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Old 26-02-2018, 18:18   #1
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Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

Unfortunately I don't have the budget to upgrade my electronics on board yet, so I'm still using an older Raymarine A65 chartplotter. It works fine for my area, and needs, but I'd like to have boat speed, and depth added. I have the transom mounted transducer, and the older DSM25 unit needed to add this information, but I am lacking the NMEA cable that connects the DSM25 unit to the A65 chartplotter.

The original part number was Raymarine E36015 or 36016 (8m and 15m lengths).

Since this cable is no longer made, and I cannot find one on eBay or other used sites, I was wondering if I could possibly rebuild one.

Has anyone ever done this, and is it even possible?
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Old 26-02-2018, 18:30   #2
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

Well, I built a cable to connect two cut ends of a JRC 1500 radar cable (it's a long story) and it worked. Took a while. A lot of fiddling with tiny wires, connectors and solder. If you're comfortable with such things NMEA 183 is a serial data bus sort of similar to RS-232 type protocol. Nothing mysterious. If you connect the correct wires together it should work.
Boat-Project.Com - A tutorial on making a basic NMEA-0183 connection between a Chartplotter and VHF Radio.
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Old 26-02-2018, 18:44   #3
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

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Originally Posted by SuW View Post
If you're comfortable with such things NMEA 183 is a serial data bus sort of similar to RS-232 type protocol. Nothing mysterious. If you connect the correct wires together it should work.
I've always done my own car audio stuff, and other small electronic projects. I don't mind fiddling with the small wires either.

Are the connectors fairly universal? Meaning they should all be the same size? Or should I go to the salvage shop and find a sacrifical raymarine cable to disassemble?
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Old 26-02-2018, 20:06   #4
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

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Are the connectors fairly universal? Meaning they should all be the same size? Or should I go to the salvage shop and find a sacrifical raymarine cable to disassemble?
The connectors are the problem. NMEA-0183 connectors seem to all be different, even across a single company's product line. The wires are easy, but you will probably need to find the specific connectors used in your equipment.
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Old 27-02-2018, 09:21   #5
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

According to the A65 manual I found at

https://raymarine.app.box.com/s/0ka2...ile/3358759076

the A65 to DSM25 cable is a specific one, and NOT NMEA0183.

I'm afraid this doesn't answer your question, but rather redirects it - a good answer for NMEA (namely, you can pretty much splice the connections any way you want, once you have identified the correct wires) is not applicable to the A65/DSM25 question

I noted that the DSM25 installation manual

https://raymarine.app.box.com/s/0ka2...ile/7721026082

also lists the part number for the standard R69086 cable; vs the longer E36015 or E36016.
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Old 27-02-2018, 10:37   #6
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

This might not help the OP, but basically NMEA 0183 just needs 2 wires. The only trick is knowing which two wires (or pins, if you don't have the plug.) But that information is usually in the manual.

My very first GPS, a handheld Garmin back in the Stone Age, had a plug for power and NMEA which was so outrageously expensive (this is Garmin, remember?) that someone actually made up a mold and was selling an aftermarket plug. You had to solder wires to the pins and push them into the plug yourself, but when done it fit the non-standard outlet on the Garmin, saving the obscene Garmin mark-up on the price of the cable.
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Old 27-02-2018, 11:38   #7
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

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My very first GPS, a handheld Garmin back in the Stone Age, had a plug for power and NMEA which was so outrageously expensive (this is Garmin, remember?) that someone actually made up a mold and was selling an aftermarket plug. You had to solder wires to the pins and push them into the plug yourself, but when done it fit the non-standard outlet on the Garmin, saving the obscene Garmin mark-up on the price of the cable.
Hey, with the proliferation of 3D printers (a liveaboard friend a few slips over has one), there could be a nice repository of connector designs. You would have to buy the correct pins or sockets, but those should be available.
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Old 27-02-2018, 13:01   #8
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Re: Rebuilding an NMEA 0183 Cable?

That could really take off, I reckon. For example I need an Airmar weather-station fully populated 10-pin connector!
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