Author Topic: A good vhf and source for buying online.  (Read 3559 times)

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Offline amazing grace

A good vhf and source for buying online.
« on: September 27, 2013, 01:36:48 PM »
OK guys, it seems like Stand Horizon gets mentioned a lot. Also whether to go AIS or not. I am going to buy a unit pretty quickly. Would like to hear what you guys recommend and a good source to buy from online.

I am thinking of an AIS model and link it to my A50D Raymarine unit.But may for go the additional cost of AIS right now. Just not sure. I just got my Furuno LS4100 and the new Airmar transducer too. I will also need the digital antenna Threeweight keeps mentioning.

Thanks guys and gals.
1989 22' C-Dory Angler

Offline Threeweight

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 02:28:03 PM »
The SH Explorer 1700 doesn't support AIS, but it does have a built-in GPS unit for its DSC function (also displays your coordinates on the radio screen).  No need to network or re-rig wiring when you get a new plotter.  You would still have to connect it to a chartplotter to use the tracking feature to track buddy boats.

I have the older Explorer 1600 (no gps), and it is great for an Arima... very compact, big screen, metal case and housing.  We put two of these in the Stabicraft I fish for Tuna! and they have worked great.

The unit with built in AIS is the 2150, I think.  I think a couple of folks on the site here have them and like them.  They are more $$ and quite a bit bigger than the 1700.

My view is AIS is useful if you frequently fish foggy areas with lots of commercial traffic (like the Strait of JD or sound near Seattle/Tacoma).  Not so useful for inland waterways or areas less subject to commercial traffic.

+1 on the Digital brand, model #529 antenna... about the same price as Shakespeare and much better quality.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline GregE

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 03:41:02 PM »
The nice thing about NMEA is shring GPS, AIS etc is easy to do thru the backbone.

My SH model has AIS but gets the GPS for the DCS from the plotter.  The AIS data is shown on the plotter which is a Lot easier to see than the small SH screen
Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline Chief of the Boat

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 03:53:31 PM »
I have the Standard Horizon 2150 with a Digital 8 foot antenna very impressed with clarity and AIS reception range.  The best price is Hodges for $329.
1994 Sea Explorer 1511 loves whitecaps 2010 Yamaha F-70 2012 Yamaha F-8 with a  Fixed SaltBoss Bracket Lowrance HDS-5 & 7 Gen 2 Standard Horizon Fixed VHF 2150 with AIS

Offline Kimbrey

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 06:28:55 PM »
I have the SH w/ais and like it as it does display commercial traffic on the plotter.  I had to do it through NMEA 183 but not a big deal.
These units are "receive only", not a full blown AIS
2005 Sea Legend --Sold--replaced with 26' Duckworth

Offline Hydro-Therapy

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 07:16:04 PM »

 +1 on Hodge's for the SH 2150 and I believe they also have the best price for the Digital antenna.( I think I paid 114 + freight)

  H-T
Fish forever Work whenever !!!!!
"89" 19SR Keith 115 Merc. 15 4s kicker W/trollmaster Raymarine A70D

Offline bluearima

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 08:49:21 PM »
I have the Lowrance VHF with AIS and it works great.Probally the biggest problem you will have with whatever brand that you buy will be all of the alarms going off when they detect a boat or ship transmitting close to you.This can be adjusted to weed out many of the boats that are to far away to cause any collison with you or do like I did and silence the alarms completely. The Lowrance VHF sells for just under $300.00.

Offline Packman

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 01:42:12 PM »
I have the Standard Horizon VHF with AIS, hooked up to my Lowrance GPS/Finder and really like the AIS feature. I mostly fish the San Francisco Bay and the ocean off Half Moon Bay and I find having the big ships show up on the GPS is a great feature, especially in the fog.  Even without fog I have had ferries and other fast boats sneak up behind me and the AIS alerts me to their presence.
If it helps you avoid one heart stopping near miss it is worth it, if it helps you avoid a collision it would be worth your life.
Sea Ranger 19, Mercury 115 4-stroke

Offline Jwoo 1800

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2013, 09:29:44 PM »
Check out TheGPSStore they have the SH GX2150 for $289 and between now and 31dec there's a $50 mail in rebate. Just waiting on mine to show up.  :whistle:
93 Sea Chaser 19'
94 Merc Black Max 135
05 Honda 8 Classic

Offline amazing grace

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 09:39:12 PM »
Thanks Jwoo, that is the best price I have seen. Did they have in stock when you ordered?
1989 22' C-Dory Angler

Offline Jwoo 1800

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 05:58:19 AM »
I haven't heard anything from them to the contrary.
93 Sea Chaser 19'
94 Merc Black Max 135
05 Honda 8 Classic

Offline Kahunanui

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 06:28:25 AM »
from a Ham Radio Operators viewpoint : The ICOM and Standard Horizon (Yaesu) are pretty much bullet proof for quality and performance properly installed with a high quality properly sized antenna.  Digital (company name) is a good bet for a marine VHF antenna.    As far as features go, from a Old Captains view I believe in redundancy in radios and other safety equipment.    A handheld VHF is nice to have on the boat and ditch gear but is not counted in my VHF redundancy calculation.

