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-   -   NMEA 2000: what can I actually display? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/nmea-2000-what-can-i-actually-display-237581.html)

DanielI 26-07-2020 21:34

NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Iím looking at upgrading some electronics. I sail in a medium size lake, so I donít see any reason for a chart plotter. My plan was to put a multifunction instrument display (e.g. Raymarine i70 or Simrad is35) at the helm, but nothing at the Nav station. I do have two iPads which are often with me.

Is there any point in using NMEA 2000 charge controllers, battery sensors, etc.? Will I be able to see them from the helm? Can I route them to the iPad, and if so, what hardware would I need (I will have a WiFi LTE router), and more importantly, how much is it going to cost?

Unfortunately, most of the information Iíve found online is either uselessly high level (ďNMEA 2000 lets everything talk to everythingĒ) or highly technical and specific to particular hardware. The promise of this technology is great, but Iím afraid actually getting it to work is not worth the cost for a small boat.

sailormed 27-07-2020 00:17

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Is there a question posted in the above paragraphs?

ScottMeilicke 27-07-2020 03:29

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
There are nmea to WiFi bridges that may be helpful. We had a vesper xb-8000 AIS transceiver that also functioned as a nmea to WiFi bridge. We then used iNavX on our iPhone, which could display nmea data from our other devices, like depth, speed, voltage, etc.

Whether that is useful to you or not on your lake is your call. :smile:

iNavX 27-07-2020 21:42

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ScottMeilicke (Post 3195131)
There are nmea to WiFi bridges that may be helpful. We had a vesper xb-8000 AIS transceiver that also functioned as a nmea to WiFi bridge. We then used iNavX on our iPhone, which could display nmea data from our other devices, like depth, speed, voltage, etc.

Whether that is useful to you or not on your lake is your call. :smile:

I have an XB-8000 also, and it does a great job putting N2K data to my iPad with iNavx. So far I've not missed anything, but it's hard to know what you're missing if you didn't have it before.

I did notice something interesting on some other N2K equipment I had, which was that it didn't always display all the sentences in my network.

Specifically, I have the following:

Maretron DSM250
Furuno RD33

I also had a Maretron DCM100 battery monitor.

The DSM250 had no trouble displaying all the data from the DCM100, but the RD33 would not show any of it. It did show a "voltage" figure, but it was the 12V voltage reading on the N2K bus. I had the DCM100 on my 24V house bank, and I could not get that data to show on the RD33 for anything.

The conclusion goes back to how N2K works. You have "talkers" sending messages on the backbone, and "listeners" looking for certain messages. Listeners choose whether or not to act on a message, it's not really a direct cause-effect action like a mechanical button press.

If a listener isn't programmed to listen for a specific N2K message, it will simply ignore it. So that RD33 had no expectation of doing anything with the battery data the DCM100 was putting on the backbone, but the DSM250 was.

Also, should a vendor use a non-standard message or data structure, only listeners that know about it will react.
-----------

So to the OP, you need to see what messages the sensors you are considering send, and whether or not your listeners will interpret them correctly to display. Somewhere in the bowels of most (but not all) hardware and software documentation is a list of N2K messages that are sent and heard.

If you stick everything within the same brand family, e.g. Mareton sensors AND displays, there's close to a 100% chance that all data created can be displayed. As you cross brands and families (e.g. to Furuno or iNavX) there's no guarantee things like fuel flow data or battery amp consumption will be displayed unless you find it in the documentation or software configuration.

mlydon 27-07-2020 22:03

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
An i70 easily displays wind, speed, depth info. You CAN set up screens to display assorted details (read the list as detailed above), but the display isnít that big, and you only have a few data boxes in each, so youíd be flipping through screens to read it. Mine basically stays on wind indicator with boat speed and depth in the side boxes. Anything else I care to know about Iíll take a trip to the nav station (battery state) or look at the analog gauge on the tank for fuel. Holding tank is translucent and read by direct observation. Not worth it to me to buy and wire sensors, only to have to hit the helm or an iPad to get the info. And ps, nmea sensors are rather expensive.

