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Author Topic:   NMEA-2000 Wiring With Mixed Wiring Components
andygere posted 03-01-2011 02:55 PM ET (US)   Profile for andygere   Send Email to andygere  
I just ordered an HDS-7 for my Whaler, and would like to display engine data from my 2007 E-TEC 200 as jimh demonstrated in another article. I'm having a hard time getting information on what network cables and connectors are needed to do this, and how they are configured. Can you shed some light? My engine is equipped with the first generation I-Command multi-function gauge with runs on the NEMA 2000 network. My system is shown in this graphic: iCommandSingle729x337.png
SJUAE posted 03-01-2011 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
You do not have a nmea2000 network. Yours is the old analogue one.

You need to install a simple nmea2000 backbone consisting of a engine harness cable that plugs into your Etec and a network starter kit that has a tee,power cable,terminator and a droper cable. Your HDS will also come with a tee and a dropper cable.

This network runs separatly to your existing.


SJUAE posted 03-01-2011 10:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
These are the parts I bought for my 2006 Outrage 210 and 200 Etec

Lowrance NMEA Starter kit Part #124-69 around 60USD
Network starter kit. Includes 2 terminating resistors (TR-120M-RD, TR-120F-RD), two T-connectors (N2K-T-RD), one 2 ft extension cable (N2KEXT-2RD), and one 15 ft extension cable (N2KEXT-15RD), and a power node (N2K-PWR-RD)

Around 70USD


andygere posted 03-02-2011 12:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Thanks for the information. I always thought that additional NMEA devices could be added in series off of the Tachometer harness. It sounds like this is not the case? Does the NMEA backbone plug directly into the EMM? Any chance you might have a PDF of the installation instructions?

Networking is neat, but the price of a few cables and connectors is insane. I'll have to think for a while before deciding if this is a "must have" function.

jimh posted 03-02-2011 08:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am going to directly contradict Steve here: Andy's boat does have a NMEA-2000 network backbone, however the wiring it has used is not the same as the newer DeviceNET wiring that has since become more accepted as the standard. DeviceNET is the same as LowranceNET-Red wiring.

In Andy's case, if there is an available empty network port on his network hub, a new device can be added to the network by using that empty port. However, what I recommend is to extend the network backbone further. Here is the procedure, again, assuming there is an empty port on the current hub:

--buy a DeviceNET or LowranceNET backbone extension cable, perhaps a short one, say three-feet long'

--locate a suitable connector that will mate with the network connector on the existing hub;

--cut the new DeviceNET cable in half; save one half for later use;

--using the DeviceNET cable and the new connector that mates to the existing hub, make a new adapter cable. This sounds harder than it will be. Usually the cable used in these components will have the same color coding on the insulation. There typically are two pairs: Red-Black and Blue-White. You can use one of your existing cables as guide for the pin location on the older connector for each conductor.

--remove the terminator from the existing hub;

--add new DeviceNET components, extended the network backbone wiring with DeviceNET components, DeviceNET Tee's, and ending with a DeviceNET terminator.

In this way you will have created an extension of the existing network but changed the wiring topology to DeviceNET.

The connectors that are used on the older Evinrude network hubs are DEUTSCH connectors. You can find these available in small quantities from some retailers. There is also a new line of mating connectors made by Amphenol which will connect to the DEUTSCH brand connectors. These are available from larger electronic distributors. I will have to look up the name of the series of the connector.

There was a small re-seller offering DEUTSCH connectors in single-lot quantities, but I just noticed his website has gone missing. I will have to look for another source.

jimh posted 03-02-2011 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oh! I just thought of a simpler way to make an adaptor.

--Cut the existing network backbone cable into two parts, making the cut about a two feet from the end near the hub;

--splice in the DeviceNET backbone cable; there will be five conductors (red, black, blue, white, shield); wire them to the matching conductors in the old cable.

