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Author Topic:   GPS & DSC VHF
rwest posted 06-10-2001 06:51 AM ET (US)   Profile for rwest   Send Email to rwest  
I have just installed a new Standard Intrepid LE DSC VHF on my Nauset. I have a Garmin #12 portable GPS mounted on my console. I know the VHF can connect to a GPS to allow it to send Lat and Long when I push the distress button but am not sure if or how to connect the GPS to it. Anyone tried this trick with the Garmin 12?


OutrageMan posted 06-10-2001 07:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I just installed a Standard GPS 160 plotter on my boat. It is my understanding that Standard requires you to mate up with other Standard products for DSC to work.


bigz posted 06-10-2001 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Ron, use the NMEA 0183 interface connection, you might have to get the right wire/plug from Garmin 010-10086-00. Your VHF has the wiring to splice in this connection. We have our Spectrum set up to a Lowrance GPS.
No problem just follow the wiring diagram.
jimh posted 06-10-2001 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The whole idea behind a "standard" is to allow things to be built to the "standard.". The NMEA 0183 specification is such a standard.

If someone advertises that their device can connect to a NMEA-0183 buss, then that should mean it does so in the "standard" way.

One problem in interconnecting may just be the connectors themselves. It often happens that the "standard" does not specify a specific connector, brand, pin, socket, etc., so this is left to the manufacturer. So you may find that the connector on Device-A cannot mechanically connect to the connector on Device-B, but electrically the two devices are compatible.

As an example, the often cited "RS-232" specification for serial device interconnect never specified that it be done on a 25-pin D-connector; it just became common for that to be used.

If a maker told me he had a device that met the specified standard (NMEA-1083) but it would only work with his other products, I would be very skeptical.

What he might mean is that it would be most convenient for you if you only used his other products in terms of wiring them, connecting them, configuring them, but if all the equipment meets the NMEA-0183 standard, then they all should be able to interconnect on the buss.

Peter posted 06-10-2001 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
According to the NMEA, NMEA-0183 is simply a uniform interface standard for digital data exchange between electronic devices. It doesn't specify a standard for physical connection (connectors) between devices.
bigz posted 06-10-2001 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
JimH you are correct regarding "standards" funny how these things work! chuckle --

Here is what I have found playing around with numerous brands, that "usually" the NMEA 183 connection between different brands will require a spliced connection, "plugs" rarely are compatible and as Peter states not necessary by the standards yet they must have the "standard" wires to achieve the "standards" compatibility requirement. In this case Garmin offers the wiring connection device mentioned above, which plugs directly into the GPS 12, the other end is bare wires to facilitate the splicing connection. The Std H VHF's also provide for a spliced connection and shows this in the manual. The wiring is not always the "standard" colors designated by the NMEA 183 spec. on both units so you need your manual to figure this little problem out occasionally.

The real problem which sometimes arises is the power requirements say between a chart plotter or position indicator reader and another brand of GPS receiver or a DGPS receiver, it maybe necessary to supply power separately and not through the device on the receiving end. In this case though it isn't really a concern the VHF has the NMEA "in" (blue wire "+") of the GPS receiver data, the NMEA "out" (green wire "-")of the GPS receiver data, they also include the NMEA (+) and (-) connections for supplying power to the receiver in this case since the Garmin 12 GPS receiver has it's own power source no need for this power connection from the VHF, would only be used with a stand alone GPS receiver to supply power ( it might be used to supply power to your Garmin 12 instead of say plugging it into to a 12v power source on the boat or running off its batteries, assuming the Garmin wiring allows for this connection).

Hope this is a helpful explanation how this stuff sort of works. Tom

B Bear posted 06-10-2001 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I too have a Garmin 12 handheld GPS and a Standard Horizon Intrepid LE DSC VHF on my 16 Dauntless.
You can connect the Garmin 12 to your VHF using the data cable, but only if you run it on batteries. There is a power cable (cigarette lighter adaoter) which has a voltage regulater incorrperated into the plug. If you check out the female cable plug you will see that there is a hole in the center of the 12 plug for the center post on the unit's receptical and there is no center hole for the other units mentioned below.
There is no power/data cable for this unit, there is for the Garmin 12 XL, CX, map and the Garmin 48. These units all have an internal voltage regulator. And they use the same mount as the 12.
The Garmin 48 is on sale everywhere for about $150, this is a consideration. There is an instruction in the Horizon manual and Gamin manual, Garmin or the store will be able to tell you which leads are NEMA in and out.
I ran power to mine, since I like to see the backtrack at night and I am moving at Slow Ahead thats when it really counts, and the light drains the batteries pretty fast.
These units are more or less being replaced by the Garmin GPS 76 WAAS, $219.
I am holding out considering a map or chartplotter, since on the small handhelds the maps are too small to view when you have the unit set on 0.2 mile. The Garmin GPSMap 76, which has a larger screen is $349. The item I am waiting to see is the Standard Horizon GPS CP 150 WAAS 5" for about $400.
I have a feeling in the end I will get the 48 or the 76, no map, since I have always used the 12 without any problems.
So you can run batteries for NEMA or you can run power, you just can't run both on the 12.
triblet posted 06-11-2001 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
For the GPS 12,
Garmin has a "PC interface cable with 8 volt
cigarette lighter adapter" that will both
power the unit and pick up the data signals.
p/n 010-10164-00, $50 on the garmin website.


