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Old 31 July 2017, 11:40   #1
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VHF with AIS built in? Anyone got one?

At planning stage to upgrade vhf and plotter in the next couple of months.

Both ICOM and Standard Horizon are producing a DSC VHF set with integrated passive AIS.
It looks like a very simple and reasonable solution to getting an additional gadget onto the boat.
Seems cleaner install than an additional black box, with additional aerial or splitter.

Has anybody got one of these?
If so, are you happy with what you've got? Any recommendations?

Both companies have their own reputations for reliability etc. so that's my own risk.
I'm really just looking for peoples experience.

Thanks
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Old 31 July 2017, 14:38   #2
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I have the gx2200 very happy with it. Can't go wrong with standard horizon. The ais works great. Although if you really want to use it for ais more than recreationally, I'd output to an external chartplotter to have a better map overlay
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Old 31 July 2017, 14:57   #3
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I have the Icom 506. I also have a black box AIS transponder so the AIS bit of the vhs is a tad redundant. I only went for this model as it was the only one at the time that used nmea2000. The 506 is fine & id happily fit another.
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Old 31 July 2017, 16:09   #4
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I've got an icon m506 with ais and its linked to the simrad go7 it works great and its a neat installation although the simrad did shit its pants last week and I've just fitted a new unit I've used an alternative to keep me going touch wood its been pretty reliable
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Old 31 July 2017, 16:19   #5
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I have an M506 and a GX1700 running side by side. So I guess I can't tell you what the GX2200 is like, but the M506 is excellent.

Let's consider what you get with each:

Standard Horizon:
  • AIS/GPS - the perfect standalone set
  • Luckily, as it only has NMEA 0183 networking
  • And will be an arsepain to wire up
Icom:
  • No GPS onboard
  • Which is OK as it has NMEA 2000
  • But you'll need a NMEA 2000 network
  • And will interface seamlessly with a plotter
  • Has a 2 minute replay feature
  • And a great speaker on the Mic
I stress again, that I can't comment on the Standard Horizon model you are looking at. That said, my GX1700 can't hold a candle to the M506. They are both fine VHFs, but the Icom has it hands down. The S-H is a bit plasticky, has less menu access via dials, has a poorer screen with poorer text and most importantly, has much poorer audio - the Icom has absolutely excellent sound - loud and clear. Both sets perform well in CG radio checks.


Needless to say, there are other VHF sets that will do similar jobs, the Link-8 being one.
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Old 31 July 2017, 16:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breezeblock View Post
and I've just fitted a new unit I've used an alternative to keep me going touch wood its been pretty reliable
Has the gArfIsh been on your RIB?

The willkcraft tours The Corryvreckan


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Old 31 July 2017, 16:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk View Post
I have an M506 and a GX1700 running side by side. So I guess I can't tell you what the GX2200 is like, but the M506 is excellent.

Let's consider what you get with each:

Standard Horizon:
  • AIS/GPS - the perfect standalone set
  • Luckily, as it only has NMEA 0183 networking
  • And will be an arsepain to wire up
Icom:
  • No GPS onboard
  • Which is OK as it has NMEA 2000
  • But you'll need a NMEA 2000 network
  • And will interface seamlessly with a plotter
  • Has a 2 minute replay feature
  • And a great speaker on the Mic
I stress again, that I can't comment on the Standard Horizon model you are looking at. That said, my GX1700 can't hold a candle to the M506. They are both fine VHFs, but the Icom has it hands down. The S-H is a bit plasticky, has less menu access via dials, has a poorer screen with poorer text and most importantly, has much poorer audio - the Icom has absolutely excellent sound - loud and clear. Both sets perform well in CG radio checks.


Needless to say, there are other VHF sets that will do similar jobs, the Link-8 being one.
when the simrad was in the process of going tits up I was getting patchy gps on the icom I didn't realise that the simrad transmitted the signal to the vhf I was thinking I was having major issues but it was solved when I fitted the new unit hopefully it was a one off
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Old 01 August 2017, 06:41   #8
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I have a Lowrance Link 8 connected to a Garmin EchoMap 50 and they work well together with AIS targets showing up well on the plotter. The screen on the radio is too small to be of much use, other than to give you an awareness of other vessels. Plotter view is great though and the plotter has enough IO ports to cope with DSC and AIS inputs (at different baud rates so not a shared link). The Link 8 seems very good as a radio too and has NMEA 2000 capability, not that anything else I have has though.

I'd happily recommend it but it was a close call between that and the SH unit.

Phil M
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Old 02 August 2017, 15:38   #9
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Thanks for your replies.

It seems there are no bad choices (which is good).
As you have mentioned NMEA standard seems to be the biggest consideration.

Willk, does your ICOM get its gps data over NMEA2000? I had read that it fed AIS over NMEA2000 but received position info over NMEA 0183. That may have been an older firmware version.

I love the standby Simard, future design icon.
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Old 02 August 2017, 15:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Dials View Post
Willk, does your ICOM get its gps data over NMEA2000? I had read that it fed AIS over NMEA2000 but received position info over NMEA 0183. That may have been an older firmware version.
Yeah - mine is 100% NMEA 2000 and integrated perfectly/automatically. I "think" I'm V1.02 - but that was a couple of years back. They're on 1.03/4 now.

Buy the ICOM, it's a class act - you know you want to...
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