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Real world experience with a GPS/AIS equipped VHS radio

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Real world experience with a GPS/AIS equipped VHS radio

Old 06-16-2018, 05:58 AM
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Default Real world experience with a GPS/AIS equipped VHS radio

Looking for some advice.
I am trying to decide on a VHS radio for my soon to be delivered new boat.
I have all my other electronics already
Primary screen Simrad NSS12 evo3, secondary screen Simrad GO9 XSE, and a 4G radar.
My quandary What type of Radio. I am considering purchasing a GPS/AIS equipped radio.
Looking for anyone with real world experience using one.
I am primarily running out of Galveston and Freeport so there is a bunch of ship traffic. Do i need the AIS as I have a good radar?
Am I making an important simple safety device like a VHS radio too complicated with more stuff to cause a failure?
The folks with AIS do you use the data/look at the data? I am pretty sure i can network the AIS data to my main navigation screen. Will I be making an already busy helm just too much?
Thanks
Old 06-16-2018, 06:08 AM
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Don't get a VHS, go BetaMax.
Old 06-16-2018, 06:13 AM
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Jokes aside, I think you'd know if you needed/wanted AIS, and if you don't know you probably don't need it.

Whatever you do, whether or not the VHF has internal GPS, be sure to network it with your chart plotter (NMEA 0183 or 2000) so that the radio can send DSC data to the chart plotter. This will give you some basic ship-to-ship tracking of buddy boats, but more importantly, it will show distress calls on the chart plotter. I read about so many people that don't connect their chart plotter and VHF thinking the VHF's internal GPS is all they need, and they are completely overlooking the DSC stuff.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:20 AM
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I just added AIS to my electronics. It's separate from the VHF and it's awesome! I got it primarily so tankers and big boats could see ME. BUT found its pretty cool for keeping an eye on what's going on around you. The Closest Point of Approach is both graphically and digitally displayed on my radar and chart plotter. Makes decisions easier on how to avoid getting to close to other boats that are underway.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:12 AM
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Get a Simrad RS35, loud and clear and good user interface (for a VHF).

The advantage of integrated GPS is very limited when it has AIS since I'm sure you then will connect it to your MFD's, RS35 has NMEA 2000 making this interfacing simple and reliable.

With a Simrad VHF and Simrad MFD you can initiate calls to vessels seen on AIS from the MFD.
Old 06-16-2018, 08:51 AM
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The ais isn't a question. Get it. It's 200 more

get a nmea 2000 radio. Gps isn't really needed then. As itvwikl get from screen. But won't hurt.

there is no other stuff to worry about. It just shows boats on the screen. Which can be turned off if wanted. Radio buttons / functions no different.

Don't get the go screen. It will not network with the Evo. Get a 2nd smaller evo.
Old 06-16-2018, 08:55 AM
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Thanks guys.
I guess I knew it made sense to have AIS and DSC functionality.
Originally I was looking at Icom. I was not sure if I wanted the radio stand alone or on the network.
Based on what I see here my best bet may be the Simrad RS35 connected to my NMEA 2000 network. It's a bit less expensive than the Icom.
I think I remember some bad reviews on the RS35. Anyone else have feedback on the RS35?
Old 06-16-2018, 09:05 AM
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Smac99
I hear you about the GO. I had one on my last boat and there are OK. The touch screen is a pain while running.
I got the GO almost free based on the bundles and the rebates Simrad had running last month. (transducer, radar, and a Navionics platinum chip
I also contacted Simrad they told me the GO can be networked and share radar data and position data but not transducer data. I hope that's correct.
I pretty much want tho GO to run the radar all the time until I can upgrade to another NSS12.
The GO will eventually go into my bay boat to replace an older Lowrance.
Old 06-16-2018, 09:12 AM
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Get the ICOM, w NMEA 2000 and AIS
Old 06-16-2018, 01:13 PM
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RS35 had some software issues when released causing NMEA 2000 instabilities, it was fixed after a couple of months. I installed mine in the spring of 2013, after the software update I've had no issues. I have it on two boats, both with HS35 wireless handset.
Old 06-16-2018, 01:16 PM
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If you want to save some money you can get Lowrance Link-8, same as RS35 without the possibility for wireless handset and slightly different design.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:28 PM
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+1 Link 8, works great.
Old 06-16-2018, 05:46 PM
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I personally have, and have installed many SH GX2200. It works very well. 0183 works fine, especially if you dont have a nmea 2000 network installed or need for one. Mine is interfaced to my Garmin system and shows all the AIS info on screen.
Old 06-16-2018, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by STIPulation View Post
Get the ICOM, w NMEA 2000 and AIS

I did and its great
Old 06-16-2018, 07:48 PM
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If you are boating in an area with a lot of commercial traffic, you definitely want AIS and it does not overly complicate your navigation electronics, so don't worry about that. You'll be so glad that you can see the heading of ships in the distance so you know if they are heading toward you or away from you. In hazy hot weather, at 5 miles away, it's sometimes impossible to tell which way they are headed. Your radar, using MARPA can tell you, too, but that takes a minute for you to find the target, select it, acquire it and see what it's doing. AIS is much more user friendly and the targets are on both your plotter and radar screens.

If you do much boating in low visibility conditions (being new, you probably won't (on purpose anyway)) having an AIS Transceiver will put you on the ship's screen as you will be broadcasting and receiving AIS data. That might improve safety for you, but AIS transceivers are still relatively rare on recreational boats and cost close to $1k.
Old 06-16-2018, 07:55 PM
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The RS35 integration with the NSS is very smooth - see detailed info about the vessel, push a button to directly call the vessel via dsc call. I’m pleased with mine.
Old 06-16-2018, 08:53 PM
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I have been using the Standard Horizon GX 2150, for a number of years and now the GX 2200, with AIS reception--interfaced with one of my chart plotters. You can leave the AIS off, or filter it by distance etc. I find it very useful at night or in poor visibility. Even if you have good visibility, it gives you the commercial ship's speed.

If I was voyaging offshore again, I would then have a transceiver, If international--then Class A, if mostly local to the USA, then Class B.
Old 06-17-2018, 06:06 AM
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Another vote for the Link & if you have no need for the wireless remote mic capability. It's the same radio otherwise and saves you some $$.

Whatevrr radio you choose, spend a few bucks more for a quality antenna. It makes a difference.

Last edited by Parthery; 06-17-2018 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:37 AM
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Good advise by Parthery. I've used a SH 2100 & 2200, ICOM 504 & 506, Simrad RS 35. All the radios I used are good choices I just prefer ICOM. I've been using an ICOM 506 & MB400bb since 2016. I like the N2k connectivity over NMEA 0183 because if you using multiple displays you can display the AIS targets on all it gives u back up in case of equipment failure.
Old 06-17-2018, 07:26 AM
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0183 will dispsly on multiple units.

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