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Author Topic:   Standard Horizon, Lowrance DSC Connection
David1877 posted 03-02-2008 09:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for David1877   Send Email to David1877  
I put a radio in my boat last year but I have not yet connected it to my Lowarance 337c GPS so that the DSC capabilities of the radio are fully enabled.

I believe the radio and GPS are compatible, but I don't know for sure. It is a matter of connecting a few wires but I am not certain which ones.

My next stop is the owners manuals for both items which (vague memory) include some direction on how to get this accomplished. Words of radio wiring wisdom and experience from fellow Whaler enthusiasts will be appreciated.

David1877 posted 03-02-2008 11:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
This is from Lowrance 337 Manual

Power Connections
Your unit comes with a power and data cable that splits into three ends, each with several exposed wires (shown in the following figure). The end with 4 wires (blue, yellow, orange and shield) is a Data cable that connects to a NMEA 0183 interface. The end with three wires (red, black and shield) is a power cable that connects to a NMEA-2000 buss. The thicker three-wire cable (red, black and white) is the Power Supply for your unit (and optional external speaker connection for some units).
Power Supply wires: red, black and white
To unit
NMEA-2000 Power wires: red, black and shield
Data Cable wires: blue, yellow, orange and shield


I know that the Yellow wire transmits NMEA data to other devices. The Orange receives from other devices. Don't know about Blue.

My radio has three wires:

Blue NMEA In (+)
Green NMEA In (-)
Gray NMEA Out (+)

If the Yellow GPS wire is out, do I connect it to the Blue or Green In wire on the radio?

If the Radio Gray NMEA out is paired with the radio Ortange NMEA In, what is done with the Blue wire on the GPS?

David1877 posted 03-03-2008 12:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Never mind my question about the Blue wire. It is not used.

It appears I connect the Yellow GPS transmit wire to either the Blue or Green NMEA wire on the radio.

jimh posted 03-03-2008 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Connect the two devices to a common 12-volt power source. Connect a single wire from the GPS which is marked as a NMEA output to a single wire from the radio which is marked as a NMEA input.

If the inputs and outputs are arranged in pairs with a (+) and (-) designation, handle them as follows:

On any output which has a (-) pair, leave the wire disconnected.

On any input which has a (-) pair, connect the wire to the 12-volt negative power terminal.

Accomplishing the interconnection with the wires is only a portion of the set up. Each device must be configured to have compatible data on the circuit. The radio will list the NMEA-0183 sentences which it can accept. The GPS will list the NMEA-0183 it can transmit. Configure the GPS to send one of the sentences which the radio can accept.

If you wish to connect the RADIO to the GPS so the GPS can display received data such as remote position of other stations, connect a second set of wires. Connect a single wire from the radio which is marked as a NMEA output to a single wire from the GPS which is marked as a NMEA input.

If the inputs and outputs are arranged in pairs with a (+) and (-) designation, handle them as follows:

On any output which has a (-) pair, leave the wire disconnected and insulated

On any input which has a (-) pair, connect the wire to the 12-volt negative power terminal

Again, configure the transmit device (the radio) so that it sends an appropriate sentence on that output to the receiving device (the GPS).

It is common that there be multiple inputs or outputs. Leave unused wires disconnected and insulated. It is more common that the outputs will be single-ended, that is, have only a single wire which is the (+) circuit. There is no (-) circuit for that output. It is common that inputs will have two wires, a (+) and a (-). Connect the input (+) to the corresponding output wire. Connect the input (-) to the power negative terminal.

Generally a thorough reading of the instructions will provide all the guidance needed.


Chuck Tribolet posted 03-03-2008 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Which Standard Horizon radio?


Chuck

David1877 posted 03-03-2008 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Jim-

Thanks for the response.

Follow up question.

If both devices are already connected to the battery, why is it necessary to connect a (-) Input to the battery Neg terminal?

Once I get this figured out, what is the recommended means for sealing connections? Wire nuts (in the cuddy) might be ok. I also considered heat shrink to hold the wires together well. Elec tape might be ok instead.

