Power BI

Content by Charles Sterling

ICOM 302 does not send out properly formatted DSC VHF messages

I have not given up on displaying DSC information from my Matrix 2150– despite the fact my Simrad NX40 does not support DSC.  

My contingency plan is to use my Standard Horizon CP170 chartplotter to display this information.  I figured since CP170 does supports DSC and is all Standard Horizon wiring it should be a piece of cake….Well it was until it wasn’t <grin>. 

It only took me a couple of minutes to wire it all together.  Making sure to solder and permanently waterproof the whole thing with shrink wrap (Big mistake not testing it first).

After everything was wired I turn on my back-up VHF an ICOM 302 and send out a DSC Position Report to the Matrix 2150.  Which promptly displayed a position request.


But looking at the CP170 nothing showed up!!  (Boo!)

Figuring it was a broken NMEA wire (they are very very thin) so I undo all my shrink wrap and check it. – everything okay there….

Then I call Standard Horizon…(Great/amazing support btw) and they ask if I have Multimeter and if I can check the output (should be between 1-5 volts) but ONLY DURING A DSC call with a VALID NMEA formatted position information. 

Luckily I had a spare VHF (Standard Horizon Eclipse 1000) so I tried sending Position Report from this radio….and Viola the Position Report comes in as a Position Report AND WITH GPS Coordinates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yeah!! 

The Matrix 2150 also treats this message quite differently like not automatically dismissing the message after 10 seconds and allows me to save the message as a way point.

Apparently the Matrix 2150 is not compatible with the ICOM 302 DSC VHF messages.     Not being an expert on VHF to DSC messages not certain which one is formatting their messages incorrectly wrong but at least I have two radio’s that work!



As you can see from the photo below I did much of this latest debugging at home and the CP170 is permanently mounted in my boat so I won’t be able to verify that it is displaying correctly until after the new year.

Snaps to Devon and Juan at Standard Horizon for helping me through this