Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

VHF Marine Band radios, protocol, radio communication theory, practical advice; AIS; DSC; MMSI; EPIRB.
jimh
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Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:29 pm

Standard-Horizon will soon be introducing two new VHF Marine Band radios. These new models will both feature an NMEA-2000 interface for integrating the radio into a boat's NMEA-2000 network. This will simplify the connection of the radio to a chart plotter and GNSS receiver. This is the first VHF Marine Band radio from Standard-Horizon that has NMEA-2000 available for interconnection to other devices.

Image

The GX6000 will include an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver. The GX6500 will include an AIS Class-B TRANSPONDER.

Both models have a commercial grade communication receiver with impressive inter-modulation rejection.

A voice scrambler-descrambler is available as an accessory.

The communication receiver has a record-playback function so you can re-listen to received signals.

The anticipated MAP prices will be $500 and $800.

For flush mounting the cut out hole dimension should be very similar to other top-of-the-line radios.

More details to follow; I am on the road and don't have access to all my usual resources.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:03 pm

I have product details and photographs and will post them in a day or two. Please be patient. I can't effectively re-size the large image files I have and post them using just my iPhone. As soon as I get back to my main computer, I will publish more details and include high-resolution product photography from Standard-Horizon.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby porthole » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:08 pm

The screen seems to be quite an improvement over the current GX-2200 model
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:47 am

The new radios have a larger display than previous models. The display can be used as a chart plotter to show range and bearing to AIS targets.

The radios also have navigation computers that will calculate closest point of approach (CPA) and time to closest point of approach (TCPA) for AIS targets. The user can set limits and the radio will sound alarms if targets exceed the limits.

The GX6500 radio and transponder has its own GNSS receiver and antenna; transponders are required to have their own dedicated GNSS receiver by regulations.

The GX6500 will use two separate antennas, one for the communication radio and a second for only the AIS transponder. This will provide the best operation and performance.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:59 am

Front panel controls include

--four cursor arrow keys for chart plotter cursor navigation,

--a CLEAR button

--three soft key buttons for contextual menu selections,

-- separate volume and squelch controls,

--a large channel selection rotary knob with push-to-select switch,

--protected EMERGENCY button for initiating a distress alert DSC broadcast,

--a MENU button to invoke display mode to user settings,

--a quick channel selector for jumping to channels 9 and 16, and

--small red power ON-OFF button.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby porthole » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:43 am

Where did you see this? SH has nothing about this radio yet on their website.
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:55 am

Standard-Horizon will also introduce a new remote microphone designed specifically for the GX6000 and GX6500 radios. The model SSM-70H remote microphone will include its own large display, and it will be able to control ALL functions of either radio. The SSM-70H will sell for about $150.

A wireless remote microphone will also be introduced. The model RAM-4W microphone will operate through a separate base station accessory called the SCU-30 Wireless Access Point.

The RAM-4W will sell for about $150, and the SCU-30 for about the same.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:00 pm

porthole wrote:Where did you see this? SH has nothing about this radio yet on their website.

I did not "see this" somewhere else. I am originating this information here. Isn't that why you read this forum?

I expect Standard-Horizon will be updating their website when they actually have these radios in stock and ready for sale.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby Ridge Runner » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:42 pm

Jim - do you have any idea when this will be available in the market? I need to choose my new VHF very soon and I was going purchase an ICOM M506, with GPS, AIS and NEMA 2000. This seems to be an interesting alternative.
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:01 am

The radios should be available in November, and the wireless remote mic system in early 2017. As with all radio transmitters for VHF Marine Band service, they have to be accepted by the FCC, which is pending.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:54 pm

I finally got off the road and have had a chance to catch up. Here is the new Standard-Horizon GX6000 radio:
GX6000Front.png
GX6000Front.png (146.83 KiB) Viewed 30470 times
Standard-Horizon GX6000 VHF Marine Band radio

