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How To Network Existing Electronics?

Old 05-14-2008, 06:15 AM
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Default How To Network Existing Electronics?

I'm trying to figure out how to network my existing electronics. I have a Northstar 952 Chartplotter/GPS, Furuno FCV-600L FF, and a Furuno 1932 MKII radar. Is it as simple as connecting the three units with a NMEA cable or is there more to it than that?
Old 05-14-2008, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: How To Network Existing Electronics?

There's a lot more to it than that. NMEA is a data communication standard and there are several. The latest is NMEA2000. In order to share data between units each unit would have to support that or an older standard. The first one I checked - the Northstar 952 does not support any NMEA standard, but is listed as "offers waypoint and route sharing between 952, 951 and/or 941 units" whatever that means. But the way that is written sounds completely proprietary and would not work with anything else.

Likewise it looks like that Furuno FF also does not have any data in/out capability. So there doesn't seem to be any data to share between that set of instruments.

Ken

Old 05-14-2008, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: How To Network Existing Electronics?

Thank you for the information.

I'm not sure about the Northstar GPS, but I thought the Furuno FF was definitely NMEA compatible because I've seen it display a screen with waypoint information (of course it was all blank at the time). The FF manual says "Data Format - NMEA0183(Ver.1.5/2.0)". I'm not too worried about networking the FF though. It's the radar and chartplotter that would be nice to have networked.

Oh well, guess that means I just need to upgrade the GPS to a newer Garmin or Furuno unit.
Old 05-14-2008, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: How To Network Existing Electronics?

With what you have, assuming there isn't a DSC capable vhf or an autopilot that you haven't mentioned, the Northstar will be the talker, to at least the radar, and if you want the sounder will be the listener(s). The Northstar's nmea out should go to the 1932's nmea input. This will let you pick up some nav data, and more importantly show an active waypoint on the screen. The 952 does export full nmea nav data (just like the 951 and 941 before it). You could "T" the output at a terminal strip and concurrently feed the 600l, but it wouldn't really extend the 600's functionality, it would just allow it to repeat some #'s. If everything is in the same dash within inches of each other, tying the sounder in may not be worth the effort.
Old 05-14-2008, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: How To Network Existing Electronics?

That's exactly the info I was looking for. Thanks man!
Old 05-15-2008, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: How To Network Existing Electronics?

All 3 of your units are NMEA 0183 compatable and all you will need is the optional data/nmea cables for each unit. Your radar will accept both GPS and depth sounder inputs. It's nice to interface everything but, as seaswirler posted, unless you have DSC or autopilot is it really needed if everything is right next to each other?


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