At present, the world of marine electronics has been specifically designed for interfacing and/or networking. That’s great, having the power to “talk” to each other and share real-time information makes way for enhanced navigation experience for boaters – both recreational and commercial. Need a few examples? Let’s talk about targeting with marine radar, or data overlaid with AIS or then using GPS data to keep a boat’s autopilot system steer to a specific waypoint. But how do you make these big, often complicated systems work? How do you set up the NMEA2000 network to enable interface? Basic network accessories would work!
Something as simple yet important as NMEA2000 start kit or NMEA2000 cable is sometimes all you need to make things work.
In this post, we will try to cover 3 must have network accessories when you are sailing across the sea, ocean, or lakes. Have a look:
1: NMEA2000 Starter Kit
The NMEA 2000 works on the “CAN Bus” system designed with DeviceNet standard cables plus connectors. The CAN Bus model was introduced in the 80s for application in high-reliability automotive systems. Prior to its use in the marine industry, it was also used for automotive, agricultural, and other purposes. Each network in NMEA 2000 must be built across a “backbone”, which is the primary trunking of cable The NMEA2000 start kit comes with everything you would require for building a basic NMEA 2000 network on your vessel. The start kit has a backbone cable, NMEA2000 cable, T-connectors, and male/female terminator connectors. Some even some with terminating resistors and a power node to work with all Red network devices.
The start kit from different manufacturers can comprise different elements. You can also buy add-on network accessories like Maretron cable, Maretron transducer, NMEA2000 display, NMEA2000 cable, and then other Lowrance accessories to make the most of your network.
2: NMEA 2000 Data converter
The NMEA 2000 data converter play a key role in connecting both new and old networks. You can easily convert NMEA 0183 data into NMEA 2000 data (or the opposite) to enable them to interface/talk with each other. A data converter not only translates analog signals from the engine senders but also from the sensors across the vessel to the NMEA2000 Bus. You will find different brands offering dedicated data converters for NMEA2000, but it’s better to opt for something more powerful that can be used for reading voltages of batteries, interfacing with analog gauges, and more. NMEA2000 data converters additionally let you measure resistance from an industry-standard engine sensor. Whether you need to fetch engine data, generic pressure, tank levels, or temperature from any resistive sensor – a decent quality data converter would do all of that.
Some NMEA2000 data converters even have an Ethernet port to enable web-based calibration and upgrade.
3: NMEA2000 Connectors
Whether you trust Garmin or Maretron or other players in the marine market, use of NMEA2000 connectors is strongly recommended while picking network accessories for your vessel. Available in male and female variants, the NMEA2000 connectors offer complete flexibility and makes it easier to install a cable across tight bends. This implies that you can fully customize tour network! The market is full of reliable, powerful NMEA2000 connectors. The glands inside a connector tighten around a cable to provide watertight integrity. You can fit the cables at any angle for easy installation from whatever entry point you choose.
So these are the three must-have network accessories for your every marine adventure to make sure you can set up the NMEA2000 network without any problem. Other than the start kit, connectors, and NMEA2000 data converters, you can also upgrade your list with NMEA0183 USB converter, NMEA2000 display, Maretron transducers, etc for added features and functionality. The best thing is, you will find different online platforms dealing in branded network accessories for marine use and that too at discounts. So you don’t have to step out of your home to buy them. Just make sure you get the right accessories for NMEA2000 network on your vessel