Also, the GX6000, like the GX6500 transponder model, uses a separate antenna input for the AIS receiver. This may seem like an inconvenience for the typical recreational boater, but the GX6000 series is designed for best performance. By requiring a separate AIS receiver antenna it should improve performance in AIS and communication radio reception, as the antenna won't be split between two receivers, which can cause some signal loss for very weak signals. Also, with a separate antenna for AIS, the AIS receiver will be able to continue to receive signals while the radio is transmitting, assuming that the separate AIS antenna is sufficiently far away from the transmitting antenna that the AIS receiver will not be desensitized by the strong local transmitter signal. The AIS receiver is tuned to 162-MHz while the ship station transmitter will be transmitting around 156.5-MHz, a separation of 5.5-MHz, and this should be enough frequency separation to keep the desensitizing to a minimum. The most important AIS targets to receive are the ships that are the closest, and those AIS signals will be the strongest. Even with the possibility of some reduction in receiver sensitivity from the local transmit signal, it will be better to have AIS reception at all times than to have it stop whenever the radio transmits.

Yes, for a 17-foot open skiff boat needing two antennas may be a drawback, but I don't think the target market for a top-of-line $500 radio is 17-foot open skiffs.

From the images released by Standard-Horizon, and from what I can tell, the GX6500 looks the same from the front panel view.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:02 pm

Here is the SSM-70H wired remote microphone. This microphone can be connected to the radio's rear panel microphone jack via an extension cable. The microphone is supposed to be able to run all radio functions, and will sell for about $150.

SSM-70H.png
SSM-70H.png (45.58 KiB) Viewed 30468 times

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:09 pm

Here is the RAM-4W wireless version of the remote microphone:
RAM4W.png
RAM4W.png (34.91 KiB) Viewed 30546 times


To use the wireless microphone you must also have the SCU-30 remote access point:
remoteAccessPointSmall.png
remoteAccessPointSmall.png (8.22 KiB) Viewed 30531 times


They're both about $150, so add about $300 to the radio price to get the wireless microphone option.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:49 pm

Selling the GX6500 VHF Marine Band radio and CLASS-B AIS TRANSPONDER in the USA may be a bit of a project for dealers. The FCC requires that the selling dealer pre-configure the AIS CLASS-B TRANSPONDER. This means that your usual big-volume mail-order dealer cannot ship the GX6500 to customers without opening the box, getting information from the customer about their MMSI, and entering that into the radio-transponder in a one-time-only manner. This obstacle is unique to the USA. As far as I know, no other maritime nation makes the vendors of CLASS-B TRANSPONDERS perform this initial and one-time-only configuration. I have some doubts about how readily the various high-volume stores that sell marine radios could provide that sort of very individualized service.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby Ben Ellison » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:12 am

I photographed the backside of the GX6500 and 6000 when it was shown at the NMEA Conference on Sept. 20. I posted it with lots of other details here:

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2016/10/standard_horizon_gx6500_a_loaded_vhf_radio_also_integrated_with_class_b_ais.html

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:14 am

Thanks for the pointer to information on the SCU-31 Smart Antenna for GNSS reception. That escaped my notice.
SCU-31.png
SCU-31.png (83.32 KiB) Viewed 30467 times
SCU-31 GNSS Receiver

Fitting the SCU-31 to the GX6000 radio would put the radio and GNSS receiver cost up to $620, a price range that is expensive for a VHF Marine Band radio. To summarize the whole system of components and their costs, we have:

GX6000 VHF Transceiver with AIS receiver = $500
Remote wired SSM-70H microphone = $ 150
Extension cable = [probably about $25 or perhaps included with wired remote mic]
SCU-31 Smart Antenna for GNSS = $120
SCU-30 Access Point = $150
RAM4W Wireless microphone = $150

GX6500 VHF Transceiver and
CLASS-B AIS Transponder = $800 (with SCU-31 Smart Antenna included)

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:18 pm

There are a lot of connectors and cables installed on the rear panel of the GX6000 and GX6500 radios:

--two proprietary 9-pin connectors for RAM4 wired remote microphones

--two SO-239-type antenna connectors

--two proprietary 6-pin connectors for SCU-130 Wireless Access Ports

--a standard NMEA-2000 network connector

--a proprietary connector for attachment of the SCU-131 GNSS reciever

--a permanently attached power cord, remote speaker cable, and NMEA-0183 interface cable

In total there are EIGHT connectors and three permanent cables. That is a lot of connections and cables to be used on a bracket-mount installation. This radio seems to really cry out for flush mounting in order to protect all those connections and cables from the weather. I don't see this radio being used in any sort of situation where you'd be likely to want to remove the radio from the boat frequently, as is often done with smaller center console boats where the radio is top-mounted and easy to remove (for you and for thieves).

