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Author Topic:   NMEA-2000: Yamaha Command Link
jimh posted 01-20-2006 08:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Yamaha has a line of gauges for their outboard motors which appear to be NMEA-2000 compliant, however Yamaha does not mention that in their current literature.

Command Link™: Integrated Information System

Previously (c.2004) Yamaha announced it planned "to introduce CANbus technology in its 2005 model year outboard offering...that will comply with the NMEA2000 industry standard." The current listing of NMEA-2000 devices includes these gauges from Yamaha. Also, in February of 2005 Yamaha was listed as a participant in a NMEA-2000 "ConnectFest" held at the Miami International Boat Show wherein devices from various manufacturers were interconnected and demonstrated. From this, it seems reasonable to conclude the Yamaha gauges are NMEA-2000 devices.

seahorse posted 01-20-2006 08:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse    
For 2006, Yamaha's large engines are NMEA 2000. They did not make 2005 models with NMEAA 2000 capatability.
jimh posted 01-20-2006 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It looks almost like Yamaha was given certification for the instruments before they certified the engines!
Peter posted 01-20-2006 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Does this mean one could use Yamaha COMMAND LINK gauges with a NMEA-2000 compliant Evinrude E-TEC outboard or Evinrude I-COMMAND gauges with a NMEA-2000 compliant Yamaha outboard?
jimh posted 01-21-2006 12:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter--that is a good question, and it is one we should explore. I would assume there must be some standardization in the protocol for common data to be transmitted. For example, engine crankshaft speed in revolutions per second ought to be almost a universal data value. You would expect that if there was much to the NMEA-2000 standard, it would at least standardize on simple data container names like that.
LHG posted 01-21-2006 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
If none of this, or at least the important engine protection systems, is interchangeable between manufacturers using NMEA 2000, than the argument that the open standard is a better system than Smartcraft, and hence more flexible for engine choices, re-power, simplicity, goes down the toilet. Then I-Command and Command Link are just another late, reverse engineered, version of Smartcraft.

My guess is that the tachometer, temp, water pressure, hours, volts, and all other conventional instrument readings would (at least SHOULD) work if anyone's instruments were plugged into the "consolidator hub" (Junction box) point in the standard.

But what gets more interesting is whether the Evinrude Tach/Speedo 3" gauges, for example, could digitally read out Yamaha's, or Hondas, fault codes, warning alarms, etc. Will the Evinrude gauges, meant for 2 stroke DFI's, read out 4-stroke codes, oil temperature & pressure, and vice-versa with Yamaha gauges reading out Evinrude codes?

If all answers in my third paragraph are a big NO, then we still have a bunch of proprietary "Smartcraft" systems, and Mercury once again, seems to have been way ahead in this game.

seahorse posted 01-21-2006 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse    
At the moment there is a fly in the ointment, Yamaha's Command Link gauges are NMEA 2000 certified, but their ECU's are not, at this time. Bombardier has the only certified ECU (EMM) by the NMEA.

What this means for now is the Bombardier's gauges may not work on Yamaha's and vice versa, at this time.

The connectors are different, and NMEA specs say that if the manufacturer uses a different connector, then they have to provide an apdapter to the industry, and it has to meet the waterproofness and current capacity as the NMEA 2000 requires.

ICOMMANDER posted 01-27-2006 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for ICOMMANDER    
"Does this mean one could use Yamaha COMMAND LINK gauges with a NMEA-2000 compliant Evinrude E-TEC outboard or Evinrude I-COMMAND gauges with a NMEA-2000 compliant Yamaha outboard?"

Maybe, depending on how any specific signal (rpm, engine fault code, fuel tank level, etc)is identified. To answer the question one must understand the principle of message transmission on the CAN network.

When data is transmitted on a NMEA 2000 CAN network it does not contain the address of either the transmitting node, or any intended receiving node. The content of the message is preceeded by a digital identifier. Each message has its own specific identifier. Although the message is shared with each node throughout the network, it is not necessarily accepted by it. The node is programmed to accept a specific identifier. IF it sees an acceptable identifier then it accepts the message behind it. If the message is relevant to the node, it accepts the message, if it is not, the message is ignored.

