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Author Topic:   Standard-Horizon New Fixed Mount Radio GX1700
jimh posted 12-15-2011 10:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Standard-Horizon will be announcing a new fixed mount radio, the GX1700. The principal enhancement of this new model is the inclusion of a GPS receiver in the VHF Marine Band radio.

We have heard from the United States Coast Guard that an astonishing 90-percent of DSC distress calls lack position data. One way to overcome the obstacle of connecting a GPS receiver to a VHF Marine Band CLASS-D DSC radio by using the NMEA-0183 standard is just to build the GPS receiver into the radio. This is what Standard-Horizon have done.

The GPS receiver in the Standard-Horizon GX1700 is said to be a 12-channel receiver. The maximum number of satellites in view at any instant is about ten. There are also perhaps two geo-stationary GPS signals in view. So 12-channels is about all you can really use in a GPS receiver.

I don't have any details about the GPS receiver's location. I suspect it might be built right into the radio. That would mean the radio must be mounted with a clear sky view. The low cost of the GX1700--$230-- is the reason I am guessing the GPS receiver is internal in the radio. Having an external GPS receiver would add too much cost.

The GX1700 is (by FCC requirement) a CLASS-D DSC radio. With the inclusion of a GPS receiver, the radio can also perform navigation functions that previously might have been reserved for a chart plotter. It apparently can store waypoints and perform navigation calculations such as range and bearing to those waypoints.

Stay tuned for more details.

Jefecinco posted 12-16-2011 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
That's good news. Connecting a GPS to a VHF Radio can be difficult. At least it was difficult for me. Part of the difficulty was dealing with the very small diameter wires involved. Yesterday I learned my radio is no longer displaying GPS data. I suspect it is due to the connections being poorly made. At least that is where I will begin the fault analysis effort.

Many GPS units with internal antennas are flush mounted without adversely affecting reception. I suspect the GX1700 will be able to receive good signals when flush mounted in consoles. Fiberglass does not seem to interfere with GPS signal reception to a great degree.


davej14 posted 12-16-2011 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
This will be interesting. I found that there was quite an improvement in GPS reception when mounting an external antenna to the top of my console rail vs. the top of the console behind the windshield. In fact, reception mounted behind the windshield was unacceptable.

If the antenna is built in, you will have to mount the radio to evaluate performance. Once you cut the hole your mounting location is fixed so it better work well on the first try.

6992WHALER posted 12-16-2011 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
If it had a built in battery you could have a GPS and VHF Radio back up in one nice little package
Jefecinco posted 12-16-2011 07:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

It would be pretty simple to hand hold the GPS/VHF radio inside a console to see if it will function well there. That is what I did with my GPS before flush mounting it. My flush mount Garmin 740S continues to impress me even after more than a year of service.


jimh posted 12-16-2011 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here are more details about the Standard-Horizon GX1700 VHF Marine Band fixed-mount radio with built-in GPS receiver:

--the GPS receiver is built into the front panel, allowing good reception if the radio is flush mounted or bracket mounted with a view of the sky;

--the GPS receiver has precision fix enhancement using the wide area augmentation system (WAAS), which means very high accuracy position fixing is possible;

--the radio is rated DSC CLASS-D, and it also supports the recent DSC TEST CALL protocol which allows you to verify operation with a test call to the USCG radio facility in range;

--the radio provides navigation (range and bearing) to a distress call location on the special compass display page;

--the MSRP is only $229.99, which should mean a street price below $210, a very aggressive price point for this product considering the inclusion of a GPS receiver;

--the GX1700 can enter and save 100 waypoints; it can recall and give navigation information from the current position to the waypoint using a special compass display page, a sort of mini-chart plotter presentation; and,

--the general size and footprint of the radio retains the ultra-compact dimensions of the GX1600; 5.9-inch wide, 3.5-inch deep, 3.35-inch high.

The Standard-Horizon GX1700 will be available in February 2012.

davej14 posted 12-16-2011 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Certainly sounds attractive. Still, I would hope that an external GPS antenna would be an option.
jimh posted 12-16-2011 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't see any point in an external GPS antenna for the GX1700. The whole point of the GX1700 is the GPS is internal. GPS receivers seldom have external antennas these days. The notion of a GPS receiver with an external antenna goes back about ten years ago. Modern GPS receivers are all contained on a chip with a patch antenna. If you want an external GPS receiver you just get one and connect it to the radio. That is exactly what the GX1700 is not about.

