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Trying to understand NEMA 2000 Network

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I am trying to figure out how and what is involved with adding a NEMA 2000 network to my boat. I have a Garmin 741XS at my helm and wish to add a transducer, VHF interface and engine monitoring to it and maybe a few other items. The back of the Garmin unit has separate input jacks for transducer etc. but, am I correct in assuming that if I run a network cable to the one jack in the back of the unit then I can attach all those other items to the network harness and not have to chase the wires to the back of the Garmin GPS? If that is the case it will simplify all I have to do as my boat has no electronics other than the 741XS and I am dreading having to run wires to the helm for each item I add. Thanks in advance!

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As long as the item you add is nema 2000 compatible.  Not everything is.  Transducers will need a separate cable to the 741 and plugged into the jack marked.  Engine monitoring will need a gateway from your engine manufacture to convert data to nema 2000 standards.  Basically one cable from the GPS ran around then tee'd off for each device you wish to use the network then terminate the ends.  Each device should come with diagrams giving you an idea how to go about it.  Very basic description here.  Not hard at all once you get the idea.

I have two separate networks on my boat, one for the auto-glide system and another for engine monitoring, fusion stereo, two fusion remotes, garmin weather, vhf, two sounder boxes, and two repeater gauges.  Really neat how they all work together and yes a lot less wiring.

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I would go to the Garmin website and the manual. The manual has a great pic of a network setup. Yes, you can install a depth transduce on a NMEA2k network. BUT, it will only give you the depth read out. If you want to see the bottom (sea floor) than the transducer needs to be connected to a head unit as in your 741.

These transducers have different types of connections.  As mentioned, not everything is NMEA2k. But all VHF are NMEA0182 and some are NMEA2k. Meaning that you still can connect your VHF to your GPS using the 0183 standard. Your  dealing with 3 wires. in, out and common data. 

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Having added a NMEA 2000 network to my boat this past year I can tell you what you'll need.

1. You'll need a NMEA 2000 starter kit. This will include a NMEA power cable and one or two NMEA network T connectors and 2 NMEA T- terminators.The NMEA power cable will power the NMEA backbone.

2. For each device that you add to the NMEA network, you'll need 1 T-connector and a NMEA data cable.

I have the Garmin 7607, a Garmin Fuel Flow meter, the Garmin GMI-10 display and a non-NMEA 2000 VHF radio.

Because the radio is not NMEA2000, I had to wire it directly to the 7607 GPS map using the NMEA0183 wires. Very simple to do.

The Fuel flow meter, GMI10 and 7607 all have a NMEA wire each that go their own T connector. Each T-connector is screwed to the next so I have 4 T connectors on my NMEA2000 network.

NMEA Power, GFS10, GMI10 and 7607. The far left and far right T-connectors have the Terminator plugs on them.  To add an additional device to your network, just remove the terminator on the end T connector, add an additional T connector and replace the terminator on the new T connector. It's like Legos for adults. 

While I do use Garmin products, I DID NOT buy the way overpriced garmin NEMA starter kit. I found another brand and it all works the same. NMEA2000 is a standard and the 40 bucks I saved went to good use.

As someone else pointed out, the transducer will need to plug directly into the transducer port on your 741, just as the microphone needs to go directly to the radio. 

Good luck!

Steve
 

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My experience is similar to Steves.  I found the Garmin starter kit on eBay for a good price.  That is a better deal than buying ala cart.  I have a Garmin 7607xsv, a Fusion head unit with remote, Garmin GPS antenna, fuel flow meter (all NMEA2000) a transducer and VHF which are not NMEA2000.

Odds are the transducer will NOT be NMEA2000, so you will have to run it to the Garmin.  Your NMEA cable only needs to go where you have NMEA devices which based on what you are using will be your engine compartment for engine management (check your year of engine to make sure its compatible, I missed the cut off by a year :(  ).  If you want to have a transom audio remote some day you will need the bus near it as well.

I have the GPS at the helm.  The Fusion head unit is in the cuddy cabin.  The NMEA bus goes from the radio along the side of the boat all the way to the stern.  Along the way I have "T's" for the radio, bus power, GPS, antenna, fuel sensor and transom stereo keypad to connect to the bus.  I found that I had MUCH better GPS performance with the external antenna on the arch than using the built in antenna.

The Horizon radio is NMEA0183 so its wired to the NMEA0183 port on the back of the GPS.

The transducer cable is plugged into the back of the GPS.

So at the end of the day I have three cables connected to my GPS: the default power/NMEA0183 cable, the transducer and NMEA2000 cable.

I love how the Fusion stereo integrates into the Garmin.  I did away with my helm stereo remote as I have full control of it from the Garmin, and I have depth, and all the other GPS info available on the stereo remote on the transom. 

 

Garmin has a guide about how to install NMEA2000 here: http://static.garmin.com/pumac/Tech_Ref_for_Garmin_NMEA2k_EN.pdf

 

 

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I'm using Motorola ECM555's on twin 2003 4.3 /bravos I think it is compatible but I still have to look into it. Thanks for all the input!

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