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Old 11-25-2018, 03:27 PM   #1
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Anyone use a NEMA 2000 Gateway to replace old gauges?

I'm a bit surprised that I don't see more information on this. I have twin 2001 260hp Volvo's (Penta KAD 44's that output engine info to a volvo penta EDC display). I also have a NEMA 200 system connected to a Garmin chartplotter. I added a radar to the chartplotter using the NEMA connector and it works great. Now my gauges are getting old and failing and the old volvo LCD EDC displays are fading as well. Rather then replacing all of the analog gauges I THINK I can bridge the EDC output to my existing NEMA2000 network and view the engine info on my chart plotter (my chart plotter says it supports this). Has anyone done this before? Is it as easy as adding a gateway like the $189 gateway by Yachtd.com? This seems like a cool low cost solution for ageing gauges.
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:46 PM   #2
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Yes, I've done it for a variety of engines and generators. If the engine outputs J1939, then you can use a J1939 to NMEA 2000 gateway to do what you want. I'm not familiar with the Volvo in question, so that part you will need to research.


The only gateway that I've used is the Maretron J1939. It works well, but will require one of Maretron's other devices to configure it. I've use N2KAnalyze with an IPG100 and/or USB100, but I think a DSM250 can do it too. If it's a one-time configuration job you could higher someone to configure it, but the USB100 or IPG100 is probably a good long term investment anyway for future updates, diagnostics, etc.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:59 PM   #3
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Not a Volvo, but I just did this for a Cummins with a Smart Craft display that is getting rather dim. Used the Mercruiser NMEA2000 bridge, but I think others will do about the same thing. All data that appears on the Smart Craft - and more - now appears on the Raymarine system anywhere I want it, in the order I want it to be.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:54 PM   #4
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. . .I just did this for a Cummins with a Smart Craft display that is getting rather dim. Used the Mercruiser NMEA2000 bridge, but I think others will do about the same thing. All data that appears on the Smart Craft - and more - now appears on the Raymarine system anywhere I want it, in the order I want it to be.
I am trying to do that with a pair of Cummins QSM11's using the Maretron J1939 to NMEA2000 gateway. First problem is that I can't find the J1939 plug on the engine (though there are plenty of unused plugs). In talking with "experts", I am told that this approach may not work with my engines since some (many/most/all?) twin engine installations connect the J1939 for the engines to communicate with each other for synchronization purposes -- that connection is said to prevent getting separate data for each engine -- each engine's data is mixed on the network with the other's data. I would be curious to know which Cummins engines you converted and whether you had any problems or have any insights / suggestions.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:06 AM   #5
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When Mercury Marine marinized these Cummins engines, they seem to have done their best to bury the J1939 roots. I think you can still get in there, but where, and what it will do to the Smart Craft stuff is a mystery to me. I could find no one with the answer. What I did was buy the Mercuiser interface, they are all over Ebay for around $380. These plug into the Mercruiser J box of which you doubtless have some spare plugs, and will translate and pass on information from 1-4 engines, to NMEA2000 with a DeviceNet connector on the other end. I had only one engine, a QSB5.9. I had to do zero configuration, other than set up the Raymarine head to display what I wanted to see. Actually there was one thing specific to the Raymarine MFD, which searched for which fuel related PIDs where being transmitted. But that was it.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:04 AM   #6
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Well, I talked to the Yacht Devices folks (good presales info) going to give this a try, If it works it really sounds sweet. Their gateway is suppose to simply plug right into the EDC display cable. Unfortunately for my setup I need a gateway per engine so I'm going to need 2. They also have a wifi gateway so for another $189 I can access ALL of my NEMA2000 connected devices on my ipad... since volvo charges double that for their gateway and $800 for the EDC displays it would be very cost effective.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:18 AM   #7
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I am trying to do that with a pair of Cummins QSM11's using the Maretron J1939 to NMEA2000 gateway. First problem is that I can't find the J1939 plug on the engine (though there are plenty of unused plugs). In talking with "experts", I am told that this approach may not work with my engines since some (many/most/all?) twin engine installations connect the J1939 for the engines to communicate with each other for synchronization purposes -- that connection is said to prevent getting separate data for each engine -- each engine's data is mixed on the network with the other's data. I would be curious to know which Cummins engines you converted and whether you had any problems or have any insights / suggestions.

The engines will need to have separate IDs on J1939, then you tell the J2K100 which ID to use for each engine. Note you will need two J2K100s. Each can only translate for a single J1939 device.


