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vhf with gps vs vhf tied to chart plotter

skennellyskennelly Member Posts: 2,196 ✭✭✭✭
edited January 2020 in General Boating Discussions
I'm looking to upgrade my VHF this season.  Looking at the GX2200 and the GX2000..there's about $125 different between the 2 because of built in GPS.

Should I get the built in GPS for redundancy or would I be satisfied hooking to my chart plotter and save the $125?

Also I have multiple cell phones onboard capable of GPS.


2002 - 270FV Mag 350 B3
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    StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I have the GX2150.  I got it for AIS.  So not only do I get the distress functionality, but I also see AIS targets on my plotter.  It does not act like a transponder.  But with all the freighter traffic around here I like having the AIS view.

    Having a VHF with DSC will allow the distress function to work without needed a plotter.  Now if you want to see other peoples locations using DSC, then you'll want to connect your plotter and VHF. 

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Stodge , I connected my Lowrance chart plotter to my VHF a couple of months ago, will that allow me to see locations using DSC? 
    2008 330EC
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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,625 mod
    I'd want my VHF to get GPS even if my chartplotter quits.  So I'd spend the extra $125.
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    skennellyskennelly Member Posts: 2,196 ✭✭✭✭
    @LaRea - Yeah my thoughts too...Standard Horizon normally has a rebate in the Spring for this model.  Hopefully they will again.
    2002 - 270FV Mag 350 B3
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    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    aero3113 said:
    @Stodge , I connected my Lowrance chart plotter to my VHF a couple of months ago, will that allow me to see locations using DSC? 
    Yes. But you need to know the MMSI of the boats you want to see. Called Position Polling. A pretty good description here:
    http://myboatsgear.com/2017/01/08/position-polling/
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Very cool, thanks @Willhound !
    2008 330EC
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    RiverRat232RiverRat232 Member Posts: 596 ✭✭✭
    Is the Standard Horizon GX2200 the successor to the GX2150? 
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    skennellyskennelly Member Posts: 2,196 ✭✭✭✭
    @RiverRat232 - They have very similar features...I'm guessing yes.  Can't find the gx2150 for sale anywhere though except eBay and it's more expensive than the gx2200
    2002 - 270FV Mag 350 B3
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    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LaRea said:
    I'd want my VHF to get GPS even if my chartplotter quits.  So I'd spend the extra $125.
    This always burns my butt a bit. They can put a GPS chip in a phone for about $2 but want $125 for a radio. I realize the phone chips aren't great and need to triangulate off cell towers for good accuracy, but come on!
    And am I dreaming or do I recall there is a regulatory change coming that will require all VHF radios to have GPS/DSC in future?
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't have a clue about any of this...can someone explain to a third grader? I know the radio I bought I can tie my Garmin 541s to and there is some sort emergency button on it or something but I'm way behind on these electronics. But I do hear that flip phones are on the way back and so are vinyl records..
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    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pretty simple @rasbury
    A DSC capable VHF radio can be hooked to your GPS. Steps as follows:

    1) Ensure your VHF has DSC capability. The red button (usually with a little flap over it to prevent accidental activiation) is a dead giveaway.

    2) Apply for a MMSI (Marine Mobile Service Identifier) that is a unique 9 digit number that in the U.S. can be obtained from Boat US.
    Link here: https://www.boatus.com/MMSI/MMSI/Home
    In Canada they come from the Federal Government Transport Canada department.
    In Canada you must prove you have a valid RROC (Restricted Radio Operator's Certificate) with DSC endorsement proving you've taken the course and passed. Should be an automatic requirement for a power boat license in my opinion, but is not.
    The MMSI is then programmed into your radio. Must be done with care because with most radio's it will only accept it once, and once entered cannot be erased except by sending radio back to the factory.

    3) Hook the radio and GPS together by finding the two NMEA output wires on the GPS and connecting to the NMEA input wires on the radio. Refer to the manuals for your equipment as the colour of the wires can vary.

    4) Check the baud rate setting on both units to be sure set to the same so they can talk to each other.

    Once enabled, when you push and hold the DSC button for a few seconds it activates an electronic signal that can be heard by boats in the vicinity as well as the Coast Guard and also sends out your coordinates from the GPS.
    The advantage is that in a fast paced incident like a fire or sinking the signal goes out without you having to make a radio call and wait for a response.

