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Author Topic:   RAYMARINE Radios with NMEA-2000
jimh posted 11-13-2014 09:16 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
RAYMARINE introduced three new VHF Marine Band radios at the recent Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. All three radios feature both an NMEA-0183 interface and a NMEA-2000 network connection. Of course, as required by the FCC, they are also qualified to DSC CLASS-D rating. These radios will not be available until January 2015.

The three radios offer features in tiers, as follows:

RAY50: compact size; non-detachable microphone; MAP price about $250. See

RAY60 full size; remote microphone can be added and used as an intercom station; larger LCD display; detachable microphone; optional trim bezels; MAP price about $300. See

RAY70 shares form factor and features of RAY60 and adds: AIS receiver; internal GPS receiver with WAAS; 30-Watt hailer. Price around $650. See

All three radios share these specifications:

--palm-size "fist-mic" with noise canceling microphone and selected radio controls

--NMEA-0183 and NMEA-2000 interface ports

--amber backlit LCD display

--DSC CLASS-D rated

--waterproof to IPX6 and IPX7

--weather channels

--channel scanning in various modes

--minimalist front panel controls

--very good audio quality internal loudspeaker

--appearance harmonized with Raymarine "glass bridge" displays

The front panel controls are arranged in a minimalistic manner. A large rotary knob appears to provide channel selection and menu navigation for the LCD display. Volume and squelch are controlled with a single knob. The mandatory Distress Alert Send button is under a hinged access. Three other buttons provide quick access to Channel 16, power ON-OFF, and a menu BACK function. The remote microphone has PTT, transmitter power HI-LO, channel UP-DWN, and quick access to Channel 16 buttons.

fno posted 11-13-2014 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
The Raymarine 70 while having loads of similar features is overpriced compared to the Simrad AIS capable radio at $375
jimh posted 11-13-2014 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
These new RAYMARINE radios are also said to "integrate seamlessly with Raymarine LightHouse II Multifunction Displays for advanced DSC functions." I presume that statement means there will be some manner of control of the radio from a multi-function display, but I have no idea exactly what the details might be.

I also suspect that the control is probably implemented over NMEA-2000 using proprietary parameter groups. It is unfortunate that linking radio and multi-function display seems to always require a proprietary NMEA-2000 parameter group. Apparently the standard NMEA-2000 public parameter groups do not provide for the necessary functionality to permit good integration between a DSC radio and an electronic chart plotter. Of course, with NMEA intent on keeping their specifications hidden from view of the public, who really knows what is preventing better integration of radio and chart plotter using non-proprietary parameter groups.

jimh posted 11-13-2014 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Frank--you're right. Perhaps ICOM and RAYMARINE can compete for the $700 VHF Marine Band radio business between themselves.
Hoosier posted 11-14-2014 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
The Raymarine 70 is about twice the price of a Lowrance Link 8 for essentially the same feature set.
jimh posted 11-14-2014 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding the inclusion of a NMEA-2000 connection in a radio, I have to observe that the manufacturers that have experience with NMEA-2000 in other devices like chart plotters seem to have the edge. These days you cannot successfully have a chart plotter on the market without having NMEA-2000, so manufacturers like Raymarine, Garmin, and NAVICO (Lowrance and Simrad) are all very familiar with NMEA-2000 hardware and protocols. For Raymarine, Garmin, and NAVICO (Lowrance and Simrad) to add NMEA-2000 to a radio is not especially a great leap of technology for them.

On the other hand, manufacturers that primarily made only radios are approaching NMEA-2000 as a new technology to master. It appears that ICOM has gained familiarity with NMEA-2000 and come out with a new model radio that provides NMEA-2000. Standard-Horizon has made some chart plotters in the past but generally not given them NMEA-2000 interfaces, and they are yet to bring NMEA-2000 to their radio products.

With Raymarine bringing NMEA-2000 radios to the market, we now have most of the modern radios available with NMEA-2000. Not having NMEA-2000 on the radio is going to be seen as a drawback. But, even recognizing that, I think that one can certainly use a radio without NMEA-2000. The radio typically will only interface with one other device, usually a chart plotter display with an integral GPS receiver, and making a single NMEA-0183 connection between radio and chart plotter is not particularly hard. The interface is now much easier if the AIS data is provided on the same interface as the DSC data.

The market squeeze may come when chart plotters stop having NMEA-0183 interfaces. If that happens, the radio will have to provide NMEA-2000 in order to be integrated.

Hoosier posted 11-16-2014 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
One big advantage that I found when installing my Link 8 was I didn't have to worry about where I put it. All I needed was a N2K "T" and it was on the network and could connect to the high gain GPS antenna and the two chart plotters could get the DSC and AIS feeds from the radio.
David Pendleton posted 11-17-2014 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I've always been partial to Raymarine electronics, but I'm always a generation or two behind.

I've long-wished that Raymarine radios had SeaTalk connections so I didn't have to deal with the ridiculously small wires provided for NMEA-0183 connectivity.

When I finally do move into this current generation of MFD's, GPS sensors and radios, I'll be glad to have a NMEA-2000 connection.

It's about time!

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