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Author Topic:   VHF Marine Band Radio: New Standard-Horizon
jimh posted 12-18-2010 11:00 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Based on some on-line marine store website information, it appears that Standard-Horizon will be releasing several new VHF Marine Band radios for sale in 2011. This is not surprising because the FCC has mandated that VHF Marine Band radios sold in the U.S.A. after March 2011 must be certified to a minimum rating of CLASS-D Digital Selective Calling (DSC).

One of the new models:

Standard Horizon GX1600 Explorer

This new GX1600 radio will sell for about $170 and is characterized by a very compact size. The radio case is only 2.5-inches deep behind the front panel. The radio is rated DSC CLASS-D per ITU-R M493-13 Class D regulations. The user interface features three front panel soft keys and a large LCD display. The radio offers NMEA interfaces, but apparently only using NMEA-0183 standards. This model appears to be an entirely new design with very compact case and large display combined.

Photo: Standard Horizon GX1600 EXPLORER

jimh posted 12-18-2010 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Another new model from Standard-Horizon:

Standard Horizon GX1150S Eclipse DSC+

This new radio will sell at an even lower price point, about $130. The LCD display appears to be smaller, and there are no soft keys in the user interface. This model appears to be an update of an existing model.

Photo: Standard Horizon GX1150

A third new radio:

Standard Horizon GX2150 Matrix AIS

This new model will sell at a price point of about $400, including the very innovative and not expensive addition of a Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver. One notable change from the previous model is the multiplexing of AIS data and DSC data onto a single NMEA-0183 serial data output. The baud rate of the NMEA-0183 output can be selected to be either 4800-BPS or 38400-BPS. This change will simplify integration of the radio with chart plotter and GPS receiver combinations where there were limited NMEA-0183 inputs and outputs available. (Previously the AIS data was provided from the radio on a dedicated NMEA-0183 output at 38400-BPS, and this created some interfacing problems with other devices with limited NMEA-0183 inputs.)

Photo: Standard Horizon GX2150

SJUAE posted 12-19-2010 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Jim--So the new GX2150 has the multiplexer built in for the AIS and would of solved my problem with Twin HDS-5's? Regards,
jimh posted 12-19-2010 11:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Steve--That is how I read it. Standard-Horizon apparently found that the problem you had was fairly common among their customers, and they provided a solution with this new model GX2150 Matrix AIS.
SJUAE posted 12-20-2010 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
The daft thing is it would be cheaper to sell my nearly new GX2100 and buy the new GX2150 than get the multiplexer at over 200USD to fix my problem


jimh posted 12-21-2010 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
At a price of $200, the NMEA-0183 multiplexer is rather expensive for what it does, particularly in comparison to the cost of the radio itself.
jimh posted 12-24-2010 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Scott Iverson from Standard-Horizon sent me some additional material about the NMEA-0183 serial interfaces on the new GX2150 MATRIX AIS radio. The new radio is essentially the same radio as the former model GX2100 MATRIX AIX, but the speed of the bi-directional serial port for GPS input and DSC output data can now be selected to be either 4,800 (default) or 38,400 baud.

When the radio is set to 38,400:

--GPS input (blue wire) is changed to 38,400 from 4,800;

--DSC output (gray wire) is changed to 38,400 from 4,800 and outputs DSC, DSE, and VDM (AIS) sentences at 38400 baud;

--AIS output (brown wire) does not change; it always outputs at 38400 baud.

If the radio is to be connected to a GPS receiver and chart plotter combination with only one input and one output, the GPS-Chart Plotter device can be set to 38,400-baud, and it will receive both the DSC sentences and the AIS sentences on a single input from the radio. The radio will listen for GPS data from the GPS receiver at 38,400-baud, as well. This permits the radio to more easily be interfaced to combination GPS receiver and chart plotter devices which lack multiple NMEA-0183 serial ports.

jimh posted 12-24-2010 12:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The reason that the AIS data is preferred to be sent at 38,400-bps is probably due to some technical considerations about the number of targets which can be transmitted to the display from the receiver in a particular amount of time. I will do some research on this to see if there is an explanation for the strong preference for 38,400-bps data rate on AIS information.
SJUAE posted 12-24-2010 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
I have asked SH if it is possible to have a factory upgrade on my GX2100.


SJUAE posted 12-27-2010 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Scott at SH advised that upgrade was not possible as the memory has also been upgraded in the new GX2150


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