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Old 26-10-2018, 01:02   #1
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Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

I just purchased a Zeus 3 "9 inch" chart plotter and 4G radar. I'm planning to replace my VHF radio with one that has GPS, AIS, and DSC capabilities. I believe that the chartplotter can control the VHF radio, but does it have to be a B&G or a Simrad one in order for that to work? Or can you use something from Standard Horizons or Icom? Which VHF radio would you recommend?
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Old 26-10-2018, 12:02   #2
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

Since I had to upgrade my nice ICOM (which I kept as a backup) to be DSC-compatible, I got a Simrad with AIS that easily connects to the MFD/chart plotter. I didn't want to have "translation" issues, but it's my understanding that if you have an NMEA-cabled VHF, it should be fine.
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Old 27-10-2018, 11:28   #3
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

When we added the B&G Zeus2 MFDs [2-12inch] we added the B&G V50 VHF Radio [as primary, keeping the ICOM DSC for back-up on a separate power supply and antenna] and the remote wireless mike for several reasons:

1- Same reason as Gamayun: no finger pointing when support is needed
2- The wireless remote mike is great for our use cases
3- At the time the V50 was one of a few N2K capable [vs. NMEA 0183...] VHF radios. [Part of our electronics refit included deprecating the NMEA 0183 network- handing the multiplexing over to a new Vesper Vision AIS.]

The V50 and wireless remote mike perform perfectly with current firmware.

[About 3 years ago there were some software bugs that have since been squashed with firmware upgrades which you can perform yourself on the radio via automatic downloads via the Zeuz MFD. I mention this because when you research the B&G V50 you may read about issues related to the firmware. That was circa 2014-15 and firmware upgrades issued shortly thereafter took care of all the bugs I am aware of.]

The wireless mike was an upgrade exception at that time in that it had to be sent to B&G to have the firmware upgraded; twice— even though it has a mini-USB port... I don't know if that has changed, but it hasn't been necessary in a couple of years. I would assume a new purchase should have up-to-date firmware.

I presume there are other N2K capable VHF radios that would also integrate and provide the AIS hail function you asked about, but don't have any first hand experience with any. [I say this assuming/ remembering? N2K is a requirement with the Zeus MFD platform for VHF Hail from MFD, but that would need to be verified.]

Best wishes sorting out what is ideal for you.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 02-11-2018, 17:57   #4
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
When we added the B&G Zeus2 MFDs [2-12inch] we added the B&G V50 VHF Radio [as primary, keeping the ICOM DSC for back-up on a separate power supply and antenna] and the remote wireless mike for several reasons:

1- Same reason as Gamayun: no finger pointing when support is needed
2- The wireless remote mike is great for our use cases
3- At the time the V50 was one of a few N2K capable [vs. NMEA 0183...] VHF radios. [Part of our electronics refit included deprecating the NMEA 0183 network- handing the multiplexing over to a new Vesper Vision AIS.]

The V50 and wireless remote mike perform perfectly with current firmware.

[About 3 years ago there were some software bugs that have since been squashed with firmware upgrades which you can perform yourself on the radio via automatic downloads via the Zeuz MFD. I mention this because when you research the B&G V50 you may read about issues related to the firmware. That was circa 2014-15 and firmware upgrades issued shortly thereafter took care of all the bugs I am aware of.]

The wireless mike was an upgrade exception at that time in that it had to be sent to B&G to have the firmware upgraded; twice— even though it has a mini-USB port... I don't know if that has changed, but it hasn't been necessary in a couple of years. I would assume a new purchase should have up-to-date firmware.

I presume there are other N2K capable VHF radios that would also integrate and provide the AIS hail function you asked about, but don't have any first hand experience with any. [I say this assuming/ remembering? N2K is a requirement with the Zeus MFD platform for VHF Hail from MFD, but that would need to be verified.]

Best wishes sorting out what is ideal for you.

Cheers! Bill
Thanks. How do you like the wireless remote microphone? Would you purchase the radio again?