I haven't tried a J2K100 on Cummins, but I did rearrange the J1939 interfaces on my previous boat's twin QSC engines. It was originally set up with each engine completely separate and separate VesselView displays for each. I want to combine them so I could use the two vessel view displays to display different data, but for both engines at the same time. Merging the J1939 buses involved buying a cable to bridge between two of the junction blocks. The J1939 ID is set via plug in the engine harness. Both were ID 0, so I had to get a plug for ID 1 and swap it on one engine. It all worked a treat.


It takes some digging, but Cummins publishes cabling and option diagrams for all their engines, and it will show you what's needed. But I'll warn you, it's VERY dense reading with tons of foot notes. Not easy to decipher, but possible.


But as I think about your setup, it would almost be easier if the two engine's are separate since you will need two J2K100s anyway.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:49 AM   #8
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I also have the Maretron j1939 bridge and really like it, I set it up with my DSM410 and have now configured about 20 maretron units that way. Mine is connected to a JD6068 and I did need to mess with the wiring a bit to install but it wasnt too hard (forum was helpful as I had my polarity reversed at first).
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:18 AM   #9
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The downside to putting engine info on the chart plotter is you lose screen area for displaying chart data. Or you lose seeing the gauges when you flip over to chart pages.

Some data is best left on it's own screens. There are a number of good NMEA2k displays out there. Maretron makes some pretty versatile ones that'll let you combine a lot of info on one screen. I've got a Yacht Devices J1939 setup on my C-12 engines, works great. Showing data on a Maretron 4" display.

If you're going to use the J1939 bridges (and yes, it's one per engine) then feed them to separate displays, not on your plotter. Let the plotter do it's job. Use separate displays to keep important data visible, all the time.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:48 PM   #10
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Completely agree, I have a bunch (6) DSM410s around the boat and they are awesome displays.
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:44 PM   #11
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Completely agree, I have a bunch (6) DSM410s around the boat and they are awesome displays.
That's a point worth noting, they're useful at other locations too, not just at the helm.

I used to have one on the companionway stairs in our old boat. Displaying just local time, depth and water temp. Kept everyone from wandering too close to the chartplotters looking for that. But it was also near a lower radio position and the other page showed lat/long, heading and speed. Never needed it but it'd have been useful for an emergency if someone was below using the radio (the main helm station was exposed and the radio was all but useless over engine/weather noise).
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:50 PM   #12
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Seems like the best bang for the buck for a display would be to install a NEMA2k gateway to an adhoc wifi network for $190 and use iPads. The DSM410 is a 4" display, proprietary and run $500+ each.. An additional plus is iPads are mobile (or you could mount them) - the mini is a 8" display and $300(ish) new.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:30 PM   #13
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Seems like the best bang for the buck for a display would be to install a NEMA2k gateway to an adhoc wifi network for $190 and use iPads. The DSM410 is a 4" display, proprietary and run $500+ each.. An additional plus is iPads are mobile (or you could mount them) - the mini is a 8" display and $300(ish) new.

What app would you run on the iPad?
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:31 PM   #14
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For critical info like sole display of engine data I would not trust wireless. Wired-only.

Sure, as an add-on, lots of folks like wireless. But for monitoring that your engine is running within safe parameters and not headed toward hideously expensive repairs I'd think you'd want constantly visible info on this. Engine temp, oil pressure, etc.

Lots of more esoteric stuff that could also be an indicator of trouble (exhaust temp, transmission pressure) might OK shoved off onto a wireless display, or a secondary page. But I'd still want some kind of alarm indicator tied to safe levels. As in, beep like crazy if the value goes outside the safe range (either way, high or low). Maretron's displays are good for this.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:37 PM   #15
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Seems like the best bang for the buck for a display would be to install a NEMA2k gateway to an adhoc wifi network for $190 and use iPads. The DSM410 is a 4" display, proprietary and run $500+ each.. An additional plus is iPads are mobile (or you could mount them) - the mini is a 8" display and $300(ish) new.
The DSM410 takes NMEA2k data, and Maretron has been one of the most open among marine electronic suppliers. Garmin, Raymarine, etc, were all content to be almost completely proprietary until NMEA2k and Maretron did a lot to lead the effort toward open NMEA2k devices and displays. They may not be inexpensive (although, given marine electronics costs, they're still a bargain) but they work and have a number of good, boat-operator-oriented touches. Not just marketing hype (cough, cough, Garmin) or lighthouse-flavor-of-the-week (Raymarine).