As long as I am asking...I know you will know the answer. I purhcased an on- board battery charger last year. My batteries are in the Eastport cuddy on the floor. I planing on installing the charger next to the batteries. there. It will be tight but there should be enough space.

Install will require a drill into fiberglass for small screws. What is the recommended procedure for drilling holes in fiberglass? I seem to recall that recessed heads are recommended to keep the glass the cracking.

Special screws?

Thanks

David

David1877 posted 03-03-2008 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Chuck-

I will confirm when I get home but i think it is the 1500. I purchased it last spring.

jimh posted 03-03-2008 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The (-) input is connected to the battery negative terminal because it is good electrical practice. You want to fix that input to the reference voltage, which is the battery negative. I could give you a long explanation about differential input devices, but I don't think it would explain it any better for you.

In this case the (-) means "inverting" and not "negative" as a polarity. You don't have to run a wire all the way to the battery negative; just connect it to the same terminal that you connect the unit's negative power lead to.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-03-2008 06:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I found an old post of yours from last spring. It looks like
your radio is a GX1500S. Here's how you wire it:

Radio NMEA out + (blue) to GPS NEMA 0183 In (orange)
Radio NMEA in + (grey) to GPS NMEA 0183 Out (yellow)
Radio NMEA out - (green) to GPS NMEA 0183 Shield
Radio NMEA in - (grown) to GPS NMEA 0183 Shield.

Be sure to configure the GPS for NMEA Baud rate (GRRRR, it's
NOT the baud rate, it's the bits per second, which ain't the
same as baud) and check NMEA 0183 Input and check NMEA 0183
Output.


Chuck

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-03-2008 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
NMEA 0183 is not easy. I have a master's degree in Electrical
Engineering, and it took me the better part of a day and
outside help to get my first NMEA 0183 connection working.

If side A of the NMEA 0183 has a in/out -, and side B has an out/in - (note sequence change), you connect them together.

If side A of the NMEA 0183 has a in/out -, and side B does not,
connect the the side A - to battery -.

If side B of the NMEA 0183 has a in/out -, and side A does not,
connect the the side B - to battery -.

Why the last two rules? Because the side that has the -
expects it to be connected to the - reference of the other
side.

Minor Rant 1:
Devices that have both + and - NMEA 0183 connections are
GOOD. It's a less noisy connection and they are actually
following the standard.

Major Rant 2:
It really ticks me off that the industry didn't come up with
a NMEA 0183 connector that would have made it plug and play.
Think of a trailer flat four connector, but with two and two
instead of three and one. The four pins left to right (or
right to left) would be NMEA IN -, NMEA IN +, NMEA OUT +, and
NMEA OUT -. If the device didn't support -, then the
outside connectors are tied to battery - in the device.
This connector ain't rocket science, folks. (Actually,
if I were building it, it would be a 2x2 array, not 4x1,
to make it easier to pass through holes.)

Chuck

jimh posted 03-03-2008 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Chuck--I agree that as a manufacturing standards organization the NMEA sucks. It is 2008 and they still don't have NMEA-2000 going very well.

Making serial data connections can be frustrating. I just spent an hour at work trying to make a connection with a serial data port on an old IBM-built device from the 1970's. After trying just about every permutation under the sun, I finally landed (with some hints and research) on:

9600-baud, 7 data bits, Even parity, 1-stop bit

I think there must be about 10,000 permutations possible.

If I had a one dollar for every post I have read from a fisherman who was trying to connect his GPS to his RADIO I would be able to afford a new Boston Whaler boat.


jimh posted 03-03-2008 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
quote:
"I put a radio in my boat last year but I have not yet connected it to my Lowarance 337c GPS so that the DSC capabilities of the radio are fully enabled."

This statement pretty much sums up the typical fisherman or boater. They're not into the details of serial data connections, and you really shouldn't expect them to be.

David1877 posted 03-03-2008 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Thanks Gents.

I should not have any trouble.

Chuck, indeed I have the Quest-x GX1500S. Presuming your instructions are right and I am betting they are, I will have no trouble unless I develop sudden color blindness. Thanks again.

Hopefully I will never need to use that little red button on my radio.