Now add a DeviceNET Tee and add the new drop cables to the HDS device. You can also add more DeviceNET devices in this segment as you expand the network.

This avoids having to find the DEUTSCH connector.

jimh posted 03-02-2011 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oops--perhaps there is no backbone cable in Andy's rigging. OK, revert to Plan-A.
jimh posted 03-02-2011 09:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Ah, the vagaries of the internet. This website was off-line a few minutes ago, but is now back. Here is a lead on finding the mating connector to fit the existing Evinrude network hub. I think this is the same connector: html

This vendor sells in single-unit quantity. Don't forget to order all the parts, including pins.

andygere posted 03-02-2011 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Thanks for the detailed response. I am certain that port #2 on my network hub is open. I much prefer this method over Steve's (Though I am sure his method will work as well) but I suspect I can save a few dollars in expensive cables and connectors, and more importantly I won't have to pull another bulky cable through my rigging tunnel and attempt to stuff it into the flexible conduit going into the Outboard cowl. That thing is pretty packed already.

Can you recommend a vendor that sells short length Devicenet or Lowrancenet cables? The vendor I bought the HDS-7 got back to me a recommended Steve's method, to the tune of $83+$53 for the Evinrude backbone cable and the network starter kit. Ouch! I may even have a spare deutsch connector lying around from the original rigging.

SJUAE posted 03-02-2011 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

Thanks for the correction I forgot that my old rigging was for system tach
and not as Andy's

If Andy's engine harness plugs into the NMEA2000 port on the top of the emm then he could not run an additional network like my setup

Andy fyi I got my cables from WMJ marine


andygere posted 03-21-2011 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I began installing my HDS-7 this weekend, and discovered that my network had been modified (to my benefit, I think) by my dealer.

Background: When I originally installed my I-Command network, I added an accessory water pressure sending unit, and associated 2" gauge. The sending unit threaded into the powerhead, and had a short signal lead that plugged directly into the EMM. Water pressure data traveled over the backbone I-Command NMEA 200) network. These sending units proved to be unreliable, and when the first one failed, it was replaced in-kind under warranty. When that one failed, the "upgraded system" from BRP was installed under warranty. This used a water pressure tube from the powerhead to a remote sending unit, which plugged into the I-Command network via it's own cable.

As it turns out, the new water pressure sending unit operates on the new Red NMEA standard. The dealer tied it in the N2 port of my Power Hub using a Deutsch to Blue adapater cable, which was connected to a Blue to Red adapter cable which was plugged into the output cable from the sending unit. This is good news since it means that I already have a Red NMEA connection to my existing Deutsch connector-based NMEA network.

I've read the detailed I-Command installation manual, and the documentation that came with my HDS-7. My plan to network my new HDS-7 to my E-TEC 200 (so I can display engine data on the HDS-7) is as follows:

Purchase an NMEA Starter Kit (Part # 124-69) from LEI Extras. Connect a pair of Ts to the Red end of the Blue-Red adapter cable (which is connected to the N2 port of my Power Hub). Connect a terminating resistor to the open end of the second T. Connect a Red extension cable to the device port on the first T, and the other end of the cable to my HDS-7. Connect the cable from the water pressure sending unit to the device port on the second T.

Here is a diagram of my proposed system. LowranceRedtoICommand.jpg

Jimh, Steve and Seahorse, can you please take a look and let me know if my proposed system will work?

SJUAE posted 03-21-2011 02:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

What luck :)

Looks fine to me.

If you use the I-Command simulator they always want you to connect on the down leg of the tee and not where a terminating resistor would be. I dont think you will have a problem as I did something similar.

If you get a problem just add another Tee swap how the red/blue cable attaches.

