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NMEA 2000 Question - Cables

Old 02-26-2013, 08:33 PM
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Default NMEA 2000 Question - Cables

Hi,

I just purchased a GPS19x NMEA2000 antenna for my Garmin plotter as the original GPS17 NMEA0183 failed. Currently I have no other NMEA2000 components.

Is there any difference between a drop cable and a backbone cable? Basically I want to know if they are interchangeable so I can better manage cable lengths with what I already have. I also purchased a Garmin NMEA2000 starter kit.

Cheers,
Dave.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:59 PM
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They are the same, and can be interchanged as you see fit.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Topend View Post
Hi,

I just purchased a GPS19x NMEA2000 antenna for my Garmin plotter as the original GPS17 NMEA0183 failed. Currently I have no other NMEA2000 components.

Is there any difference between a drop cable and a backbone cable? Basically I want to know if they are interchangeable so I can better manage cable lengths with what I already have. I also purchased a Garmin NMEA2000 starter kit.

Cheers,
Dave.
Hi Dave,

you can interchange cables as you wish (almost). The 19x comes with a 6m cable as far as I remember. That is "normally" the longest you can make a "drop" cable. And total drop cables should not be > 36m. (Adding them all together)

In a pinch you can use the 10m in the starter kit as a drop cable with such a small installation. But if you start adding a lot more items to your N2k - then I would advise against it.

My current "backbone" is <2 meters long - but longest "drop" cable is 6m (for the 19x as you have)
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:08 PM
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Thanks for the responses, I would actually prefer shorter cables than those supplied. I might just go and buy them individually as required.

Cheers,
Dave.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Topend View Post
Hi,

I just purchased a GPS19x NMEA2000 antenna for my Garmin plotter as the original GPS17 NMEA0183 failed. Currently I have no other NMEA2000 components.

Is there any difference between a drop cable and a backbone cable?
In terms of physical construction, there is no hard-and-fast difference. However, that does NOT mean that all NMEA 2000 cables are identical or equivalent to all other NMEA 2000 cables. Many installers use larger/heavier-gauge cables (such as Maretron "Mid" or "Mini") for the main bus ("backbone") cable(s), so as to minimize voltage drop and distributed capacitance over the length of the run. See sections 1.1-1.2 and 3.2-3.7 of http://www.maretron.com/products/pdf...on%20Guide.pdf for further discussion.


Basically I want to know if they are interchangeable so I can better manage cable lengths with what I already have.
On a very small network such as what you are apparently implementing, even the smallest/lightest cabling is near-certainly adequate, as long as the network itself is properly configured. You particularly want to make sure it is properly terminated, and keep drop cables as short as possible (and in no case more than 6 meters / 20 feet long, total).

FWIW, Maretron offers their prefabricated "Micro" and "Mid" cables in a wide variety of lengths ranging from 0.5-meter to 10-meters. Surely, among that assortment, you'll find something suitable.


I also purchased a Garmin NMEA2000 starter kit.
That will get you a Power-T, two terminators, and a couple of cables. Depending on your network layout, the 2-meter drop cable might be a good substitute for the 6-meter drop cable that came with your GPS-19x, which in turn MIGHT serve OK as a backbone cable. Or, take the (unopened?) Starter Kit back to the store and do what I did: Piece it together from Maretron bits.

Presuming that this little project is only the start of what will very probably become a much larger and more complex network at some point down the road, there are a few other things to keep in mind...

First, decide RIGHT NOW which brand of T-connectors you're going to use, and use them consistently, throughout the network. You'll understand why if/when you ever try to connect a row of mis-matched T-connectors together, then mount them on a bulkhead, stringer, etc.

Second, try to lay out your network so that the Power-T is roughly in the middle of the backbone, both in terms of physical distances, and in terms of the total various loads on each side of that Power-T; and note, I am referring at least as much (maybe even more) to the middle of where that backbone cable will eventually extend to on BOTH ends, as to where it runs now.

Third, when you get to the point of having several devices in close proximity (such as at your helm), the Maretron #CM-CF-4 multiport drop-box http://www.boemarine.com/marine-navi...-mid-fem-drop/ can help tidy things up vis-a-vis a whole bunch of T-connectors strung together. But because this leads to a somewhat unconventional network topology, it is even more important than usual to keep ALL of the drop cables fed from that box absolutely as short as possible (consistent with neat wiring practices, of course).



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Old 02-27-2013, 05:23 PM
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Itteldoo,

Thanks for your advice and suggestions. I will stay will the Garmin T connectors as my network will remain small in both devices and cable lengths. I will probable look to upgrade my autopilot some day to the Garmin GHP 10.

Cheers,
Dave.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Topend View Post
Itteldoo,

Thanks for your advice and suggestions. I will stay will the Garmin T connectors as my network will remain small in both devices and cable lengths. I will probable look to upgrade my autopilot some day to the Garmin GHP 10.

Cheers,
Dave.
I use Garmin cables and T's as well - and they work very well with Maretron connectors as well. Maretron cables/connectors is better quality though. And I have 4 Maretron CM-CF-4's and they are great :-) Cuts down the cable clutter a lot.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:26 AM
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I installed the NMEA 2000 network, it is so much neater than NMEA 0183. I purchased two 12" Lowrance cables and they fitted just fine.

Dave.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:24 AM
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Default FCV585 and SS264W

Hi,
A little off track from your thread, but I have been reading your old posts and was wondering how your finding the performance of the SS264W with the FCV585.
Also how deep do you fish with the wide beam transducer.
I've been contemplating buying a SS264W for my FCV585 to try and find more reef structure in the 40 to 70m range as I only bottom bounce for reef fish.
Any advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Stan
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