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Old 02-25-2010, 07:02 AM   #1
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NMEA 0183 or 2000?

I'm shopping for a chartplotter and I'm unsure if I should pay a little bit more and get one that uses the NMEA 2000 protocol. I like the idea of having something that can evolve into a network but when I look at the price of the add-ons, I'm not sure I'll ever buy those $600-$1000 sensors to monitor fuel level, wind, etc.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:13 AM   #2
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Another advantage is if you want to tie the plotter into AIS, radar, depth etc - you can network it.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:41 AM   #3
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Yea... it seems like the multi-function displays are the new future of electronics and NEMA-2K seems like the best solution for expandability and modular upgrading. I plan on heading down that path when the time comes.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Fotoman,
Can't comment on either system BUT I would suggest KISS. We're not running the Queen Mary here. Just my $.02
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

I am a convert to NMEA 2000. It was installed on our boat by the PO, and I'm not sure I would have stepped up to the initial investment (Mine is a Maretron system), but I am impressed with the true "plug and Play" compatibility of the system. I recently upgraded to a better WAAS GPS antenna, and it was the simplest electronics installation I have done. Rock solid, and eliminates field wiring (crimping, soldering, terminal blocks, etc) which I have done in the past, so I think it is a more reliable system as well.

If I was in the market for new electronics I would get a 2000 compatible unit (even with a 183 backbone, as there are 183 to 2000 converters).

RTF, I actually think the 2000 system is closer to the KISS principle because of the compatability and reliability of the system. I agree it is more expensive as an add on to an existing system, so economics is a separate issue to consider.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:22 AM   #6
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Quote:
Fotoman wrote:

I'm shopping for a chartplotter and I'm unsure if I should pay a little bit more and get one that uses the NMEA 2000 protocol. I like the idea of having something that can evolve into a network but when I look at the price of the add-ons, I'm not sure I'll ever buy those $600-$1000 sensors to monitor fuel level, wind, etc.

Any thoughts?
I seem to remember Fotoman, that when I bought my sounder/plotter combination unit, a Lowrance LMS 335c, ~ 5 yrs ago, even then it was NMEA 0183 and 2000 compatible, so you may be worrying over nothing.* In other words any modern unit (certainly Lowrance, and therefore anything really Navico), will probably be ok for either, so able to be incorporated in a 2000 network when needed.



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Old 02-27-2010, 11:11 AM   #7
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Fotoman:

I wanted to add AIS to my NorthStar 6000i combo but it was all NEMA 183 and I was informed that the info would not show up on my screen. If I understood it correctly, you must have a unit that supports NEMA 2000 if you want AIS to appear on your chart plotter.

If this info is not correct, I eagerly await replies.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #8
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Walt

You can find AIS units that are either NMEA 183 or NMEA 2000, that is they output data in one format or the other, depending on the particular unit.

Keep in mind that NMEA bus standards are both physical and data standards, and the data standards in particular have evolved.

What that means is that you may install an AIS receiver with a NMEA183 output, but your chart plotter may not be able to translate the information. I don't know about your unit, but an older unit may be designed to "listen" only for GPS data, for example, and so would not "hear" an AIS sentence. The GPS is sending location and speed information, whereas an AIS is using a GPS input along with data transmitted from another AIS and computing relative motion information as well as location and speed (of another ship) with other data.

So you can have an AIS Chartplotter or PC combo with NMEA 183 compatibility working together, or you can also have a combination working in NMEA 2000.

I haven't found a unit yet that translates NMEA 2000 AIS data into 183 format - maybe others have. I'm interested myself, since I have a NMEA 2000 GPS and bus, but my PC and Nobeltec are still using 183 protocol. Further complicating the issue for me is that most laptops these days are relying on USB inputs, and few have the older serial data ports which were simpler to wire for NMEA 183.

I'm also interested in other ideas, or information that is out there.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:25 AM   #9
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RE: NMEA 0183 or 2000?

Thanks for all your input. Very valuable as always.

I decided to got for a Garmin 441S (NMEA 2000). Very affordable and NMEA 2000. I figure that even if I don't take advantage of all the network features it will have a better resell value someday.

By the way, I got it at Anchor Express (http://www.anchorexpress.com). They have very good prices on the electronics.
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