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Mike Up North

2008 350 Signature NMEA 2000

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Has anyone integrated the dual Mercruiser 496 MAGs on a 2008 350 Signature to a MFD (NMEA 2000 or other ways)? If so, did you interface directly to the Mercruisers with purchased parts or were you able to connect the link in the dash for the existing gauges? Any guidance would be appreciated. There seems to be multiple options out there for this interface.

Thanks in advance!

Mike

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@Iggy and @TexasPilot71 have some experience with adding NMEA 2K. I'm up to speed on the theoretical side of it, but have not actually done the install on my boat yet.

Do you have a Smartcraft gauges or any digital engine gauges on your dash?

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I have what I believe are the stock gauges. The one in the middle is part digital all the rest are needle style. I guess that's where I get lost on whether they're Smartcraft or not. 

20190821_153550.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Mike Up North said:

I have what I believe are the stock gauges. The one in the middle is part digital all the rest are needle style. I guess that's where I get lost on whether they're Smartcraft or not. 

20190821_153550.jpg

You're correct, those are stock. The square gauges is when Chaparral started incorporating digital information into their dashes. Prior to that, for boats like my 2006 Signature 330 with round gauges, there's no digital information to the dash. I don't believe you'll have a NMEA 2K network, but I do believe you have SmartCraft. There is probably a SmartCraft junction box under the helm somewhere. This is all based on conjecture based on what was common around then.

What information can be displayed on the gauge that is part digital?

I have not done it yet, but I would like to install a Yacht Devices Engine Gateway on my Volvo Pentas to have engine data available over the NMEA 2K network (which I also don't have and would have to install). I would take a look at that and maybe contact their customer support as they are very helpful. Grab your full engine model numbers to provide here and to the customer service group. Check your engines for a SmartCraft connector similar to the purple ones at the top of that link. See if you have a sync cable connecting both engines, I suspect you may. If so, you'll only need one of the Engine Gateways for both engines, otherwise you'll need one per engine.

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My installation was a single engine, so there may be significant differences.  However, mine was also a 2008 so the communication protocols should be the same.

If you have the junction box at the helm, you're way ahead of the game.  I am not sure if the presence of that junction box means engine information is already supplied to that junction box. 

In my instance, I was also installing a VesselView 4 (VV4).  A VV4 will act as a gateway.  Since the VV4 is located at the helm and I had no existing junction box, I had to run a cable from the engine diagnostics port on the engine to the helm, install and connect it to a junction box, then connect the VV4 to the junction box.  The VV4 has a NMEA2K output which I teed into the backbone.  Connect the MFD to the NMEA2K backbone as well, and you're done.

Let us know what you have, and yes, call Mercury.  They are fantastic help!

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Rjbergen, you are saying exactly the way I was thinking. I looked at that exact adapter that you spoke of and that's where my interest was peeked. I am installing the NMEA2K network in the next couple of days. I ordered enough items to run the network from the helm to the engine compartment. therefore I could tie in on either end (or anywhere in between) and the network would be there for any other improvements I would like to make through out the boat. The digital gauge displays water temperature, fuel consumption of each engine, depth and more. I definitely will be tying it in one way or the other and passing on the information. That's why I asked because I want to narrow down what interface to get. Thanks for your thoughts.

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1 hour ago, Mike Up North said:

Rjbergen, you are saying exactly the way I was thinking. I looked at that exact adapter that you spoke of and that's where my interest was peeked. I am installing the NMEA2K network in the next couple of days. I ordered enough items to run the network from the helm to the engine compartment. therefore I could tie in on either end (or anywhere in between) and the network would be there for any other improvements I would like to make through out the boat. The digital gauge displays water temperature, fuel consumption of each engine, depth and more. I definitely will be tying it in one way or the other and passing on the information. That's why I asked because I want to narrow down what interface to get. Thanks for your thoughts.

I have twin Volvos. So I have never done it to a Merc. What interest me, if you look at the back of you tech. Is there a six pin connector there? 

 

That looks like this?? https://www.yachtd.com/products/engine_gateway.html  If so, the install should be easy!

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14 hours ago, TexasPilot71 said:

My installation was a single engine, so there may be significant differences.  However, mine was also a 2008 so the communication protocols should be the same.

