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Adding NMEA 2000 support to a Standard Horizon GX2200

Posted by Doug Miller on 7/31/2015 to Configuration Examples

The Standard Horizon GX2200 AIS Matrix VHF radio is one of our most popular products. This radio has built in AIS and GPS receivers and makes a nice self-contained AIS system - not to mention a great VHF radio. But one thing that is missing is the ability to use this device with a NMEA 2000 network. We have a solution. This article shows you how to easily add NMEA 2000 support to a GX2200 using the AMEC NK-80 NMEA 2000 Adaptor. What this will enable is the ability to send AIS, DSC and even GPS data to a NMEA 2000 network from your GX2200 and also use an external NMEA 2000 GPS source with your GX2200 in case you do not get good GPS coverage where you have the GX2200 installed. 

Before jumping into how to connect these solutions together, it is worth reviewing what each product does.

AMEC NK-80 NMEA 2000 Adaptor

The AMEC NK-80 is a NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 bi-directional gateway. It has 4 bare wires (2 input wires / 2 output wires) on one end for the NMEA 0183 connection and a NMEA 2000 plug on the other end which can be attached to a standard NMEA 2000 T connector on your NMEA 2000 network. This means it can take NMEA 0183 data and convert the NMEA sentences to NMEA 2000 PGNs which are then pushed out on your NMEA 2000 network. And it works the other way as well by taking NMEA 2000 PGNs in and converting those to NMEA 0183 sentences that can then be used with older NMEA instruments. This is a great solution for enabling older marine electronics to work with and share data with newer NMEA 2000 compatible devices. 

Standard Horizon Matrix GX2200 AIS/GPS Receiver VHF Radio

Standard Horizon has been making marine radios for years but last year it launched a new AIS Matrix radio that has integrated a dual-channel AIS receiver and a GPS receiver in a standard marine VHF radio form factor. With the built-in GPS, not only do you get full DSC functionality, but you also get a mini AIS display showing a radar-like view of nearby vessels. To call an AIS vessel, you simply select the vessel on the display and hit the CALL button. Another major benefit is that you only need one VHF antenna connection to get both AIS and VHF radio support. No additional antenna splitter is required. The AIS data that is used by the internal display can also be used by external devices that support AIS by hooking up the radio’s AIS output wires to the other device’s input wires. These output wires can also carry GPS and DSC NMEA sentences as well. The most common scenario is hooking the Matrix up to a chartplotter but lots of people have chart plotters and other devices that use the more modern NMEA 2000 network-based system rather than the older NMEA 0183 point-to-point system which is what the GX2200 supports. So the challenge we are going to solve in this article is allowing the GX2200 to be connected to a NMEA 2000 network.

Making This Work

There are four steps to making this work correctly:

  1. Wiring: First, we need to connect the input / output wires on the GX2200 to the input / output wires on the NK-80. You’ll want to use a terminal block or other approved system for connecting the wires. If you need to extend the wires, you can do so using a four-wire shielded cable. The wiring connections are as follows:
  2. GX2200 Baud Rate Configuration: You will need to ensure that the NMEA port on the GX2200 is set to communicate at 38400 baud. Do to this, with the radio on:
    1. Press and hold the [CALL (MENU)] key on the front panel.
    2. Press the [SELECT] softkey to enter the GENERAL SETTINGS menu.
    3. Use the CHANNEL knob to scroll down and until the NMEA DATA IN/OUT settings menu item is highlighted. Press the [SELECT] softkey.
    4. Use the CHANNEL knob to highlight 38400 BPS. Press the [ENT] softkey.
    5. Press the [QUIT] softkey three times to exit back to the default radio display.
  3. GX2200 GPS Output Configuration (optional): If you want to output GPS sentences as GPS PGNs to the NMEA 2000 network, you will need to ensure that the GX2200 is outputting GPS sentences on the NMEA wires in addition to the AIS and DSC sentences. To do this, do the following:
    1. Press and hold the [CALL (MENU)] key on the front panel.
    2. Press the [SELECT] softkey to enter the GPS SETUP menu.
    3. Use the CHANNEL knob to scroll down and until the NMEA OUTPUT settings menu item is highlighted. Press the [SELECT] softkey.
    4. Use the CHANNEL knob to highlight each of the GPS sentences (GGA, GLL, GSA, GSV and RMC), press the [ENT] softkey, select ON, press the [ENT] softkey then press the [QUIT] softkey. Repeat this for each GPS sentence type you want to send to the PC. As a minimum you should at least turn on RMC sentence output.
    5. Press the [QUIT] softkey three times to exit back to the default radio display.
      See the GX2200 manual for more information if needed.
  4. NK-80 Configuration: The default baud rate for the NK-80 is 38400 baud and it automatically passes all sentences / PGNs so there is nothing additional that needs to be configured on the NK-80. Plug the NK-80 into a spare NMEA 2000 T connector and power up the network. The NK-80 draws power from the NMEA 2000 network so it does not require a separate power connection. You should see the blue LEDs flash on power up and as data is passed. If you have the need to do custom filtering, see the NK-80 manual for instructions on how to use the NK-80 Configuration application. 

