Originally Posted by Glenn collins
Question is, is it simply a matter of conecting the two wires together and they will communicate or will I need to go through some complicated setting up process?
there will be two wires from the gps to the vhf, if you want to run from the boat battery you'll also need to connect the power. You may need to set the GPS to transmit NMEA data on the relevant "port". I'd expect the radio is automatically "listening" but if you have any problems it would be worth checking if there are any settings. Its possible that one or other won't specifically call it NMEA 0183 - but will let you set all the options - in which case you want baud/speed 4800 bps; parity - none; stop bits - 1; handshake - none/off.
That defines how the two parts talk to each other, but you also need to consider what data the GPS is actually sending. I'd expect the information the GPS sends to default to the right "sentences" (content) that the VHF needs - but again if you run into problems it would be worth checking this in the manual.
Also. I am interested in getting one the "easy log" Los that connect to a nmea feed and don't require me cutting a hole in my bost for the paddle wheel. Would I again just plixe the wire to the one one the data leade from the gps.
I'm not quite sure what information this is going to tell you that the GPS doesn't? To my mind these are really "repeaters" for large boats when the GPS is say in the cabin and you want a speed readout at the cockpit or vice versa.
In terms of linking these into the existing GPS - VHF wiring; then in theory one GPS "talker" can transmit to multiple "listeners". I've never done it but I am aware that people do get problems with earth loops joining all of these together.
I assume these can listen to the standard "position" setences and compute the speed from them - but it might be worth checking that they use the same sentences as your VHF (or that you can configure the gps to send (the correct) multiple sentences).
Some radios can display speed over ground (SOG) etc on their display - which would save you buying an extra display if you just don't have enough room on the gps display to fit that in (or its hiding in a locker). It would be small compared to the Easy Log type display - but actually how often do you need to check it? and you'll be closer to it than the average easy log reader (who is a couple of m's away at the other end of the cockpit). [or most (all?) will display the position (something you probably rarely need?) which might free up display space on the GPS for speed etc?