If you have the junction box at the helm, you're way ahead of the game.  I am not sure if the presence of that junction box means engine information is already supplied to that junction box. 

In my instance, I was also installing a VesselView 4 (VV4).  A VV4 will act as a gateway.  Since the VV4 is located at the helm and I had no existing junction box, I had to run a cable from the engine diagnostics port on the engine to the helm, install and connect it to a junction box, then connect the VV4 to the junction box.  The VV4 has a NMEA2K output which I teed into the backbone.  Connect the MFD to the NMEA2K backbone as well, and you're done.

Let us know what you have, and yes, call Mercury.  They are fantastic help!

Thanks for replying. I had forgotten you had a 2008 as well. While a single engine is easier, twins isn't much harder. The thing with twins is you need to determine if they are currently connected or not. That will determine whether or not you need one or two engine gateways. Basically, an engine's ECU can be programmed with a number identifier from 0 to whatever that indicates port and starboard, or more in triples and more. Anyways, if the engines are connected from the factory, one will be programmed as 0 and the other will be 1. That will allow them to talk on the same network, hence only needing one gateway. If they're not connected from the factory, they're most likely both programmed as 0 since that's the ECU's default. With the same ID, they cannot talk on the same network. That's why you need two gateways. The gateways will be programmed as port and starboard and send their information on the NMEA 2K network with the appropriate ID, but since the engines have the same ID you need one gateway per engine or the gateway will think all data is only from a single engine with ID 0.

14 hours ago, Mike Up North said:

Rjbergen, you are saying exactly the way I was thinking. I looked at that exact adapter that you spoke of and that's where my interest was peeked. I am installing the NMEA2K network in the next couple of days. I ordered enough items to run the network from the helm to the engine compartment. therefore I could tie in on either end (or anywhere in between) and the network would be there for any other improvements I would like to make through out the boat. The digital gauge displays water temperature, fuel consumption of each engine, depth and more. I definitely will be tying it in one way or the other and passing on the information. That's why I asked because I want to narrow down what interface to get. Thanks for your thoughts.

Make sure your NMEA 2K network power feed is switched. Some devices that connect to the network have a constant power draw and you don't want that when the batteries are off.

When you say you'll be tying in your digital gauge and passing on the info, do you mean passing data to the gauge, or passing the gauge data to your NMEA 2K network?

Like TexasPilot mentioned, he installed the junction box at the helm. I believe if you have that already, it will make it easier. I'm not sure that you do though based on the data that you say the digital gauge can provide. I would take a look for it. Now, if you use the Yacht Devices Engine Gateways, I don't think you need a junction box at the helm. I believe with the Engine Gateway, you'd connect one, or two, directly to the 10-pin ports on the engine and then a NMEA 2K drop cable coming off the Engine Gateway(s) going to the NMEA 2K T in the backbone. With the NMEA 2K backbone running to the helm you can connect a multitude of devices to display data how you want. Many MFDs can take NMEA 2K as input and display gauge data. If you'd rather have a standalone display, there are multiple 4" instruments from the big names in the MFD market that you can install in your dash.

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Thanks for all the advice so far. I pulled a few things apart today and I found that the main gauge in the middle of the cluster (that has the digital readout) does have a 6 pin plug like the Yacht Devices interface uses and I see a couple references to SC on wires which I assume is Smartcraft. I could not find an actual junction box in the area of the helm even though a tag connected to the plug (picture below) said 'to j-box' on it. I think I'm going to order the yacht devices interface and connect it behind the gauges and then tie it into my NMEA2000 network that I am installing. If anyone thinks there will be problems than please don't hesitate to chime in.

20190822_132010.jpg

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4 hours ago, Mike Up North said:

Thanks for all the advice so far. I pulled a few things apart today and I found that the main gauge in the middle of the cluster (that has the digital readout) does have a 6 pin plug like the Yacht Devices interface uses and I see a couple references to SC on wires which I assume is Smartcraft. I could not find an actual junction box in the area of the helm even though a tag connected to the plug (picture below) said 'to j-box' on it. I think I'm going to order the yacht devices interface and connect it behind the gauges and then tie it into my NMEA2000 network that I am installing. If anyone thinks there will be problems than please don't hesitate to chime in.