Your GX2200 should now be working on the NMEA 2000 network. A good test to ensure this is working is check to see if you see AIS targets on your NMEA 2000 compatible chart plotter.

Summary

This completes the steps to integrate a Standard Horizon GX2200 radio with a NMEA 2000 networking using the AMEC NK-80 NMEA 2000 Adaptor.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Feel free to comment below.

Safe boating.

 

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9 Comments

DCant
Date: 8/4/2015
your post is very timely. I am looking to connect Standard Horizon GX2200 to Lowrance HDS-10 GEN2. Do you require a network to utilize the AMEC-NK-80? Thank you,
Doug Miller
Date: 8/4/2015
Yes, you do require a minimal NMEA 2000 network with at least 3 T connectors, 2 terminators and one NMEA 2000 power cable plus one drop cable from the display to a NMEA 2000 T connector.
Daniel young
Date: 4/1/2016
Great post. I'm trying to connect a gx1700 to a nassa clipper GPS repeater which uses 2000 would one of these connectors work ?
Doug Miller
Date: 4/1/2016
It looks like the Clipper GPS Repeater uses NMEA 0183 so you should be able to connect the 1700 output wires to the NMEA input wires on the Clipper.
ryan
Date: 4/3/2016
When using the GX2200 with a Raymarine SeaTalk NG network, would the Raymarine E70196 kit accomplish all the same functionality at less than half the cost? Thanks
Doug Miller
Date: 4/3/2016
I be honest I am not sure as there is little documentation on this kit. I have heard that it only passes basic NMEA sentences (whatever that means) so not sure if it can handle AIS sentences or the higher baud rate.
Chris LaRocque
Date: 5/30/2016
I am in the process of hooking up my gx 220 standard horizon radio with a lowrance hds gen 3 graph. I assume I can also use the AMEC NK-80 NMEA 200 Adaptor and follow thee same instructions for this article? I believe the aticle used a gen 2 10" lowrance as the example...but I assume I do the same thing. Also, I will need to rum extra wire to go from upper electronic box (hard top) through bars to dash below....what gauge of 4 wire shielded cable do I use? (16 or 18 or something else??) please inform thanks Chris
Doug Miller
6/7/2016 8:34:00 AM
Yes this would work fine with any NMEA 2000 network including one with a Lowrance HDS. Regarding the wire type for the connection, 4 wire shielded would be best using similar gauge to what is used on the radio I/O leads.
Doug Miller
6/7/2016 8:30:00 AM
Yes this would work fine with any NMEA 2000 network including one with a Lowrance HDS. Regarding the wire type for the connection, 4 wire shielded would be best using similar gauge to what is used on the radio I/O leads.
Troy
Date: 6/7/2016
Could this be used in a Seatalkng network with an adapter cable without setting up an additional separate nmea 2000 network?
Doug Miller
6/7/2016 8:34:00 AM
Yes this will work with a SeaTalkNG network as well. You will need a Raymarine DeviceNet cable which we sell here: http://www.milltechmarine.com/Raymarine-NMEA-2000-to-SeaTalkNG-DeviceNet-Adaptor-Cable_p_305.html
Doug Miller
6/7/2016 8:30:00 AM
Yes this will work with a SeaTalkNG network as well. You will need a Raymarine DeviceNet cable which we sell here: http://www.milltechmarine.com/Raymarine-NMEA-2000-to-SeaTalkNG-DeviceNet-Adaptor-Cable_p_305.html
Chris Wolcott
Date: 12/19/2016
Any idea on if it is configurable if you have multiple sources? I have two chartplotters with built in GPS. I have heard ActiSense uses the highest priority (Lowest Node #) if multiple sources are detected. Some others convert everything, so an 0183 listener (VHF) can get confused by multiple GPS sentences with varying location data.

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