I've decided to get an AIS transponder, so I'm trying to figure out the options for the radio.
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Old 02-11-2018, 19:28   #5
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

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Originally Posted by felizcortez View Post
Thanks. How do you like the wireless remote microphone? Would you purchase the radio again?

I've decided to get an AIS transponder, so I'm trying to figure out the options for the radio.
I would not hesitate to buy the same unit again. The mike and speaker is great on the wireless remote.

RE: AIS- we also have a transponder. Since we wear AIS MOB beacons on our PFDs, I like having AIS receive in a VHF radion as back-up. [I leave everything usingthe AIS tranceiver data except the VHF radio. It uses its own AIS. That way if one AIS receiver is in a failed state when a MOB Beacon is activated, the other will squawk.

The Zeus software lets you choose which AIS Rx source you want to use...

Cheers! Bill
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Old 07-11-2018, 22:00   #6
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

Electronics integration is the formula for heartache.
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Old 07-11-2018, 23:50   #7
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

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Originally Posted by felizcortez View Post
I just purchased a Zeus 3 "9 inch" chart plotter and 4G radar. I'm planning to replace my VHF radio with one that has GPS, AIS, and DSC capabilities. I believe that the chartplotter can control the VHF radio, but does it have to be a B&G or a Simrad one in order for that to work? Or can you use something from Standard Horizons or Icom? Which VHF radio would you recommend?
Right now Icom is the only radio that supports the AIS to DSC hail/calling function from an external device. (Excluding some sort of b&g only proprietary deal). If you have an external AIS transponder with a screen you can select a target and send it to the Icom radio to place a call without having to type in the MMSI. Vesper, Icom, and other AIS transponders with their own displays support this with any modern Icom radio over NMEA0183 or N2K (depending on radio model).

If you don't have an AIS transponder with a display then it sort of moot. Assuming your Zeus has a GPS source already you can get the Icom ic-m506 with N2K and AIS receiver. It will get GPS data from the network and share AIS and DSC data back to the network. The radio lists all the AIS targets on it's own display and you can select them to call them right there. If you put an add-on commandmic at the helm, the remote mic also displays the AIS targets for calling.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:52   #8
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

I have the same B&G package as you and I bought a Icom 605 with AIS receiver and NMEA2000. I got the remote corded mic for the helm. I went to a boat show a couple months ago and Standard Horizon have a new radio with the same capability as the Icom but instead of the remote wired mic, they have wireless mics. Had they been out when I got ours I would have gotten the Standard. I'm sure both are great. I enjoy our icom, but it would have been nice to not have to buy the wires and adapter and run it all to the helm.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:02   #9
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

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Right now Icom is the only radio that supports the AIS to DSC hail/calling function from an external device.
Based on what I have read on PANBO, the GARMIN radio and chart plotter products have been able to do this for some time.

Cf.: https://mt.panbo.com/2015/04/direct-...-standard.html
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:43   #10
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Re: Zeus 3 and VHF radio recommendation

It's possible that it works in newer units, and more probably that it works with Garmin Plotter and Garmin Radio but maybe not say, a Ray Plotter and Garmin Radio.. Part of my comment came from a discussion I had with Vesper in Annapolis who told me that their Vision2 AIS transponder can set up the VHF DSC call to any VHF radio that supports that feature but only Icom works currently because only Icom has it implemented. They specifically mentioned SH as not supporting it, but we didn't discuss the Garmin/Ray/B&G radios.

For Icom, if you have an N2K network, the ic-m506 and ic-m605 are the way to go. If your plotter or AIS can set up the DSC call over NMEA, then you can get the radio without the AIS receiver and save a little $$. But at the same time, there's nothing wrong with having another AIS receiver in the radio and just using it directly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by continuouswave View Post
Based on what I have read on PANBO, the GARMIN radio and chart plotter products have been able to do this for some time.

Cf.: https://mt.panbo.com/2015/04/direct-...-standard.html
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