If youíve just GOT to have a glass helm, go for it, but none of that info is at all important at the helm. Save your money for important stuff like sails.

Just my opinion,

Matt

moseriw 28-07-2020 09:35

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Just a little bit basics. NMEA 2000 is nothing else then the standard CAN-Bus in cars and trucks + a lot of other marine specific data definitions.

A NMEA bus, even the 0183 transfers Data in a form like

GPSA: 13Ŗ04901242124 121412333124


First is the identifier and then identifier specific data whatever
So the "receiver" has to understand the given informstion and transforms it i.e. to the chart plotter for GPS, Wind, Sounder - you name it.

Same with engine oder tank sensor data which a navapp like OpenCPN will usually not identify but other software will do the job. Usually plotters (B&G) are capable of all given data in all their menus - I hope....

sailingharry 28-07-2020 11:07

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
N2K is super easy, and interoperability between brands is nearly seamless. So it's good stuff.


But, to your questions.
* First, I'd put that display on the cabin side (back). You want to be able to see all that goodness, and at the helm it's impossible to see when you are sailing (I for one have to see the sails to drive, and that means sitting on one side or the other -- but NOT behind the helm!).
* Second, the other stuff (after masthead and water data) is VERY expensive, and minimal return on investment. Sure, it's easy to install a fuel flow meter to determine engine consumption, but that's like $1K in material (or $2K?). Or you can replace your Ah battery meter with an N2K version for another grand or two, so you can see the battery charge while you are sailing. Or replace that fuel level gauge for another grand. I really don't see the value -- especially for a 30-foot lake sailor, where you probably aren't doing too many multi-day passages offshore.


Oh, and the display? On my last boat, I had the B&G Triton, similar to the Simrad. I absolutely LOVED it, and miss it on my current boat. I had two of them.
* One was always on wind. This nifty display shows, in one intuitive screen, True and Apparent Wind arrows, True and Apparent wind by degrees, and True and Apparent Wind speed.
* The other was usually on a 9-square table. Sounds hard to read, but it really wasn't. Data included: Air Temp, Sea Temp, Depth, Time, SOW, SOG, heel angle, Dist to Waypoint, Compass. (Time, Dist to Wpt, SOG and Waypoint require a GPS, air temp, heel and compass came from my masthead unit which was an Airmar PB200 -- the PB200 would also give the time and SOG if you didn't have another GPS source, and compass could come from an autopilot if it is networked).

For our 34' boat, these two displays were really nice.




Our new boat has old Ray ST4000 instruments. Perfectly functional, but we miss the B&G Tritons!

blubaju 28-07-2020 13:45

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sailormed (Post 3195097)
Is there a question posted in the above paragraphs?

I did indeed find TWO (2)

a64pilot 28-07-2020 13:53

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
You sail on a lake on a small boat, and don’t need a plotter.
You have no need of NMEA 2000 anything, except as a toy, it’s up to you to decide if it’s cool or toy value is worth it.
I’d tell you to put the money in a new sail, or a sail you don’t currently have.

Not meant to belittle you, I have all instruments networked, and don’t “need” them, I was replacing old ones anyway so why not?

Squanderbucks 28-07-2020 13:58

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
First you need to decide which info you want/need to see. There is a lot of data available as standard sentences and companies can put out their own proprietary data as well.

Best to get a copy of the NMEA 2000 data sentences and see what is listed in each category. Then you have to have equipment that can read the particular bit of info from an engine, device, etc and translate it to those NMEA sentences to broadcast on the network.

Just like any gauge on the dash the gauge is useless without a sender or sensor of some type.

