Power BI

Content by Charles Sterling

How to wire your DSC VHF to a NMEA 0183 Chartplotter so you can remove them

All the Chartplotters I have seen have water tight disconnects making them very easily removed – like my Simrad NX40(See picture)

BUT all the NMEA 0183 DSC VHF radios I have seen have these same connections hardwired….

So if you wire your VHF to your Chartplotter through the dashboard or binnacle your VHF is stuck in your boat –and easy pickings for any thieves.  (Definitely not where I want my Standard Horizon Matrix 2150 to end up!)



Really wanting to remove my electronics while left the boat moored I started looking at my options for quick disconnect plugs (like what NMEA 2000 gives you).  I am sure there are some really good quick disconnect plugs out there – but not at my local RadioShack!

What they did have was gold plated 3.5mm headphone extension cables for ~$8/pair.  So I bought a couple of these (plus some I had laying around) and cut them in half soldering/heat shrinking each half to the VHF and the Chartplotter. 

From the Chartplotter view this plug now has the following signals running through it:  


The actual chartplotter wire below…the red tape is to distinguish this cable from the power cable (Same exact cable just plugs into different ports on the chart plotter)


Below is the other half of the wires on my Matrix 2150.

The reason there are three:

  1. The red shrink wrapped female – DSC to my Standard Horizon CP170 ( you can see the CP170 mount in the background below)
  2. Black Female – AIS to my NX40
  3. Black Male – to my PA/Fog Horn on the roof



Now all my electronics can come out of the boat while I am not in it!