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Old 26-11-2014, 10:31   #1
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What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

Hi,

I just bought an old sailboat that has three transducers that the P.O. says are garmin. They are very well secured onto the hull to the point where I can NOT tell their models.
There is no head units and since I need to buy a chartplotter of some type anyway, I am leaning toward Garmin. The P.O. says one of the transducers was about 500$ when he bought it 4-5 yrs ago.
I would like to buy a smaller Garmin chartplotter for the cockpit and use an android based Navionics for backup along with my handheld Garmin GPS.
I'm on the hard right now and will be splashed in 3 months or so.
Any ideas on determining what chartplotter to buy if I want to make sure I can use the existing transducers?? Any way to tell the transducers by looking at the wires or testing the wires coming out of the attached units?
Thanks for any thoughts.
Eddie
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Old 26-11-2014, 10:36   #2
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Re: what chartplotter for Garmin transducers?

Why do you need transducers for a plotter? If you're talking about antennas for the chartplotter they are mostly built in to the units now.
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Old 26-11-2014, 11:01   #3
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Re: what chartplotter for Garmin transducers?

I think he's asking about depth and speed transducers.

From my research I think most of the depth transducers are made by Airmar (speed too?) and most (all??) manufactures just recommend or rebrand one of these.

However I looked at the Airmar web site and there is a HUGE range of transducers with different power, frequency, beam width and several other variations in specs that I don't recall.

I bought a new depth sounder for my boat and got the model of the Airmar transducer. Looked at the specs to see if it would work with my Garmin plotter and it was not obvious. Does the PO have any idea what model Garmin was supposedly in the boat? If you are going to buy a Garmin plotter then I suggest give Garmin a call. I have had very good luck with their tech support. Perhaps a description or picture of the plug on the plotter end of the transducers would give them enough information to make a determination.
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Old 26-11-2014, 12:23   #4
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Re: what chartplotter for Garmin transducers?

Eddie, As skipmac says, Airmar makes all of the transducers. There might be a tag on the cable or the transducer information on the transducer cable itself to give you enough information to CALL Airmar and discuss what you have and they can tell you what the transducer is compatible with. If you don't have that information, there is no way to tell if they will work or what they will work with. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 26-11-2014, 15:13   #5
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

Hey guys,

Thank you. That is just the info I was looking to find. I was hoping there was a little standardization in the transducers, at least over time or mfg. I am a long way away from the boat right now and was hoping to take a "plotter" along on the next visit, but it looks like I should do some closer examination, take pics, and visit with some mfgs prior. Naturally, I have not run into anything yet on this old boat I'm trying to restore that is "easy", why should this be? Eddie
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Old 27-11-2014, 08:33   #6
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

Eddie, look up the West Marine store in Apollo Beach, Florida ( Tampa Bay area) and ask to speak to Bruce ( he is off Sun and Mon). Bruce is the mgr and is also a member of the Tampa Sailing Squadron with me. NOBODY knows Garmin chart plotters better then him.
Tell him that the owner of the SV "The Office" suggested that you call.

As an aside, back in the middle 1990s I first used a Garmin 110 to get my boat from Miami to Featherbed Cut located at the bottom of Biscayne Bay. The Garmin took me to within 10 feet of the marker ! Have only used Garmin since then, I have not one complaint.
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Old 28-11-2014, 05:32   #7
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

Just went through this. The Garmin and the Airmar folks the support is great. The issue will be age and models. 2 wire, three wire, etc. There is usually printing on the cable that will tell you what it is. If not it gets a bit more complicated. The real deal on the HZ seems to be accuracy at different depths. 200 hz is pretty generic but the duals are a little better. Bottom line is if you can get the wiring into the Garmin it will probably work. You may have to tweak settings a bit as you set the offset in the unit. Depth is only really a big deal if there isnt enough or you are a serious fisherman.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:06   #8
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

The Garmin transducers have the info written on the top, or on a label a foot or so down the cord. If they are hard to get close enough to read, take some pictures.

There are two systems going for transducer connection to a display unit : NMEA 0183, and NMEA 2000. NMEA 2000 is newer, and not all chartplotters support it. The system can be easily determined by viewing the display end of the cable. Again, photographs.

My advice, though, is not to clutter up the chartplotter display with this info, but to instead get a dedicated display unit like the Garmin GMI 20.
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Old 03-12-2014, 15:34   #9
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

This is very good information. I love this site.
Ok, I can't look at the wires or the top of the transducers now, that must wait until I get back to the boat. I would like to take a unit along that could read both NMEA 0183, and NMEA 2000. The GMI 20 looks like it might fit the bill. $500 or so and I THINK it reads both. The autopilot was Garmin too so I imagine I'm going to be going Garmin anyway. I don't have a annemometer right now and I'm not sure I need one until I leave Bocas. Navionics has the rep for being the most reliable for the local waters so is there any reason for me to have an expensive chartplotter and not go with say two levels of redundent P.C.s and a handheld GPS? I'll be spending some time learning the boat in pretty safe waters prior to venturing OUTside the reef so I'll have some time to get comfortable with each unit. I know I'll not have a huge touch screen in my cockpit but I can live with the shame.
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Old 03-12-2014, 15:53   #10
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

I'm not an expert on NMEA 0183 by any means, but my understanding is that if you wish to connect more than one device to your display, you'll need a multiplexer.

For NMEA 2000 you will need to create a backbone with power node and the best way is to start with a starter kit.
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Old 16-12-2014, 13:10   #11
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Re: What Chartplotter For Garmin Transducers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
I'm not an expert on NMEA 0183 by any means, but my understanding is that if you wish to connect more than one device to your display, you'll need a multiplexer.

For NMEA 2000 you will need to create a backbone with power node and the best way is to start with a starter kit.

Thank you MarkSF and all.
I just passed the West Marine sale on Garmin 740's, I imagine that cost me some money. I like what I see ...from what I know. I started looking at the 740 packaged with the radar head for 1900$ or so, got confused, and dropped the ball, missing the sale. If I take a 740 back to the boat it should accept both com protocols it seems. But I don't know what kind of "accessories" to take....backbone or 0186.
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