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Author Topic:   NMEA 2000 and only Lowrance
JayR posted 07-11-2006 02:12 PM ET (US)   Profile for JayR   Send Email to JayR  
Why is it only Lowrance has decided to offer NMEA 2000 compatable GPS and fish finder units?

Any clue why Garmin so far has not come out with something?

You would think someone would develop just a simple monitor screen for the information.

Looks like I'm stuck with having to purchase a new Lowrance GPS/FF combo unit just for display purposes.

Wish the alternatives were greater.

Anyone know of impending releases of new NMEA 2000 compatable equipment?

Chuck Tribolet posted 07-11-2006 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Maybe Garmin sees it as a niche market at this point. You
can bet if it takes off, they'll jump in.


jimh posted 07-11-2006 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
NMEA-2000 is a nice standard, and I think in the mindset of some American manufacturers there is a tendency to avoid standards. European manufacturers seem more willing to accept standards and comply. I think LOWRANCE is out in front of most electronics manufacturers. They have embraced the standards and come out with many new devices that are certified as compliant. One problem for GARMIN is finding engineers who can develop products to these standards. I think they are all working for Lowrance at the moment.
seahorse posted 07-11-2006 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
Check out the NMEA 2000 RayMarine items. They work great.
Chuck Tribolet posted 07-11-2006 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I don't think the skills are a particular problem. Garmin's
processor makers undoubtedly have a CAN bus phi (physical
interface) and reference code, and after that it's a SMOP
(Simple Matter Of Programming). It's not like this would
take a team of thousands -- one good programmer and a couple
of testers.

Does anybody know if the NMEA 2000 sentences are different
from the old one?


JayR posted 07-12-2006 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I would need to rob a bank for those e-series raymarine units. Wow!!!

Isn't there just a cheap display I can buy? I don't need to replace my sonar or GPS.....

I just want a monitor to display the engine data.....

Chuck Tribolet posted 07-13-2006 11:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I was helping a CWer with a DSC installation, and noticed that
the Garmin 2106 and 2110 already have CAN interface for
some SONARs. So now it's just a SMOP.


JayR posted 12-12-2006 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Reviving a dead topic.....

To my delight, I came across this

Garmin's new 4000 Series are

All 4000 series units are NMEA 2000 compliant.

Before this I had not heard a whisper of them getting on the NMEA 2000 bandwagon.

I for one am very pleased as I am familiar with and like Garmin products.

Anyone here with any experience with this new 4000 Series equipment?

JayR posted 12-12-2006 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I'll answer my own question...
They're not shipping yet from what I could determine. Most site visited showed a "Pre-Order" buy now feature.

Anyone know when?!?!?!?!

jimh posted 12-12-2006 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The GARMIN annoucement of their new devices was a bit odd. They chose a European trade show for the debut. At a trade show in Florida a few weeks earlier, a web-correspondent reported they made no mention or hint of their new products, nor of the NMEA-2000 compatibility.

NMEA-2000 seems to be gathering momentum, although several brands disguise it with their own made-up name for it.

davej14 posted 12-12-2006 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
The old NMEA 0183 and the new NMEA 2000 sentences are not the same.
JayR posted 12-12-2006 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Dave, huh?
Chuck Tribolet posted 12-12-2006 11:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
What Dave is saying is that not only are NMEA-0183 and NMEA-2000
different electrically, the format of the data blocks
(sentences) they send is different.

That's not bad -- NMEA-0183 sentence format is a major kluge.


JayR posted 12-13-2006 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
JayR posted 12-13-2006 07:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
BTW... I will be very tempted to purchase one when they release them in the coming months.

This is an expensive recreation to say the least.

jimh posted 12-14-2006 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The concept of a GPS receiver or a Fish Finder being on a NMEA-2000 bus is blurred somewhat by the usual association of those functions with a large color display device. When people talk about "a GPS" they are not talking about the actual Global Positioning Satellite receiver; that portion is not particularly expensive to obtain. You can get a nice GPS which has been waterproofed for $50. And there is not much product differentiation on the receiver portion. People are now using the term "a GPS" to mean a daylight-viewable color display device which has a large amount of stored digital chart cartography. And onto this display the little GPS receiver shows the current position.

If all you want to do is get GPS position, heading, and speed data on a NMEA-2000 network, you can get that for about $125.

Marine electronic manufacturers are beginning to separate the display device from the signal collectors and data generators which will create the data to be displayed. In this way you can re-use that nice display for other functions beside the one function it was formerly married to.

