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Old 08-04-2019, 05:55 PM   #1
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connect DSC radio to a gps being used on PC using Opencpn nav software

2 radios of interest have DSC
Cobra Electronics MR F45-D
ICOM IC-M402S

Someone told me I need a USB to RS485 RS422 adapter to send NEMA data into the radio.
maybe this
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DTECH-4ft-U...cAAOSwug5dReC9

Then the GPS data can be sent to the radio?

Anyone familiar with what I want to do?
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:06 PM   #2
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Yes. You want to download the manuals. NEMA connections will be found within
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:26 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure the serial adapter is a RS232 to USB
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:27 PM   #4
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If your PC has a serial port, you don't need the USB adapter. The one linked is good, don't use an adapter with a Prolific chip, they're flakey. The FTDI chip is reliable, won't give you a problem.



The VHF manual should give you the color codes for the RX- and RX+.
Typical use is getting GPS position from the chartplotter to the VHF. You'll need to enable the PC's COM port at 4800 baud, you may need to tell the software which sentences to transmit. The VHF manual will indicate which sentences it will recognize. Usually VTG (course/speed), GLL (lat-lon), ZDA (time/date), RMC (min recommended nav data), perhaps other GPS detail data (satellites & signal, etc).

There's so little utility in DSC data output by the radio that the DSC-out is rarely connected. But it's just 2 additional wires if the radio supports it.



It's used for transmitting coordinates of a received DSC call to the chartplotter, and for polling a DSC station's position. If you buddy boat, you can check your buddy's location with his MMSI #. If you can figure out how to do the 22 button presses in the proper sequence.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:30 PM   #5
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Desktops still may use serial port but pretty much all laptops in the last 10 years have USB.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:37 PM   #6
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If you just want the radio to receive GPS data, on ours I just splice it into the the same nema output line that goes to our laptop since they are both just listeners
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:16 AM   #7
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It is a desktop with serial port, I dont need the adapter. But lots of new ATX MB, they eliminated the serial port just like laptops.

I actually tore apart an old steel ATX case and created a PC so it would fit in the space, its dry, behind the salon cabin wall below the top deck. I can mount any ATX motherboard in there.

I run HDMI long cable to the monitor and use USB extension cable with the hub up at the helm.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...2?recordNum=55
I am finding out DSC is not all the same.?
This WM VHF advertises these DSC features
Quote:
Advanced DSC Features: The following DSC features are supported: Individual Call, Group Call, All Ships Call, Position Request, Position Send, Test Call, Name and MMSI Directory, Standby Mode and Received Call Log.
Does this radio not do all that?
https://www.cobra.com/products/mrf45d#
Manual
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/22...28816433846715

AND, the MMSI number is not easily changed, they kinda lock out end users changing the number, which makes me know want to buy a used vhf.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:10 AM   #9
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Standard-Horizon GX1850 VHF Marine Band DSC Radio - CONTINUOUSWAVE
This radio you can reset the MMSI code without sending it back, so I assume its not going to cost $100 to do this.

Quote:
MMSI RESET
The owner's manual mentions that the MMSI of the DSC radio can be reset by the user after contacting the factory to obtain a reset code. Standard-Horizon has already used this method on the HX870 hand held radio. This is a significant improvement over the usual situation where the radio was required to be shipped to the factory or an authorized service center for any change of the maritime mobile service identity.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:31 AM   #10
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What are you using to feed the GPS data to the PC? Please forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, but both of those VHF's only receive GPS data via NMEA for the DSC functionality but they don't have their own GPS antenna & chip to acquire position data on their own. I'm just asking to clarify that you aren't trying to pull this data from the radios.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdavid View Post
What are you using to feed the GPS data to the PC? Please forgive me if I'm stating the obvious, but both of those VHF's only receive GPS data via NMEA for the DSC functionality but they don't have their own GPS antenna & chip to acquire position data on their own. I'm just asking to clarify that you aren't trying to pull this data from the radios.
I have a usb gps device plugged into the usb hub by the helm. That feeds GPS data into the PC. On the OpenCPN forum, I was told GPS data can be sent from the PC to the radio by NMEA by way of the serial port.
I did read on a forum Standard Horizon will do the MMSI change for free, you have to pay shipping.

I need to study DSC some more, not that i would use any advanced DSC features.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Yes, that adapter is what you need. NMEA-0183 uses the RS-422 (EIA-422) standard. Just connect the two wires to the screw down terminals on the DB9 and you should be good to go.

