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post #1 of 7 Old 08-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Handheld GPS interface w/ VHF DCS

Are there any handheld GPSs that have a NEMA output to connect to a VHF radio with DCS?

While I primarily day sail in protected waters, I occasionally do some coastal sailing where DCS might come in handy. I currently have a Garmin GPS MAP 76, but am willing to upgrade to a newer model. My ICOM VHF is DCS capable.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-06-2008
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The GPSMap 76 has a NMEA 0183 output which will connect to your Icom. You just need to connect the following cable:



BTW, click on the photo to get it for about $15.

Garmin does a strange thing though...the Icom DSC NMEA 0183 negative line will need to be wired to the Garmin's 12 VDC ground line for it to work properly. BTW, this cable will also power the Garmin GPSMap 76 if it is connected to a DC power source. IIRC, the voltage the GPSMap 76 can use ranges from 3 VDC to about 32 or 48 VDC.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-06-2008
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The Garmin GPSmap 478 also has NMEA 0183 interface, and comes with the fancy cable that SD mentions above. I like that it is a GPS *AND* a usable Chartplotter. I believe that the Garmin 276C, 376C, 278, and 378 would work too... Look here for detail: Garmin. We'll Take You There.®

I'm not sure if the negative line goofiness applies to these units.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-06-2008
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I have already done what SD recommended and it works fine with my Uniden 525 DSC radio and GPS MAP 76cs. You need an MMSI number though, in order for it to be fully functional.
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Actually, it applies to all the Garmins from what I've seen.

However, there is absolutely no need for him to spend any more boat bucks for a new GPS unit, unless he absolutely wants to. I have the GPSMap 76 CS and think it is an excellent unit. I also have a 192C mounted as the primary chartplotter in my boat.

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
The Garmin GPSmap 478 also has NMEA 0183 interface, and comes with the fancy cable that SD mentions above. I like that it is a GPS *AND* a usable Chartplotter. I believe that the Garmin 276C, 376C, 278, and 378 would work too... Look here for detail: Garmin. We'll Take You There.®

I'm not sure if the negative line goofiness applies to these units.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #6 of 7 Old 08-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your advice & help. I'll keep my GPS MAP 76 and get the cable & try it out. And I'll get the NNMI # .
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BTW, make sure the serial port is set for NMEA 0183 at 4800, 8, N, 1. If it isn't, the radio won't understand it.

4800 baud, 8 bits, No parity, and 1 stop bit for those of you who don't speak geek.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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