Was the original tee, resistor and pressure sensor configured as you have drawn (ignoring your new Tee)?


andygere posted 03-21-2011 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
There was no T, just the pressure sensor (red) into the blue/red conversion cable into the blue/Duetsch cable directly into the N2 port on the I-Command Power Hub.
SJUAE posted 03-22-2011 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

If I recall correctly I came from my EMM to a Tee at the stern and out again for the extenstion cable to the helm.I left the down leg of the Tee with a terminitor on ready to plug in a sensor for water pressure or oil tank at a later date. So you should be ok with just 2 Tee's.


jimh posted 03-22-2011 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[This discussion has been separated from another and made into its own thread.]
andygere posted 04-06-2011 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Update: I configured the wiring last night as shown in my diagram, and as the sun was setting powered the unit up to see if it all works. At first blush, the HDS-7 seems to "see" inputs from the I-Command system, but the I-Command system is not happy. When I power it up by turning the ignition key to the run position, the I-Command multi function tachometer alarms with an on-off tone and corresponding alarm lights lit. It does not allow scrolling of the LCD display to view the alarm screen. Next steps are to review the literature on configuration, since at this point I had the HDS-7 auto configure the network. One concern is that there is a terminating resistor in the I-Command hub, and another in the end of the second NMEA 2000 network T. I didn't run the engine, so I don't know if data is transferring correctly, but when I powered the ignition switch off, the display on the HDS-7 dimmed the inputs for voltage, RPM, temp, trim, water pressure, etc.

Any input or trouble shooting suggestions are welcomed.

jimh posted 04-06-2011 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There is a connection on the older I-Command DEUTSCH connector hubs for the terminator, and the terminator plugs into the connector. You should be able to remove the terminator from the connector on the hub, if there is one in place and not appropriate to your new wiring.

I think the terminator may be built-in to the cable running to your E-TEC engine, if my recall of your set-up is correct.

andygere posted 04-07-2011 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Jim, is there any danger to the components if I pull one of the resistors? My sense is that the one in the I-Command hub is no longer the end of the NMEA network.
jimh posted 04-07-2011 11:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The terminating resistor is just there to hold down signal reflections from the end stubs of the network. If you added on to the network from the original I-Command DEUTSCH-connector hub, you should add a terminator at the new end of the network. I think you switched over the DeviceNET wiring, so you need a DeviceNET terminator.
andygere posted 04-08-2011 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Thanks Jim. I did add a DeviceNET terminator to the end of the second "T" that I added. I'll try removing the terminator from the I-Command hub and see if that clears the alarm.
andygere posted 04-09-2011 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
No dice. I tried removing a terminator from both the hub and then from the NMEA T. In both cases the I-Command system stayed in alarm.

The networks are talking, so I must be close. The graphs for engine trim tracked perfectly as I trimmed my motor up and down. I'm wondering if I need to get one more T, put a terminator at both ends of the set of T's and use the lower leg of the extra T to connect to the I-Command Hub.

jimh posted 04-10-2011 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There should only be two terminators on the network, and they should be at the ends. The terminators should be 120-ohm terminators.

The terminator at the original I-Command hub should be removed.

Double-check that there is a terminator in the wiring harness that goes to the engine. It is shown in your wiring diagram. I imagine the terminator consists of a single 120-ohm resistor that is integrated in the harness at the end near the engine. A 120-ohm resistor has a color code of BROWN-RED-BROWN-(GOLD or SILVER).

From your narrative, it appears that the older I-Command gauge is not happy. Try this test:

--maintain the wiring as you have it (with the terminator removed from the original hub);

--disconnect the HDS device from the network by disconnecting its drop cable from the network T;

--check the I-Command gauge for functionality with the HDS removed; this will reveal if there is any sort of conflict with the HDS being on the network for the I-Command gauge.

My thinking here is that perhaps the software in the original I-Command gauge is not happy with other devices on the network besides itself and the E-TEC engine.

If the problem still persists, then there must be some anomaly in the network wiring for which the original I-Command gauge is intolerant.

