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Old 17-04-2014, 16:07   #1
JRM
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NMEA2K Appreciation Day...

I spent an entire day working on NMEA 0183 integration today. What a PITA. I managed to get it all working, but it took 10 times as long to connect up half the devices.

Here's the progress as of end of work today. The bus on the left runs to the compartment where the plotter is. I still have to terminate the other end I that.Click image for larger version

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So I have a watchmate black box which is hooked to a standard horizon GX2000. Unfortunately, those two can only exchange GPS ***OR*** AIS info, so I had to break out an old GPS to feed location info to the VHF. It's also feeding that info to the SSB. The VHF will (next work day) feed DSC info to the plotter.

After flipping manual to manual I finally just copied the diagrams onto a piece of paper.Click image for larger version

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I'm debating installing a DPDT switch to flip the location feed from either the GPS152 or the chart plotter, whichever is on. Anyone ever tried something like that? Is it even a good idea? I'm worried I might be outsmarting myself.

JRM
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Old 17-04-2014, 17:44   #2
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Re: NMEA2K appreciation day...

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Originally Posted by JRM View Post
I'm debating installing a DPDT switch to flip the location feed from either the GPS152 or the chart plotter, whichever is on. Anyone ever tried something like that? Is it even a good idea? I'm worried I might be outsmarting myself.
For bonus marks, make a little 12v-powered circuit with a relay, that detects the presence of the data signal from your primary GPS source, and automatically switches to the secondary source if the primary one stops.
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Old 18-04-2014, 01:43   #3
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Re: NMEA2K appreciation day...

toggle switches for gps are commonly used.
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Old 18-04-2014, 08:36   #4
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Re: NMEA2K appreciation day...

You might not want to hear this, but...

I'd recommend installing all of that into a watertight plastic box with strain reliefs for all of the cables entering it. I suspect that vibration might eventually break one or more of those wires when you least expect it and you need it most. A nice copy of the wiring diagram glued to the inside of the lid would be nice.
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Old 18-04-2014, 08:44   #5
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Re: NMEA2K appreciation day...

Ok Dumb question.

Do these connections affect the shielded wire? is there any loss of signal or voltage?
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Old 18-04-2014, 08:56   #6
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Re: NMEA2K Appreciation Day...

Normally you'd run the shielding to one of the terminals and complete the circuit, unless the cable was left with ungrounded shielding at the other end.
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Old 18-04-2014, 11:30   #7
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Re: NMEA2K appreciation day...

Quote:
Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
You might not want to hear this, but...

I'd recommend installing all of that into a watertight plastic box with strain reliefs for all of the cables entering it. I suspect that vibration might eventually break one or more of those wires when you least expect it and you need it most. A nice copy of the wiring diagram glued to the inside of the lid would be nice.
Always up for hearing ideas...

I kicked around the idea of boxing it all up, but where it's at is pretty safe. If water ends up there I've got bigger problems. The primary electronics backbone is a combination of Garmin Marine Network and N2K. The NMEA 0813 stuff only exists for me because the VHF and SSB radios don't play N2K.

The strain relief is a good point. I've got three or four more cables to run along the path, and then I plan to secure them all. In the engine space I used a combination of split loom, wire ties, and wire anchors to secure the runs. I figure I'll do the same here. It looks much cleaner that way, but I figured I'd wait till I got it all dialed in before securing it. It's such a bummer to have to cut ties and re-wrap every time I make a change (which right now is pretty often since I'm just making it up as I go along).

I'm trying to set myself (and any future owner) up for success later by taking the extra time to label everything now. All the wires and cables get a label from the label maker that is then covered with clear heat shrink (thanks MaineSail!). Some of them get an extra label that sticks up like a tag. I did the same thing with the battery re-wiring, where every cable has a label that tells what is on the other end. I like the idea of the laminated diagram as well. Thanks.

JRM
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Old 18-04-2014, 22:43   #8
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Re: NMEA2K Appreciation Day...

I fired up my Furuno N2K network today and it all worked although I did not install the speed/depth transducer so that is not fully tested. Display works. The Furuno MFD does not accept N2K AIS data so I had to do some NMEA0183 wiring as well to run that output from the Vesper 850. I bought the Maretron solid state heading sensor since it has both N2K and NMEA 0183 outputs. I ran the NMEA0183 output to my Raymarine autopilot course computer and now the plotter and autopilot work on exactly the same heading. For three of my N2K cables I used the Maretron field installable end connectors. This let me route cables more easily and at the exact length. I was not satisfied with my first go at installing the connectors so I re-did them. Three things I did differently
- the blue wire needs to be shorter so I cut that to length first, about half inch and then temporarily inserted it into it's location so that I could now measure the length needed for the other wires.
- after stripping about 3/16 off each wire I tinned them
- last change was to add very small heat shrink over the bare shield wire as it is possible for this wire to contact the fastening screw for the blue wire.
Now I just have to get to the top of my mast to install the wind transducer.
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:40   #9
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Re: NMEA2K appreciation day...

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
toggle switches for gps are commonly used.
And are more common now... I installed a DPDT in line, and now there are three options. The primary is the XB-8000 via HS, and then the 4800 port is switched between the plotter output and the backup GPS.

The GX2000 defaults to the HS port, even when the other ports are active. This is nice, because according to Panbo this wasn't the original behavior. I guess Standard Horizon listened to their suggestions.

The Vesper Marine transponder is a really nice piece of kit. Well built and well thought out.

JRM

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