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VHF NMEA 2000 Advantages?

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Trying to plan out electronics for a new 22' center console that should be delivered in October 2017.

We seem to be settled on a pair of Raymarine Axiom 7" MFDs which support NMEA 2000.

I'd like to add a VHF radio with AIS receive support. Being in the tech/programming field, it seems intuitive that we ought to stick with a radio that supports NMEA 2000 networking.

What advantages does having the radio NMEA 2000 connected really buy us over say a NMEA0183 connection to an older Standard-Horizon GX2200 radio? I'd assume being networked means either plotter could fail and we'd still get AIS data on the remaining plotter?

3 Replies

  • Hi Barry, I don't think that NMEA 0183 is really a choice for you because the Axioms do not support it and therefore you'd also need a bridge to use 0183. Besides, not only will a N2K VHF/AISrx radio send AIS targets to both or either of your Axioms, it can also receive GPS info from either MFD. And most VHF/AISrx radios need external GPS input in order to be fully functioning DSC radios with automated distress calling.

    I've never tried a Ray70 but it looks it would work well for you. But there are lots of choices and a reasonably priced one that I have tried and liked is the Simrad RS35.

  • Thanks for the suggestions - that Simrad RS35 looks like the answer - AIS+NMEA2000 for about 1/2 the cost of some other radios we've looked at so far.

  • Although Standard Horizon may not have the problem I had with my ICOM604A VHF, this information may be helpful to others. The VHF is NMEA0183 but everything else is NMEA2000. A bi-directional bridge (Furuno IK-NMEA2K2) allows the VHF to get GPS info and also forwards DSC info from the VHF to the chartplotter. That would be OK except the VHF re-broadcasts the GGA and RMC sentences it receives from the bridge and the bridge tries to convert them back to their 2000 equivalents, but has to punt on the data that isn't there. I blame the VHF, but their support said they weren't going to fix it. To avoid the bogus info on the NMEA2000 bus, I disconnected the VHF 0183 output, but that disables the capability of the chartplotter to display DSC info.