Originally Posted by Nos4r2
I'll probably change my mind on NMEA2000, but it appears that the combined AIS/DSC VHF sets available are only NMEA 0183, which gets complicated.
Have a look in the 'bits'n'pieces for sale-there's an HDS7 plotter/sounder for a very good price there. If it wasn't so much of a PITA to hook it up to the AIS VHF I'd have bought it myself.
Thanks Nos however I want a bigger screen the HDS7 is only 6.4"
I think you are getting confused on the NMEA thing.
0183 is only really used for connecting the VHF to the plotter to provide DSC position data either for you when sending or others when recieving. This is normally just a couple of wires that connect together. The NMEA 2000 networking is then used for connecting devices such as plotters, guages, senders, engines together on a common network.
You dont have to use NMEA 2000. For example the HDS7 or HDS8 still has a standard direct input for the sounder (or you can plug one in via NMEA2000) It also still has NMEA0183 so you can connect it up to a VHF/DSC
However if you want to plug it into an E-tec for example you can set up a network and then connect it in.