20190822_132010.jpg

I truly DO NOT KNOW for sure, but I would take the time to make absolutely sure the YachtDevices pinout is compatible before I just plugged them in.  Might not hurt anything, but I have a sneaking suspicion it isn't plug and play like that.

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 9:54 PM, Mike Up North said:

Has anyone integrated the dual Mercruiser 496 MAGs on a 2008 350 Signature to a MFD (NMEA 2000 or other ways)? If so, did you interface directly to the Mercruisers with purchased parts or were you able to connect the link in the dash for the existing gauges? Any guidance would be appreciated. There seems to be multiple options out there for this interface.

Thanks in advance!

Mike

Can I ask you a question? 

I see you asked I'f anyone has integrated the NMEA2K network to an MFD or in other ways.  If so, did you interface directly to the Mercruisers with purchased parts or were you able to connect the link in the dash for the existing gauges?"  

My question to you is - why do you want to hook up the NMEA2K network to any of your current gauges?  Maybe I missed the reason, but do you have a GPS you use? You asked about hooking it up to a MFD screen so why not go to that? Is your GPS too small or too old and is not an MFDS and don't want to pay for an upgrade?  Or you just don't have one?  Ideally, to simplify things, you should hook up the 2K network to your GPS (if you have the right one) so that all the sensors on your engine that the network picks up, show up on a nice, beautiful big or even medium-sized GPS screen and not on any of your gauges which are already dedicated for their own particular functions?  This is an example of what you would get.

windinstrument.jpg

I have a Volvo 8.1 and I went ALL VOLVO from cables to connectors to adaptors especially the one in your pic which was made especially for my engine and I have everything and then some displayed on my Garmin 741xs GPS multifunction display screen.  But I'm really curious why you want all that the NMEA2K provides to show up on any of your gauges?

Now if you really don't want to use your GPS, you can set up a dedicated MFD screen and make sure it's NMEA2K compatible, of course, so that ALL the engine sensors and functions show up on that.  If Mercury makes a Bluetooth easy connect, you can probably get all your info on an Ipad and not even have it attached to the helm.  That was one of the features on the Volvo I bought which is great.  But honestly, not sure if the easy connect would work without a GPS to go through first.

I doubt any of the gauges would work at all for what you want to do since they have their own dedicated functions.  But I sure am curious if there is a specific reason you wanted to use the existing gauges?

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6 hours ago, TexasPilot71 said:

I truly DO NOT KNOW for sure, but I would take the time to make absolutely sure the YachtDevices pinout is compatible before I just plugged them in.  Might not hurt anything, but I have a sneaking suspicion it isn't plug and play like that.

I had to move pins, not hard to do it all.

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11 hours ago, Mike Up North said:

Thanks for all the advice so far. I pulled a few things apart today and I found that the main gauge in the middle of the cluster (that has the digital readout) does have a 6 pin plug like the Yacht Devices interface uses and I see a couple references to SC on wires which I assume is Smartcraft. I could not find an actual junction box in the area of the helm even though a tag connected to the plug (picture below) said 'to j-box' on it. I think I'm going to order the yacht devices interface and connect it behind the gauges and then tie it into my NMEA2000 network that I am installing. If anyone thinks there will be problems than please don't hesitate to chime in.

20190822_132010.jpg

I did it that way, but I have Volvos. It took 10 minutes and easy to do. I just had to move a few pins. 

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13 hours ago, Hatem said:

Can I ask you a question? 

I see you asked I"f anyone has integrated the NMEA2K network to an MFD or in other ways.  If so, did you interface directly to the Mercruisers with purchased parts or were you able to connect the link in the dash for the existing gauges?"  

