VHF Waypoint

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  • #17214
    Kevin Amos

    I have a Standard Horizon HX870 VHF radio which allows me to enter a manual waypoint. BC Marine Trails Map gives me coordinates for campsites that I would like to enter into my VHF. The map gives me coordinates in two formats such as this.

    Coordinateslat 50.02600 lng -124.82559
    Coordinateslat 50° 1.560′ lng -124° 49.535′

    However my VHF has the following format options

    How do I manually enter a coordinate into my VHF?

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #17230
    Kevin Amos

    Thank you all for your responses. They have been very helpful.

    I have a follow up question specific to the Standard Horizon YCE15 software. Have any of you used to to import waypoints. I understand Marine Trails allows members to export gpx or klm files.


    Yekaterina Yushmanova

    You would enter the first option as:

    050° 01.560 – 124° 49.535 (add a zero in front where needed)

    or second

    050° 01.56 -124° 49.54 (round up the seconds, less precise)



    Martin Feuchtwanger

    @Nick: I, too, have the HX870. Kevin’s list of location formats is correct


    There is no decimal degrees option.

    Nick Heath

    First: thank for asking an easy question, Kevin. Often our Forum questions are imponderable! However, I hope you meant the first option was ddd.ddddd as Martin assumed, not as you wrote i.e. “ddd°mm.mmm”,

    Second: thanks for a succinct, accurate answer, Martin. Right on!

    Third: Increasingly, I find degrees and decimal degrees is the preferred format in use – it is the standard in aviation. It reduces the confusion over what units are in use (in radio communications especially and avoids dividing/multiplying by 60. The bad part is that it is harder to use with a nautical chart, because it doesn’t give the minutes which are clearly given on charts, so it is harder to quickly locate the correct point from a given coordinate.

    Most sailors, mariners and I prefer ddd mm.mmm – degrees are separated from minutes but we don’t bother with seconds – we just use a decimal of a minute. This is a practical hybrid format that works well with marine charts.

    The last option uses seconds instead of decimal minutes and I think this is too confusing for people although it is time-honoured and traditional. I find I make more mistakes over units when using this format. However, the Govt of Canada sticks doggedly to this older format for issuing notices etc so you need to know what it is and how to convert.

    The great part about these machines (GPS, plotters etc) is that they don’t really care and can instantly convert from one to another format, so I often re-set my GPS to another of these formats to capture a new waypoint given to me in a format that I don’t currently use – then I switch the machine back and everything is converted into my preferred format, whatever that might be.

    Sorry – my explanation was far from succinct!

    Chris Dennis

    Kevin, try the converter attached.  https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/dms-decimal

    It’s a bit clunky to do serveal of these but, with patience, it gets the job done.



    Martin Feuchtwanger

    The first map coords format is ddd.ddddd (i.e., decimal degrees) which is not an option on your radio.

    The second format is ddd°mm.mmm (i.e., degrees and decimal minutes) which is the first option on your radio. (It is also the second radio option but with lower precision.)

    FYI, the third radio format is degrees, minutes and seconds.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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