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Author Topic:   NMEA-2000 Network: Adding Devices
jimh posted 08-13-2011 08:46 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The nature of NMEA-2000 network wiring is extremely simple. Adding a device to a NMEA-2000 network should consist of nothing more than adding a new network-T wiring appliance to the network backbone and connecting a drop cable from the network-T to the new device.

NMEA-2000 Network, Typical

TERM-< <-----< <--Power-T--< <----< <-TERM
(to 12-volts)

To add a new device to the network, all that is needed is a new T-connector and a drop cable:

TERM-< <-----< <--Power-T--< <----< <--T--< <-TERM
| |
| |
| | (drop cable)
| |
(to 12-volts) |
(new device)

There are some restrictions on the length of the network backbone cable and the lengths of drop cables, but on a small boat it is unlikely that any of these limitations on length could come into play with the network wiring installation.

The NMEA-2000 standard wiring devices have now settled on the DeviceNET or Micro-C connector. Most manufacturers are supporting this standard. LOWRANCE call their connectors which are compatible with the standard as LowranceNET-RED connectors. MARETRON and GARMIN use compatible connectors. RAYMARINE use a non-compatible connector (called SeaTalk-NG), but offer specialized drop cables which can be used to connect their devices to a Micro-C or DeviceNET backbone. SIMRAD use a non-compatible connector (called SIMNET) but offer specialized drop cables, too.

jimh posted 08-13-2011 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Typically in an NMEA-2000 installation the network backbone wiring is made homogenous, that is, the same type of connectors and wiring appliances are used throughout the backbone wiring. If non-standard wiring components are needed, they are generally confined to the devices and are accommodated by use of specialized drop cables with appropriate connectors. However, it is possible to segment the network backbone wiring so that different wiring devices are used. In that case the adaptor cables are used to connect the segments of the backbone which use different wiring devices.
newt posted 08-14-2011 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
NMEA 2000 certainly takes all mystery out of connecting electronic components these days. All you have to do is unscrew the terminal resistor, screw the resistor onto the end of the new 'T' and then screw the new 'T' back onto the cabling where the resistor was, and presto, you now have another port ready to connect the next sensor or device.

NMEA 0183 isn't hard, but you still have to match up the correct color wires between devices and then check communication settings to ensure the devices can talk to each other.

For PC users, NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 is like Windows XP compared to Windows 98...Simply plug and play vs downloads and software installations.

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