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Old 20-06-2018, 17:05   #1
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Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

I am looking at adding a second (external) chart plotter to my sailboat. The sailboat currently has an older network of 0183 B&G gauges and sensors including AIS and an autopilot. It also has a Furuno Chart Plotter and Radar which is inside the boat. I would like to start shifting away from the 0183 network to a NMEA network, however I would like to avoid replacing perfectly good electronics.

Doing some research I have identified a number of NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 converters, and while searching has provided some information as well as reading the FAQs I still have some questions.

My primary question hopefully for someone who has done this is can I simply remove the current NMEA 0183 connection from the chart plotter, run it through a converter and then plug the converter into a NMEA 2000 network, where I can plug the old chart plotter into the NMEA 2000 network, as well as the new Chartplotter and any other new instruments, having both chartplotters receiving information from the sensors?

The 0183 network currently consists of GPS, depth, speed, wind sensors as well as an AIS and Autopilot. Mostly I am looking to get the sensor information to the chartplotters, and am not trying to interface the autopilot.

The NMEA converters that I am looking at are the Actisense NGW-1 and the
Yacht Devices YDNG-02.
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Old 20-06-2018, 18:17   #2
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

An Actisense NGW-1 should get your NMEA 1083 data from your 1083 plotter to and from your new NMEA 2000 backbone.

You could use a Brookhouse multiplexer and a NGW-1 to take all of your 1083 instrument data and place that information on the NMEA 2000 backbone for use by your new plotter.

You could also take the 1083 output from the Brookhouse to the 1083 input on your new plotter (assuming it has a 1083 input port in addition to a NMEA 2000 port). This would avoid a second NGW-1. The new plotter will likely put the 1083 instrument information out on the NMEA 2000 backbone.

Lots of ways to do this.

Good luck.
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Old 20-06-2018, 18:39   #3
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

While possible to use the Actisense converter, it is not ideal. As Brien mentions above you need two converters to go back and forth, you will not get radar data. The new chart plotter will have GPS for speed and position, so you are doing all of this only for depth and wind.

It is better to get a new chart plotter with a nmea 0183 connection and then you are done with it. Another way to go is to find a compatible older chartplotter on eBay. A third way to go is to sell your existing electronics in eBay and go all new.

In my experience, you stay in the nmea 0183/analog radar world as long as possible and when you are ready to upgrade you do everything at once, radar, autopilot, chartplotter. Doing it piecemeal ends up costing more, getting equipment that has no resale value and a substandard experience.

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Old 20-06-2018, 21:29   #4
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

As 0183 is not really a network but connections between individual devices, one talker multiple listeners, just listing the devices you have does not give the complete picture.

You would get better advice if you share a graph of your current setup and exact types of your devices.
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:01   #5
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

B&G Zeus 7 has NMEA 183 input.
Would that satisfy your needs?
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:20   #6
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

I tried an AMEC MK80 0183<->2000 converter. It translated bi-directionally. I decided in the end to just replace the 0183 VHF with a new 2K compatible version.

If the current or new chart-plotter has both 0183 AND 2000 connections, then I believe it will act as a converter as well. We have 2 displays on our boat: B&G Vulcan 7FS <2000 only - Primary> at the Nav station and a SIMRAD EVO2 NSS <0183 & 2000 compatible> at the Helm. Each lets you configure the source for different data sentences, so both of our displays show the GPS data from the primary receiver. (All our devices now are NMEA2000)

As I understand it, you would only need 1 converter (0183 --> 2000) to convert data from existing devices for the new display assuming it does not also have 0183 capability. The new display won't need to send anything back.

AFAIK RADAR output does not use 0183 either, so it would still be limited to a single display regardless unless there is some kind of splitter available.


If you plan on upgrading/adding devices, I would go ahead with the effort required to put in a NMEA2000 network alongside your existing NMEA0183 network.
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:28   #7
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

Been there done that. I have up until recently had my autopilot and other devices such as radar that needed GPS position, speed, etc data all working together with a multiplexer connected to they "system" - not really a network. worked fine as is for a number of years.
However, I recently replaced my main chartplotter with a new larger screen one with CHIRP bottom recording and NMEA2000 capabilities along with integrated Radar. Before the radar was just stand alone and on it's own monitor.

Now I have it setup as a NMEA2000 network and left the 0183 wiring in place as redundant backup. Yes I did have to add an Actinsense AIS converter because I use a dAISy II AIS receiver which is 0183.
I moved my "old" chartplotter to the lower station and turned on its NMEA2000 inputs which I up till now had turned off as it was the only 2000 capable instrument.