That adapter goes USB into the computer and DB-9 Female terminal block, plug that terminal block into the DB9 male connector at one end of the cable and plug the other end into an available USB port. The drivers should auto install, but if not you can download them or they probably come on a CD or USB.

To the folks who mentioned serial ports: I'm guess you noticed the old-school DB-9 connectors and were concerned that it might be an RS-232 (EAI-232) standard serial port. This isn't the case. It is RS-422/485. It just happens that they used a DB-9 connector to terminal the cable and connect to the terminal block.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:46 AM   #13
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An 1850G has the gps in it.
https://www.amazon.com/Standard-Hori...A362F93PJ0SRP4

This site says their 1850 has the gps in it, but if its not a 'g' model, it wont.
it is cheaper than the Amazon one. I may contact them to ask about the gps and model they are selling, I think they screwed up their features listing for this model.

https://www.thegpsstore.com/Standard...ite-P5887.aspx
"25W Output Power with Internal GPS"

And they do sell the 1850g in white or black.
https://www.thegpsstore.com/Standard...ite-P5874.aspx

But its a lot more money than say the WM radio. Although I wonder would the WM radio accept gps data from the PC? It does, I just read manual.
It may be a Uniden radio
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...2?recordNum=55
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
Yes, that adapter is what you need. NMEA-0183 uses the RS-422 (EIA-422) standard. Just connect the two wires to the screw down terminals on the DB9 and you should be good to go.

That adapter goes USB into the computer and DB-9 Female terminal block, plug that terminal block into the DB9 male connector at one end of the cable and plug the other end into an available USB port. The drivers should auto install, but if not you can download them or they probably come on a CD or USB.

To the folks who mentioned serial ports: I'm guess you noticed the old-school DB-9 connectors and were concerned that it might be an RS-232 (EAI-232) standard serial port. This isn't the case. It is RS-422/485. It just happens that they used a DB-9 connector to terminal the cable and connect to the terminal block.
Would my PC motherboard's serial port 9 pin, work or do I have to get the usb adapter?
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:59 AM   #15
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Your mother board's serial port is most likely RS-232 vs RS-422. These are technically different standards. Among other things, RS-422 uses differential signaling and is multi-drop.

Having said that, when RS-422 is used single drop, as it is in your case, it isn't very far from RS-232. And, many people have connected NMEA-0183 stuff to RS-232 ports and reported good reliability. Having said that, others have reported things not working or reliability issues. Success likely depends, in part, upon the type, length, shielding, and quality of the cable as well as the quality of the power and electrical noise.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that you can try connecting the NMEA-0183 directly to that serial port. It might work, or it might not. (Hint: Check my assumption about it being RS-232 -- it if it is RS-422 or RS-485, it is compatible).

But, if it were me -- and when it was me -- I bought the adapter cable to guarantee a reliable, correct interface. It wasn't very expensive.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
Your mother board's serial port is most likely RS-232 vs RS-422. These are technically different standards. Among other things, RS-422 uses differential signaling and is multi-drop.

Having said that, when RS-422 is used single drop, as it is in your case, it isn't very far from RS-232. And, many people have connected NMEA-0183 stuff to RS-232 ports and reported good reliability. Having said that, others have reported things not working or reliability issues. Success likely depends, in part, upon the type, length, shielding, and quality of the cable as well as the quality of the power and electrical noise.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that you can try connecting the NMEA-0183 directly to that serial port. It might work, or it might not. (Hint: Check my assumption about it being RS-232 -- it if it is RS-422 or RS-485, it is compatible).

But, if it were me -- and when it was me -- I bought the adapter cable to guarantee a reliable, correct interface. It wasn't very expensive.
I got this, the price looked good to me at $83 and I checked the manual and seems to do all the DSC features and hook up to my GPS off the motherboard.
It actually looks to be the MRF45D and I dont know why Amazon is selling these at this price, maybe clearance them out.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...&condition=new

This one for $100 also looked interesting, looks like the WM one selling for $130, except no controls on the mic.
https://www.amazon.com/Uniden-UM385-...DMMTZ0PTMX2099

I dont need a super expensive fancy radio, I almost never use the vhf except for weather. It has weather alerts, so it will play the weather report if an alert occurs.. The DSC stuff looks interesting if you were going to privately call someone or get in trouble. Except lets say you request a private call, dont you then use the public radio to talk?
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Old 08-05-2019, 04:57 PM   #17
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http://www.ab4oj.com/icom/ic7700/7700hw_sw_setups.pdf
I will try my serial port first before buying the USB adapter to serial cable.
I have a serial cable I can cut open.
I would suppose that pin 3 and pin 5 is what I would need to take gps data from the PC to the radio?