The GX1700 is quite a break-through in radio and GPS integration; to say it ought to have an external antenna is to give up on the notion of the integration of the radio and GPS receiver. You are welcome to get another GPS receiver and connect it to the GX170 if you want, but the point of the GX1700 is that there is already a built-in GPS receiver.

Modern GPS receivers have astonishing sensitivity. Today I was getting a fix on my GPS receiver while it was sitting on the passenger seat of my car under a metal roof. That is quite amazing performance.

jimh posted 12-17-2011 06:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Photo: Standard-Horizon GX1700 radio front panel view
The new GX1700 VHF Marine Band CLASS-D DSC radio with GPS receiver
Jefecinco posted 12-17-2011 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
That is a very sweet sounding piece of gear. Standard Horizon quality, pricing, customer support and reasonably priced fixed lifetime repair cost should make it a winner.

Does it have interface capability to a non-GPS chart plotter? If so, it could make the cost of a large display plotter more attractive. Does anyone even make a basic chart plotter designed to interface with a GPS unit?

Later today I'll be checking the dimensions of my VHF radio. If the GX1700 will fit the space it will be installed as soon as available. If it is smaller I'll have to think about it.


jimh posted 12-17-2011 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Standard-Horizon GX1700 will send GPS data out to other devices using the usual NMEA-0183 sentences and serial port. The GX1700 can also receive NMEA data from other devices, again with NMEA-0183 protocols.

I am sure you could, for example, connect the GX1700 to a laptop computer running a chart program, and the laptop computer would get the vessel position from the GPS data sent by the radio. It will be interesting to see if someone provides a low-cost way to connect to an Apple iOS device or similar smart phone. On a small boat this radio and a smart phone could become a very compact navigation station.

bluewaterpirate posted 12-17-2011 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
The GX 1700 dimensions are the same as the GX 1600. You would only have to make one NMEA connection from your GX 1700 to your chart plotter to be able to display DSC info from other boats. Looks like a good VHF.


Jefecinco posted 12-17-2011 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

Please forgive the off topic content.

How is your recovery progressing? I sincerely hope you're doing well and am delighted to see you posting again. I've missed your input.


6992WHALER posted 12-17-2011 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
I have been contemplating getting a backup handheld GPS that is not connected to my current chart plotter network. I keep talking myself out of it but I would also like to instal a second fixed mount VHF radio.

This unit for about $200 would give me a complete self contained redundant system. The only negative is that it uses the boats battery.

bluewaterpirate posted 12-17-2011 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Butch ......

Doing good ..... today was day 17 since my bypass surgery. Walked 1.5 miles for the third time this week. I was very fortunate in as much as I had no outward signs of the 70% blockage they found during my heart cath procedure. Spent 5.5 hours on the operating table. They used the off pump procedure to bypass the blockages using my mamarry arteries. I went to the doctor for something totally unassociated but because acid reflux can mask a heart attack my doctor ordered a nuclear stress test the same day. He saved my life. The good lord has been in my corner for sure. My wife and family have been with me every step to way.

Thanks for your concern and friendship.


Jefecinco posted 12-18-2011 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

That's just excellent!


DeeVee posted 12-18-2011 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     

This is good news. This is exactly what I was looking for in this article:

I have wanted to add a redundant DSC VHF on my boat but did not really want to mess with connecting it to my existing system.

The SH CP 175 chart plotter and my existing SH DSC VHF (I can't remember the model number at the moment) are connected in a somewhat haphazard way. The really small conductors should be landed on some sort of junction block, but they are just stripped and taped- not a very reliable connection system.

Having an external connection between two seperate units seems like it would add a possible failure point that would be eliminated with a fully self contained system.

Even better good news is the fact that Tom is on the mend. Take care Tom.

Doug Vazquez.

jimh posted 12-18-2011 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The best solution for interconnection of devices like a VHF Marine Band radio and a chart plotter would be for both to have NMEA-2000 network interfaces. The interconnection would be plug-and-play using pre-made wiring devices.

