The GPS took less than a minute to acquire a position from inside the cabin (fiberglass boat). The AIS displayed about 10 targets from around the area (I am currently in Brunswick, Georgia). The user interface was easy to figure out utilizing both soft and hard keys. The CPA alarm was quite loud, not to be mistaken for any other boat noise. The alarm has multiple settings between .5 nm and 30 nm. I needed a new VHF and am not budgeting for an AIS transceiver, so this unit made a lot of since. For a couple hundred dollars more than a very basic fixed VHF, the 2200 offers a lot of very nice extras. However, I encourage everyone else to get AIS transceivers, preferably the more powerful class A, so that you will show up on my VHF radio!
Thanks for the review. They are very new units, but I have a lot of SH stuff (including an unkillable handheld from the '90s) and find them quite reliable. I intend to use external antennas/receivers as it's a steel boat with an aluminum roof in the pilothouse.
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