The Lowrance owners maual said I would not need the blue wire. Not sure why. I will be happy if I can get the radio to receive position data from the GPS and transmit it when necessary.

As long as I have a few experts at hand, how many NMEA connections can be made to my GPS? I presume more than one as long as both devices are configured to accept the same type or form of data. I want to add a Raymarine autopilot. There are two units I am considering, one half the price of the other but it requires a GPS/NMEA connection.

If there is one boaters advantage to living in WI it is the seasonal downtime to work on and plan to work on ones rig.

David

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-03-2008 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The Lowrance manual was talking about the blue wire on the
GPS, not the blue wire on the radio.

It's not clear that your GPS will display the other guy's
position when you receive a DSC distress call or he responds to
your DSC position request. The Lowrance manual doesn't
mention it.

When you wire up the connections, I would strongly advise
against using wire nuts. They are a bad idea in a wet environment
and for low voltage. I solder and cover with hot melt glue
lined heat shrink.


Chuck

David1877 posted 03-04-2008 12:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Chuck-

That is what i got out of the Lowrance manual, too. I am pretty confident the radio will get data from the GPS. It might work ok.

if not, I am no worse off.

Next Whaler I might but a radio and GPS from the same manufacturer with "plug and play" cables.

Thanks again for your assistance.

If you ever need advice on Medicare, look me up.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-04-2008 07:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Even from the same manufacturer, it isn't plug and play.
GRRRR.


Chuck

jimh posted 03-04-2008 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You can get plug-and-play interconnection of a radio and a GPS receiver if they are both NMEA-2000 network devices. There are quite a few GPS receivers now which have NMEA-2000 network connections. There are also many chart plotters which make their internal GPS receiver data available on the NMEA-2000 network connection.

There are few radios, at the moment, which have NMEA-2000 network connections. LOWRANCE has one, their LVR-880 VHF Marine Band Radio with Class-D DSC and NMEA-2000 capabilities. I have heard that SIMRAD makes an NMEA-2000 radio but I have no information, details, or price.

With a LOWRANCE LVR-880 and a LOWRANCE (or other brand) NMEA-2000 chartplotter and GPS, you should be able to just plug everything together and get it working with the supplied connectors. In the case of an all-LOWRANCE system there would be similar connectors and no fancy adaptors needed.

Fishmore posted 03-05-2008 12:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Fishmore    
If you are interested in hooking up NMEA 0183 or 2000 on multiple devices you will need to decide about the following.

Will you have one talker and multiple listeners or Multiple listeners and multiple talkers.

In the case of one talker and multiple listeners then all you will need is a common bus for each of the NMEA out wires from the talker. Then connect the listeners NMEA in cables to their respective bus. for the purpose here a bus is a strip of metal with multiple fasteners so you can connect multiple wires to it.

For example: You want your GPS to tell your radio and your Autopilot where you are, your SOG, your heading and some other stuff. The radio and autopilot are your listeners and the GPS is the talker.

First configure the talker.
The NMEA out positive cable from the GPS goes to one bus (refered to as the positive bus) and the NMEA out negative cable goes to the other bus (referred to as the negative bus). You go in to the setup menu and configure your GPS unit to transmit using the NMEA 0183 standard.

Now you are ready to connect your listeners.
For each listener connect the NMEA in Positive cable to the Positive bus and the NMEA in Negative cable to the Negative bus. Go in to the setup menu for each listener and configure it to follow the NMEA 0183 standard.

This works great for a one talker system if however, you decide that you want two talkers then this will not work. The reason is that each talker does not know that there is another talker on the bus and they just keep talking over each other and scramble each others NMEA sentences. To use two talkers you will need to set up two more buses.

You would want mutiple talkers if your radio recieved a DSC request and you wanted to display the coordinates of the call on your GPS and radar. In this case the radio is the talker and the GPS and radar are the listeners. So you could set up two more buses configured as above but this time the radio is the talker and uses it's NMEA out cables and the GPS and radar are the listeners using thier NMEA in cables.

Pretty easy so far right? well lets just touch on what happens if you have three or more talkers...