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:02 pm

For flush mounting a GX6000 or GX6500, it looks like the panel cut out dimension will be:

Width = 155.4-mm or 6.12-inches
Height = 91.4-mm or 3.6-inches

The radio will extend back beyond the front panel rear face about 147-mm or 5.79-inches. These measurements are based on the mounting diagram from Standard-Horizon.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:10 am

Following up on my initial article of October 9, 2016, announcing the new Standard-Horizon GX6000 and GX6500 VHF Marine Band radios, those new products seem to be still NOT AVAILABLE for sale in the USA. I do note that a Canadian website is offering the GX6500 for sale. See

http://www.marineoutfitters.ca/index.cfm?category=10054|10055|10057&product=40636912&code=GX6500

The radio is priced at CA-$987 (Canadian dollars). Converting that to US-$ at a currency conversion rate of US-$1 = CA-$1.31 (the rate at this moment) gives a USA price of US-$753. My initial article gave the anticipated price as about $800, so the present price in Canada seems to be in that same ballpark.

That same website also lists the GX6000 model at CA-$630. See

http://www.marineoutfitters.ca/index.cfm?category=10054|10055|10057&product=40727678&code=GX6000

Converting to USA gives US-$481. The anticipated price was about $500, so this price is also congruent with expectations.

As for why no sales in the USA, the most reasonable inference is a delay in getting approval from the FCC for the radios to be sold. The FCC recently undertook some enforcement action against ICOM for sale of VHF Marine Band radios that were not compliant with the fine points of the DSC specifications--even though the federal regulations require compliance with a now out-of-date version of those specifications--and ICOM was accessed a substantial monetary fine and also had to withdraw its products from sale in the USA for several months. Perhaps this is a sign that new DSC radios are getting a careful review by the FCC before being permitted to be sold, or, more likely, the manufacturers are giving their radios very careful review before asserting they meet the regulations.

The initial impression from Standard-Horizon was they would have these radios on the market by November or December of 2016. The end of January 2017 is in sight, and I have not seen these new radios advertised for sale in the USA. In fact, they are still not listed on the StandardHorizon.com website.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby Ridge Runner » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:03 pm

You can order the radios from AMAZON.COM, but there is lead time of two to four weeks for the GX6000 and one to two months for the GX6500. I am not sure if the lead times are accurate, but you can place an order :

GX6000 for $522:
https://www.amazon.com/Standard-Horizon-GX6000-Commercial-Grade/dp/B01N9100WL/ref=sr_1_11/156-4141759-1201347?s=electronics

GX6500 (with Class-B AIS Transponder) for $822:
https://www.amazon.com/Standard-Horizon-GX6500-Quantum/dp/B01N3Y4LVH/ref=sr_1_9/156-4141759-1201347?s=electronics
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:11 am

That's very interesting news re AMAZON.COM sales. Thanks for that information. Based on the anticipated delivery dates, the GX6000 (delivery in "four weeks") should be available by March, and the GX6500 (delivery in "two months") should be available by April.

That these products are still not being shown on the company's website remains a bit unusual.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:29 pm

The FCC still hasn't granted [certification] for these radios, and that's causing the delay in their coming to market.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:04 am

At the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS) 2017, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) gave their "Innovation Award" recognition to the Standard-Horizon GX6500 VHF Marine Band Class-D radio and Class-B AIS transponder as a co-winner in the category "Consumer Electronics, Mobile Applications and Software." Now if the radio could only be purchased.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:58 pm

Standard-Horizon has published their 2017 full-line catalogue. It is available from

http://www.standardhorizon.com/pdf/Marine_Catalog_2017_USA.pdf

In the catalogue, the new GX6000 and GX6500 radios are shown with the official NMEA-2000 icon. I also note that on the NMEA.ORG website at

https://www.nmea.org/content/nmea_stand ... geNumber=3

there is a listing of "certified NMEA-2000 products", and the Standard-Horizon GX6000 radio appears on that list. The listing notes:

NMEA 2000® Certified Products
Only the NMEA 2000® certified products (A-Z Listing) below have met
all requirements and have full NMEA 2000® certification.
Products that are marketed or labelled : "NMEA 2000 compliant" or
"works with NMEA 2000" are not NMEA 2000® certified and will
not interoperate properly with other NMEA 2000® certified products.