By turning off/on the Receive Data and Send Data settings in the device setup in both of the chartplotters I am now functioning with a full 2000 network but if need be I can turn back on the proper In/Out settings and go back to the 0813 system.

Old chartplotter is a Garmin GPSMap 740S and the new one is a Garmin 1042xsv with Fathom 24 dome and single transducer CHIRP.

Oh yeah. The 0183 data is still output to the multiplexer so I can use that data on my PC running OpenCPN. I really prefer their implementation of AIS much better that that on the chartplotters it is just much more informative and robust in features.
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Old 21-06-2018, 10:55   #8
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

Looking back at part of your original post :

My primary question hopefully for someone who has done this is can I simply remove the current NMEA 0183 connection from the chart plotter, run it through a converter and then plug the converter into a NMEA 2000 network, where I can plug the old chart plotter into the NMEA 2000 network, as well as the new Chartplotter and any other new instruments, having both chartplotters receiving information from the sensors?


No need to remove any connections to the chartplotter - just add the NMEA2000 connection and the selectively output the 0183 data to the devices you want to receive it and the NMEA2000 to the new 2000 Backbone. AIS data would require a High Speed converter such as Actinsence-AIS if your present AIS device doesn't have both outputs and also 0183.
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Old 21-06-2018, 11:04   #9
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

Seems like the simple solution is to buy a new plotter with both, NMEA 2000 and 0183.

My old Garmin 740s and new 942xs have both.
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Old 21-06-2018, 12:23   #10
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

Here is a quick and dirty diagram to go along with my text above:
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Old 21-06-2018, 12:39   #11
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

I would go for a NEMA Gateway. I installed a iKommunicate it has 3 0183 inputs and 2 outputs and bidirectional N2K and Ethernet. It will take the N2K and 0183 data and put it on all the outputs.
It also will output all NEMA data on Ethernet so you could also connect direct to a PC or create a Wifi and display all info on a cheap tablet from your instruments.
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Old 22-06-2018, 07:36   #12
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

I'm a little new at this, but if you connect an NMEA 0183 instrument to a plotter with both 0183 and 2000 ports won't the data from the 0183 be available on the 2000 network?
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Old 22-06-2018, 09:40   #13
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

So thanks everyone for their responses.

Based on some of the feedback, to clarify since I might be misunderstanding, assuming I leave the 0183 plugged into the current chart plotter and add a nmea 2000 network to it, the current plotter could forward all the old sensor information to the new plotter? I realize this wouldn't include radar.
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Old 23-06-2018, 00:46   #14
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingPNW View Post
assuming I leave the 0183 plugged into the current chart plotter and add a nmea 2000 network to it, the current plotter could forward all the old sensor information to the new plotter?
This really depends on the particular equipment you have, there is no categorical answer.
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Old 23-06-2018, 01:20   #15
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Re: Adding a NMEA 2000 Chart Plotter to a NMEA 0183 Network

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingPNW View Post
So thanks everyone for their responses.

Based on some of the feedback, to clarify since I might be misunderstanding, assuming I leave the 0183 plugged into the current chart plotter and add a nmea 2000 network to it, the current plotter could forward all the old sensor information to the new plotter? I realize this wouldn't include radar.
All modern plotters I've seen have 0183 inputs. AND, they will convert N2K sentences to 0183 inside the plotter.

So just hook up the old network to the new plotter via the 0183 input. Normally 0183 networks are multiplexed via the autopilot computer, which will have an output (called "talker" port in 0183 lingo) which gives all the 0183 data in one stream. You can hook up multiple devices to one 0183 talker (but only one device to each 0183 listener).

Et voila. Don't try to convert data back and forth -- you'll get collisions from the same data being provided multiple times. Don't try to implement an N2K network alongside the old 0183 network -- then you won't be able to connect the new plotter via N2K, because it will convert the 0183 data to N2K and you will get a proliferation of duplicated data. Maybe in some plotters you can switch that conversion off, but in any case this is Rube Goldberg and hence will be failure prone -- choose one or the other. AIS and most modern sensors will give you 0183 data, or can be bought in 0183 versions.

The best solution of all, however, is to flog your "perfectly good marine electronics" on FleaBay and start over again from scratch, and with N2K. Old marine electronics not more than a couple of generations out of date can be surprisingly valuable, and it's better to sell them while there is still demand for them. Mixing old and new marine electronics can cause all kinds of problems. I was amazed at how much I got for my old Raymarine Pathfinder radar and other gear when I started over again with my electronics.
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