My question to you is - why do you want to hook up the NMEA2K network to any of your current gauges?  Maybe I missed the reason, but do you have a GPS you use? You asked about hooking it up to a MFD screen so why not go to that? Is your GPS too small or too old and is not an MFDS and don't want to pay for an upgrade?  Or you jus don't have one?  Ideally, to simplify things, you should hook up the 2K network to your GPS (if you have the right one) so that all the sensors on your engine that the network pics up, show up on a nice, beautiful big or even medium-sized GPS screen and not on any of your gauges which are already dedicated for their own particular functions?  This is an example of what you would get.

windinstrument.jpg

I have a Volvo 8.1 and I went ALL VOLVO from cables to connectors to adaptors especially the one in your pic which was made especially for my engine and I have everything and then some displayed on my Garmin 741xs GPS multifunction display screen.  But I'm really curious why you want all that the NMEA2K provides to show up on any of your gauges?

Now if you really don't want to use your GPS, you can set up a dedicated MFD screen and make sure it's NMEA2K compatible, of course, so that ALL the engine sensors and functions show up on that.  If Mercury makes a Bluetooth easy connect, you can probably get all your info on an Ipad and not even have it attached to the helm.  That was one of the features on the Volvo I bought which is great.  But honestly, not sure if the easy connect would work without a GPS to go through first.

I doubt any of the gauges would work at all for what you want to do since they have their own dedicated functions.  But I sure am curious if there is a specific reason you wanted to use the existing gauges?

The way I understand it, he wants to "use the existing gauges" as a source of data for the MFD.  Because he cannot interface directly from the existing gauges to the MFD, a YachtDevices will (hopefully) translate the data that is already coming into the gauges into NMEA2K data that can then be fed to the MFD.  He also mentioned he may want to add additional items to the network down the road.  A very wise decision to create an open architecture. 

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8 hours ago, Iggy said:

I had to move pins, not hard to do it all.

Wow, that's great!  Didn't know that was possible.  In my case, I had different connectors daisy-chaining the instrument cluster.  Once disconnected, I couldn't understand why I couldn't use that data bus to feed the VesselView4 and instead, I had to run a new cable from the diagnostics port.  But that's what Mercury told me I had to do.  :unsure:

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1 hour ago, TexasPilot71 said:

The way I understand it, he wants to "use the existing gauges" as a source of data for the MFD.

Thanks for the reply.  Why not go straight to an MFD?  Bypass the gauges completely?  Which was why I asked him if he had a GPS that was NMEA2K compatible.  I just don't understand why the need to use any of the gauges, especially since they're all dedicated for particular functions.  Not even sue you could add any of the engine info onto a smartcraft gauge, although I'm not sure about that.

1 hour ago, TexasPilot71 said:

Wow, that's great!  Didn't know that was possible.  In my case, I had different connectors daisy-chaining the instrument cluster.  Once disconnected, I couldn't understand why I couldn't use that data bus to feed the VesselView4 and instead, I had to run a new cable from the diagnostics port.  But that's what Mercury told me I had to do.  :unsure:

There's actually an automotive kit you can get that has several pins that you can configure any 6pin to 8pin to whatever.  Pretty cool and runs about $27.  If I had case where I needed to use it in a marine configuration, I would then wrap the entire thing in electrical tape.  But I was able to find the VP adapter so went with that. 

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1 minute ago, Hatem said:

Thanks for the reply.  Why not go straight to an MFD?  Bypass the gauges completely?  Which was why I asked him if he had a GPS that was NMEA2K compatible.  I just don't understand why the need to use any of the gauges, especially since they're all dedicated for particular functions.  Not even sue you could add any of the engine info onto a smartcraft gauge, although I'm not sure about that.

I was told by Mercury that you could not connect the gauges directly to the MFD.  At least not the Raymarine MFD that I was using.  Garmin may be different, but I don't know.  SO, I had to get the data from the engine diagnostics port.

If the OP can go directly to his MFD, that is awesome!  But again, simply based on my understanding and application, that was not possible.  If he has the same limitation, then it seems as if he may be able to take the data that feeds his gauges and (by using a YachtDevides) send that information additionally along a N2K bus, and from there into his MFD/Chartplotter.

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19 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Thanks for the reply.  Why not go straight to an MFD?  Bypass the gauges completely?  Which was why I asked him if he had a GPS that was NMEA2K compatible.  I just don't understand why the need to use any of the gauges, especially since they're all dedicated for particular functions.  Not even sue you could add any of the engine info onto a smartcraft gauge, although I'm not sure about that.