In the listing you will find the following entry for the Standard-Horizon GX6000 radio:

GX6000
Model #: Quantum GX6000
The Standard Horizon Quantum GX6000 is a Fixed mount VHF Marine radio transceiver compliant to SOLAS Class D DSC signaling with a dedicated dual channel AIS receiver. It has fully complaint NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 interfaces for connection to compatible navigation and marine devices.

The GX6000 is identical to the GX6500 except it does not have the AIS Class B – CS Transponder fitted.

European Versions of the Quantum GX6000 can operate in ATIS mode for use on European Inland Waterways and are designated GX6000E to indicate compliance to European Standards.

Details of the NMEA 0183 Sentences and NMEA 2000 PGNs supported are contained in the user Manual.
Certification Level: N/A
Software Version: 1.00A
Hardware Version: 1.00
Date Certified: 11/28/2016
Load Equivalency Number: 1


A similar listing appears for the GX6500. Although these two products are the first radios from Standard-Horizon, it appears their NMEA-2000 and NMEA-0183 interfaces have been fully examined and certified by the NMEA organization

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby porthole » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:06 pm

I saw the GX6500 radio this weekend at the Atlantic City boat show. The Standard-Horizon people said they expect approval from the FCC by the end of March, 2017, and for the product to be on the shelves shortly after that.

The remote wired and wireless microphones are about the same size as a Standard-Horizon portable radio. The primary hardwired microphone is typical Standard Horizon size. The radio's mounting hole dimensions are supposed to be the same as the Icom 506 for flush mounting. I was also told the radio would have simultaneous fore and aft hailer capability. The radio will also have built in scrambling capabilities. That is one option I do not care for.
Last edited by porthole on Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:19 pm

How large does a boat need to be before having a "dual zone hailer" is needed? I don't think my 24-footer will need it. But I like the radio, if for nothing else, than it got Standard-Horizon to produce a NMEA-2000 interface. I hope the NMEA-2000 interface migrates to other less-expensive radios in their product line. The Standard-Horizon product development cycle seems to be at least three or four years. It will be interesting to see if any other VHF fixed-mount radio products are refreshed and given NMEA-2000.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby porthole » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:05 pm

A fore and aft talk-listen hailer is a feature I would have used on my 42 Post and it definitely would have been nice on some of the bigger boats I ran. The wireless remote microphone will be a nice feature for those that operate bigger boats with upper and lower decks that need to be traversed.
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:20 am

I don't know if there is a particular significance to this, but West Marine is now advertising t he GX6500 for sale on its website. See

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/standard-horizon--gx-6500-fixed-mount-vhf-radio-with-nmea-2000-and-class-b-ais-transponder--18047696

In the USA, federal regulations require that the MMSI of an AIS transponder be pre-configured by the vendor selling the device before shipment to the customer; the end user is prohibited to change the MMSI. (This is an odd requirement that is only applicable in the USA.) I did not see any process or method on the West Marine website to provide for entry of an MMSI into the GX6500. I have been curious about how this would be handled in this combination of communication radio and AIS transponder.

Also, in the "checkout" procedure there is a notice presented that the product will ship directly from the "vendor" (which I presume is an error, and they meant manufacturer, as West Marine is the vendor). I wonder if Standard-Horizon is going to pre-configure the MMSI in all these radios individually.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby porthole » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:31 pm

The SH Rep at the Atlantic City boat show told me the MMSI entry [for the AIS transponder] would be a dealer service.

[Deleted sidebar topic on how to reset the MMSI of a VHF Marine Band DSC radio. For more about this topic see a separate thread, Reset of MMSI for DSC Radio by End User. ]
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby porthole » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:38 pm

Standard-Horizon has an catalog insert for the radio. [A dead link has been removed]
Thanks,
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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:38 am

An AIS transponder is supposed to come out of the box already programmed with the vessel MMSI and the dimensions of the offset of the GNSS sensor antenna from the bow/stern/centerline--per FCC regulations. I guess the FCC doesn't care if you enter some bogus data into your radio, but you are not supposed to be able to enter an MMSI into an AIS transponder.

