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Old 14-07-2019, 10:23   #1
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Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

I have a Garmin GPS 73 that has a four-pin NMEA 0183 data port in the back. I'd like to install a simple depth transducer inside the hull of my fiberglass sailboat and connect it with my Garmin device to get depth readings, rather than purchasing a dedicated depth meter.

A tech at Garmin told me they no longer produce NMEA 0183 transducers. I assume, though, there must be a way I can connect a simple, currently available transducer to my Garmin and get them talking to each other, no?

Any guidance welcome. I've never used transducers before so this is all new to me. Thanks.
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Old 14-07-2019, 10:38   #2
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

You could but since small colour GPS / Fishfinders are now so cheap surely it would make sense to keep the Garmin as a back up and switch to something like this:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/p/528812

We do all our pilotage on a slightly bigger Garmin unit which displays charts, depth and is connected to a simple AIS receiver to boot showing other vessels.

Worth having a think about this before splashing the cash and seeing what deals Defender or your local chandlers are doing.

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Old 14-07-2019, 10:43   #3
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

The challenge with the inexpensive fish finders is most of them come with a stern mounting bracket for the transducer, rather than a thru-hull connection. Depending on the sailboat's hull shape, that may or may not work.
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Old 14-07-2019, 10:49   #4
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

True, but I have never had a problem placing them inside the hull with a blob of sealant to fire through the hull. The club dive boat one is still in place after I glued it in to the deck well one lunchtime as a test in 1997.

Putting it in a plastic bag of water to see how it will work first is helpful.

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Old 14-07-2019, 10:58   #5
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

Thanks, Ron and Pete, for these suggestions. Yes, I was thinking of just finding a compatible transom-mount transponder and mounting it inside the hull using wax or plumber's putty. The big question is whether the newer transponders will talk to my GPS 73, and whether I can find appropriate adapters to connect the cables.

I looked at the Garmin Striker 4. It seems to focus on the graphical fish-finding functions, which I really don't need. The GPS 73 has various route-planning and sailing-specific functions that make it a better fit for my needs, so ideally I'd just like to find a simple transponder that I know will work with it!
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Old 14-07-2019, 18:33   #6
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

Maybe this would work? Is says Garmin and NMEA0183, but I would call. That said, WM has a great return policy so you could give it try. I'm not sure what plugs you need, but that's another issue.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/garmi...MaAi-gEALw_wcB
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Old 14-07-2019, 18:34   #7
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

Oh, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 14-07-2019, 18:42   #8
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

Actually it look like the P39 and the P79 are developed by Airmar. P79 is an in-hull transducer.

http://www.airmar.com/uploads/brochures/p39.pdf
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Old 15-07-2019, 09:59   #9
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

I had to do a similar thing, and only wanted the depth data, and Airmar gave me the connection information and which coloured lines to connect. In my case I needed a box that the transducer connected to, then to Sea Talk on my Raymarine.
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Old 15-07-2019, 21:46   #10
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

if nmea 183 transducers are not available anymore. you could buy a nmea 2000 transducer, a nmea 2000 starter kit, and then a nmea 2000 to nmea 183 converter. but that would be kinda silly...
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Old 16-07-2019, 04:35   #11
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Re: Depth transducer compatibility with older Garmin GPS?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, dalepo.
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