B Bear posted 06-11-2001 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Chuck that is interesting, I had the store call Garmin about this and either they were unaware or I was misinformed, I check this out agian. As I read it in my catalog. There is a cigarette lighter adapter PN 010-1008-400 for external power only and the PC interface cable/cigarette ligher adapter PN 010-10164-00 you mentioned uses a nine pin serial port connector for data exchange with a computer. It might be possible to cut off the connector and strip back the wire to get the two leads you would need to make the NEMA connection to the VHF NEMA leads.
jimh posted 06-11-2001 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
While we are on the topic of DSC radios and GPS chartplotters, I want to mention an interesting possibility you might not be aware of.

It seems that the newest DSC radios have a talker interface in addition to the more common listener NMEA-0183 interface.

Typically, the radio has been set up as just a listener, getting data from the GPS so it can transmit its own vessel's position for distress calls the radio originates.

Now, it seems, some of the radios (the Standard/Horizon SPECTRUM model in particular) have an NMEA interface that can also be a talker, and the radio will report the position it has received on incoming DSC calls that were transmitted with LAT/LON information from another vessel.

If a GPS Chartplotter is configured to listen for this data, then the position of the other vessel can be displayed on the chart plotter.

Now is that cool, or what?

I find this a fascinating application of multiple technologies. Getting this all wired up and working would be a challenge, particularly if you used several different brands of equipment.

And having such a system working would be very valuable in a real distress situation. You could see immediately where the vessel in distress was located with respect to you.

If I get all the other little problems straightened out on my boat this summer, I may have to try to tackle a set-up like this.

Anyone currently able to pull this off?

whalerron posted 06-11-2001 11:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
rwest, I am setup with the exact same equipment as you. You can wire the Garmin GPS to the Intrepid using the data cable and this information which I received from Garmin:

The GPS 12 will provide NMEA data output using the data cable

The brown wire is NMEA + the black wire is NMEA -

If you look in your Intrepid manual, they tell you how to connect the NMEA + and - connections.

- ron

triblet posted 06-12-2001 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The only GPSs that claim to be able to handle
the position info from the radio are the new
Standard 150/160/170. Yes, this is a cool
idea. If the market likes it, it's just a
firmware change and I'd exepect Garmin to
do it (the 150 is going to give their 162
some tough competition).

It should be no trouble to wire up. But
remember that you can have only one talker
wired to a listener.


66Sakonnet posted 06-12-2001 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for 66Sakonnet  Send Email to 66Sakonnet     
blue hills innovation makes some pretty good cables for the 12... I use them for land based nav, linking the 12 to pc or palm-pilot. they have a 8V cig and data cable for the 12...
jimh posted 06-12-2001 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Yes, the new Standard GPS Chartplotters can accept data from the Standard Spectrum Radios. By the way, Horizon/Standard is now the marine division of YAESU, which is a respected name in electronics, particularly in Amateur Radio equipment.

In that market ICOM and YAESU have been competitors for many years. It looks like they are again in the marine market. Yaesu/Standard/Horizon seems to have the jump on everyone with this feature.


B Bear posted 07-03-2001 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I brought this thread back up becuase I am curious as what you finally did with your GPS and VHF.
ridgekid posted 02-21-2003 06:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for ridgekid  Send Email to ridgekid     
I'm connecting a Magellan Map 330M GPS to NEMA wires on my Ray 53. (DSC capable) The manual for the radio states the BLUE wire is NMEA+(pos) and the PURPLE Wire is NEMA-(neg). My GPS unit has 3 wires. ORANGE for Data Out and YELLOW for Data in. BLACK-GND

Whats the correct configuration for connecting my GPS to the Ray 53?

NOTE: It also says the BLUE wire is Input from Position source (GPS,Lorain, ect)

If I am reading this right I only need to terminate the BLUE to ORANGE? Since I am only looking for an output from my GPS to the radio to transmit my location? (And BLACK to GRD)

triblet posted 02-22-2003 02:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
GPS Orange to Radio Blue.
GPS Black to Radio Purple.


triblet posted 02-22-2003 02:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
And BTW, recent firmware loads for some Garmin
GPS say they now support DSC position info
from the radios. Good move, Garmin.

Unfortunately, I recently found a copy of
the spec for DSC, and to position info is only
accurate to one minute of lat/long (a mile,
or thereabouts. An upcoming extension will
will improve it.


ridgekid posted 02-22-2003 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for ridgekid  Send Email to ridgekid     

On the Ray 53 I will get a "nema" indicator if I hooked it up correctly. Just did not want to cross the wrong wires.