    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    As part of my safety briefing to my visitors - life jackets are there, extinguishers are there, etc - I inform them of the importance of the red flap and the button underneath In the unlikely event of a need for help.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    icoultha said:
    As part of my safety briefing to my visitors - life jackets are there, extinguishers are there, etc - I inform them of the importance of the red flap and the button underneath In the unlikely event of a need for help.
    That is EXACTLY what I say to my passengers.
    2008 330EC
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you lose power to that VHF or GPS, none of that will mean anything.  Personally, I went with the VHF tied to the GPS for positioning, and that had DSC.  But for redundancy I got a self-powered, floatable, handheld as well ... and I don't know nowadays, but I'd assume there are affordable GPS-DSC capable handhelds ... if not, a personal beacon.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Forgot to say, I have a hand held VHF with GPS-DSC also. I have an iCOM M93D.
    2008 330EC
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I also do the safty briefing when I leave the dock. Then after we are out for awhile a say if I fell off what would you do? Most of the time I get a blank steer. Then I jusk which way is home? The fingers point in all different directions. This how you know safty is up to the captain.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    aero3113 said:
    @Stodge , I connected my Lowrance chart plotter to my VHF a couple of months ago, will that allow me to see locations using DSC? 
    If it's a newer plotter then it should.  The VHF will have a DSC function for send and receive location.  Assuming it's getting lat/lon from the plotter it will send your location to a MMSI number you specify.  You can also send a request for position to a MMSI number.  But that only works if they have their plotter connected to the VHF or have a VHF with built in GPS.  

    I have friend's MMSI numbers in my VHF "phone book" so I can locate them or send them my location when we're on the lake.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

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    StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    MarkB said:
    If you lose power to that VHF or GPS, none of that will mean anything.  Personally, I went with the VHF tied to the GPS for positioning, and that had DSC.  But for redundancy I got a self-powered, floatable, handheld as well ... and I don't know nowadays, but I'd assume there are affordable GPS-DSC capable handhelds ... if not, a personal beacon.
    I have a similar arrangement.  I like having the little extra coverage.  Like keeping my stick flares after I got an electronic flare.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    When I was inputting my MMSI number in my VHF I did notice other lines for other MMSI numbers. I was wondering what that was for, now I know! I just need more friends with boats and DSC VHF’s!
    2008 330EC
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    StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    There should be different screens for entering your MMSI and adding entries to the "phone book".  And yes it's not much use for finding friends if they don't have the a similar setup.  Still good for the Distress function though.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    aero3113 said:
    When I was inputting my MMSI number in my VHF I did notice other lines for other MMSI numbers. I was wondering what that was for, now I know! I just need more friends with boats and DSC VHF’s!

    If it's for entry, in the past an radio could only accept up to 2 or 3 different MMSI number, and after that, it had to go back to the factory for a reset. This was in case someone put in the MMSI number incorrectly.  So you may be looking at your spare "oops" corrections.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I’ll have to look again, the previous owner never set it up so everything was blank.
    2008 330EC
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    StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Should be able to get the manual for the radio online.  Find the section on setting your MMSI number in the radio.  They will usually warn you that it can only be entered 1 or 2 times ever.  After that it has to go back to the manufacturer to reset it.  The "phone book" does not have that restriction.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I’m glad the PO didn’t input one.
    2008 330EC
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    JoeStangJoeStang Member Posts: 1,122 ✭✭✭✭
    Ugh, I really need to get the MMSI done this year. I've got a built-in GPS and DSC capable VHF, so no excuse for not getting it done so it automatically sends the coordinates in an emergency.
    2013 276 Cuddy ~ 350 MAG / B3
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MMSI is easy to get.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,927 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MMSI numbers are free for BoatUS members, $25 for non members.
    2008 330EC
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    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just curious, do you need to show proof of radio competency to get one in the U.S.?
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    aero3113 said:
    I’m glad the PO didn’t input one.
    It goes with the device so if they did the MMSI transfers to you.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    Willhound said:
    Just curious, do you need to show proof of radio competency to get one in the U.S.?
    Nope.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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