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Old 06-06-2015, 20:33   #1
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0183 or 2000?

What's it going to be? The industry seems to be in some kind of limbo, not knowing what to do or what the consumer wants.
I thought that the new nmea 2000 standard was going to be it but a year after installing the network, I wondering if I should scrap the idea of converting my old 0183 gear to 2000 and convert my new gear to 0183.
Even OpenCPN, which so many cruisers here seem to use, doesn't recognize nmea 2000. So what are all you long time cruisers doing?
Then I have another handicap too... I use a Mac
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Old 06-06-2015, 20:35   #2
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

there is a nmea 2000 bridge to usb on the market.
NMEA 2000 is going to be forever, o183 is going away slowly.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:00   #3
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

Yes but that is only half the answer. I have a gateway for my n2k network to usb but the question is, which is the better way to go, convert the older 0183 gear to n2k or convert the n2k gear to 0183? N2K has been around for a long time already and still doesn't seem to have taken the lead.
Many mfg'ers are still clinging to 0183.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:34   #4
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

This seems to be a well reasoned opinion (advocating NMEA 2000).
NMEA 0183 Vs. NMEA2000 | Mid-Shore Electronics Tech Corner
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:57   #5
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

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Originally Posted by Sir Rondo Normal View Post
the question is, which is the better way to go, convert the older 0183 gear to n2k or convert the n2k gear to 0183?
From a highly technical standpoint....if it ain't broke don't fix it.

NMEA-0183 is a point to point serial line protocol. Connecting many devices to many other devices is a hassle requiring a multiplexer: expensive if you'e buying a commercial one. Frequently you can get away with connecting many devices to one central chart plotter but these tend to come with fewer NMEA-0183 interfaces on than they once did: Modern Raymarine plotters have far fewer NMEA-0183 options than my 4 years old C90W for example.

NMEA-2000 is a better idea, bus oriented and many-to-many but it's still 80s technology and you still need ethernet to run radar and sonar images around the boat. You've already made the investment in a backbone. Connecting new stuff to that rather than running 4 NMEA-0183 wires makes sense.

The apparent resurgence of NMEA-0183 in software applications is down to the licensing model the NMEA uses for their protocols. Unlike Internet protocols which are published and "open" to encourage interoperability and innovation, the NMEA is an operation from a different industry and time which requires users of its protocols to license them at a cost and doesn't allow them to be used in open source software.

The contents of NMEA-0183 was determined by various methods including reverse engineering and widely published due in a large part to the efforts of open source advocate Eric Raymond. Although I don't understand the complexities of US litigation culture, my understanding is that the fact that it is "out there" makes pursuing people for "stealing" it tricky. NMEA-2000 on the other hand is still "closed" (although you'll find various projects which have partially decoded it), costs thousands of dollars to license, and a can controller is slightly less simple to add to a computer than a serial connection. Consequently when software, particularly open source software, uses the upper layers of an NMEA protocol over Internet Protocol (over wifi or ethernet) they chose NMEA-0183.

The question is what's coming next. We were supposed to be seeing NMEA OneNet (the new ethernet-based protocol) by now but it hasn't materialised and has all gone very quiet. Word on the street is that marine electronics companies can't get their heads round IPv6 but that's just gossip. SignalK is being touted as the open source alternative for web applications but in its current form it's hugely inefficient and inappropriate for an NMEA-replacement in embedded devices. The focus seems to be on using NMEA protocols from device to a server, building the SignalK data model on said server and using SignalK to feed end-user applications. Consequently it doesn't solve your "what do I connect my devices with?" problem.

Once again: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You have an N2K backbone. You have a converter. It will probably be easiest to connect new stuff to N2K if the device you want at the price point you can afford has an N2K interface. Personally I still have 25 year old seatalk instruments. They work. When I can replace it all with a single piece of UTP I'll think about it.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:10   #6
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

Oh for sure, the N2K backbone is in there and is staying. I'm just wondering which way to convert. I would really like to have my 0183 autopilot, radar, and vhf brought into the network. The only reason I'm hesitant to go ahead with buying the Actisense NGW-1'S (three of them) is that I could convert my N2K pieces to 0183 (only 2 to convert) and then use EDO Instrument software to view. The EDO software only supports 0183 at this time.