Maybe you want your GPS, your fishfinder, your radio and your radar to be talkers and you want your GPS, radio, radar and autopilot to be listeners. Now you need to scrap the bus idea and purchase a NMEA 0183 router/multiplexor. You could not set up four bus pairs because you only have one NMEA in pair for each listener and the incoming signals would get scrambled with each device trying to talk over the other. The router/multiplexor device buffers NMEA sentences from multiple talkers and allows only one at a time to transmit a full sentence to the listeners before going on to the next talker. A router/multiplexor typically costs $400.00 or more. They are an electronic box with multiple connections for talkers and listeners and they control the traffic going between the devices.

I could keep going if anyone wants but i am trying to keep it simple. I hope you get the idea.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-05-2008 08:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The first example of multiple talkers isn't. It's an example
of one talker and two listeners.

There's a limit to how many listeners a talker can have. It's
highly variable depending on who the talker and listeners
are (some talkers don't talk very loud, and some listeners
load down the bus). I've heard of folks having trouble at
four listeners.

You don't need bus bars. You just need a good electrical
connection.

The multiplexer doesn't "allow" talkers to go one at a time.
The talkers still jabber away, the multiplexer catches all
the incoming sentences, and delays some a bit so there's only
one outgoing sentence at a time. If the talkers are really
talking a lot (remember the FedEx commercial ;-), the
multiplexer may need to discard some sentences.


Chuck

jimh posted 03-05-2008 09:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most of the newer NMEA-0183 devices have multiple inputs and outputs, which helps avoid the situation of trying to connect more than two devices together via any one circuit. There is not a big problem (electrically) with having one output drive several inputs. The bigger problem (electrically) is with a device that has only one input and to which you want to send several outputs. But on a small boat you generally do not encounter those situations.
Fishmore posted 03-05-2008 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Fishmore    
Just a quick reply.

The first example of multiple talkers was taking in to account that you already had one talker and two listeners i.e. GPS feeding radio and autopilot. Then we wanted to add another talker i.e. radio to GPS and to radar. In total we had two talkers and four different listeners. I guess I should have made that part clearer.

If the radio NMEA out was on the same bus as the GPS NMEA out then you would get scrambled sentences to the listeners. So if you had a listener that needed input from two talkers you have to go to a multiplexor.

I used a bus because it is in my opinion easier to understand when not using drawings and I use it in practice as it makes it easier to label the circuit and to add/remove devices as needed.


bluewaterpirate posted 03-05-2008 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
K.I.S.S. that's what my Dad used to tell me. I use Newmar Junction Boxes on my clients boats when installing their marine electronics. They're easy to use cost effective, water proof, and most important make it easy to ensure a solid NMEA connection. Once wired you can CRC the NMEA connection to make them corrosion proof. You can buy this for around $15.

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/show/external/534032/748510/ 38020097/file.jpg

I've used these junction boxes on over 50 NMEA installs and have never had a NMEA connection fail. What really nice is if you have to come back later to install more equipment that requires NMEA connectivity it's a breeze to make that happen.

Tom

davej14 posted 03-05-2008 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
To further complicate matters, the sentence structure of the data transferred must be compatible to each unit. If not they would be "talking" to each other but would be "speaking" different languages.

I installed a similar Lowrance fishfinder/GPS (mine was a single frequency fishfinder but otherwise identical) and interfaced it via the NMEA 0183 port to a Standard Horizon PS1000 radio with DSC capability. The radio can receive and interpret the data from the GPS but the Lowrance unit cannot display data from the radio.

The bottom line is that you will be able to send DSC coordinates via your radio but you will not be able to display the positions of other vessels on your Lowrance display.

jimh posted 03-06-2008 12:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
quote:
"The bottom line is that you will be able to send DSC coordinates via your radio but you will not be able to display the positions of other vessels on your Lowrance display."

We are mixing two topics now. The first part of this discussion was in regard to making the electrical connections between NMEA-0183 serial data devices, identifying what signals connected together, and configuring the details of the data being sent.

Now the topic has been shifted to a higher layer in the overall interconnection of the devices. We are now discussing whether one device can process and display the data after it receives it from another. This can be another topic onto itself, but let's examine it briefly here.

