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Author Topic:   Lowrance Announces NMEA-2000 VHF Marine Radio
Jefecinco posted 08-22-2007 07:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for Jefecinco   Send Email to Jefecinco  
[Gave notice of a new VHF radio from Lowrance.]
jimh posted 08-23-2007 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am very interested to hear that LOWRANCE has come out with a VHF Marine Band radio that provides a NMEA-2000 interface. With so much of vessel electronics moving to the NMEA-2000 standard for intercommunication between devices, having to connect your VHF Marine Band radio using the older NMEA-0183 serial data connection seemed out of date.

If these new LOWRANCE radios can just plug into a vessel's NMEA-2000 network, it will eliminate a lot of confusion and problems that many boaters have had in trying to connect their radio to other devices using NMEA-0183 serial data connections.

Integration of the radio into the vessel electronics has become more common, but it seems to also have brought an endless stream of problems for boaters who lack the electronic and serial data communication background to interconnect the devices. Marine electronic forums are filled with questions about this, and often answered with bad advice, too.

However, what seems odd about this new radio is no mention of Class-D DSC compliance. The press release only mentions "DSC-101" which does not make any sense. There is an older, obsolete standard RTCM SC-101 for DSC radios. I wonder if that is what they are talking about.

But on the other hand, they mention the ability of the radio to do position polling, which is an advanced feature but not part of the Class-D specifications.

Here are more details from the LOWRANCE press release:


The new Lowrance LVR-880 is the first powerful, fixed-mount, DSC-equipped 25/1-watt radio to offer dual VHF and FM radio capabilities. The VHF also integrates NMEA 2000 with DSC-101 for distress and buddy-tracking features when connected to a compatible Lowrance GPS chartplotter. An exclusive “Track Your Buddy” feature connects DSC position polling to Lowrance LCX, LMS and GlobalMapTM units via the NMEA 2000 network for GPS location display of up to three boating friends. The LVR-880 includes intercom/hailer-horn, an extra-large 64 x 128 FSTN segmented display with backlighting, and a 6-key speaker microphone for left- or right-handed use. The LVR-880 is compatible with all USA, Canadian, International and 10-weather marine channels with channel naming, and is JIS 7 waterproof/submersible. All new Lowrance VHF marine radios come with a full one-year warranty.

jimh posted 08-23-2007 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is the full press release, along with photographs:

jimh posted 11-17-2007 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is a review of the Lowrance LVR-880: lowrance%2Dvhf%2Dfm%2Dradio/

jimh posted 11-17-2007 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
According to a comment in another article, the LOWRANCE LVR-880 won't hit the market until January of 2008. It will have a list price of approximately $200.


jimh posted 12-02-2007 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An article in POWER AND MOTOR YACHT for December 2007 mentions the Lowrance LVR-880 radio as having been built to the (now obsolete) SC-101 DSC standard. This appears to be a clarification of the unknown "DSC-101" feature mentioned in the initial press release.

The article also mentions the "Buddy Tracking" feature, which appears to be some sort of remote position polling feature. It is not known if this radio will interoperate with other DSC radios which support remote position polling or if the "Buddy Tracking" feature will only work with other LVR-880 radios.

jimh posted 03-04-2008 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

The current LOWRANCE information about their LVR-880 radio is now indicating that the device is DSC Class-D rated. This excerpt is from their website:

"--Full Class-D or SC-101 automatic distress operation with high-res position polling and group calling via NMEA 0183/NMEA 2000® output to chartplotters"

See this link

The inclusion of the DSC Class-D rating makes this a much more attractive radio, in my opinion.

This radio should be easy to integrate into a vessel's NMEA-2000 network to permit access to position data from a GPS and to send position data to a chart plotter for display of another vessel's position.

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