An additional point to consider is operability under bad conditions. If the weather goes south and sea conditions become difficult, how readily usable is a tablet going to be? At least in comparison to a waterproof hard mounted display? What if wave conditions are severe and toss things around the cabin?

There's an inescapable old rule "Good, fast, cheap... pick two". Sometimes paying for good gear is worth it. ESPECIALLY when compared to marine engine repair costs.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:18 PM   #16
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I’d highly advise against an iPad. Don’t get me wrong, I have several i keep onboard but not for anything critical or lag/latency sensitive.
The DSM410s are awesome, I have different configuration for each based on what and where it is, staterooms are all just environmentals, AC and DC state, etc. Fly bridge and pilothouse mostly rotate engine data.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:35 AM   #17
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What app would you run on the iPad?
The yachtd folks tell me the wifi gateway comes with an app you can use on a pad or smartphone. They have iphone screenshots on their website.



Regarding the reliability of the wifi / ipad connection. I agree that hardwire is probably more reliable - though there can be issues with wired connections as well.



It can drive you nuts deciding the correct price-point on risk / reward. Also, how bleeding edge do you want to be offshore?



To mitigate that risk my chartplotter is already hardwired into the NEMA network (I have 2 screens - connected via wires - to both helms). Also, regarding the "viewablility" and sharing screen space... I generally use other GPS navigation software most of the time (I use BOTH Navionics and iSailor). Also, the analog gauges are still there.



Comparing the cost, convenience and portability of the wifi gateway, wifi seems like a acceptable risk given all of the backup systems available. Maybe if I was piloting a 50' passagemaker it would make sense - but I generally don't go any farther then the Bahamas and coastal cruising.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:28 AM   #18
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Checkout Maretron as well, I think they make a pretty good app if you have thier IP gateway. In terms of Wifi do you have another network onboard? If you do Id go with just a NMEA to IP box and use your standard WiFi router. Easier to upgrade/etc in the future.
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:16 AM   #19
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I agree that hardwire is probably more reliable - though there can be issues with wired connections as well.
No. The two are not equal.

A wired setup is as reliable as the quality materials and installation effort put into it.

Wireless is at the mercy of all sorts of shenanigans (interference, SSID network changes, routing problems when trying to bridge to shore/cell connections, etc). You do not want primary engine monitoring put at the mercy of wireless connectivity.

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It can drive you nuts deciding the correct price-point on risk / reward. Also, how bleeding edge do you want to be offshore?
Gauges for engine data and bridges are not bleeding edge. That's well-trod territory. Wireless, however, is. Especially given the constant nature of app upgrades and firmware changes. A wired gauge, once installed, is pretty much never going to need changing.

Yes, it's possible to drive yourself crazy with the endless number of options out there. At some point we all believed the hype, then we bought stuff and discovered, oh, it sucks.

Quote:
To mitigate that risk my chartplotter is already hardwired into the NEMA network (I have 2 screens - connected via wires - to both helms). Also, regarding the "viewablility" and sharing screen space... I generally use other GPS navigation software most of the time (I use BOTH Navionics and iSailor). Also, the analog gauges are still there.
What kind of chartplotters? Have you determined if they're even able to display the engine data? (My four older Navnet3D Furuno units won't). Let alone in a usable format? Because some plotters do not have what I'd consider acceptable means to display engine data. Either they don't display much more than oil temp and rpm (no transmission info, exhaust temps or other pressures). Or they make a mess of wasted screen real estate with ugly boxes (Raymarine) or worse, pretty automobile-like dash pictures (Simrad).

You mentioned the analog gauges were "fading", are you not replacing them? That would seem like a reasonable path, especially if you're going to spend on the J1939 gateways.

Quote:
but I generally don't go any farther then the Bahamas and coastal cruising.
Offshore should prepare for rough seas. Do not have regularly used items set up without secure mounting. As in, not a tablet clipped into a spring mount. Would you want that coming loose and smacking you in the head edge-wise?

Having displays on a tablet is clever option. Not one I'd even remotely consider for primary data display, but a fun toy nonetheless.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:29 PM   #20
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I have to disagree with the wifi naysayers. Yes, wifi networks go down. So, too, do hardwired networks, including the NMEA2000 network that ties all of your marine electronics together.

If you buy good wifi equipment (Ubiquiti, for example) and install and configure it properly, it's more than reliable enough for my offshore adventures, and probably for yours.
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