A DSC radio that can provide remote position information sent by another vessel will transmit this data on its NMEA-0183 output. A connected device can make use of this data if it is aware of it and knows what to do with it. In the case of a Lowrance 337c GPS, you will have to check to see if it can display a vessel remote position. This technique is relatively new to the NMEA standard, and not all chart plotters can support this function. The remote position polling request was pioneered by Standard-Horizon, but it now seems to be becoming a standard feature of most radios and chartplotters.

The NMEA sentence that the radio will output will be the DSC, DSE sentences. Look to see if your chart plotter can process those sentences. If it can, then it will likely be able to show the remote position of another vessel which has been received via a connected DSC radio.

jimh posted 03-06-2008 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The precise details of the DSC and DSE sentences are a bit obscure. I believe the DSC sentence contains the remote vessel position but only to a rather crude accuracy. This is an artifact of the original GMDSS DSC standard which called only for an accuracy of about a nautical mile in the position. The DSE (which seems to be called the DSC-Extended sentence) gives further refinement in the remote position, allowing a much higher accuracy to be transmitted and plotted.

By the way, if anyone has a pointer to a good reference available on-line and without having to pay $10,000 to become a member of NMEA, please let me know.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-06-2008 12:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
It depends on your definition of "rather crude". IFIRC, the
DSC sentence has position to one minute, or about one 1 nm.
That beats the heck out of "I'm off the point", but I agree
that more accuracy is better.


Chuck

Fishmore posted 03-06-2008 01:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Fishmore    
Try

http://www.nmea.org/pub/index.html

Available NMEA Standards:
NMEA 0183
NMEA 2000®
NMEA Installation Standards
Available NMEA Publications:
NMEA 2000 Applied Info. Download
NMEA 2000 A Digital Interface for 21st Century Download
Warranty Forms (Available to members only)

jimh posted 03-06-2008 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Yes, I know you can buy the information from NMEA, but I don't have enough curiosity about the DSC sentence to spend $300 to read a paragraph about it.
Fishmore posted 03-06-2008 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishmore    
The following manual has sample NMEA sentences and it is free. It breaks down several of the NMEA sentences and thier format for the 0183 standard.

http://www.mx-marine.com/downloads/mx535/MX535_Technical_Manual.pdf

David1877 posted 03-07-2008 01:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
In the end, I think davej14 will be correct.

I dont recall reading about the 337's ability to display the locations of other vessels. I will be satisifed if he radio will transmit my GPS coordinates.

Safety first.

I may want to install the junction box recommended in another post. Any other experiences with these devices? Where are they sold? This miight make sense if I tie an autopilot into the mix.

For those if you considering the purchase of GPS/Fishlocator/Radio, buy the same brand or ensure the NMEA communications are compatable.

I will get the boat out of storage in a few weeks after the ice is off the driveway and get this hooked up. I'll post a follow-up.

Thanks again.

David

David1877 posted 05-17-2008 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     

I conneced the Wires as advised but still no GPS data to my radio. I am sure I am a step away. What might I be missing?

My radio is a GX1500S.

Here's how you wire it:
Radio NMEA out + (blue) to GPS NEMA 0183 In (orange)
Radio NMEA in + (grey) to GPS NMEA 0183 Out (yellow)
Radio NMEA out - (green) to GPS NMEA 0183 Shield
Radio NMEA in - (grown) to GPS NMEA 0183 Shield.

Be sure to configure the GPS for NMEA Baud rate (GRRRR, it's
NOT the baud rate, it's the bits per second, which ain't the
same as baud) and check NMEA 0183 Input and check NMEA 0183
Output.

Chuck, thank you for the advice.

I connected the wires and Cifugured NMEA to NMEA OUT 4800 Baud, NMEA 0183 version 2.0.

I put check marks in NMEA 0183 and NMEA out to "turn on."

I played around with the NMEA support parameters. Radio will accept Input sentences GLL, GGA, RMC, OUT put DSC and DSE.

The Lowrance has all of these sentnces and more. I selected and unselected, but could not get GPS data to the radio.

What step/intervention am I missing??


