Adding RD-33 to VX2 setup

Adding RD-33 to VX2 setup

Postby BlueDefender » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:41 pm

I just bought an ex-USCG SafeBoat Defender 250 that is setup with Furuno gear. First boat - so I'm trying to get my head around NMEA and boat wiring in general, so excuse the newbie question :)

I have the following setup:

Navnet VX2
- DATA1: GPS/Radar connection
- DATA2: currently using to get lat-long info to radio for DSC
- DATA3: in use for PG-500 heading sensor.
- DATA4: not used
- NETWORK: direct connected to ETR-6/10N sounder

I would like to add an RD-33 second display for basic stats. I added an NMEA-2000 "network" to power the RD-33 - but there is really nothing on it other than getting power to the RD-33.

I was hoping I could simply take the RD-33 NMEA 0183 port and connect to the VX2 DATA4 port - but this port seems to be a special PC/diagnostic port.

What's the easiest way to introduce the RD-33?

I have two rough ideas:

1. It sounds like I can connect a "HUB" to the NETWORK port on the VX2 and then connect the sounder and RD-33 into the HUB. However, when I look at something like the HUB-101 - it's more of an ethernet-style hubs vs. the 6-pin round cable on the VX2. Do I just need to get a 6-pin round to RJ-45 cable for the RD-33 and sounder connections?

2. Use DATA2 for the RD-33 0183 connection and then and somehow can get lat-long info for DSC radio off the NMEA2k output of the RD-33?

Seems like there's a simpler and more obvious way that I might be missing...

Any pointers/recommendations?
Thanks!
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Re: Adding RD-33 to VX2 setup

Postby Johnny Electron » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:20 am

The RD33 has no network port, so you can't use Ethernet. Data 4 output is RS232 level designed for a PC, so you can't use that without a level converter. If you only have the radio on data 2 output, it would be best to split the output to the RD33 and the radio.
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Re: Adding RD-33 to VX2 setup

Postby BlueDefender » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:33 pm

Thanks for reply. Can you elaborate on best way to "split output" Do I just splice in the radio cables to the TX+- and RX+- wires of the cable going to the RD-33 - or do I need some kind of multiplexer. I have the DSC radio setup to both send and transmit latlong info - so that (I'm assuming this works, never verified) other boat distress calls show up on the plotter. I assume the RD-33 doesn't transmit anything over NMEA - just receives and displays?
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Re: Adding RD-33 to VX2 setup

Postby Johnny Electron » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:58 pm

Yes, just spit it. The output can support two listeners. Take the output of the Vx2 (White+ and Black-) to the input of the two listeners. You will only have the RD33 connected to the Vx2 by two wires. (Yellow + , Green -, listen only) The RD33 is a remote display so it is a consumer of info, not a provider. Yes, the Vx2 can plot a DSC call but the radio must provide both DSC and DSE to plot the target. We have other past threads with extensive discussions on this. Not all radios provide both DSC and DSE as required for this function.
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Re: Adding RD-33 to VX2 setup

Postby BlueDefender » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:50 am

Thanks - Quick follow-up to close the thread. I purchased some old Furuno male/female plugs on ebay and made up a Y-connector cable to split the NMEA outputs into two at the back of the plotter. This way I can plug both into DATA2 without cutting up the cables already going to the devices. So far seems to work great - the RD-33 displays happily (although with a little lag compared to the VX2) and latlong shows up fine on the radio.
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