If you are looking at AIS receive only to monitor traffic, one of your DSC radios that listens  to one of your GPS units can have a built in AIS receiver.   Your redundant unit can have a dedicated AIS antenna on a AIS module this can display on one of your GPS/Chartplotters.       Small boats with transmit AIS can cause some confusion in some traffic control schemes but with the receive only AIS you can call a target on the VHF for any clarification or recommended mitigation movements from the target Captain without setting off alarms all over the place.     If you busy with a lot of traffic frequently you can consider my solution with a active radar target enhancer but here again you need to keep a close radio watch to answer inquiries from other vessels.
Stay Pono,  Lawai'a        -        U.S.C.G. -  O.U.P.V.


2001 SC 15'11" 75 hp Honda re-carbed to 90 w/ 9.9 Honda boot. Hawaii is home, currently @ USMC Camp Lejeune NC

Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 07:21:06 AM »
My vote would be for the SH2150.  I had the 2100 and the A50D on my other Arima and loved it.  AIS was a nice tool to have even if I didn't need at the time. 

VT
Boats owned:

2003 15' SeaHunter 50HP Suzuki (FI4Strk)
1991 16' SeaChaser 50HP Johnson (Keith)
1995 19' SeaRanger 115 Yamaha (FI4Strk)

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 07:52:17 PM »
Got the SH GX2150 tied to a Shakespeare 8' Galaxy in February and the only disappointment was that it only interfaced to NMEA0183 which ruled out interfacing it to my Raymarine A67 MFD (only has NMEA2000) to obtain a GPS posit so I used my old hand held Garmin GPSMap 60CSX.  It would have been nice to display the AIS into on the MFD.   If you're looking at installing updated electronics in the future the trend is leading towards the networked NMEA2000 standard which is incompatible with the older serial NMEA0183.  I've been very happy with my VHF using it pretty much exclusively in Puget Sound commercial traffic.  Got mine through the GPS Store for about $325.
2013 SR 19 HT, 135/9.9 Hondas

Offline Markshoreline

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 09:23:50 PM »
mks
this is not my area of expertise but our friend DSCS on this site has indicated that you can rewire 0183 to adapt to 2000 so that these instruments can communicate with each other.
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline fishorcrab

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 11:35:15 PM »
The following is such a device.  http://pignology.net/piglet/

It has been designed and built primarily for the amateur radio community but is used to provide a wifi interface to equipment that requires a serial port.  It sells for $100.

If your Raymarine supports wifi, you should be able to configure a solution otherwise they may have their old wired Ethernet version available if you ask. 

I have been considering one to allow me to use my iPad to control a piece of equipment I have.

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Markshoreline

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 08:18:32 PM »
I just received in the mail today a Simrad RS12 VHF that supports NMEA 0183 and 2000 so it will communicate with my Garmin plotter which will communicate with the Yamaha 115.
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline Crackerbox

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 02:24:57 PM »
All the Defiance Marine guys I talk to are at the boat show so I came here.  I was researching this topic and had a question.  With my boat package coming in I am getting the Lowrance Link 8 and the HDI 7.  Can these 2 hook up directly or do I need something expensive in-between them?   

Joe

Offline Hydro-Therapy

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 02:41:20 PM »

 bota 2  Welcome aboard. From what Lowrance says they both have nema 2000 and should be plug and play with the right connector cable.

  H-T
Fish forever Work whenever !!!!!
"89" 19SR Keith 115 Merc. 15 4s kicker W/trollmaster Raymarine A70D

Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 02:48:07 PM »
Correct with the comment above.  The LINK-8 is strictly N2K so you will need a N2K kit.  The only problem I see is that the HDI will not show AIS data from the LINK-8.  If that is not a big issue then you are o.k.  But if you are looking for AIS data in the future you will need a new MFD, like the HDS series.  Or downgrade your radio and get a cheaper model.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=24172&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50157&subdeptNum=50177&classNum=50185#.Uugzg3fTnfM
Boats owned:

2003 15' SeaHunter 50HP Suzuki (FI4Strk)
1991 16' SeaChaser 50HP Johnson (Keith)
1995 19' SeaRanger 115 Yamaha (FI4Strk)

Offline Crackerbox

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 03:50:14 PM »
Correct with the comment above.  The LINK-8 is strictly N2K so you will need a N2K kit.  The only problem I see is that the HDI will not show AIS data from the LINK-8.  If that is not a big issue then you are o.k.  But if you are looking for AIS data in the future you will need a new MFD, like the HDS series.  Or downgrade your radio and get a cheaper model.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=24172&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50157&subdeptNum=50177&classNum=50185#.Uugzg3fTnfM


Thank you for the reply.  Well, I fish in the fog and the main reason I went with the AIS is so I could see the info from my Lowrance fishfinder/GPS/Sonar and know where the big boats are.  I guess I can downgrade the VHF order and save for a Radar.