There's actually an automotive kit you can get that has several pins that you can configure any 6pin to 8pin to whatever.  Pretty cool and runs about $27.  If I had case where I needed to use it in a marine configuration, I would then wrap the entire thing in electrical tape.  But I was able to find the VP adapter so went with that. 

In the long run I may just use multiple MFDs and get rid of all the stock gauges (since they are starting to have issues) or I may go to the small configurable displays. Either way the six pin connection is at the gauges that tires into the Smartcraft network. If the gauges get removed I would still use that connection to interface to the NMEA2000 network.

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17 minutes ago, TexasPilot71 said:

I was told by Mercury that you could not connect the gauges directly to the MFD.  At least not the Raymarine MFD that I was using.  Garmin may be different, but I don't know.  SO, I had to get the data from the engine diagnostics port.

If the OP can go directly to his MFD, that is awesome!  But again, simply based on my understanding and application, that was not possible.  If he has the same limitation, then it seems as if he may be able to take the data that feeds his gauges and (by using a YachtDevides) send that information additionally along a N2K bus, and from there into his MFD/Chartplotter.

Ah, ok, thanks for the explanation.  Too bad Merc made it that way so you have to route through the gauges.  I guess I misunderstood him and though he wanted to display the engine data on his gauges themselves. 

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19 minutes ago, TexasPilot71 said:

I was told by Mercury that you could not connect the gauges directly to the MFD.  At least not the Raymarine MFD that I was using.  Garmin may be different, but I don't know.  SO, I had to get the data from the engine diagnostics port.

If the OP can go directly to his MFD, that is awesome!  But again, simply based on my understanding and application, that was not possible.  If he has the same limitation, then it seems as if he may be able to take the data that feeds his gauges and (by using a YachtDevides) send that information additionally along a N2K bus, and from there into his MFD/Chartplotter.

That is my understanding too. I did buy another plug adapter for plugging directly into the 10 pin on the Mercruiser engine (from yacht device too). If it doesn't work at the gauges then I will put the Yacht Device interface at the engine and connect to the NMEA2000 Network there. 

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11 hours ago, Hatem said:

There's actually an automotive kit you can get that has several pins that you can configure any 6pin to 8pin to whatever.  Pretty cool and runs about $27.  If I had case where I needed to use it in a marine configuration, I would then wrap the entire thing in electrical tape.  But I was able to find the VP adapter so went with that. 

Thats not the case since he is using Yacht Devices. You went the route of V.P.

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2 hours ago, Mike Up North said:

In the long run I may just use multiple MFDs and get rid of all the stock gauges (since they are starting to have issues) or I may go to the small configurable displays. Either way the six pin connection is at the gauges that tires into the Smartcraft network. If the gauges get removed I would still use that connection to interface to the NMEA2000 network.

Really, so they don't allow you to get any engine data directly from the engine to a MFD unit even if it is a GPS unit unless you go through the gauges on the helm or the Smartcraft gauge?  No bypassing without their permission, so to speak? 

I like your idea of just removing all the gauges and use multiple MFDs right on the dash.  Converting the analogue gauges to digital might need a few extra boxes or units to help with that, I would think.

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13 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Really, so they don't allow you to get any engine data directly from the engine to a MFD unit even if it is a GPS unit unless you go through the gauges on the helm or the Smartcraft gauge?  No bypassing without their permission, so to speak?

I think that has more to do with protocol than anything else.  There are so many different engine manufacturers and several MFD manufacturers, and they all talk different languages.  NMEA2K is an industry standard that various engines and other electronic equipment can interpret and transmit upon.

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13 minutes ago, TexasPilot71 said:

I think that has more to do with protocol than anything else.  There are so many different engine manufacturers and several MFD manufacturers, and they all talk different languages.  NMEA2K is an industry standard that various engines and other electronic equipment can interpret and transmit upon.

The engines uses the J1939 protocol. The gateway is just that, a gateway from one protocol to the other. You could remove the gauges and install NMEA2k gauges. OR as Taxas mentioned, go with multi display units.  

 

As to Hatem  "Converting the analogue gauges to digital might need a few extra boxes or units to help with that, I would think."  No, you have the gateway.

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