Sellers of AIS transponders have been doing this programming. Now that a "radio" has an AIS transponder inside it, I would assume the combo should also come out of the box with the MMSI pre-programmed by the retailer into the AIS transponder and maybe the radio, too. It would make sense--in fact it would surprise me if there was a way to enter more than one MMSI. The radio and the AIS should have the same MMSI.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:09 pm

The federal regulation regarding Class B AIS transponder technical requirements is covered in the FCC regulations PART 80, 47 CFR 80.231. See

§ 80.231 Technical Requirements for Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/80.231

The applicable language about entry of the MMSI (static data) into a transponder is excerpted below:

The entry of static data into a Class B AIS device shall be performed by the vendor of the device or by an appropriately qualified person in the business of installing marine communications equipment on board vessels. In no event shall the entry of static data into a Class B AIS device be performed by the user of the device or the licensee of a ship station using the device.


The applicable language about the process of certification is excerpted below. There are two steps; one to be taken prior to requesting certification, and another the method of requesting certification:

Prior to submitting a certification application for a Class B AIS device, the following information must be submitted in duplicate to typeapproval@uscg.mil or the Commandant (CG-ENG-4), U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20593-7509:

(1) The name of the manufacturer or grantee and the model number of the AIS device; and

(2) Copies of the test report and test data obtained from the test facility showing that the device complies with the environmental and operational requirements identified in IEC 62287-1.


In response to this step:

(d) After reviewing the information described in paragraph (c) of this section, the U.S. Coast Guard will [reply with] a letter stating whether the AIS device satisfies all of the requirements specified in IEC 62287-1.


Apparently when the manufacturer has received the letter from the USCG stating their devices satisfies the requirements, then they can apply for certification.

A certification application for an AIS device must contain a copy of the U.S. Coast Guard letter stating that the device satisfies all of the requirements specified in IEC 62287-1, a copy of the technical test data, and the instruction manual(s).

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:12 am

Jason Kennedy, Exec. V.P. of Standard-Horizon, appears on-camera in this recorded presentation from the Miami International Boat Show 2017, presenting information on the GX6000 and GX6500 radios:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6RKrcmAYTw

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby fno » Mon May 22, 2017 6:15 pm

Any further news on the release of these two radios? I can't find one anywhere.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Mon May 22, 2017 11:27 pm

Frank--I haven't heard a peep about the GX6000 or GX6500. I assume the manufacturer is awaiting approval by the FCC to permit them to be offered for sale. It has been over six months since they were announced. I am sure this is driving Standard-Horizon a bit crazy.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:27 am

In October 2016 I wrote that Standard Horizon would "soon be introducing" the GX6000 and GX6500 radios. It now looks like the the GX6000 model may be arriving in August 2017 and the GX6500--a radio with an integrated AIS Class-B transponder-- will be even further out. Ben Elison (on PANBO.COM) quotes Standard Horizon veep Jason Kennedy:

"The GX6000 NMEA 2000 AIS Receive only version should be available in August. Unfortunately, we do not have a solid ETA for the GX6500."

The cause of the delay is presumed to be due to regulatory compliance. In the USA a marine radio cannot be offered for sale until accepted by the FCC as compliant. In the case of digital selective calling or DSC radios, the regulations are quite arcane, and the process of establishing compliance appears to have become more lengthy and complex than in the past, particularly after the FCC imposed financial penalties on another manufacturer (Icom) when it found a minor problem in a radio's DSC behavior.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby fno » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:10 pm

Thanks for the update, JimH. I have been peeking around the net lately for one of the two models to be offered for sale. So far no luck. I could go the easy route and integrate my already Simrad suite with a RS-30 (not sure if that's the correct name) with NEMA-2000 and AIS receiver built in. But I do like the Standard Horizon radios and I have yet to have one fail on me. They do radios, period. So if their radio can talk to a Simrad chartplotter that is the way I will go.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:04 pm