Joe

Offline Salmon King

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Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2014, 04:46:28 PM »
mks
this is not my area of expertise but our friend DSCS on this site has indicated that you can rewire 0183 to adapt to 2000 so that these instruments can communicate with each other.

Hopefully he will come aboard this thread and explain this....
PLEASE...Fly your flag Proudly, and remember to thank a Vet!
2011 14’ Sterling
9’ Pontoon (Bismarck)
8’ Pontoon (Hood)

Offline fishorcrab

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2014, 07:35:18 PM »
On Google, search for "nmea 0183 to 2000 converter" and you will get several possibilities.  One of them is the Actisense. http://www.actisense.com/products/nmea-2000/ngw1.html   This is simply an example. I haven't used it. 

The biggest thing to be concerned about is that NMEA 0183 device is commonly 4800 bps or about 500 characters/sec while NMEA 2000 side for the Actisense adapter is 250kbps or about 25, 000 characters/sec.  The device should handle the speed difference without a problem but make sure you are not throwing a lot of data from NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 or the speed difference could cause a bottleneck that might be hard to diagnose.  It might seem like something failed.

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2014, 08:34:52 PM »
mks
this is not my area of expertise but our friend DSCS on this site has indicated that you can rewire 0183 to adapt to 2000 so that these instruments can communicate with each other.

Hopefully he will come aboard this thread and explain this....

Joe,

I am not trying to tell you how to spend your money, but if you are looking to radar in the future then I would look at a HDS unit.  If you are going to buy a radar in the future you will need a new head unit since the DSI will not work with it.  But if you go the HDS route now, you will have AIS and then you can add a broadband radar in the future.  All in the one unit.

If it were up to me that is the route I would go. 

Both units are N2K so there is no need for a converter.  AIS communicates over 38400 baud.  But according to the .pdf it is not full NMEA 2K.  What the...

http://www.lowrance.com/Root/Lowrance-Documents/US/Elite-7-FAQ.pdf

VT
Boats owned:

2003 15' SeaHunter 50HP Suzuki (FI4Strk)
1991 16' SeaChaser 50HP Johnson (Keith)
1995 19' SeaRanger 115 Yamaha (FI4Strk)

Offline Threeweight

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2014, 08:48:42 PM »
John speaks wisely.

If you plan on radar, I'd drop down to a non AIS radio and use the cost savings to buy the HDS.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline DSCS

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2014, 12:02:34 AM »
mks
this is not my area of expertise but our friend DSCS on this site has indicated that you can rewire 0183 to adapt to 2000 so that these instruments can communicate with each other.

Hopefully he will come aboard this thread and explain this....

Oh-Oh! Somebody using my name in vain again.  :wink:

I don't have any NEMA 0183 doo-dads left on my boat, so I have not used any of the converters. Everything is NEMA 2000.

I did at one time research the Actisense converters and found that there are some NEMA 2000 pgns and NEMA1083 sentences not supported.
I also found out that Lowrance HDS and Simrad NSS MFDs will bridge most NEMA 1083 inputs out to NEMA 2000.

That is about the extent of my knowledge of data conversions.

Alan
We're most of us liars, we're 'arf of us thieves,
an' the rest are as rank as can be,
But once in a while we can finish in style
(which I 'ope it won't 'appen to me).

Offline fishorcrab

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2014, 12:08:06 AM »
I should have started at the top and read the entire thread again before I answered above.  I think John and Steve are giving good advice.  There is a similar discussion on iboats at link below.

http://forums.iboats.com/electrical-electronics-audio-trolling-motors/need-feedback-lowrance-elite-7-hdi-compatible-w-sh-gx2150-ais-vhf-591315.html

Sorry to have contributed to the confusion. Second law of thermodynamics strikes again.

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Crackerbox

Re: A good vhf and source for buying online.
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2014, 07:56:52 AM »
John speaks wisely.

If you plan on radar, I'd drop down to a non AIS radio and use the cost savings to buy the HDS.

Sounds very wise to me, thank you everyone for the advice.

Joe