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Old 30 April 2014, 19:59   #1
Simon666's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Burwash, East Sussex
Make: BWM Deepsea 21
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzuki DF140
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 217
DIY NMEA GPS source for VHF Radios

So i ordered a Raymarine Dragonfly plotter/sounder combo which looks the mutts nuts until i found out there is no NMEA data output to feed my shiny new Icom radio DSC funtions

Whichever muppet at Raymarine decided to omit the NMEA output should slapped with a wet fish.

The prospect of spending another £100+ on a stand-alone GPS receiver just for the radio made me shudder. So i decided to look at other options.

Serial output GPS pucks are becoming less common now in favour of USB ones, but i found a few sellers on ebay selling them.


I little reading found they send out RS232 data in NMEA 0183 flavour.

I paid £10 including delivery for one by calling the seller.

The only niggle is they need a 5v DC power supply, so i butchered an old USB mobile phone car charger and mounted the guts in a little waterproof case with a suitable fuse.

They come with a PS2 plug on the cable which you need to cut off.
Inside you will find several wires. You only need the RED,WHITE, & GREEN. Cut off the others.

RED = +vcc (5v dc)
WHITE= Ground
GREEN = NMEA Data out

Connect your 5v supply to Red (+) & White (-)
Connect your VHF DSC input to Green (Data+) & White (Ground)

It works perfectly.
I checked the VHF's displayed coordinates on google maps and it was accurate to about 3 meters of my position.
The little GPS receiver is extremely sensitive and picks up a good signal inside my garage, so it could be mounted inside you RIB's console without issues which is where mine is going at the weekend.

Voilla. DSC functions for a tenna

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Old 01 May 2014, 00:58   #2
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Chris Caton's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Wirral & Caernarfon
Boat name: That's Enuff
Make: Revenger & Avon SR4
Length: 7m +
Engine: Honda 150HP & 50HP
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4,081
good fix
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Old 01 May 2014, 02:57   #3
HughN's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Littlehampton, W Sx
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Posts: 732
Ha! Good hack

You weren't tempted to buy a taxi radio system from the same eBay seller?

("Dover Coastguard, that's a big ten-four. I have POB and will be there in five. Ta")
"Can ye model it? For if ye can, ye understand it, and if ye canna, ye dinna!" - Lord kelvin
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Old 01 May 2014, 03:07   #4
colcreate's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Cheshire
Boat name: Gollione
Make: Avon Searider 5.4
Length: 5m +
Engine: 90hp
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 347
Get a 2nd wet fish and slap the Icom muppet for not fitting an internal gps.
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Old 01 May 2014, 03:59   #5
1eyedjim's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Birmingham
Boat name: Sparrowhawk
Make: Osprey
Length: 5m +
Engine: Yamaha 90hp 2T
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 212
i was looking at the dragon fly but was put off by the lack of output, this would solve my issues so think i will be copying, thanks for sharing
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