In a few days, one YEAR will have elapsed since the pre-introduction announcement of the Standard-Horizon GX6000 and GX6500 radios. There has been no news about these radios in some time, and there has also been a bit of turnover at Standard-Horizon. Jason Kennedy, who was the most visible representative of Standard-Horizon because of his participation in many boating forums and boat shows, and who was executive vice-president, (and who also owned a Boston Whaler boat,) has left Standard-Horizon.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000--VERY GOOD NEWS FOR STANDARD-HORIZON

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:27 pm

VERY GOOD NEWS FOR STANDARD-HORIZON

The Standard-Horizon GX6000 Marine Mobile Transceiver (FCC ID K6630593X3D) has received a GRANT OF EQUIPMENT AUTHORIZATION CERTIFICATION as of January 4, 2018, issued under the authority of the Federal Communications Commission by a Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB; see more below in a follow-up posting). As far as I can tell, this means the device has been approved for sale in the USA for its intended purpose as a licensed station transmitter in the VHF Marine Band service.

The FCC publicly posted material on the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology website related to an application from Standard-Horizon for certification of the Standard-Horizon GX6000 VHF Marine Band DSC radio. The initial application cover letter was dated August 2016, so apparently this process has been underway for about 16-months.

I suspect this means we might see the GX6000 radio become available for sale. Exactly when that will be likely will depend on production of the radio in the Yasesu factory in Japan and shipment of it to the USA to distributors, assuming Standard-Horizon plans to go forward with this product.

I will continue to search for news about the GX6500, a device which combined a CLASS-B AIS Transponder with the radio in one enclosure. Testing of AIS transmitting devices requires compliance and certification from the United States Coast Guard. A search today of their database of certified Class-B AIS transponders did not reveal a certification of the GX6500 from Standard-Horizon. I would assume that such a certification must still be in process.

The GX6000 DSC radio has also, as of January 24, 2018, been certified by Industry Canada as a Mobile Marine Radio, VHF radiotelephone, DSC/GMDSS compatible. I believe this should permit sale in Canada.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:27 pm

If you are not familiar with the term "Telecommunication Certification Bodies," they are essentially extensions of the FCC and are authorized to grant certification to products.

In December 1998 the FCC published a Report And Order that created Telecommunication Certification Bodies (TCBs). A TCB is a private entity which is entitled to grant equipment approvals in the same manner as the FCC. Their creation, some 20-years-ago, was for the purpose of speeding up the equipment approval process so that new products could be brought to market in a timely manner.

The criteria a TCB must meet to become authorized by the FCC was detailed in a Public Notice in August 1999.

A manufacturer or a testing laboratory hired by the manufacturer prepares an application for approval and submits it to the TCB.

The TCB must be accredited for the particular scope or radio service in which the product will be used. For VHF Marine Band radios, the TCB's scope must include Maritime Radio Services, Part 80.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:12 pm

Regarding certification of AIS transmitters, in June 2002 the FCC gave Public Notice, entitled "Applications For Equipment Authorization Of Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification Systems To be Coordinated with U.S. Coast Guard To Ensure Homeland Security." This notice said, in part:

...the FCC Laboratory will coordinate review of applications for certification of AIS equipment with the United States Coast Guard to ensure that the equipment meets all applicable international standards...


The Commission later (in c.2004 and then amended in c.2009) adopted these final rules in 47 CFR Part 80:

--

80.275 Technical Requirements for Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) equipment.
    (a) Prior to submitting a certification application for an AIS device, the following information
    must be submitted in duplicate to the Commandant (G-MSE), US. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street, S.W.,
    Washington D.C. 20593-0001:

      (I) The name of the manufacturer or grantee and the model number of the AIS device;

      (2) Copies of the test report and test data obtained from the test facility showing that the device
      complies with the environmental and operational requirements identified in Section 80.1 101 of this Part.
    (b) After reviewing the information described in paragraph (a) of this section, the US. Coast
    Guard will [provide] a letter stating whether the AIS device satisfies all of the requirements specified in
    Section 80.1 101 of this Part.