David1877 posted 05-17-2008 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
"Accomplishing the interconnection with the wires is only a portion of the set up. Each device must be configured to have compatible data on the circuit. The radio will list the NMEA-0183 sentences which it can accept. The GPS will list the NMEA-0183 it can transmit. Configure the GPS to send one of the sentences which the radio can accept."

This was part of Jimh's recommendation.

Jimh, you recommended configuring the GPS to send ONE of the senteences the radio can accept.

The GPS has several NMEA sentences available. All are chceked or turned "on" in default. I did try only checking those listed in the radio manual. I did not try selecting just ONE senetence. Might this matter?

David

Chuck Tribolet posted 05-18-2008 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I doubt that selecting just one sentence is the solution, or
even selecting just the sentences the radio accepts. The
firmware in the radio is undoubtedly coded to just ignore
in sentences it doesn't understand. Given that many GPS
units have no individual control of the sentences they send,
the radio firmware has no practical choice but to just
ignore the sentences it doesn't understand.


Chuck

Chuck Tribolet posted 05-18-2008 09:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I doubt that selecting just one sentence is the solution, or
even selecting just the sentences the radio accepts. The
firmware in the radio is undoubtedly coded to just ignore
in sentences it doesn't understand. Given that many GPS
units have no individual control of the sentences they send,
the radio firmware has no practical choice but to just
ignore the sentences it doesn't understand.


Chuck

jimh posted 05-18-2008 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
From page 11 of the owner's manual for the Standard Horizon GX1500S radio:

BLUE = NMEA input (+)
GREEN = NMEA input (-)

Here the (+) and (-) mean non-inverting and inverting, respectively. They do not refer to a polarity or to battery voltage terminals.

From page 36 of the owner's manual for the Lowrance LMS-337 CDF:

YELLOW = transmit
SHIELD = ground

Here "transmit" means NMEA output, and "ground" means battery negative terminal.

To interconnect these devices so the GPS receiver can send NMEA-0183 to the radio, wire them as follows:

GPS ------> RADIO
YELLOW --> BLUE
SHIELD -->GREEN

This establishes the electrical connection for the serial data transmission.

Now we have to configure the devices to communicate. On the Lowrance chart plotter we want to enable COM-1 to transmit or send NMEA-0183 at 4800 BPS, and we want to send the sentence RMC.

On the Lowrance menus, go to SYSTEM SET UP and then to COMMUNICATIONS PORT. Place check boxes in:

--NMEA 0183 OUTPUT

and click on CONFIGURE NMEA 0183

Place a check box for the sentence RMC.

This should configure the Lowrance LMS-337-CDF to send the NMEA sentence RMC on its NMEA output.

The radio ought to be configured right out of the box to receive that data. The radio shows the data on its front panel when receiving it.

jimh posted 05-18-2008 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please note: There is some conflicting advice given in this thread regarding color codes of wires and how to connect them. The information I have given in the article above is taken directly from the owner's manuals for the devices, and should be accurate.
David1877 posted 05-18-2008 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
I have it working. Thanks for the assistance.

David

jimh posted 05-19-2008 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
David--Thanks for the follow up. What was the ultimate resolution to this problem? Let us in on the secret.
David1877 posted 05-20-2008 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Jim-

After I read your post, I made a few changes in wiring and that did the trick. Thank You!

Thanks again for all posts and assistance.

It is good to have the data tranmitted out. Hope I never need it.

David

David1877 posted 05-20-2008 12:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     

This is the only change made......

To interconnect these devices so the GPS receiver can send NMEA-0183 to the radio, wire them as follows:

GPS ------> RADIO
YELLOW --> BLUE
SHIELD -->GREEN

Once the wires were changed, it worked ok.

I did not make any changes in the GPS default NMEA sentences. Multiple sentences are selected.

I previously put a check in NMEA Out.

jimh posted 05-20-2008 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am glad the GPSr to RADIO connection is working. Now it would be interesting to see if the radio can send data to the chart plotter. This connection will be useful to display the position of a remote vessel which has been received by the radio using digital selective calling. It is not clear to me if the Lowrance chart plotter supports this function. It might need a software update to allow it.

