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Dual GARMIN setup have some questions

Old 09-09-2014, 06:26 PM
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Default Dual GARMIN setup have some questions

I love my GARMIN 541s GPS/fishfinder on my boat, easy to use, awesome map, NMEA add-ons, etc. does everything I need it to and then some. ive always wanted to do a dual setup on my center console for the redundancy and to be able to have both full screen navigation and bottom coverage or whatever other combo I wanted to have. ive got another 541s lined up to go and look at and probably buy for a really good deal. I have a couple concerns before I start doing this.

right now I have my unit hooked up to the cheapo transducer that plugs right into the power/data cable. how can I get both units to read the bottom, anyway to do it without the obvious buy a second transducer and mount it on the transom? would there be any transducer interference being within probably 3ft of eachother I saw the NMEA transducer kit but cant find out if it needs a seperate controller box or how it is getting the power/ability to send signals to the bottom for a reading. is it doing all this through the NMEA 2k network?

also since I have a pretty small boat so pretty much everything is on the center console including the VHF antenna. the second unit will be RIGHT next to the antenna, like within 3-4 inches. will this cause a problem with the internal GPS antenna and/or the VHF antenna?

thanx for any help
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:31 PM
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You will only get depth readings and stuff like that (numbers) you wouldn't be able to see the sounder info or chart info on both screens. I don't know for sure about the vhf proximity but I'd guess it will be a non issue.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:58 PM
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As far as I know you can't have two units in control of the same transducer. I'd put in another transducer, but operate only one at a time, then you have complete redundancy. If you later decide to operate both, they have to be on different freqs ...
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:44 AM
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thanx. I might just get a another separate transducer. i do not know how to turn the transducers off tho. I thought that if I got a NMEA transducer and put it on the NMEA network common to both units bottom coverage could be seen on both screens.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
As far as I know you can't have two units in control of the same transducer. I'd put in another transducer, but operate only one at a time, then you have complete redundancy. If you later decide to operate both, they have to be on different freqs ...
Thats the way I set my network up -- have two Garmins, two 'ducers - just different frequesnnices. Do the same with second VHF
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by BMAC1988 View Post
thanx. I might just get a another separate transducer. i do not know how to turn the transducers off tho. I thought that if I got a NMEA transducer and put it on the NMEA network common to both units bottom coverage could be seen on both screens.
NMEA transducer will only give a simple depth number output. It won't provide sounder data on the NMEA network.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:40 AM
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Thanx. I'm really glad i asked before i purchased that nmea transducer.... So i can just get a second cheapo transducer and run one on 50hrz and the other on 200hrz and everything will work? Also, since my gfs10 fuel meter is hooked up to the nmea network, long as i get the second unit hooked up on the nmea network it will also read the fuel flow sensor right?
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:31 PM
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well I just got home from going to get my second 541s. believe it or not but its actually in better shape than the one I already had. another plus to the deal, the guy left ALL his numbers in it from the Atlantic side and even a couple to add to my collection on the west coast out of tampa bay.

right now im going thru the maps and updating and merging everything from my current setup to this one. its getting confusing trying to keep the different units maps/files separate from eachother on the same SD card.

talking to a sponsor on here about a secondary mounting kit and another transducer. ill post up some pics when i get everything setup. hopefully everything works like im wanting.
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:12 PM
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got my secondary mounting kit and second transducer today from International Marine on here, awesome people to deal with.

got both units and both transducers mounted, hooked up, and wires ran. I forgot to order a second NMEA 2000 drop cable to be able to hook into my NMEA network and see fuel readings on both units so thatll have to wait till next week when I get that from I.M. also. everything seems to be working good so far.im going to try and get to a local lake around and try them out in the water and see what kind of interference I get, if any.

last night I spent some time in my Homeport program on the computer. I copied all my waypoints and even my Bluechart g2 VISION data onto a second SD card for the second unit. I even got transferred over the waypoints from the new unit, YES THE GUY LEFT ALL HIS NUMBERS IN IT. not just a couple either, I originally had 89 waypoints in my data, I now have 879 waypoints all up and down the FLA east coast and added to my collection in the gulf.



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Old 09-12-2014, 03:08 PM
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Lol cool
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:44 PM
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just got back from the lake trying them out. I couldn't believe it, both units worked flawlessly, even with them both set on sonar coverage. bottom contour, depth reading, even while on plane. also no GPS interference. im very happy with the setup.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:44 PM
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Good for you man.
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