So, if a Yamaha engine sends a message to a Bombardier (or any other NMEA 2000 gauge) it may or may not display it. Most likely, each manufacturer would (or may) develop a gauge that is truly NMEA 2000 compliant, but contains the logic to accept a signal with a specific identifier. This is how the gauge could become specific to an engine and still be NMEA 2000 compliant.

Roarque posted 02-02-2006 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Roarque  Send Email to Roarque     
I thought the point to all this was that the engine measurements would be available for display on any screen on the network.

For example: A GPS screen on the fishing deck (secondary helm) could display engine speed or oil pressure alarms. The main helm could have the engine manufacturer's gauges with alarms (perhaps even hardwired to the engine) but the local area network would have the same data (a few milliseconds older) available for any other computing device to grab and display.

An Evinrude main engine and a Yamaha kicker could send compatible data onto the network for the Lowrance computer to absorb, understand and display on the Sonar/Radar/GPS screen.

jimh posted 02-03-2006 01:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The intention of NMEA-2000 ("all this") is to establish an industry standard so that there could be interconnection of various devices on a common marine communication bus. There is nothing in the specifications which require that there be a common display device, although it is certainly facilitated by using a common standard for all devices.

It remains to be seen if there will be inter-operation between devices from every different manufacturer. Evinrude has already demonstrated that its engines will work with instruments from another manufacturer, Lowrance.

seahorse posted 02-03-2006 07:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse    
Lowrance and Raymarine have gps/sonar screens that will display basic engine infol. On the Lowrance, you can have analog or digital, change gauge color and needle style, and change the location on the screen. Lowrance has 7" and 11" displays.

You have to remember that the micro-processor inside the screen or the gauge, has to be programmed to display the data you wish to see. Tach and temp signals are pretty much standard in NMEA 2000, but engine specific error codes are not. For example, a Yamaha Command Link gauge is not programmed internally to recognize an E-TEC barometric pressure malfunction or an exhaust backpressure sensor reading.

jimh posted 02-03-2006 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
When--or IF--NMEA-2000 really catches on, there will probably be some open source development. Wouldn't it be great if you could connect your laptop computer's USB port to your vessel's NMEA-2000 network, install some open source software, and build your own custom vessel display?

One of the biggest obstacles in the road to this actually happening is the very high cost of obtaining the complete NMEA-2000 specifications. The NMEA charges several thousand dollars for this information. They could, if they wished, provide it on a CD-ROM that costs about a $1 to duplicate and mail. Or they could provide it on a website.

ICOMMANDER posted 02-03-2006 12:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for ICOMMANDER    
"Wouldn't it be great if you could connect your laptop computer's USB port to your vessel's NMEA-2000 network, install some open source software, and build your own custom vessel display?"

You can if you have the resources, or if you are Teleflex, Lowrance, or RayMarine. Either way, the marine electronics industry looks to be heading toward NMEA 2000 compatibility. I imagine that when the demand is there, the gauge manufacturers will make the effort to have their devices compatible with all engines.

an86carrera posted 02-06-2006 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
Does this system allow electronic throttle like the Verado? Someone her at work has just bought a 2006 Yamaha 150 four stroke (at a charity auction) and is having trouble getting alot of info about Command Links capabilities.

Thanks for any info.

seahorse posted 02-06-2006 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse    
Yamaha Command-Link is for gauges only. Yamaha does not have "fly by wire" yet. They say another year or two.

Their F250 uses a stepper motor to open the throttle plate and on the motor, the throttle cable attaches to a potentiometer to tell the computer where the linkage is at. It is a partial "fly by wire".

jimh posted 02-06-2006 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
NMEA-2000 specifies a standard protocol, wiring, electrical parameters, connectors, etc. I am not qualified to determine if the protocol is suitable for use as an engine control system, but I would not be surprised if its design had not considered that as an application.