    (c) A certification application for an AIS device submitted to the Commission must contain a
    copy of the U.S. Coast Guard letter stating that the device satisfies all of the requirements specified in
    Section 80.1 101 of this Part, a copy ofthe technical test data, and the instruction manual(s).
--

This means that as part of a certification procedure to permit the FCC to authorize the AIS transmitter, the USCG must first approve the device as meeting the applicable maritime regulations.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:18 am

The USCG explains its testing program at their Navigation Equipment Technical Section website. Automatic Identification System devices are in categories 165.155, Automatic Identification System (AIS), and 165.156, AIS-B/CS.

When the USCG Office of Design and Engineering Standards has determined that an AIS device has met the standards, it sends a letter to the manufacturer or grantee, notifying them of the approval. The process of obtaining approval is described as follows:

Approval Procedures:
Send applications for equipment approval to the Systems Engineering Division (CG-ENG-3) and including the following:

    Signed cover letter requesting U.S. Coast Guard Type Approval of equipment.
    Signed test report, including any certificates.
    Example of equipment markings & labeling.
    Copy of manufacturer quality system manual & guidelines.

Approved Equipment & Laboratories:
Navigation equipment type approved by the U.S. Coast Guard are issued a Certificate of Approval that is valid for five years and then entered into the Coast Guard Maritime Information Exchange (CGMIX). This online searchable database is the official listing of all equipment and laboratories that have been accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard.


It is a bit ironic for a website developed by the USCG, but the layout and design of the website does not make navigation of the website very simple. To get to the actual search page from which you can search the database is a confusing route. Eventually, you can find the search data entry page here:

http://cgmix.uscg.mil/Equipment/EquipmentSearch.aspx

From this page you can search for approved equipment, but it is very helpful if the search is constrained to a particular category of equipment. There is a pop-up list that provides selection of categories. To find AIS Class B devices, select "AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM (AIS-B)-165.156" as the approval series name. Searching with that criterion (at the present) results in finding 36 entries in the database for this category. The most recent entry is an approval granted in July 2017 to em-trak Marine Electronics for their B330 Class B, Automatic Identification System. The database only shows approvals that have been granted or have expired. It does not show applications that are in progress. The search produces no results for any product related to the Standard-Horizon GX6500, so the most reasonable inference is that device has not yet been approved by the USCG.

UPDATE March 2018: the most recent entry in the USCG database of approved AIS devices is now dated February 8, 2018, and certifies the RAYMARINE AIS700 Class B SO device. Again, no entry for the GX6500 can be found.

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Re: ICOM M-506 v. Standard-Horizon GX6000

Postby fno » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:22 pm

BOE Marine has the GX6000 for sale now at [$500-MAP discounted to] $427. The radio is on backorder.

[See: https://www.boemarine.com/collections/all/products/standard-horizon-25w-commercial-grade-fixed-mount-vhf-w-nmea-2000-integrated-ais-receiver ]

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:16 pm

The information in the Standard-Horizon catalogue PDF document notes that the GX6000 radio uses an optional external GNSS receiver which costs about $120. If you buy the radio-with-AIS-transponder model, GX6500, the external GNSS receiver is included in the package price.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:02 pm

The long-anticipated arrival of the Standard-Horizon GX6000 radio appears about to occur. I contacted a few vendors that listed the GX6000 radio on their websites to ask if they actually had these radios in stock--no one had the radio. I got the following responses:

  • Coming this Friday (April 20)
  • Expected April 27
  • Overdue--we probably won't get our full order

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Thu May 24, 2018 9:44 am

I have been keeping watch--somewhat erratically--on the Standard-Horizon website, waiting for it to show the GX6000 radio as part of their product line. The GX6000 has finally shown up:

http://www.standardhorizon.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&DivisionID=3&ProdCatID=83&ProdID=2858

The owner's manual is also posted and can be downloaded.

Regarding the need for a separate antenna for the radio's AIS receiver, the owner's manual makes this clear on Page 3 under the heading of GENERAL INFORMATION:

The GX6000 has a separate AIS antenna connection to ensure that your will be able to receive AIS signals while transmitting VHF communications.


A few pages later, Page 9, the manual also advises:

The GX6000 require[s] two separate marine VHF antennas; one antenna for VHF and a second antenna for AIS.


