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Author Topic:   Actisense NDC-2B NMEA 2000
stwal posted 04-14-2006 04:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for stwal   Send Email to stwal  
I have a Garmin GPSMAP 187C and don’t want to buy one more or new triducer and GPS.
So I have bought an Actisense NDC-2B this should convert NMEA0183 to NMEA 2000.

I have connected it to the both LowranceNET and I-Command CAN-bus and it’s not receiving or transmitting any data.
The Lowrance LMF-400 can not find the device if I scan for devices.

Have any one used this setup?

This device should save money and devices in the boat.


stwal posted 04-14-2006 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal
Moe posted 04-14-2006 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe    
I've never heard of a Garmin GPSMAP 187C, but if it's like other Garmins, it comes with the communication port(s) set for the Garmin protocol. Have you reconfigured the Garmin port the LMF is hooked into to speak the NMEA 0183 protocol instead of the Garmin protocol?

Garmin also uses the power negative (aka ground) wire for all the communication port(s) negatives. If the Actisense box has an NMEA0183 - input in addition to the NMEA0183 + input, have you tied the NMEA0183 - to power negative (aka ground)?


stwal posted 04-16-2006 01:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal     

The name is Garmin GPSMAP 178C SounderIt sends data to the combinder and the combinder send the data through the RS232 port to the computer.
This works fine.

The problem is that it’s not sending or receiving any data on the NMEA 2000 port in the combinder.

NMEA 2000 is it's a faster protocol totally different to NMEA 0183, there for I bought this converter.

Moe posted 04-16-2006 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe    
If your computer serial port is getting the NMEA data from the Garmin serial port passed through the converter, it sounds like you have the Garmin correctly configured and connected. I'd look for a problem in the converter or on the NMEA 2000 network.

Good luck!


Chuck Tribolet posted 04-16-2006 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Your Garmin 178C has two NMEA ports. I'll assume you want to
Use Actisense NMEA in Channel 1

If you want to use 178C NMEA Port 1:

GPS Port 1 Data Out (blue) to Actisense NMEA In Channel 1 +/A
GPS Ground (Black) to Acticsense NMEA Actisense NMEA In Channel 1 -/B

If you want to use 178C NMEA Port 2:

GPS Port 1 Data Out (green) to Actisense NMEA In Channel 1 +/A
GPS Ground (Black) to Acticsense NMEA Actisense NMEA In Channel 1 -/B

It would be test to keep the Data Out and Ground wires
running about the same path with a twist every six inches
or so. This will reduce the noise on the NMEA line.

And you need to setup the GPS Port:

Port 1 (or 2, as appropriate)
Set Serial Data Format to NMEA In/NMEA Out
Set Speed to 4800

And it looks like the Actisense has some setup too.


stwal posted 04-16-2006 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal     

Everything is working fine, except the NMEA 2000 comunication.

The NMEA 2000 interface is not converting any data.

The Lowrance LMF-400 that is connected on the NMEA 2000 CAN-Bus can not find the Actisense NDC-2b.

The devices on the Lowrance NET are working and the CAN-Bus is terminated in both end.

Here is the hardware information from the Actisense NDC Control Centre program.

jimh posted 04-16-2006 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Are you sure your NMEA-0183 to NMEA-2000 convertor is the source of the problem?

The device may be properly converting the electrical and network characteristics of the data, but the data may not be received by the source you desire due to protocol problems.

Perhaps the device you want to receive the data is not configured to receive data from that sender.

The NMEA-2000 provides a common physical and electrical network, but it does not guarantee that every device will communication will every other device. The sender and receiver have to be known to each other and willing to communicate. Your problem may be more of software and compatibility than of physical or electrical malfunction.

Unfortunately, the details of the MNEA-2000 protocol are very expensive to obtain. It costs thousands of dollars to get the documentation. Thus an "open" standard is not quite as open as one would like.

stwal posted 04-16-2006 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal     
The problem can be in protocol layer.

Here is a picture of the Actisense NDC Control Centre there is no options for NMEA 2000.

I have send an e-mail to Actisense, about this problem.

stwal posted 04-16-2006 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal     
I found an answer in the Manual.

The NDC will be able to act as an NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000 upgrade bridge, converting all NMEA 0183 data into standard NMEA 2000 packets that can be read by any suitably equipped device on the vessels NMEA 2000 CAN bus network. This ability will require a flash upgrade, as the NMEA 2000 standard has only recently been finalised; please contact Active Research Limited and/or monitor the Actisense™ website for further information.

The NMEA 2000 interface is not configured yet, so I will haft to wait.

stwal posted 04-18-2006 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal     
This is a part of the answer from Actisense.

The NDC-2-B software/firmware does not currently support NMEA 2000, and we do not yet have a release date for when we will release the updated NDC-2-B firmware that will support NMEA 2000.

Therefore, the quickest solution to complete your system would be to use the NMEA 2000 gateway product when it is released.

First of all, my apologies for the confusion over the NMEA 2000 feature in the NDC-2.

We have been developing NMEA 2000 software now for a couple of years, and the NDC-2 was supposed to have this feature installed.

However, it has proved difficult, as the NDC-2 already does so much that the NMEA 2000 conversion is pushing the microprocessor too much to do everything that we want.

So we are making the NMEA 2000 gateway.

Moe posted 04-19-2006 06:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe    
So would you say that someone with an NMEA0183 GPS would be better off using one of the Navman NMEA0183 Fuel Flow meters rather than the Lowrance NMEA2000 LMF-400? It seems to me that would be simpler.


Chuck Tribolet posted 04-19-2006 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Moe: Absolutely. I'm in the midst of hooking up a Navman
3100 Fuel right now. Two wires (signal and ground) from GPS
to Navman.


stwal posted 04-20-2006 03:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for stwal  Send Email to stwal     
I have order a new Evinrude E-tec, that engine is using NMEA 2000.

If you order I-command’s NMEA 2000 gauges you will have to order new GPS and Paddle wheel traducer to get all functions working.

If you all ready have this staff why buy on more GPS and Paddle wheel traducer.

Here is the list price for GPS and Paddle wheel traducer.

Paddle wheel triducer, thru hull, plastic $238.49
GPS Antenna and adapter harness-24” $219.99

What’s why I’m interested to get a product that convert NMEA 0183 to NMEA 2000.

The fuel flow function is built-in the Evinrude E-tec.

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