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Old 01-10-2017, 17:07   #1
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Is there a "marine electronic networks for newbies" post anywhere?

I've did quite a bit of reading through this forum, but have to find a post that matches what I'm looking for.

Kinda looking for an explanation of the basic components of a cruising sailboat network. I get that NMEA 0183/2000 appear to be communication standards. But what does with what?

What basic components are recommended to build a decent setup?

I don't "need" anymore than what I already have (knotlog/depth/paper charts) but love to tinker with electronics.

I'd like to add masthead wind while the mast is down this winter at a minimum. Possibly a complete plotter setup, but really want everything to interface and work together.
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Old 01-10-2017, 19:23   #2
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Re: Is there a "marine electronic networks for newbies" post anywhere?

Here's a good nmea 2k writeup from Furuno
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Old 01-10-2017, 19:46   #3
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Re: Is there a "marine electronic networks for newbies" post anywhere?

I just dipped my toe into the NMEA2000 pool a couple of months ago so maybe newbie experience to newbie would help.

First I googled a couple of docs about the networks (like the one Paul referenced) and how to connect them. Seems daunting at first but really a few basic, simple rules to follow. The connectors are set up to be pretty idiot proof and you would have to try pretty hard to hook them up the wrong way. The main thing I learned it you have a backbone which is the main cable running through the boat and all the instruments branch off the backbone with T connectors. Then at each end of the backbone you must install a terminating resistor. Exception, a very long cable say to a wind instrument at the masthead can substitute as the terminator at one end of the backbone.

With NMEA2000 you can connect anything that has an NMEA2000 connection and it is compatible between brands that use the standard. So I have a Garmin GPS connected to a Simrad autopilot. The Simrad can see the GPS position from the Garmin, the Garmin can tell the Simrad to steer to a waypoint stored in the Garmin. The Garmin gets heading information from the Simrad AP compass. Everyone is happy.

You can connect wind instruments, speed, depth, even engine monitoring sensors for temp, oil pressure, etc.

I found it to be 100% plug and play. One exception. Raymarine uses NMEA2000 communications protocols but non standard connectors and non standard power to the network. You have to get adapters to connect Raymarine stuff to a standard NMEA network. One reason I am avoiding Raymarine gear.
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