NMEA-2000 is an emerging standard for vessel electronics. I would anticipate that it might be used for engine controls, however it might have to be used in a dual-redundant system or in an isolated network. You might not want your vessel control system to be running on the same wires as the rest of you vessel electronics. If some other device malfunctioned and started flooding the network with traffic, it might make the throttle and shift control messages have difficulty getting through.

jimh posted 05-31-2006 01:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The last time I checked the Yamaha website (which was about two minutes ago), I could not find any mention of NMEA-2000 certification for their engines. Did I miss something? Or has Yamaha yet to obtain NMEA-2000 certification for their motors?
jimh posted 10-09-2006 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The whole summer boating season has gone by, and, as far as I can tell, there is still no mention whatsoever from Yamaha about their instrumentation and motors being NMEA-2000 certified. Even GOOGLE.COM cannot find the word "NMEA" on the Yamaha website. Cf:

For two years Yamaha has been telling the boating community that they would have NMEA-2000 compliance. Have they been telling the truth? Even respected boating writers in respected boating magazines said Yamaha would be coming out with NMEA-2000 certified stuff. Where is it?

cwolf posted 10-10-2006 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for cwolf  Send Email to cwolf     
I have these gages and you're right there is no mention in the manuals (printed 2005) of NMEA anything. It mentions I can connect the Speedometer to gps but have had little luck determining how. Think I need the install manual which I didn't get from dealer. They are awesome gages though and they sure look a LOT like the Navman.
RLSmith posted 10-11-2006 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for RLSmith  Send Email to RLSmith     
Somehow I posted this to the wrong thread. Trying again. In case you have not already seen this on Yamaha's European web site:

...All 2007-model Yamaha EFI outboards from 50hp upwards, and HPDI 2-stroke models, are now fitted with the necessary ECU-to-LAN connection port, bringing this easy-to-fit, easy-to-maintain system within reach of a great many boat owners. Boat builders and dealers too, are showing great enthusiasm for this new digital instrument system, which makes installation and maintenance far simpler than ever before; and thanks to its open architecture, nav aids and electronics from any other manufacturer using the NMEA 2000 protocol can be linked easily to the network.

Cf.:Yamaha's European web site

....Of course, the system is fully NMEA 2000 compatible and allows connectivity with navigation equipment from other manufacturers, as well as offering advantages like electronic speed control for trolling, integrated fuel management function and other aids to safer, more relaxed boating. Above all, the system and the gauges are a perfectly engineered match for all 2007 Yamaha EFI (fuel-injection) models from 50hp up.

The second link has a picture showing dual engines connected to a bus, to which several displays are connected.

Yamahaman posted 01-01-2009 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Yamahaman  Send Email to Yamahaman     
Hello All:

The Yamaha F-350, V8 fourstroke is indeed NMEA 2000 complaint. The ECU does broadcast in NMEA 2000 data and the square command link guages report in NMEA 2000 data.

Yamaha origianlly intended to certify the ECU for compliance and allow any NMEA 2000 device such as a PC computer, guage set or electronic screen (such as Raymarine, Garmin or Furuno) to display the engine data including alarms, fuel levels RPM, voltage, water temp and oil presure on any of those devices.

I obtained the interface schematics from Raymarine to display the engine data on my E120 displays, the Yamaha Command link hub and cables are all color coded to NMEA 2000 compliant standards. The function works perfectly on the F-350 motors. No other Yamaha product seems to work.

I was told by a Yamaha insider the reason they never got the certification for the engine ECU or command link guage sets was they were concerned boaters would interface the engines to a marine display unit and not purchase the (highly functional and user friendly) command link guages they sell. Yahama requested Raymarine cease distributing the schematics to perform such an interface however it is available on the internet somewhere.

SC Joe posted 01-03-2009 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
Yamahaman..all of what you posted is not exactly correct.

JimH was correct in his comment (some years ago) that "It looks almost like Yamaha was given certification for the instruments before they certified the engines!"

The Command Link gauges have been and are NMEA 2000 compliant, at least according to the NMEA (Found almost at the botom of the page):

You'll notice however, that the engines, up until when that was posted, are not included. I don't think they are now, either.

While the "F" series engines don't appear to be "officially" compliant, it is my understanding that there have been many people with Command Link capable "F" series engines that have gotten NMEA 2000 info to display on their NMEA 2000 capable chart plotters wih the appropriate conversion connectors (Like the maretron connector p/n MARE-003).

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