On Page 14 a diagram shows the rear panel of the radio. There are two separate SO-239 antenna connectors. The callout for the second connector marked AIS ANT notes:

AIS ANT jack (AIS antenna jack)
Connects an antenna to the AIS receiver. Use a marine VHF antenna with an impedance of 50 ohms.


On Page 18 a diagram of "Electrical Connections" shows two antennas connected, one a "Voice Antenna" and a second an "AIS Antenna."

It seems very clear that a GX6000 radio is going to need a separate, dedicated antenna for its AIS receiver. Recall that much earlier in this thread, I pointed out this situation.

The purpose of this design seems to be to provide for the possibility that the AIS receiver will be continuously receiving AIS transmissions from other vessels, even while its companion VHF Marine Band radio is transmitting. For that to be workable will require the two antennas to have enough physical separation that the AIS receiver won't be overloaded or desensitized by the transmitter signal from the radio's antenna.

Having a second antenna just for AIS reception, and being able to physically separate that second antenna from the radio's primary antenna, is going to be difficult to accomplish on small boats. For this reason, I don't think the GX6000 is the perfect radio for installation on small boats.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby fno » Tue May 29, 2018 11:15 am

Jim, you indicated in an early post (9 or 10) that separation would be necessary but did not elaborate on how much separation. Currently is it your opinion that the necessary separation makes the AIS features of this radio unsuitable for most Boston Whaler boats or just some?

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby RickVicik » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:13 pm

Has anyone tried to display AIS target information from a GX6000 on a chartplotter via NMEA2000?

A friend of mine bought one about two months ago and couldn't get AIS target information via NMEA-2000 to work. Another friend put a sniffer on the NMEA-2000 bus and discovered that the longitude in the AIS position PGN (129039) was offset about 21 degrees east. Latitude was correct. Latitude and longitude were correct on the GX6000 display.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?
---rick

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:02 am

FNO — I just saw your post from some time ago asking about necessary separation distance between the AIS receiver antenna and the radio transmitter antenna.

To know the answer is difficult, as the separation distance needed depends on many factors. I will offer some explanation.

First we note the AIS receiver is tuned to the AIS channels at the very high end of the VHF Marine band, around 162-MHz, while a ship station transmitter will be operating at the very low end of the band, say 156.8-MHz (Channel 16). This gives about 5-MHz of frequency separation between the AIS signals the receiver is trying to copy and the transmitted signal from the boat’s own radio.

Generally a separation of 5-MHz at 156 to 162-MHz would be sufficient to permit the simultaneous receive and transmit that would be desired.

Next we look at signal levels. The transmitter is rated for 25-Watts; let’s say 20-Watts at the antenna. Now add 3 dB for antenna gain, and we have a transmitted signal of +43dBm.

The incoming AIS signal could be as weak as -100dBm, or even weaker.

The difference in signal strengths is 143dB, which is an enormously large difference. This difference will be decreased by the the propagation loss from one antenna to the other.

The greatest way to improve isolation between the antennas is with vertical separation. If the antennas were inline vertically and spaced 12-feet apart, the isolation could be a much as 30dB or greater.

Now we get down to the behavior of the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter signal must be very clean with no inband spurious signals. The receiver must be highly selective and immune to off-frequency signals.

If all three elements—antenna separation, transmitter purity, and receiver selectively—are excellent, then truly simultaneous transmit and receive can work.

Without knowing more details, it is hard to know what the outcome will be for this radio and a particular installation of two antennas.

The receiver will have to show extremely good immunity to overload.

Another problem: the transmitter and receiver are in the same chassis. This means very careful design and construction must be used to avoid unintended coupling between them that would affect simultaneous operation.

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Re: Standard-Horizon GX6000, GX6500

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:07 am

RickVicik wrote:Has anyone tried to display AIS target information from a GX6000 on a chartplotter via NMEA2000?


I have not tried this. I hope someone comments about this, as the defect described sounds like a serious flaw in the GX6000 radio.

This problem with the NMEA-2000 data is particularly troublesome because the NMEA organization has lent its imprimatur of compliance with their NMEA-2000 standard to the GX6000 radio, based on its advertisement in the Standard-Horizon catalogue.

I suggest you post on PANBO where there is also a long thread about this radio.