Drisney posted 02-22-2003 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Drisney  Send Email to Drisney     
Distress heck, when someone calls their buddy and gives them a coded location where the bite is hot; I want That to show up on my gps... Dave ;' )
ridgekid posted 02-22-2003 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for ridgekid  Send Email to ridgekid     
I tried but that does not work. I don't think I can blame it on the wiring though. Here's why (please confirm if you agree)

The GPS has a nema standard of:
V1.5 APA
V 1.5 XTE

In the Radio book it says:
"The nema sentences that provide positional data, by order of priority are :GGA, RMC, RMA and GLL"

Now thats all giberish to me. But I set the GPS to all three and none would indicate on the radio that it was communicating (get "nema" indication on radio).

Any ideas?

doobee posted 02-22-2003 07:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
You can download software upgrades directly from Garmin's website, provided you have the appropriate PC hookup. If garmin has upgraded the their software to recognise the info from the radio you should be able to add that capability to your Garmin GPS.
ridgekid posted 02-23-2003 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for ridgekid  Send Email to ridgekid     

The wiring connections are reversed! Thanks to a member at another board that had the same problem. Look at the plug on the wire coming out of the unit. On one side of the plug the wire is blue, on the other its purple. Same with the purple wire coming out, its blue.

So connect the NEMA+ to purple and the Nema - to Blue and you will get the "nema" on the screen!

One problem down, one to go. I can't program my MMSI number.

Morocco posted 02-23-2003 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Morocco  Send Email to Morocco     
Great timing for this discussion -- I'm going through the same steps with my DSC radio and my Garmin 188.

How did you get your MMSI number?

ridgekid posted 02-23-2003 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for ridgekid  Send Email to ridgekid     
I got mine from

Its Free! Make sure you know your registration #. That was the only thing I did not know on top of my head.

Morocco posted 02-24-2003 12:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Morocco  Send Email to Morocco     
Just did it, very cool, instant gratification. Had a number within one minute, no kidding.

Here's the link if anyone wants it:

phatwhaler posted 02-24-2003 07:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
You guys may want to check out the ROSS DSC 500 VHF radio. I had one on my old boat and it was fantastic. It is a class "A" DSC radio which means it has basically every feature known to man. The website is

phatwhaler out.

ps: Yeah, they're expensive.

triblet posted 02-24-2003 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Up above I said that the Standard Horizon
150/160/170 GPSs were the only ones capable
of displaying position information when your
radio receives it, either from someone's
Mayday call, or in answer to a DSC position
request. Well, it looks like new firmware
loads for some of the Garmins add this
capability, though not for my 162.


ridgekid posted 02-24-2003 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for ridgekid  Send Email to ridgekid     
Called Raymarine. They helped me program my MMSI number. I'm a happy camper now!
Morocco posted 03-03-2003 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Morocco  Send Email to Morocco     
I just got my new JRC DSC radio installed and connected to my Garmin 188 C GPS, and as a bonus, I was able to connect it (the GPS) as well to my old Ratheon RX-20 CRT Radar display.

For you Garmin owners here is what I did:

The blue wire from the radio (part of the four wire block, separate from the two wire power block) is the NMEA postive (or 'listening' wire) for the radio. For the radio to get GPS info, connect the blue radio wire to the blue wire coming from your GPS (this would possibly be identified as 'NEMA +' or 'NEMA out' or 'NEMA trans' -- blue to blue.

Th blue wire runs with a white wire (also a yellow and green -- ignore them, they are for speakers). Connect this white wire to the black wire that hooks your GPS to power (red is + or 'hot, the one you want is black '-' or ground. On my set up, I jus
t connected the white to the bus in my console on the same terminal screw as my GPS black.

Then, check your GPS manual -- on my Garmin I had to set a communication parameter to "NEMA Output".

For the radar, which takes a BNC connector (marked Loran) on the back, the center pin of the coax was connected to the blue wires above, and the shielding connected to the black grounds.

It works great. I now have Lat/long, bearing , WPT and speed info right on the radar screen.

josemartins2000 posted 04-05-2004 06:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for josemartins2000  Send Email to josemartins2000     
The problem is that most of the manuals (both GPS and VHF) that I saw (Garmin, Magellan for the GPS and ICOM and NAVICON) the connections are not clearly explained.

The best explanation that I found in a Manual is in RAYMARINE Ray215E manual ( in page 2.8 (2.4.3)

Trying to connect a Navicon rt-450 DSC and an old GPS Garmin III, after several attemps and looking for information, particularly in this forum and the above Raymarine handbook, I managed to make the right connection which is finally simple:

The GPS(out) wire must be connected with the VHS (GPS+) and the VHS (GPS-) is simply connected to the VHS mass (-).

The GPS (in) wire is not used in this connection (it's used to connect other in and out devices like PCs).

Jose Martins

Azeitão - Portugal

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