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Old 02-20-2019, 05:58 PM   #1
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Getting J1939 and N2K from an Onan genset?

Anyone with an Onan generator have any sort of smart interface into it?

I've got a 13.5kw Onan MDKAZ generator and I'm entertaining the idea of getting J-1939 and NMEA-2000 data out of it. Right now it's dumb, just the gauges on the unit itself and a simple on/off idiot light panel up in the salon.

Supposedly there's a J-1939 add-on option for some of their units, but a few searches online haven't led me to any conclusive ways to tell if it's possible with mine. I've not yet spoken with anyone local that services them.

Anyone have a favorite forum or point of contact for figuring this out?
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:24 PM   #2
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Our 2008 MDKBL 9kw is tied into the Cummins Vesselview 1.5 from the factory. It has readout for: voltage, Hz, hours, coolant temp, oil pressure and alt voltage.

I have been researching how to get the J-1939 to NEMA 2000 also to get the Cummins engine data onto the 2008 RayMarine MFD's. Looks like Maretron has a converter (J2K100) but not sure it is for stand alone use. Hopefully others have done what you are looking for!
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:01 AM   #3
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Our 2008 MDKBL 9kw is tied into the Cummins Vesselview 1.5 from the factory. It has readout for: voltage, Hz, hours, coolant temp, oil pressure and alt voltage.

I have been researching how to get the J-1939 to NEMA 2000 also to get the Cummins engine data onto the 2008 RayMarine MFD's. Looks like Maretron has a converter (J2K100) but not sure it is for stand alone use. Hopefully others have done what you are looking for!
Sometimes it's like being part of a Lewis and Clark expedition. You want to see ocean? No problem, just walk in THAT direction, for a while ------>

Conveniently leaving out details about the rivers, natives, BEARS and MOUNTAIN LIONS, etc. So, yeah, there's an ocean over there... but there's no map.

Marine electronics are kinda like that. The marketing literature shows pretty graphics and mentions all kinds of features. The implementation reveals it's more about $ cables, $$ interface boards, $$$ network bridges, $$$$ labor hours to install, $$$$$ more labor hours to debug, etc.

From what I gather there's a plug-in board that can connect into the existing harness of an Onan generator. That makes a J1939 plug available with data. Maretron makes a J-1939-to-N2K bridge that can translate some amounts of data across it. I'm not entirely clear on how much data, or if the Onan board is one of the supported options.

So if your generator is already providing data to Vesselview it's entirely possible you might be able to bridge in through how that's connected.

There's a forum of Sea Ray boat owners that is a sometimes useful resource for a lot of this sort of data. The forum was originally hosted by the BOE Marine electronics reseller (great guys, btw). The CSR forum seems to have a greater percentage of 'owners upgrading stuff' discussions than I've found elsewhere. It's often a good read-only source of information, as participation does seem to favor SR owners.
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:24 PM   #4
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Bill, I found another source that may help you, very responsive to questions:

Yacht Devices - NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 marine electronics

They make some cool parts. It looks like this will work to bring the SmartCraft Vesselview from our QSC8.3 to our RayMarine G-series system.
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
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i did a little digging. i found a pdf with the wiring and some operation info. from what I'm seeing. its a mechanical engine with electronic monitoring. when i looked over the wiring diagram the only thing i saw that could possibly support any remote monitoring was a rs-232 port that is most likely used for programming and diagnostics. with that being said if there was a add on box for remote coms. it would most likely connect to that port and it would be proprietary onan parts. the only other option that would work would be getting maretron box's one for the engine and one for the gen. then wiring in separate sensors for them.





https://www.seapowermarine.com/seapo...ice-Manual.pdf


https://www.maretron.com/products/acm100.php
https://www.maretron.com/products/ems100.php
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:57 AM   #6
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Bill, I found another source that may help you, very responsive to questions:

Yacht Devices - NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 marine electronics

They make some cool parts. It looks like this will work to bring the SmartCraft Vesselview from our QSC8.3 to our RayMarine G-series system.
I already have two of their YDEG-04 bridges for my Caterpillar C-12 engines. It was my expectation to use another one for the Onan if I figure out if it's possible to add that to our unit.

I've also started discussing what it might take to use one of those to act as a gateway for some HVAC gear that also uses Can-Bus.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:05 AM   #7
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i did a little digging. i found a pdf with the wiring and some operation info. from what I'm seeing. its a mechanical engine with electronic monitoring. when i looked over the wiring diagram the only thing i saw that could possibly support any remote monitoring was a rs-232 port that is most likely used for programming and diagnostics. with that being said if there was a add on box for remote coms. it would most likely connect to that port and it would be proprietary onan parts.
Correct, I think that's the 0541-1195-01 or 0541-1195-03 add-on, but I'm not sure it's for the MKDAZ generator. I've found elsewhere online where that's interfaced into a different sort of monitoring system, one that may use NMEA-0183 and not J-1939. Either way is fine. Going direct to sensor signals would be my last resort.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:56 AM   #8
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I had a circa 2009 12kw Onan in a previous boat that was capable of connection to N2K, though I never did it.


As I recall, the wiring diagram in the manual showed the connection point for the converter. I'm pretty sure the engine control bus was J1939, and that's what you tapped into to convert to N2K.


If the generator doesn't have J1939 already, then you would need one of the devices that picks up and converts all the various analog signals and turns them into N2K.


Anyway, then generator wiring diagrams may help answer your questions.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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I had a circa 2009 12kw Onan in a previous boat that was capable of connection to N2K, though I never did it.

As I recall, the wiring diagram in the manual showed the connection point for the converter. I'm pretty sure the engine control bus was J1939, and that's what you tapped into to convert to N2K.

If the generator doesn't have J1939 already, then you would need one of the devices that picks up and converts all the various analog signals and turns them into N2K.

Anyway, then generator wiring diagrams may help answer your questions.
Well, what little literature I've run across online indicates Onan has an optional J-1939 interface for some models of their generator. And clues from other forums seem to indicate at least some have an 0183 interface from this model. I'd be fine either way. That and the schematics show nothing particularly relevant to this, that is, nothing where it'd be obvious a connector/option would be added for this.

I pulled the panel off the unit today and there doesn't appear to be anything resembling a 'smart enough' kind of interface to consider it already equipped. Lots of wires leading directly to gauges.

There's another controller board on the front side but there were more panels on there than I had time to remove.
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