With Lowrance devices a software update can usually be applied if an MMC/SD memory card is inserted which contains the update software. Usually the software needed is available for download from Lowrance. The end user needs to have a chip interface which permits data to be written onto the chip from a computer. Using that technique the user can create ("burn") his own software updates on a computer, then transfer them to the Lowrance device via the memory chip.

David--by any chance, do you happen to have a chip interface for your computer that can burn MMC/SD chips?

David1877 posted 05-21-2008 01:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Jim-

Yes, I have a chip. I downloaded a software update from e Lowarance and installed it on Sunday. I did not note any other software updates available for the 337c.

I looked for DSC mapping capability in the GPS manual. It it is not evident the 337 will display DSC data from the radio. But the presence of more NMEA wires imply to me that this may be a possibility with the addition of software updates.

I am happy to have the radio receiving and transmitting my postion data.

jimh posted 05-21-2008 08:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I sent an email inquiry to Lowrance technical support asking for details about the ability of their chart plotters, but their reply did not resolve the issue. Lowrance has a new "track your buddy" feature, which sounds very much like DSC remote position indication. It would be interesting to discover if their chart plotters had this capability.
bluewaterpirate posted 05-21-2008 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Jim--As I understand it the track your buddy feature is an exclusive fearture of the Lowrance VHF radios and will not work with ICOM, [Standard Horizon, or Uniden] VHF radios.

Tom

alfred posted 05-21-2008 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for alfred  Send Email to alfred     

David - you asked about drilling fiberglass with gel coat earlier in the thread - drill backwards till you are thru the gel coat. This way it will be a nice clean hole without the gel coat cracking.
jimh posted 05-22-2008 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--If Lowrance has created a "Track your buddy" feature that involves digital selective calling, and they want to make it non-interoperable with other radios that aren't made by Lowrance, they must be using some non-standard data transmission in the radio link, that is, not a recognized NMEA sentence.

Frankly, I think it is dumb for a manufacturer to start adding proprietary data to something as important as a VHF Marine Radio which is qualified or rated for digital selective calling (DSC). DSC is an important feature of maritime safety, and I hate to see something related to vessel safety being implemented in a non-standard and non-interoperable way. So I hope Tom is wrong, and that the only proprietary feature of Lowrance's devices is that they have given remote vessel position polling a different name.

jimh posted 05-22-2008 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I notice that in some revised literature about the LVR-880 radio, Lowrance says:

"Exclusive "Track-Your-Buddy" feature connects DSC position polling to Lowrance LCX, LMS and GlobalMap® units via NMEA 2000® to show the location of up to three boating friends on the GPS chart display" (Emphasis added)

It sounds to me like "Track-Your-Buddy" is implemented using DSC position polling. That means it ought to inter-operate with other DSC radios. We should test this.

David1877 posted 05-26-2008 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for David1877  Send Email to David1877     
Jimh-

I am willing to give it a try.

I did not see an additional software unpdate avialable.

Might it work wiht the current installation, or do you think further adjustments will be required?

I was out of town for the holiday. I will try it out this week.

bobski posted 07-01-2008 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bobski  Send Email to bobski     
I have a LMS-527 (less than a year old with other NMEA 2000 devices installed) and I have just ordered a LVR-880. When I get the radio I will post what it can do with a NMEA-2000 connection.
jimh posted 07-01-2008 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please do let everyone know when you get the LOWRANCE LVR-880 and integrate the radio into your NMEA-2000 network on your vessel. I have been snooping around some retail sellers' websites looking for a sign that the LVR-880 is actually being shipped, and it would be much appreciated if you can confirm that you have received and installed yours.
eglein posted 09-11-2008 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for eglein  Send Email to eglein     
Just got off the phone with Lowrance tech support, trying to figure out how to hook an 880 VHF to one of their sonar/gps combos so I can use the buddy-tracker feature. They told me the 880 has a problem with NEMA 2000 currently, and I should use the serial connections.
jimh posted 09-11-2008 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oh boy--I am not glad to hear that. I was expecting, considering the long delay in its introduction and Lowrance's long experience with the standard, that the LVR-880 would have the bugs worked out of its NMEA-2000 networking.

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