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Author Topic:   Yamaha NMEA 2000
tmann45 posted 09-15-2011 12:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for tmann45   Send Email to tmann45  
In response to the divergence in the Mercury Smartcraft to NMEA-2000 Gateway Software thread.

The Command Link Plus system is now required for all of Yamaha's V6 Offshore outboards (F225, F250, and F300). Command Link Plus is a line of digital electronic controls which provide electronic shift and throttle controls for the motor.

While the new controls are now Command Link Plus, you can still use the Command Link gauges with these engines. I just installed a F250XCA with the Command Link Plus controls on my Outrage 21 with the square Command Link gauges, the new color Command Link Plus one gauge does all was too expensive and does not show on one screen as much information as the three square gauges can show at one time.

The consensus on the internet is that you do not have to use the Yamaha Gateway to connect the engine to your NMEA 2000 network. You do have to buy the outrageously expensive $120 Maretron cable, unless you make your own, which I will be doing after I finish installing my new electronics. What the Gateway does is prevent any communication from the NMEA network reaching the engine, it is a one way "valve", from the engine to the network. It also severs the power connections on the NMEA and Yamaha networks, as you should only have one power connection on the network. The Yamaha Command Link (Plus) network is a NMEA 2000 network in disguise with different plugs, it even uses the same color code for the wiring.

Begin rant: all of these new cables, Yamaha Command Link & Plus, NMEA 2000, Maretron, etc. are way OVERPRICED, it's just a few wires with connectors on the end. End rant.

K Albus posted 09-15-2011 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
My interest in connecting the Command Link Plus gauge to a NMEA-2000 network has to do with the fuel consumption figures calculated by the Command Link Plus system. The Command Link Plus system uses a pitot tube speed sensor on the engine for its speed calculations. I inquired about having the Command Link Plus system use GPS speed from a SimNet NMEA-2000 compatible network, and I was told that I would need to purchase the $250 gateway and $100 of additional cables and adaptors. However, the gentleman I spoke with also mentioned that it was possible to input GPS speed information through a NMEA-0183 connection. Yamaha's website provides very little information about the available connection possibilities. Does anybody know if the Command Link Plus gauge has a NMEA-0183 input?

I agree that the NMEA-2000 connectors and cables are overpriced. I believe NMEA-2000 was intended to standardize marine electronic connections and to make it easy to connect various devices and allow them to easily communicate with each other. Although the current environment offers much more connectivity and interoperability than was available a few short years ago, there is nothing cheap or easy about making the connections in most cases.

tedious posted 09-15-2011 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
I'm not sure precisely what you are trying to accomplish - feed the GPS speed back into the network so actual mileage can be reported on the Command Link Plus gauges?

I have an F70 connected to my Lowrance HDS7 via the CommandLink hub and the Maretron cable. Price of the cable aside, it works very well - displays gallons per hour, and combines that with GPS speed to display actual mileage. As far as I can tell that combination takes place within the Lowrance unit - no feeding of GPS speed back in, or pitot sensor required.


tmann45 posted 09-15-2011 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
Yes, you can input 0183 to CLP display. If you have access to NMEA 0183, you only need the GPS Harness for CLP, part # 6Y9-8356N-00-00 to get GPS speed to your Command Link Plus display. This harness plugs into the back of the CLP display and has two wires to connect to your GPS via NMEA 0183, no need for a Gateway or any other wires, connections or harnesses. This is the same as the Command Link gauges.

See the Yamaha 2011 Rigging Guide here: Page 7-8, GPS Wire.

If you want to connect to a NMEA 2000 network and do it the Yamaha way, yes you need the Gateway, 6Y9-8A2D0-00, and an adapter harness from the Gateway to the Yamaha network hub, 6Y9-83553-50, assuming you have a Yamaha network. The adapter harness is [about] $38-list and $30-internet. I really don't know why they don't just put the connector on the Gateway and eliminate the additional harness. All of this is in the Rigging Guide, also. If you study it for a few months, you will start to make sense of it. You might be able to splice the blue and white wires of a NMEA 2000 cable to the blue and white of a Yamaha Pigtail, (do not connect the red and black power wires) and get this to work, but I do not know this.

There is nothing new or proprietary about the NMEA 2000 connectors or wire, they are standard items in industrial networking and NMEA adopted them. They should not be as expensive as they are. I was just in an electronics store (not Radio Shack) and saw a Molex connector similar to what Yamaha uses for their CL and CLP network. It was not water resistant but it was a 14 circuit plug vs. Yamaha's 4-6 circuit, with everything, both halves, pins and sockets for only $5.53. I'm thinking about using it to make my eight NMEA 0183 connections for my VHF and GPS speed.

K Albus posted 09-15-2011 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Tedious - the Command Link Plus screen displays real-time MPG using speed information from the pitot tube sensor. I would prefer to use a GPS speed reading for the MPG calculation.
tedious posted 09-16-2011 07:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Got it. That's what I show on my GPS / fishfinder screen, but I guess if you insist on it showing on the CLP guage instead you need to pay the extra.


jimh posted 09-17-2011 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is not particularly hard to modify a standard T-connector for Micro-C or DeviceNET wiring on NMEA-2000 to block the DC power at that point. (Use a very small drill to drill out the female contacts for power on one side or break off the male contacts for power on the other side.) By modifying one T-connector you can segment the power on the network into two regions. Or you could buy a MARETRON power-T that is a power-splitter, and only send power to one side of the T, letting the other side be powered from another source.

I can understand why an engine manufacturer might want to isolate their engine and gauge network from other devices on a NMEA-2000 network. It seems like some manufacturers have not obtained NMEA-2000 certification for all their devices. I don't recall if the Yamaha engine is certified or not, or if it's their instruments that are not certified. I think one or the other of them is not actually certified as an NMEA-2000 device. That might explain why their recommended practice is to isolate a portion of their equipment from the vessel NMEA-2000 network using a gateway. I would assume the gateway must be a certified device.

Another reason for segmenting the network and isolating the engine may be to provide for some special functions or special data flow on the isolated network. I don't know anything about Yamaha digital gauges or controls. Perhaps their controls are the influence that causes them to recommend a gateway.

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