I am impressed with the EDO Software from Seamantec but I'm not impressed with the price tag of converting to 0183 while still stinging from buying the N2K hardware. If you know what I mean. lol
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:17   #7
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

The NGW-1 is an NMEA0183 multiplexer. You should only need a single one connecting your NMEA instruments to the N2K bus. Besides, the autopilot and radar are only listeners, so no problem anyway. I don't know what you are expecting from the vhf, but it it needs GPS data, that also is listening-only.

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Old 07-06-2015, 11:30   #8
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

This is where it's going. Or will at least be a significant factor.

The SignalK project has the potential to keep both sides happy: you have to buy an interface from a NMEA-sanctioned manufacturer so the NMEA retains its lock and trade secrets on the NMEA2000 bus, but once you have that interface, there's an open protocol that anyone can use.

Assuming this project goes well, the N2K bus will become alot easier for non-NMEA members to work with.
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Old 09-06-2015, 15:07   #9
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The NGW-1 is an NMEA0183 multiplexer. You should only need a single one connecting your NMEA instruments to the N2K bus. Besides, the autopilot and radar are only listeners, so no problem anyway. I don't know what you are expecting from the vhf, but it it needs GPS data, that also is listening-only.

Mark
From the Actisense web site "Multiple NGW-1 units can be used to multiplex numerous NMEA 0183 devices onto the NMEA 2000 network, using the network as a means of combining and transferring all data items from one place to another."

I was told by support at Actisense that 3 NGW-1's would be slightly less costly than one NDC-4 (their 0183 multiplexer).
I'm holding off on any of this anyway until I overcome the difficulties I'm having with getting the Actisense NMEA Reader to work on my MB Pro in WINE.
Btw, my friend's Windows laptop is sooooooooo f#$%$#king slooooooooooow I nearly threw into the briny blue! THAT's enough of THAT! Lol

My VHF has built in GPS but also has AIS and I would like to overlay the AIS on my charts in MacENC.

From MacENC Help files "If the AIS receiver or RADAR is properly connected and is transmitting NMEA data then the AIS panel will display the received data."
If radar is only a listener, why would it transmit? Or am I misinterpreting something here?

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Old 09-06-2015, 15:23   #10
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
This is where it's going. Or will at least be a significant factor.

The SignalK project has the potential to keep both sides happy: you have to buy an interface from a NMEA-sanctioned manufacturer so the NMEA retains its lock and trade secrets on the NMEA2000 bus, but once you have that interface, there's an open protocol that anyone can use.

Assuming this project goes well, the N2K bus will become alot easier for non-NMEA members to work with.
That is really interesting and I hope it gets traction and develops fairly quickly. Open source is alway better for the consumer and in the recreational marine community there is a significant safety factor too.
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Old 09-06-2015, 15:42   #11
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Re: 0183 or 2000?

OK, I don't know what instrumentation you have and what your current networking/connections are, so I can only make some assumptions.

The radio will be a NMEA talker in sending out AIS and DSC data. The radar should only be a listener that receives data unless you specifically have it configured to rebroadcast data to other instruments.

However, if you have a working NMEA0183 system right now, then at some point in that network, you should be able to connect a single NGW-1 to bridge it to your N2K network. If you have a multiplexer, that would be the connection point. Alternately, if you are using something like a chart plotter to multiplex the data, that would be the point. If you just have a junction box with all the listeners connected to a single talker/repeater, that would be the point. I may be overlooking something, but I think this should work.

I don't think MacENC overlays radar, so don't know why they mention it.

I haven't worked with Wine, but have messed around with Crossover - which is based on the same code as Wine. They don't do serial interfaces very well and don't support a lot of esoteric stuff like an Actisense interface. To create a serial port, you need to make a symbolic link directly to the device itself, and this link has to be in a specific folder. Sorry, but I don't remember more than that - I got frustrated with it and simply use VMware to run Windows when I need it. You can probably get a used netbook PC for <$100 if you are going to have to dip into Windows every so often. Maybe even for free if you know somebody who is replacing a really old one.

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