Figure what you want to know and then buy the sensor/sender and hook it up. Then you can see that data anywhere you have a display or instrument that can be configured - iPad, plotter, VHF, radar, etc.

blubaju 28-07-2020 14:08

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
The devil is hidden in the details. Any sensor speaking out a "valid" nmea2k sentence may be displayed on a multifunction or specialized display. Now "valid" means, the display must understand it. The most common data is understood by most vendors, but not everyone. Example, my 2 2010 yanmar engine panels have a hard time showing data and the tiny alarms on their rear side need a silent night to hear them, I bought an nmea2k engine-data-adapter. Not only I see engine data even in my cabin now, the alarm can not be overheard. And yes, all that data can be displayed on your Smartfone. Hence even in my cabin I can see what the helmsman is doing. I for instance check course and position on my Smartfone too.

brazenarticle 28-07-2020 14:44

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
For what you are trying to do it may be worthwhile to check out a basic Floathub (www.floathub.com). Cost is around $150, cheaper than an MFD or wifi multiplexor. Cheaper than a couple NMEA 2000 connectors for that matter too.
It has a built in gps, and can take data from multiple batteries, solar panel, pumps plus nmea 0183 data for depth or other info you may have. Pretty simple to connect stuff to the floathub, just a bit of wiring.The unit has built in wifi so it can put the data out to your iPads, as well as through marina wifi so you can check your boat data over the internet.
They also have 3g versions but it sounds like you don't need that.
You can also use the wifi data on Aquamaps, I suppose it works with navionics or most of the other ipad or android navigation apps.

OS2Dude 28-07-2020 19:02

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
We also sail on a medium sized lake (Sidney Lanier, NE of Atlanta GA) and I love my chart plotter. We have NMEA 2000 for the depth (displayed on Garmin GMI 10) in one pod, wind (displayed on Garmin GMI 20) in second pod and a Simrad EVO2 NSS chart plotter on the pedestal guard.

Even though we are on a lake, the water level varies depending on rain and how much the Corps Of Engineers lets out. Since trees were only cut to 20' below mean pool, if the water is low you need to know where the shallow spots are. Likewise, if the level is above mean pool, you also need to know where those barely visible 'islands' are now that they are barely underwater. I can also change the display to see instrument readings, sailing data, nearly anything I want. I was going to put a second GMI-20 at the nav station, but for $100 more I was able to get a B&G Vulcan FS7 to put there. It has wi-fi built in and connects via wired ethernet to the Simrad, so I can update both over wi-fi. We also have a B&G V50 (base radio) and two H50 (handheld) VHF with NMEA2000 for AIS. Our stereo is a Fusion MS-RA70Ni with NMEA2000 so I can control the two sound zones from either the Simrad or the B&G, or the phone app.

I really like the Garmin GMI MFDs, they are totally configurable as to what you want to display. They can even have multiple windows (3 max, iirc) at the same time, each displaying something different.

sailingharry 30-07-2020 07:43

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brazenarticle (Post 3196365)
For what you are trying to do it may be worthwhile to check out a basic Floathub (www.floathub.com). Cost is around $150, cheaper than an MFD or wifi multiplexor. Cheaper than a couple NMEA 2000 connectors for that matter too.


Wow. Just wow. That is an amazing product! Some comments:
* It requires that you have 0183 on board. That's becoming an increasingly hard thing to get. Our boat has multiple networks all cross-connected (0183, SeaTalk, and N2K), so that's not an issue for us. But they really should include an N2K input for modern systems that don't output 0183. I'd say that the lack of N2K input is the single biggest downside (and makes the unit nearly useless for OP unless he adds some sort of converter, maybe an Actisense -- a simple N2K network of wind, depth,speed, and a Simrad display has no easy solution for 0183).

* Essentially NO typical sensors show battery voltage, even though they are connected to the battery. This adds that, and also temp and barometric pressure. Nice!
* This entire unit includes up to 3 pump monitors -- Nice!
* For many users, the web site integration is free (no subscription cost). Of course, they do provide an enhanced level at a cost, but that really is a personal option, not a requirement.


This may have just been added to the to-do list. Thanks -- I think. LOL.

ewishki 30-07-2020 10:54

Re: NMEA 2000: what can I actually display?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blubaju (Post 3196324)
I did indeed find TWO (2)

I know it is difficult at times, but please don't feed the trolls :biggrin:

Enjoying this thread btw, I am also super confused by it all and it has brought some clarity to me.


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