How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 01-04-2012
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How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

I've spent quite some time troubleshooting this issue together with a very helpful chap from Horizon's support department (Devin) and thought I share our findings with RL70 and RL80 owners.

What I wanted to do:
Get an NMEA0183 signal from my RL70's NMEA out port to feed GPS info to the Standard Horizon AIS capable VHF.

What I tried to do:
Connect the NMEA cables to the VHF following the instructions in the VHF manual.

What was the result?
Well not much would be an overstatement. The VHF didn't even indicate a fault signal (it would do that by flashing a graphical representation of a satellite in the upper right corner of the display)

After days of research and troubleshooting it turns out that my plotter had an outdated firmware (2.09) and only supports NMEA0183 version 1.0 (The VHF requires 2.0 or later) This by itself was quite tricky to find out since Raymarine's "support" couldn't tell me what's been updated in later versions (V4.x is the latest version). All they could tell me was that they no longer support memory card updating and I had to disconnect my unit and send it to them for an update that might fix the issue (this would take weeks according to them (sigh))

So, rather than dealing with Raymarine I read up on the difference between NMEA 1.0 and 2.0.
Turns out the differences includes changes to the voltage levels and tge way the signal ground work.
After hours of thinking and testing we found that there were two potential fixes.
1. Buy a Raymarine Raytech NMEA box for $150+tax+shipping.
2. Alter the NMEA output signal levels slightly and disconnect the signal ground.

Summary:
We went with option 2.
Here's what we did:

1. Connect NMEA+ from the plotter to NMEA in (blue cable) on the VHF.
2. Connect NMEA- from the plotter to the NMEA in on the VFH via an 8k Ohm resistor ($1 part at the closest Electronic part store / Radio shack etc).
3. Isolate the NMEA ground (green cable) from the VHF and leave it disconnected.
4. On the "NMEA out" menu option in the RL70, select RMC (you can de-select the other options if you don't have another NMEA consumer.

That's it. Your GX2100 will now be able to read the GPS location from your plotter!

PS. The RL-70 doesn't support an AIS overlay so you'll have to connect the VHF NMEA out to another device (Seaclear on a PC?) if you want that.
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

So I am having the same problem in connecting my standard horizon gx-2000 radio to my Raymarine RL-70c.

I went to radio shack to buy the resistor. Closest they had was 3.9k ohm 1/2 watt resistors so I took 2 of them and wired them end-to-end and connected them as instructed.

At first, I got a fix on the radio and the satellite icon lit. But 10 seconds later the icon began to flash. Coordinates still display although the SOG and COG go blank. In time it is obvious the the connection is lost because the time does not change.

If I turn the radio on and off, no satellite icon and no fix. If I disconnect the NMEA - and reconnect, same problem. I see a fix for 10 seconds and then the icon flashes and SOG and COG goes blank.

I have tried using one resistor and 3 resistors in series and have the same result.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

Personally I have my doubts about the resistors. What happens if you connect it up the simple way?

This would be :

Signal out on RL70C to port 1 RX IN (grey) on the VHF

Signal ground on RL70C to ground (black) on the VHF

That should be all it takes.
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

I tried connecting it without the resistor but it does not work.

Tried using either Brown or Green on the radio for the NMEA -, but it only works if I use the resistor, but only for 10 seconds.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

So how are the grounds connected? As I described and nothing else?
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

The RL-70 outputs
NMEA Data output on Blue
NMEA ground on White

The Standard Horizon GX-2000
NMEA In + is Blue
NMEA Common - is Green
NMEA Out + is Gray
NMEA HS In + is Brown

I connected RL-70 Blue to Standard Horizon (SH) Blue and maintained that connection.

I then connected RL-70 White to SH Green with and without the resistors. Worked for 10 seconds then stopped

I then disconnected Green and connected RL-70 White to SH Brown with and without the resistors.
Worked for 10 seconds then stopped
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

Joevar,
That's interesting.
I'm guessing it's still related to the original issue (the voltage difference in the signal).
Do you have access to an additional resistor that you can add in series? The common resistors have quite a bit of play in them so you may not have enough. An alternative if you don't have an additional resistor onboard is to add a long and thin cable. That also adds resistance. If that works then just go back to Raidoshack and get a resistor when you have time.

Last edited by GNU; 07-21-2013 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: How to connect a Standard Horizon GX2100 AIS VHF to a Raymarine RL-70C plotter

I did try adding a third resistor but it yielded the same results.
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