 For connecting to COM ports, RS-232 cables use a connector having 9 pins. There are Male
and Female versions. COM ports on PC’s are DB-9 Male.
 Pins are functionally designated. Those listed here most often appear in software setups.
o RXD, pin 2 typically receives data in to PC. Used by CI-V.
o TXD, pin 3, typically transmits data out of the PC. Used by CI-V.
o DTR, pin 4, typically transmits commands.
o GND, pin 5 is signal ground.
o RTS, pin 7 typically transmits commands.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:48 PM   #18
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I think, Yes:

Looking at the ICOM M402S manual (https://www.icomamerica.com/en/downl...px?Document=86), page 23:
RS-232 DB-9 GND (Pin 5) to NMEA-0183 - (outside of coaxial connection)
RS-232 DB-9 TXD (Pin 3) to NMEA-0183 RX (center of coaxial connection)

Note: The manual you linked to seemed to be a HAM radio versus the VHF-DSC radio you initially inquired about. My answer applies to the VHF-DSC radio.

More generally..

If the NMEA-0183 is labelled with A/B nomenclature, the solution is commonly:
RS-232 DB-9 GND (Pin 5) to NMEA-0183 Shield Ground
RS-232 DB-9 TXD (Pin 3) to NMEA-0183 RX-A
RS-232 DB9 RXD (Pin 2) to NMEA-0183 TX-A
Unconnected: NMEA-0183 RX-B
Unconnected: NMEA-0183 TX-B

If the NMEA-0183 is labelled with +/- nomenclature, the solution is commonly
RS-232 DB-9 GND (Pin 5) to NMEA-0183 -
RS-232 DB-9 TXD (Pin 3) to NMEA-0183 RX
RS-232 DB9 RXD (Pin 2) to NMEA-0183 TX
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
I think, Yes:

Looking at the ICOM M402S manual (https://www.icomamerica.com/en/downl...px?Document=86), page 23:
RS-232 DB-9 GND (Pin 5) to NMEA-0183 - (outside of coaxial connection)
RS-232 DB-9 TXD (Pin 3) to NMEA-0183 RX (center of coaxial connection)

Note: The manual you linked to seemed to be a HAM radio versus the VHF-DSC radio you initially inquired about. My answer applies to the VHF-DSC radio.

More generally..

If the NMEA-0183 is labelled with A/B nomenclature, the solution is commonly:
RS-232 DB-9 GND (Pin 5) to NMEA-0183 Shield Ground
RS-232 DB-9 TXD (Pin 3) to NMEA-0183 RX-A
RS-232 DB9 RXD (Pin 2) to NMEA-0183 TX-A
Unconnected: NMEA-0183 RX-B
Unconnected: NMEA-0183 TX-B

If the NMEA-0183 is labelled with +/- nomenclature, the solution is commonly
RS-232 DB-9 GND (Pin 5) to NMEA-0183 -
RS-232 DB-9 TXD (Pin 3) to NMEA-0183 RX
RS-232 DB9 RXD (Pin 2) to NMEA-0183 TX
I did get the MRF45D vhf Cobra radio from Amazon.

The instructions are simply this,
To Install A GPS Device:
1. Install the GPS device in a convenient location
according to its manufacturer’s directions.
2. Bond the NMEA out negative wire to the black
wire of the GPS interface cable.
3. Bond the NMEA out positive wire to the red
wire of the GPS interface cable.

So seems like pin 3 (positive to red)and pin 5 (negative to black) is used.
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/22...28816433846715

I have a serial port double ended cable, I plan to snip off the 25 pin end. And I will trace the wires using my ohmmeter. I have had that cable for at least 20 years and never used it.

I also recall some centronics printer ports could be set to function as serial ports in a PC bios setup page.

I also have an old Xircom usb to db9 serial port adapter, it has no windows drivers, but it does work in Linux.
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Old 08-05-2019, 06:56 PM   #20
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I found the mb manual online, the serial port says this...

Serial Port Connector: JCOM1 This connector is a 16550A high speed communication port that sends/receives 16 bytes FIFOs. You can attach a serial device to it.
Would that be just rs232?
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