Even with the GPS moved to the radio as in this new Standard Horizon GX1700, you will still need to make a NMEA-0183 connection of the chart plotter to the radio (and vice-versa) to integrate the two devices.

Perhaps Standard-Horizon will bring us a NMEA-2000 radio some time in the future.

ASIDE to Tom: It is great to have you back on the mend. Take care of yourself because we need your excellent advice on marine electronics.

bluewaterpirate posted 12-20-2011 06:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Thanks to Ben at Panbo ......

Here's the answer to question in regards to an external GPS antenna. standard_horizon_gx1700_finally_a_fixed_vhf_w_gps_built_in.html


jimh posted 12-21-2011 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What is the answer?
bluewaterpirate posted 12-21-2011 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Yes ... there is an option to connect the SH GS1700 to it's own dedicated external GPS antenna if the internal one isn't receiving sufficent SAT data. Standard_Horizon_GX1700_install_option_diagram-thumb-465x236-4879.jpg


jimh posted 12-21-2011 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I wonder if that external "GPS antenna" is really an external GPS receiver. Too often these days the terms get confused. I have written to Standard-Horizon for clarification.
davej14 posted 12-21-2011 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Either way, I thought the option to receive GPS data with an external device was a good idea and I'm glad to see that the Standard Horizon designers agree. While the vast majority of installations may be happy with the internal antenna, there will be some situations where an external device will yield superior performance. There is a certain comfort factor in knowing you have this option when you carve up your console.
DeeVee posted 01-18-2012 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     
Jim--Has Standard Horizon replied to your enquiry concerning the external GPS antenna/receiver question? Have you heard when this radio may be available for purchase?

Thank you--Doug Vazquez

DeeVee posted 01-18-2012 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     
[Duplicate article deleted.--jimh]
jimh posted 01-18-2012 04:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The device mentioned in the Standard-Horizon literature as an "external GPS antenna" for use with the Standard-Horizon GX1700 VHF Marine Band radio is actually not an antenna but a separate GPS receiver with NMEA output. The external GPS receiver connects to the GX1700 using one of the NMEA-0183 input ports on the radio. You could accomplish the same thing, I suspect, by connecting to a chart plotter with a GPS receiver, using the chart plotter's GPS data via NMEA-0183.

These days many manufacturers seem to refer to a small, self-contained GPS receiver designed for mounting in the weather with NMEA-0183 output as a "GPS antenna" when it really is a complete GPS receiver with NMEA-0183 output.

6992WHALER posted 01-23-2012 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
For sale for under $200 at the GPS store. They are shown as out of stock however.
andygere posted 01-24-2012 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
How well will the GX1700 receive GPS signals when mounted in a typical aluminum overhead electronics box? Looks like a very nice radio at a good price, and the integral DSC capability is a big value add.
jimh posted 01-25-2012 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For almost a year now there has been a requirement that all fixed mount VHF Marine Band radios sold in the USA must have DSC capability to the CLASS-D rating, so you should expect to find this feature on all current production fixed mount radios.

The radio waves used in the GPS transmissions are at 1.5-GHz, and waves of this frequency are very highly attenuated when passing through metallic conductive shields such as an aluminum box. On that basis I would expect that any GPS receiver whose antenna was put into an aluminum box would suffer from very poor reception.

6992WHALER posted 01-25-2012 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Standard Horizon has put the GX1700 on their web site.
You can down load the owners manual.
andygere posted 01-25-2012 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
jimh, that's what I would expect as well, and I suspect that's why an external GPS receiver is available as an added cost option. Still, for many that would be a cleaner solution than mating a DSC radio to another GPS device such as an existing chartplotter.
Moe posted 02-05-2012 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe    
For a standalone DSC VHF/GPS combo that doesn't have to use the boat's battery, look at the Standard Horizon HX851:

$200 here: Standard-Horizon-HX851-Handheld-VHF-Radio-with-GPS-P2312.aspx

I recommend also buying the FBA-38 Alkaline Battery Tray and equipping it with Energizer L91 AA lithium batteries for long-life backup.


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