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  1. #1

    Intergration - Icom VHF to Raymaine Plotter

    Helping a friend with a problem with their ICOM VHF radio (DSC) integration to their Raymarine plotter via NMEA 0183.

    Radio : Icom M506 EURO with DSC and AIS receive.
    Plotter : Raymarine E series, 12 inch touch (donít recall exact model number)
    External GPS antenna : RS130 I think, connected to the platter via SeaTalk.

    The AIS side of the VHF radio hasnít been integrated with the Raymarine plotter yet. Will be looking to do this later.

    Main problem is the VHF radio was receiving GPS position, time and date from the plotter fine via NMEA 0183 fine, but not any more.
    The VHF is saying no position, no date, time.
    Neither device has had any software or firmware updates since it was original configured and working.
    I have been thru and checked the settings and checked NMEA link cables with multimeter etc and everything looks fine.
    All the Plotter NMEA0183 output fields are on. There are very few settings in the VHF to configure for incoming NMEA 0183.

    Has anyone heard of a Plotters NMEA output failing, or a NMEA input to a VHF failing ? Both devices seem to work perfectly otherwise.

    One thing on my mind is that the Plotter doesnít seem to be seeing the external RS130 GPS Antenna connected by SeaTalk.
    The Plotter suggests it is using Internal GPS for its GPS input.
    In the Plotter menu I can check input sources and it does a quick scan for connected devices. I am only seeing Internal GPS come up during the scan. Should I see the External antenna ?

    I know that it can be hard to diagnose tech problems like this on-line.
    Asking on the off chance someone can help.


  2. #2

    Re: Intergration - Icom VHF to Raymaine Plotter

    An update on this.
    We have found out that the firmware in the Icom VHF is 2 versions old.
    Icom Australia has advised to return it for an update.
    They did not detail what fixes were implemented in the newer firmware but believe it will fix the GPS problem.
    I hope so, but I'm still not totally convinced since the NMEA integration was working fine when first installed.


  3. #3

    Re: Intergration - Icom VHF to Raymaine Plotter

    Outputs can fail as can inputs but of the two the output is the most likely. Need to check it with either a analogue meter on a low volts reading (will see the needle pulsing), an oscilloscope or a L.E.D (put across the output in the correct polarity it will blink). If it worked previously and nothing else has been changed I doubt it will be firmware (never say never though). Most likely candidates are settings or a failure.

    Which "Seatalk" is the GPS connected with - HS or NG. If it is Seatalk NG (Ray's version of NMEA2000). Need to check that there is power to the network, the network is properly constructed and the terminators are fitted
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  4. #4

    Re: Intergration - Icom VHF to Raymaine Plotter

    Thanks Scott.
    On my next visit I'll take another DSC VHF with me and do a temporary connection from the Raymarine to another VHF radio to see if the NMEA0183 output is working.
    Didn't actually think to look for a signal with a multimeter or CRO - good point.

    The GPS antenna is on Seatalk NG. It was installed by the local marine sparky who is a Raymarine distributor at the marina.
    SEA TALK and NMEA 2000 is new to me, but I knew enough to check for terminators (one at each of the SEA TALK bus bar ?) and confirmed there was 12v being injected into to network. I also re-seated all the NMEA2000 connectors.

    The owner was going to climb the roof this week to try and check if the LED's on the GPS antenna are illuminating. He has the antenna manual showing the correct colours.

    One step at a time. We'll let ICOM update the firmware first. I have asked the owner to get the ICOM techs to check the radio accepts GPS input before shipping it back.

    Once the ICOM GPS issue is sorted, next step will be to take the NMEA AIS output from the ICOM (which has an inbuilt AIS receiver) to the Raymarine so local AIS boats appear on the chartplotter. This looks possible using NMEA 0183 @ 38400 baud from the ICOM to Raymarine. We will see.


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