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  Should NMEA 0183 wires be shielded?

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Author Topic:   Should NMEA 0183 wires be shielded?
Frank O posted 07-08-2012 06:27 PM ET (US)   Profile for Frank O   Send Email to Frank O  
While fixing various issues with the console wiring on my boat, I thought I'd run a pair of wires to output NMEA 0183 signals from the Lowrance LCX-25C GPS/sonar unit to the Smartcraft system to provide GPS information (and thus vessel speed, etc) to Smartcraft instruments.

I notice that the NMEA 0186 wiring from the Lowrance, as well as from my VHS radio and radar system, is all shielded. The wires at the Smartcraft end are not. Should I use shielded wire to make this connection? The distance is on the order of two to three feet. If yes, is there a particular type of wire to use?

Chuck Tribolet posted 07-08-2012 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Twisted pair should be fine.

Chuck

newt posted 07-08-2012 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
From my experience, any kind of wire will work for NMEA 0183 data connections. I am using CAT 5 computer networking cable on my boat for one run and some trailer wire on another short run simply because i had the wire on hand I have also tested stuff on the bench with whatever wires or jumpers were on hand. It almost comes down to choosing wires based on the colors of the individual strands for purposes of matching your existing wiring colors.
jimh posted 07-08-2012 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I recommend you contact the NMEA organization and ask them this question. The NMEA organization does not publish their standard, so it is difficult to know about details like this. Even if I had purchased the standard from NMEA, I could not tell you the answer because they forbid others to disclose the information. If you want information about NMEA, you have to get it from NMEA.

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