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Sometime during the night the possible solution to the NMEA problem came to me and instead of my planned morning tasks of fixing the toilet and finding that slow water leak from the freshwater system I attacked the NMEA issue once again. I made just a bit of progress on reading the signal from the Raymarine AIS650. Despite changing the firmware so that it output 4800 BAUD on both high-speed and normal NMEA channels, I found that it was broadcasting at 38400 BAUD on the high-speed but that the wiring diagram in the manual was wrong, it had inverted the + and - signals. Once I had that figured out, I could read the fast signal but my Raymarine VHF radio could only accept the slow 4800 Baud rate, and those wires weren't sending any signal at all. A bit of Google and I found a post which stated that the high-speed input and output wire pairs needed to be shorted together in order for the 4800 Baud slow wires to work. This was not in the manual, but once I did that I got a clean signal and the VHF Radio suddenly reported "good signal" and displayed the GPS coordinates! Then I wanted to hook up the SSB and, much to my chagrin, I had to remove the main box again and dread putting those 4 bolts back in place once again! The connector for the NMEA signal on the ICOM SSB is a coax BNC one that I have, but it is hard to connect a coax wire to normal wires, so I ordered an adapter plug (along with a new microphone for the frayed existing one) and that will be here on Friday.
After this initial success I got in the car and headed for Hampton to do some shopping for the final items on my list. One of those was a kettle for boiling water, and I went to Target and Walmart and, much to my chagrin, neither had kettles although they did have a fine selection of pots and pans. I did find some of the items on my shopping list and returned to the boat. Once again I procrastinated doing the toilet repair and decided to update my website instead.