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Author Topic:   Garmin Enters the VHF Marine Radio Market
bluewaterpirate posted 09-30-2008 11:48 AM ET (US)   Profile for bluewaterpirate   Send Email to bluewaterpirate  
[Redirects readers to the links that follow to learn about new products from GARMIN] Link VHF 100 Link Specs Link

VHF 200 Link Specs Link

jimh posted 10-01-2008 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--Thanks for the links.

The new GARMIN VHF 200 model looks quite interesting because it is a VHF Marine Band radio which has NMEA-2000 network connectivity. With so many small boats now using the NMEA-2000 network for their instrumentation, having a radio which can connect directly to the NMEA-2000 network eliminates the problem of wiring the radio to individual devices using the older NMEA-0183 serial data connections. As anyone who reads on-line boating electrical discussions knows, inquiries about making radios interconnect with other marine electronics using NMEA-0183 connections are very frequent. By having a NMEA-2000 connection on a radio, all of those problems should be eliminated.

I don't know of GARMIN's background in communications radios. Unlike ICOM and Standard-Horizon, who both have extensive background in communication radios of all kinds, I don't recall any GARMIN radios. Perhaps they have been making aviation radios. In any case, making a VHF FM radio is not rocket science, and I expect GARMIN to have figured it out.

These days a modern marine radio is more of a computer than a radio. The digital selective calling (DSC) features needed to comply with Class-D DSC ratings are probably more complex than the radio circuitry involved. Also, manufacturing a NMEA-certified NMEA-2000 device is certainly a challenge.

GIven the popularity of GARMIN global positioning system receivers and their chart plotter devices, I am certain many GARMIN owners will be attracted to the radio, too.

jimh posted 10-01-2008 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The GARMIN VHF 200 has a suggested price of $400 and it will compete with the LOWRANCE LVR-880 as the only other NMEA-2000 compliant radio on the market at the moment. The LOWRANCE LVR-880 has been selling for below $200.
bluewaterpirate posted 10-01-2008 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I've heard the 200 will have a price around $299.00 and the 100 at $199.00. That's nothing offical just thru the vendors I deal with. I've also heard that they will offer a color display model next summer.


jimh posted 10-01-2008 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I plotted the position shown on the GARMIN radio display in their press photographs; it is given as

Latitude = 82° 34.5676' N
Longitude = 123° 45.678' W

(Download the KML file and open with GOOGLE EARTH to see the plot)

Plotman posted 10-01-2008 11:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman 678w&ie=UTF8&ll=83.026219,-123.75&spn=26.008629,221.132812&z=2& iwloc=addr
seabob4 posted 10-04-2008 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
Now that's a fascinating place...
kwik_wurk posted 10-05-2008 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
FYI, Garmin has made handheld VHFs in the past. My guess is they were not a Garmin design, just a Garmin sticker on someone else's VHF.

The new products do look like they have been integrated into the Garmin (and NEMA 2000) network. And this leads me to think that they aren't a bought design, and have some level of Garmin industrial design.

Which is good I hope.

n55bz posted 10-12-2008 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for n55bz  Send Email to n55bz     
Garmin makes superb aircraft band VHF communications equipment. I have a GNS-530 gps, moving map, VHF COMM and VHF NAV. It is as good or better than the Bendix/King VHF NAV COMM which sits just below it in the panel.

If Garmin puts their name on it , I don't think that you have to worry about quality.

Kindest regards,


jimh posted 08-28-2009 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Eleven months have elapsed since this announcement. The first report of a hands-on test of the new Garmin VHF 200 radio has been published. See html

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