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  Inexpensive VHF Marine Band Radio with Class-D DSC and NMEA-2000

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Author Topic:   Inexpensive VHF Marine Band Radio with Class-D DSC and NMEA-2000
RobP posted 11-04-2010 04:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for RobP   Send Email to RobP  
I recall reading some recommendations on good inexpensive VHF Radios somewhere but can't seem to find them. I know to get [a radio that] is Class D DCS, but from there I'm lost. I was hoping to connect it via the NMEA 2000 network to the GPS. [Do you have] any recommendations? Thanks--Rob
RobP posted 11-04-2010 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for RobP  Send Email to RobP     
Found one discussion:
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/002763.html

Has anyone used the Lowrance radio with NMEA 2000?

SJUAE posted 11-05-2010 04:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Standard Horizon GX2100

Do a search on CW :)

Regards
Steve

jimh posted 11-05-2010 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I prefer Standard-Horizon VHF Marine Band fixed-mount radios for the following reasons:

--excellent transmitter modulation
--simple user interface, good controls, easy to operate
--more features for lower cost
--excellent technical support

The least expensive VHF Marine Band fixed-mount Class-D rated DSC radio from Standard-Horizon is their ECLIPSE DSC+ model GX1100S. It sells for about $150.

There are no Standard-Horizon radios with NMEA-2000 network interfaces.

If you must have a radio with a NMEA-2000 network interface and Class-D DSC rating, I do not think the LOWRANCE radio complies. The LOWRANCE radio sold in the U.S.A. as the LVR-880 was rated only to SC-101 because it included a receiver for the FM Broadcast Band. The model sold overseas was rated as DSC Class-D. I anticipate that LOWRANCE will have to abandon the RTCM SC-101 rated radio next year when it becomes illegal to offer them for sale. I recommend caution in buying a LOWRANCE radio--be certain you get a radio with Class-D DSC rating, not the radio with the FM Broadcast Band feature. I cannot offer advice on how to distinguish the two models. Be careful.

GARMIN has a line of VHF Marine Band fixed-mount radios which have NMEA-2000 interfaces. Their VHF-200 model is about $400:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=250&pID=28721

jimh posted 11-05-2010 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It may be more expedient to get a radio without NMEA-2000 if you want to remain in the under-$200 radio category.
SJUAE posted 11-05-2010 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Jim/Rob

Sorry I forgot Rob noted NMEA2000 interface

As Jim notes NMEA2000 is likely to push you up in price. I would be surprised if a GPS unit did not also have NMEA0183 outputs suitable for VHF use.

Regards
Steve

RobP posted 11-10-2010 06:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for RobP  Send Email to RobP     
Thanks for the information. I thought the NMEA 2000 would be a "nice to have" feature. The most important thing is to get a good reliable radio at a reasonable price. The recommended S/H models look very good.

It appears that Icom now has a Class D radio in the lower price point M412. I currently have the M304 but that is only RTCM SC-101 rated.

Hoosier posted 08-27-2011 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I came across the LVR-880 at Defender's webite for $199. Since it's now 2011 and it's still for sale it must be Class D complient. The nice extra feature is NMEA 2000 which is what Lowrance says connects it to the HDS family.
jimh posted 08-27-2011 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you purchase a Lowrance LVR-880 VHF Marine Band radio, you should be able to easily tell if you have received a radio with Class-D DSC rating: the radio won't have an FM Broadcast Band receiver.
Hoosier posted 08-28-2011 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I sent an email to Lowrance asking about this since they still have the radio listed as a current product on their website. I'll post their answer.
Hoosier posted 08-29-2011 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Just to complete the discussion about the LVR-880, according to Lowrance Tech Support it is Class D.
jimh posted 08-31-2011 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
David--That is interesting news. If you purchase a Lowrance LVR-880 VHF Marine Band radio, please let us know if the radio you receive is truly a Class-D radio, and also how nicely it integrates with chart plotter devices on your NMEA-2000 network.
andrey320 posted 09-07-2011 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for andrey320  Send Email to andrey320     
I recommend [a particular brand and model of] VHF radio with DSC with [only] NMEA-0183 capabilities. [Speculated that the principal criteria of this discussion, that the Class-D DSC receiver have NMEA-2000 certification, was not binding.].
jimh posted 09-07-2011 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for your recommendation of a radio, but I am afraid your recommended radio fails to met the necessary criteria. It has no NMEA-2000 interface. The other criteria, DSC CLASS-D rating, is met by all VHF Marine Band fixed radios sold in the USA at this time. Hence the only criteria here is to have NMEA-2000 capability. Since the radio you are recommending lacks NMEA-2000 capability, it cannot be considered for discussion in this thread. You may want to start a new thread in which the topic of discussion is Class-D DSC radios that do not have NMEA-2000 certification, and I think we can find dozens of them to discuss.

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