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  #1  
Old 03-23-2013
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Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

Tomorrow is the last day of the Defender sale. They have what I believe to be a good deal on this.

I could use a new VHF.
All the reviews I could find sound pretty good.
I know it only receives AIS and the screen is small.
I don't need to broadcast AIS and I doubt I will even bother trying to connect it to my small chart plotter.
I don't go out very far and would only really need it if I got caught out int the fog or the occasional night sail.

Someone care to talk me out of it? I could live with the relic I have now and wait another year or buy something basic, solid yet inexpensive, or even just upgrade to a new floating hand held with GPS and DSC.

This thread will self destruct in 24 hrs.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

Find out what installation accessories need to go with it. My experience has been that one you add up things like Ram Mic, Ram Mic cable, splitters, coax for vhf antenna, etc, etc...this project becomes expensive.

So I just got an ICOM box to add receive only which had a built in splitter.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Find out what installation accessories need to go with it. My experience has been that one you add up things like Ram Mic, Ram Mic cable, splitters, coax for vhf antenna, etc, etc...this project becomes expensive.

So I just got an ICOM box to add receive only which had a built in splitter.
Thanks for the reply. From what I understand, it uses your existing VHF antenna. I have no plans for a RAM mic as I prefer to use my handheld from the cockpit, and, it suits my near coastal purposes.

Your points are well taken. Thanks again.
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

Sorry, can't talk you out of it, I have one and it's great.

Please note that you'll need to connect the VHF to the chartplotter anyway, because the VHF needs the GPS position for AIS to work at all (and for DSC, so two reasons to connect it) So at that point, you might as well connect it back the other way to see AIS targets on the plotter.

What kind of plotter do you have?
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

I have one. I love it. I also have the RAM mic, which is a great addition for a variety of reasons:

- You don't want to go into the cabin in an emergency
- It duplicates the main unit's display, so you can see a graphical representation of the AIS targets (though not as high-res as a chartplotter would show)

Please note that you do NOT need a full chartplotter to get AIS/DSC functionality. All you need is a GPS signal. I hear about people hooking up their handhelds to it, but not sure what adapter cables are needed, since most GPSs have USB and the radio expects to get RS422 or RS232 serial hookup. Here's what I used, and it provides a dedicated signal to the radio, which I believe is the most reliable possible situation:

Amazon.com: Garmin 18x LVC GPS Navigator Unit: GPS & Navigation Amazon.com: Garmin 18x LVC GPS Navigator Unit: GPS & Navigation



So in addition to the radio, you MUST have GPS signal, either from a current chartplotter or handheld (if you have them) or the GPS dongle that I recommend ($64) If you use the Garmin puck that I recommend, you'll need to supply 5v to the unit which will cost a few dollars to convert from your 12v system. [EDIT: Oops, I didn't see that you already have a chartplotter. You can ignore this part.]

The RAM mic is not absolutely required, but if you can spare the ~$100 it's a good addition.

My own setup includes Bluetooth transmitters to send all the stuff to a computer or tablet wirelessly. It's probably way more complicated than any sane person would want to do.
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

Yes I think a RAM mike is a strong candidate for my next birthday present....seems like I'm never short of ideas for presents
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

I wouldn't think twice, it's a great unit.

I've installed several including my own. Having the RAM mic at the helm and AIS on the plotter is a huge safety plus when dealing with any commercial traffic.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

You guys are the best. I wish I could buy a round.

I was gonna use my Garmin backup GPSMAP 76 to hook up to it. I keep it running in the cabin most of the time. Easier than running more wires back to the binnacle. But, maybe it's time I go high tech. I can always add the RAM Mic later.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

If you have no intentions to use the RAM mic then also consider the Lowrance Link-8 which is cheaper and networks using NEMA 2000 or NEMA (the SH is NEMA only). It is $40 cheaper than the GX2150 and is also a VHF w/ integrated AIS receiver.

The Simrad RS35 is the more expensive version (about the same price as the GX2150), but has a wireless remote mic option. I just ordered that from Defender during the sale.
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Last edited by Alex W; 03-24-2013 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Standard Horizon Matrix AIS+ GX2150

While its nice to get an AIS VHF, I would save save you money and by a real AIS module, Chartplotter and radar. The false sense of security of p a $400 radio providing you with collision protection is not stressed enough. Frankly I think it's a waste of money.

My experience with an integrated system which identifies all vessels is that less than 5% of my radar targets have AIS. AIS is used by very few vessels except large ships and tankers and tugs use AIS.

An AIS integrated with Chart plotter and radar will identify every vessel, those equipped with AIS and not, and the majority of them do not have AIS. Spending money on a 5% solution is not worth it. Save a few hundred and put it to something which works 100% of the time.

I am sure this wont be a popular statement with most, how many would buy a life raft canister if it only saved you 5% of the time. So here you are out in the fog...and you identify 1 out of 20 vessels. No thanks. Do you feel safer...not me.

Dave
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