SJUAE posted 04-10-2011 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
The thing that is slightly odd, looking now is the fact the spur off from the hub has a tee

If we consider the hub simply as a double tee we have one spur off to the tach (plus the analogue feed to the 2") and the other spur which was originally to the pressure sensor

The problem maybe that 2 devices are running of 1 spur via a tee. I would run the HDS direct off the spur and see if that works and stops the alarm with or without the terminator in the hub

Maybe the hub will only allow one extra device. If you look at the NMEA wiring the t,s always run in a line and spur down to each individual device/sensor


seahorse posted 04-11-2011 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
All cables have to plug into a hub, using adapter cables in your case. You cannot add things per your drawing, but you can add a standard OEM hub (not a power hub) for the new items.
andygere posted 04-11-2011 03:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
If I understand your post, I need to add an additional I-Command hub to add additional devices, is that correct? This weekend, I read in the Evinrude literature that an unused engine slot in my power hub can be used for additional devices, but that was all it said. If I made up a Duetsch to DeviceNet red adapter cable, and plugged that into my Lowrance HDS-7, do you think that would work?

Alternatively, if I need another I-Command hub, what part do I need, and how do I integrate it into my current network?

I will try to connect the HDS-7 in place of the water pressure sending unit, and perform the test you suggest. I may have a problem with male vs. female connector plugs, I'll have to check and see what I have. Your explanation of the hub as a double T makes sense to me.

Removing terminators from the hub or the NMEA Ts didn't solve the problem. There is an in-line terminator in the I-Command harness, in addition to the one that plugs into the hub. I have not tried leaving the NMEA network connected but the HDS-7 disconnected, but will tonight. When I restored the I-Command system to the original configuration, it operated normally.

Thanks to all for the help troubleshooting this, I'm confident I'll get it working.

seahorse posted 04-11-2011 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     


I think your harness drawing depicts the analog Series gauges according to the tach harness with off-shoots for other 2" gauges and not the I-Command digital full NMEA2000 network.

Which setup do you have?

andygere posted 04-11-2011 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I'll check the part #s when I get home, but the tach I have is the first generation tach with analog needle and a programmable digital display integrated into it. NMEA com seems to work because the HDS-7 sees signal from the I-Command network when wired as in the diagram (tested by trimming the motor up and down and seeing correct trim % on the Lowrance display). The I-Command literature says it's a NMEA 2000 network, however I may be missing something.

Also, the water pressure sending unit appears to be a DeviceNet/NMEA 2000 device. This is not the original sending unit that plugged directly into the EMM, but the later unit that takes a water hose into a black box, which outputs to a NMEA red cable.

jimh posted 04-11-2011 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As a last resort, try this: remove all the terminators you have now. Modify the terminator that plugs into the original I-Command DEUTSCH-connector hub to make it a 60-ohm terminator instead of a 120-ohm terminator. Plug this modified terminator into the I-Command hub. This will give your network the proper impedance, 60-ohms, and give the wiring a STAR configuration. Since all of your network nodes are relatively short, this may work, too.
jimh posted 04-11-2011 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To convert a 120-ohm terminator to a 60-ohm terminator, just wire a second 120-ohm resistor in parallel with the original. You may be able to easily do this by just soldering the second resistor in parallel with the original resistor.
SJUAE posted 04-12-2011 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

I think Seahorse is refering to the Consolidator Hub part no 763539/DN55D79

This will allow you to add aditional devices/sensors and like the normal Tee's in the new quick connection network it's run in series. I think you have to move the teminator to the new/second hub. There must be something in the Hub that allows it to act as another set of Tee's.

The extra hub is going to cost ~$80 additional data harness ~$25 and then BLUE to Deutsch hub and blue to red cables say another $50 just so you can have the pressure sensor in addition to the HDS

So if you want both it's not going to work out as cheap as originally thought :(


andygere posted 05-10-2011 12:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I'm officially stumped on this project. This week, I disconnected the water pressure sending unit from the NMEA 2000-Duetch adapter, and plugged the HDS-7 into it. The I-Command system was in constant alarm and had no functionality as long as the HDS-7 was powered up. When I powered it down, the I-Command system returned to normal. This is with no other NMEA components added, just the HDS-7 plugged into the available N2 port on my I-Command hub.

