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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
NMEA 2000 LOWRANCE LMF-200 Installation
|Author||Topic: NMEA 2000 LOWRANCE LMF-200 Installation|
posted 05-23-2007 10:26 AM ET (US)
I have installed a new Lowrance LMF-200 NMEA 2000 fuel sensing guage in my outrage. Well I'm almost finished installing it. The directions mention connecting the NMEA2000 system to a switched power source due to the fact there is no on/off switch for the guage itself. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to use the engine's keyswitched power lead (PURPLE-OMC)to eliminate the need for another dashboard mounted switch. Right now this seems to be a good idea for a few reasons, one of them being simplicity. The available guage functions for my current engine, such as fuel flow and trim tab indication,will only be utilized while the engine is running or the keyswitch is on.
Just wondering if any other people here have run into this situation and what did they do?
I have been following [another discusssion] on installing NMEA2000 I-COMAND and it looks as though those guages are powered up by the ignition keyswitch lead. I know that lLowrance makes the I-COMMAND guages but I'm not sure if they are exactly wired in the same fashion.
posted 05-23-2007 10:22 PM ET (US)
I think using the ignition key switched +12-volt (PURPLE or VIOLET conductor) is a perfect application. I use that lead to power up my fuel flow instrument. In your installation I believe you are using the LMF-200 gauge as a stand-alone system, so getting the power from the ignition is a good solution.
posted 05-24-2007 01:25 PM ET (US)
One piece of advice....
I just finished installing my Lowrance 525c df. Everything is working fine now but I had a major problem related to the NMEA system.
I followed the directions to the letter and intalled a seperate fuse block on the starboard side of the interior of my Montauk console. I used 3 amp fuses on the fuse block and also left the factory inline fuses on the power leads from the NMEA network. I installed a seperate rocker switch on the console to control power to the network bus.
I had everything laid out on the boat where I wanted it and the system was working perfectly. I had second thoughts, however about screwing the antenna mount to the top of the port gunnel at the stern of the boat and decided to move it to the shepards crook.
Apparently, working in the tight spaces under the console, I inadvertatently hooked the lead to the depthfinder to the wrong side of the NMEA bus (T)connector. While, the instructions state that you must keep a linear architecture on the network are you may experience connectivity difficulties, it does not say it will fry your antenna. That's exactly what happened.
I contacted Lowrance and got hard and soft reset instructions and troubleshooting instructions. Nothing worked and I was getting power to the antenna, the antenna just would not respond. Bass Pro ended up replacing the antenna for me which saved me from a $200 mistake. They didn't have to do that.
Be very careful when hooking to the bus.
posted 05-25-2007 07:56 AM ET (US)
I took the power for my LMF-400 [from] the battery main switch. Gauge and the network is ON all the time when main switch is ON. Normally I turn the main switch OFF when I don't use the boat and then the NMEA-2000 network [does not drain the] battery.
LMF-400 is very cool instrument but it is annoying that [it does not] have own power switch.
LMF4-00 is connected my new Suzuki DF140. If someone is interested, it is really plug and play system. You only need LMF-400 (NMEA-2000 backbone cable and T-connectors come with LMF-400 package) and engine interface cable. Get a lot of information from engine with that simple setup. Additional sensors are not needed for this kind of basic installation, but you can add those sensors very easily later on.
I really recommended LMF-200 and LMF-400 instruments to people who have engines (Suzukis from -05 model year I guess, Yamahas from -07 model year and E-TECs) which supports NMEA-2000.
posted 06-12-2007 08:42 AM ET (US)
After playing a bit with LMF-400, I have been facing some problems.
At the moment I can get only rpm, engine alternator voltage and some engine diagnostic data (says engine OK) from the gauge. I really like to get engine hours and fuel consumption readings.
Maybe the problem is LMF-400 configuration or the NMEA2000 network connections.
Can someone verify that I have connected the system correctly. I have as following components:
Engine is Suzuki DF140 2007 model.
Connection is like this. EP20 is connected to the engine EMM plug. Other end of the EP20 cable is connected to NMEA2000 backbone cable (without T-connector). Other end of the backbone cable is connected to T-connector. LMF-400 is also connected to T-connector as well as is the power cable. Terminators are not used in my setup (LMF dealer told me that I dont need a terminator, because the power cable has its own "internal" 120 ohm terminator in its connector). However, LMF-400 gauge does not give any errors so I believe that network is at least somehow functioning.
EP20 has also separate connector for engine trim sender. I did not connect that to anywhere, because the trim sender plug is used by engine OEM trim gauge.
So, is my network connected ok and is it possible that unconnected EP20 cable trim plug could cause these problems that I cant get the data what I want from LMF.
Also it is possible that I just configure the gauge correctly.
All help is really appreciated.
posted 06-12-2007 08:44 AM ET (US)
Uups, one typo:
"Also it is possible that I just configure the gauge correctly."
Well, I meant that the configuration in my LMF is not correct.
posted 06-14-2007 03:31 PM ET (US)
It seems that my NMEA2000 network and LMF400 connections are ok.
Today I was able to configure gauge so that I get engine hours there. Then heavy rain interrupt my configuration task. Problem was that I try use wrong "pages" in LMF400 display at the beginning.
Will contine configuration practises during next few days. Hope that I get fuel flow out next.
However, have to says that LMF400 user interface s really "Lowrance", which means that configuration is done unnecessary difficult and you have to jump from one menu to another quite many times to get out the info you want. I would suggest that Lowrance sw designers buy one Garmin unit and take a look from there how user interfaces should be done in marine electronics.
Well, it is easy to blame an equipment when user cant make it work easily:)
posted 06-20-2007 04:32 PM ET (US)
One more update to this topic.
Finally it get fuel flow information from LMF-gauge. Problem was the fact that gauge seems to use "Fuel Flow Sensor" -option by default and in my case need to use "Engine Interface" -option instead. It took a while to figure that out.
When that option was selected, the gauge start showing all fuel related values; fuel flow (liters/hour or gallons/hour), seasonal fuel (how much engine has been burning fuel from the beginning of the season), trip fuel (how much engine burn fuel in your trip), how much gas is left in your tank(s) and if you have speed sensor (GPS or other speed source) connected to the network, the gauge also shows fuel economy readings.
Now when I have been playing with LMF/NMEA2K I can verify that from Suzuki engines you get as following things just by using EP20 engine interface without any additional sensors:
Looking forward to get additional sensor for speed, engine water pressure/temperature and oil temperature. Then the LMF engine monitoring system is perfect and as nice as is Mercury SmartCraft system.
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