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Old 03-03-2010, 10:44   #1
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NMEA 0183 v. 1.5 vs 1.8

Hi ...as the recent buyer of a 10 year old boat, I am learning so much more than I ever imagined! The boat has a full complement of old B&G instruments that are networked using NMEA 0183 v1.5. Ultimately, everything will be upgraded to NMEA 2000, but I can't see throwing away working equipment even if it's 10 years old. My new Garmin 420s mini chart plotter turns out to be NMEA 0183, but not v1.5...something like v1.8 or so. Is there a resource where I can determine compatibility between 0183 versions?

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Bill
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:50   #2
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NMEA 0183 is still alive & kicking & will be for many years to come. There shouldn't be any issues between v1.5 & 1.8 most versions are backward compatible.

NMEA 2000 is an entirely different protocol.
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Old 03-03-2010, 15:41   #3
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In almost all cases, gear designed to NMEA 0183 will work fine with previous versions of the protocol. But, there is a chance that some of the data coming from the B&G equipment may not be decoded by the chartplotter. I used to have an older Raymarine chartplotter that didn't understand the wind data from my B&G instruments. This had nothing to do with the NMEA version, but instead that there are multiple NMEA sentence types for the same data, and Raymarine had chosen not to decode some of them.

I don't know if your Garmin does a more complete job of decoding the various messages, but the spec sheets for your gear probably list the messages sent and decoded.
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Old 03-03-2010, 17:06   #4
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Bill,

I'm wrestling with understanding NMEA as I gather data on replacing electronics on my boat. The Actisense link below was very helpful in answering some important NMEA questions. Additional descriptions (applicable to understanding the devices in general across manufacturing lines) accompany their various products.

<http://www.actisense.com/Downloads/TechTalk/NMEA%200183/The%20NMEA%200183%20Information%20Sheet.pdf>

Roger
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