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Discussion Starter #1
hey to the group
have been a follower of your forum for many years and now i need some help.
i’m one of those guys who sails my boat Celest to the bahamas every year. I first used garmin blue charts with explorer charts installed on an ipad as my chart plotter. thinking what a great app that was i moved over to a real garmin 741xs chartplotter a few years ago. after using the blue the real chart plotter was a real disappointment but it worked and had the explorer charts, so all was good.
three years ago my wife said she’d like to have AIS for the crossing and thats where the trouble began.
i bought the garmin non ais 210 vhf dsc gps radio, the garmin ghs11 remote mike and the garmin AIS 600 box.
i had a garmin certified tech help me with the install, long story.
it took 2 years to get it working cause the chart plotter needed to be updated and tech couldn’t get it to work from his laptop and i wanted to go sailing.
radio worked that first year as long as chartplotter was on to give it a gps position, otherwise you got a loud beep every hour telling you that the radio has no position. there is noway to turn off the gps function, making the radio worthless at anchor, cause i don’t have the battery power to waste on keeping a chartplotter running 24/7.
last summer i took the chartplotter home and tried to update chartplotter from my apple computer. garmin doesn’t work with an apple computer or their workaround. so i had to buy a $30 sd card from garmin to up grade the chartplotter.
this winter back to celest and the AIS worked. but!
with the chartplotter upgrade i lost my my explorer charts and got useless navionics charts of the bahamas. the charts are worthless and the reason for many first time boats going aground in the bahamas.
the radio still only worked when the chartplotter was left on and we finally installed the GHS 11 remote mike which wouldn’t work because the 741xs needed to be updated to recognize the mike.

i hired the florida tech again but he couldn’t get the upgrade to talk to my chartplotter again and when he called garmins help line they told him i needed a newer GPS. this as i’m paying him $100 an hour. we also tried to install a nmea 183 GPS antenna directly to the radio, so the radio could hold a position without the chartplotter, but the radio wouldn’t recognize it.
garmin does make a card reader nmea 2000 net work updater that they say i can buy for $80 and update my radio so the compatible ghs11 mike would work.

i can sell everything on ebay and probably get back 30% of my money and start new.
So, i am through with garmin and here is are my questions for the group, finally.

recommendation for a 7” chartplotter that will take Cmap navico charts? so i can get back to explorer charts.
will my garmin AIS 600 talk to a non garmin chartplotter?
if not, a recommendation for an AIS transponder that would ork with any chartplotter?
i have the single antenna through the ais 600 splitter.
radio?
i want a DSC radio with remote mike, that is independent of my
chartplotter and AIS so that it can stay on day or night at anchor if i want it, without taxing my modest battery bank. i could keep my present radio if it would talk to the antenna i hooked up to it.
but i cannot, any idea’s?
or should i buy a new DSC radio remote mike compatible that has a built in GPS antenna?
any ideas of a make and model?
i think thats about it, would appreciate any advise and input.
thanks, robie
 

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While I personally don't like Garmin gear much, and particularly dislike their business model and customer antagonism, the VHF beeping without a GPS position is standard operation for all manufacturers radios. It is law that they do this if programmed with a MMSI because that safety system requires position data to work correctly. Your options are to buy another radio with a built-in GPS, or connect an external GPS to your existing radio. I see that you tried that and it didn't work. It should, and the possible reasons it did not are numerous - ranging from baud rate to communication protocol. I've had several radios (non-Garmin) in the past where I just dedicated a cheap GPS receiver off ebay to them so it turns on with the radio. Power use is practically unmeasurable, and these can be found for under $50 (if not free from someone upgrading an older system). This might be worth pursuing further.

I can say from experience that your AIS600 will integrate with other manufacturers chartplotters. It is standard NMEA2000. You will lose the ability to make direct VHF DSC calls from a non-Garmin chartplotter, though.

If you want to use CMap charts containing Explorer data for the Bahamas, then look at Simrad, B&G, and Furuno plotters. Raymarine can use some CMap charts, but I don't think their entire line can use the Explorer data - you would need to check with them.

Mark
 

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hi mark
thanks for your response and your advise. that is great to hear that the ais600 will work with other nmea2000 chartplotters.
i think i will keep the AIS then, sell the rest and start over. i like the sound of the standard horizon gx1800g with built in gps and if it cant find a signal at my chart table the plug in scu-38 antenna. yes, your right i couldnt get my radio to recognise a nmea183 gps antenna.
and i dont care about the loss of direct dsc calling. the SH GX1800g also has a compatable ram mike which would take care of my on deck needs. i have been looking a chartplotters and the 7" simrad or b&g look fine for my purpose now that i know theyll talk to my AIS600.
looked at your blog, you are full of projects. maybe i'll see you on the water next season? thanks again, robie
 

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looked at your blog, you are full of projects. maybe i'll see you on the water next season? thanks again, robie
Ha! Full of projects is an understatement. New boat with lots of changes being done to make it more like our old boat - go figure! Hopefully we will meet on the water. Hopefully we will be able to get back out cruising (wider cruising, not just US coastal). I guess we "lucked out" in that the planned projects coincidentally kept us in the US at the unforeseen time the virus made it difficult for US citizens to be in other countries. The marina we are in has had stragglers coming in from other countries because it was no longer tenable there. It has slowed some of our work because suppliers shut down, but on the bright side we unexpectedly got better pricing on new sails due to the bottom dropping out in that market.

Mark
 
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