So the NMEA-2000 feature is not so much that you can get the vessel position/heading/speed on a bus, but that you can use the display to show other types of data.

By the way, you can also get a NMEA-2000 depth sounder which will output depth information on the network. However, these self-contained network devices are currently rather expensive.

Chuck Tribolet posted 12-14-2006 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Other advantages of separating the GPS receiver from the

- Stronger signal because there isn't 10' of coax cable.

- Separating the the RF and digital portions reduces noise,
esp from the digital part to the RF part.

- RF design is trickier than digital. The manufacturer can
do one RF design and use it across a range of displays.


JayR posted 12-14-2006 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
What I really need is a display.... The ability to have all the info available on one screen would be most welcome on my boat. Having to scroll through the menu options on my I-Command Tach is very difficult and impossible while underway.

Unfortunately, any device I could use for display purposes will cost an arm & leg.

I wish someone would come out with a bare bones GPS that was NMEA 2000 capable. I don't need nor really want all the bells and whistles but it would appear I have no recourse.

A Fn Noob posted 01-11-2007 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for A Fn Noob    

A few months ago I ran across a site related to hacking video-gaming consoles. Apparently it is popular (for the video gaming crowd) to take a software title from one gaming platform and "port" it so that it can be played on another platform. (Like taking a Sony game and playing it on an X-box, or whatever) The video console manufacturers play a constant cat & mouse game with the 'homebrewers' to keep their units from being reverse engineered. Sony does this by offering free 'firmware updates' that unlock or add additional features, and at the same time close any exposed holes in their firmware that allows 'unsigned code' to run.
Most of the activity is related to software piracy, but there are a large number of people that just like to hack consumer electronics for the fun of it.

Anyway, I had one of these little Sony PSP's sitting in a drawer collecting dust when I saw that someone had sucessfully connected a GPS reciever to it and began to write software for it. It started out as a simple text screen with coordinates, speed, altitude, etc. and has evolved over 4 months into full fledged color GPS mapping with simple navigation. Its interesting to watch this develop.I 'hacked' the necessary cables/connectors to connect a GPS reciever to my PSP, and have helped others interface a variety of different units to their PSP's. I dont have the knowledge necessary to contribute to the software end of things. The author of this *free* software recieved much attention from various computer-news websites for his accomplishments (Google-News these: Deniska GPS PSP) and within 2 days, Sony announced they would release a GPS attachment in December. It has yet to materialize in the US.

Anyway, Ive got this little $200 device that does GPS mapping, can be "bent" to do other functions, has 802.11 wi-fi, internet capable, play movies. Hell, there is some kid that can drive his Honda Civic with his PSP!

The screen is a little smaller than you'd want for a boat, and of course its not waterproof. My point of all this is: They must be making a fortune off of you people willing to pay for these gadgets. They charge what the market will bear. Most people with boats have bucks. Ive seen these Lowrance and Raymarine catalogs, and I have to say... if you buy one of these, you're getting ***raped. I challenge anyone from their industry to justify to me their costs.

The fact that the 'peripherals' are becoming modular tells me that these days are soon coming to an end. Manufaturers typically dont embrace standards, they like to keep things as proprietary as possible.

P.S. I think it'd be funny to take a Lowrance-Net system and give it to these kids, lock them in a room with a few cases of Mellow-Yellow, and see how long it takes before they have it playing "Grand Theft Auto" or "Halo". Maybe Lowrance could hire some of them, because it seems like manufacturers of consumer electronics(The big boys)are taking huge leaps into markets they did not previously occupy. Be sure they have their eye on the marine electronics and "Mp3Car" markets.

jimh posted 01-12-2007 01:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the automotive GPS navigation market, the price seems to be in a free fall. I recently saw a very nice color display, GPS receiver, and road map cartography intended for automobile dashboard use being sold for under $200 on a close-out.

The government has provided free marine chart cartography, so for marine units there is even less cost involved.

JayR posted 02-23-2007 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Found this nice display unit
Under $700
JayR posted 02-23-2007 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR
JayR posted 12-19-2007 04:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Another alternative, this one from Garmin.

NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 compatible.

Plotman posted 12-24-2007 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Holy guage. That thing is over $500, and the fuel sensor is $235 per engine!
Jefecinco posted 12-24-2007 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Lowrance makes some nice color displays that are, IMO, more resonably priced than many others.


JayR posted 12-26-2007 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Not wanting to buy a Lowrance GPS or sonar, I did not find anything worthwhile.

I am hoping to purchase the Humminbird 997C in the spring. It is not NMEA 2000 compatible. I wish it were!

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