Can non-Evinrude NMEA 2000 devices really be used with the first generation I-Command system, or was all the NMEA 2000 compliance just a bunch of marketing hype? It makes me wonder why Evinrude got away from the "I-Command Classic" system so quickly.

seahorse posted 05-10-2011 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

You do not have a true NMEA2000 compatable system. You have the hybrid analog-digital tach which only uses part of the NMEA2000 system and it came out before the NMEA specs were finalized. That is why you have a special daisy-chain wiring from one gauge to another instead of separate drops to the backbone.

It was designed by Faria and I don't think it was ever advertised as NMEA2000 certified.

Evinrude's NMEA2000 certified system is the I-Command Digital with the display screen instruments and was developed in conjunction with Lowrance.

jimh posted 05-10-2011 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If Andy's E-TEC outboard engine is NMEA-2000 certified, it should connect to the HDS. Perhaps a different approach is needed. What if the E-TEC engine, the HDS, and the water pressure sensor are wired to a network backbone using the DeviceNET or LowranceNET-RED wiring devices, and then a drop cable from that network is used to connect to the Evinrude I-Command Classic gauges? This would eliminate all of the original Evinrude hub, terminators, and network power. The network would look like this:

DeviceNET Backbone

| | | | |
| | | | |
E-TEC | | | |
| | | |
| | | to Power
H20 | |
Sensor | |
| |
HDS-7 |

jimh posted 05-10-2011 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If the Classic I-Command gauges are not happy with getting their power from the DeviceNET, you could also try powering the Classic I-Command gauges from the original Evinrude hub, and making the drop cable from the DeviceNET backbone have no power conductors. In this way only the data bus is connected to the old gauges.

It might take some tinkering to get this to work. I never thought it would be this hard!

andygere posted 05-10-2011 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Seahorse, thanks for the information, based on my last test I agree with you that my current system will allow me to display engine data from my E-TEC 200 on my Lowrance HDS-7 unless I replace my I-Command system with a newer version.

Jimh, thanks for the suggestion. It might work, but that looks like another $200 worth of overpriced cables with no assurance of comparability. Since the HDS-7 is able to get data off the I-Command network, I think the problem lies within the I-Command system itself. I'd be better off buying a current set of I-Command digital gauges and network components, but this little bit of gee-wiz functionality is just not worth it. I didn't think it would be this hard either, and I have to say that I'm disappointed that the system comparability advertised by Evinrude and Lowrance really isn't there.

I think it's pretty clear that Evinrude was a bit deceptive in their literature relative to my I-Command system. From the installation manual:

Page 2

The I-Command™ Integrated Performance System uses “plug and play” networking technology based on NMEA 2000 data communications standards. These standards provide communications through a serial data network utilizing a Controller Area Network (CAN) integrated circuit (IC). This network operates at 250 kbits/second and allows multiple electronic devices to be connected together on a common channel for easy information sharing. The I-Command instruments are designed specifically for the NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) 2000 certified Evinrude ® E-TEC ™ outboards. I-Command instruments provide enhanced display of engine and boat performance information. Multiple functions are integrated into the easy-to-use tachometer and speedometer. Additional individual instruments and accessories can be added with the “plug and play design.”

More like plug and pay, now that I have an expensive box of useless NMEA components and cables.

Page 14

NMEA 2000 standards are intended to provide compatibility for assorted accessories offered by various manufacturers. Use NMEA 2000 certified accessories to provide optional functions.

Anybody want to by a NMEA 2000 starter kit?

andygere posted 05-10-2011 12:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My current system will not allow me to display engine data.

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