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Old 23 March 2008, 15:08   #1
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DSC functions

Looking at the instructions for my M505 VHF and Lowrance plotter I see that the VHF outputs on NMEA 0183 v3.0 and the plotter only accepts v2.0. Does this mean the DSC function on the plotter won't work for inputting distress call positions etc on the screen? I assume v3.0 is required to accept these calls from the NMEA outputs coming from the VHF?
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Old 23 March 2008, 19:08   #2
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Bruce, I could be talking b*ll*cks here but my understanding is that the various versions of NMEA 0183 were essentially variations on the standardised sentence structures, i.e. new versions add new "sentences" to the standard. So a device designed to recieve v2.0 sentences will be able to recieve data from a device transmitting v3.0 sentences providing that the transmitter isn't actually using any of the new sentences.

You may(?) even be able to tell the radio only to transmit v2 compatible sentences.
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Old 24 March 2008, 03:26   #3
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I think Polwart's correct. Timing and actual sentence structure shared among versions should be the same.

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Old 24 March 2008, 03:44   #4
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What comes out of the M505, like most DSC sets, is not adjustable.

I think the plotter takes NMEA 2000 to allow engine type info.

Garmin and Standard plotter take NMEA 0183 to allow them to display incoming DSC Distess call and DSC Position Request call data on the screen.


Hope that helps
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Old 24 March 2008, 08:28   #5
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The Lowrance I have (LCX-27C) has two sets of input/outputs using NMEA 0183 as well as its NMEA 2000 ones.
I am just not sure if it will accept and display the DSC functions from the VHF. It doesn't seem to mention anything in the manual about inputs OR outputs other than to say they exist to be connected to.
If garmin plotters that accept DSC functions are using v3.0 then I have to assume the Lowrance will not.
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Old 24 March 2008, 11:36   #6
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I've got a Lowrance LMS-520C; it does not display info *from* my Standard Horizon VHF (i.e. received positions, etc); it will, however, send position to the VHF for DSC transmission.

As near as I can tell, most manufacturers do the GPS to VHF thing, but the other way around tends to be proprietary so you need that company's VHF and GPS.

What, exactly, were you trying to display?


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Old 24 March 2008, 15:14   #7
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Some VHF and GPS plotters have the facility for displaying the position of a distress call and logging any DSC call.
The Icom M505 has the facility to output the info but I am not suer if the Lowrance Plotter has the capability to accept it.
If it does it is no hassle to set up the wiring to suit but I am not that particularly bothered if it doesn't. Just trying to find out at the moment if the option is available.
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Old 24 March 2008, 16:13   #8
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Well I hope the M505 works with my Garmin 3006, as I bought the 505 especially for this feature. I had the 421 before, and used to hear DSC beeps and always wished the radio had the ability to show the location on the gps.

On the basis that you are going to be hooking up the nmea out on the lowrance to the vhf for dsc calls, it's hardly any hassle to connect one extra wire. I'd give it a try and see what happens. The other alternative is to get an Actisense nmea gateway NGW-1 which will convert nmea 0183 into nmea 2000. That woudl surely work with your lowrance.
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Old 24 March 2008, 17:28   #9
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I was a bit bored so did some investigating:

Erin - good news the Garmin 3006 can display data FROM a GPS.

Bruce - unforunatley it looks like the Lowrance can NOT process the DSE and DSC NMEA 0183 sentences your M505 will transmit on recieving relevant calls.
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Old 24 March 2008, 17:44   #10
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Looking through the simulator for the relevant sentences on setup I find they are not there so I think you are right.
I would have to say Garmin manuals are a lot better and clearer than Lowrance ones.............
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