Panbo

Mas-Technologies M200, analog Yanmars to NMEA 2000??

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on May 19, 2011
Mas-Technologies_M200_Yanmar_to_NMEA_2000.jpg

Thanks to Panbo reader Jeffrey Schwartz I just learned about the Mas-Technologies M200 system, which looks like it can neatly translate analog sensor data from Yanmar model JH, YM and LP diesel engines into NMEA 2000 PGNs that can be read by many displays, including its own. The system -- which starts $1,469 -- can also read four analog tank sensors and a rudder indicator, dual engines are supported, and Mas-Tech also offers start panels and even a wired shift-and-throttle remote. But something seems odd...

As best I can tell this system has been around since 2009 but I'd never heard of it and there's hardly any references to it on the Internet. And it's not that Mas-Technologies is a small company, given that it's part of the Mastry Engine Center, which bills itself as "the team to turn to when faced with challenging marine diesel powertrain applications and installations"... with "a network of over 140 authorized dealers." But you'll have a hard time finding anything about the Mas-Tech M200 on that main site (except in the What's New section). What gives?...

Mas-Technologies_M200_Yanmar_to_NMEA_2000_translator.jpg

People who do somehow stumble on that M200 page will find PDFs of product brochures and a pretty thorough manual, and that analog-to-NMEA 2000 box above, which comes with mounting plates, certainly looks serious. I'd imagine that a lot of Yanmar owners would be interested in this product, and when I was dreaming of buying a twin engine power cat I was hoping I could find a remote control pretty much like the one below for docking and anchoring. And I gather that Jeffrey Schwartz is happy with the M200 he's installed on his Beneteau OC 400 with display on a Lowrance HDS7. Hopefully, Jeffrey will his thoughts about why this system isn't used much and almost seems dead in terms of marketing.
   One negative that is fairly obvious is that the M200 is not NMEA 2000 certified. I guessed that from the literature's coyness about the Standard and confirmed it with NMEA certification database. While I can name lots of NMEA 2000 products that aren't certified but seem to work fine, let's save that conversation for next week. Today I'd like to know if anyone except Jeffrey has experience with the Mas-Technologies M200 system or knows why Mastry Engine Center is so quiet about it.

Mas-Technologies_M200_Yanmar_to_NMEA_2000_wired_remote.jpg

PS, 5/23: Here's a photo of Jeffrey Schwartz's HDS7 showing all sorts of Yanmar engine data translated into NMEA 2000 by his M200 system (see comment below).

Mas-Tech_M200_on_Lowrance_HDS7_courtesy_Jeffrey_Schwartz.jpg

Comments

Hi Ben, Maretron have been doing a Yanmar to N2K interface for a few years now. Being a Maretron product it is very well engineered, certified NMEA2000 Level A, And can be set up so the standard analog gauges can be left in place or removed completely.

Posted by: NickF at May 19, 2011 4:35 PM | Reply

Excellent point, Nick. And now that dumb me remembers the Maretron EMS100, I'd guess that that's what you'd find if you peeled the Mas-Tech EM100 labels off the boxes in that picture above!

http://www.maretron.com/products/ems100.php

So maybe what Mas-Technologies is selling is actually just a kit of display (by Teleflex, I think), bracket, etc built around Maretron's translation box, and NMEA certification is already in place. Still, why aren't they marketing it, and what's the deal with the wired remote, which also seems to use NMEA 2000?

Posted by: Ben at May 19, 2011 4:55 PM | Reply

Ben,
When I put the EMS100's on my boat, I looked at the MAS-Technology solution and spoke to some of their staff in Pennslyvaina. I ended up with the Maretron units and they look exactly like what the photos above look like. I thought the MAS-Tech solution had an option to start the engines via the electronics/screen.

Posted by: HenryD at May 19, 2011 9:35 PM | Reply

Other then the gee-wiz factor (which I am all in favor of) I can't see spending $1500. on something that duplicates what I already have in analog gauges.

Posted by: Bill at May 20, 2011 7:23 AM | Reply

I'd agree, Bill, except that no analog gauge system can do what's possible once the sensor data is digitized and distributed on a network. I, for one, want to know more about my main engine than I can get easily from the stock gauges. I want warnings before alarms, for instance.

Panbo has had a couple of recent entries on this subject. Here is Bob Ebaugh's experience using Chetco gear to improve his ability to understand what his twin Lehman's are up to while he transits the Bahamas: http://goo.gl/Di0sj

And included in the recent entry about WaveNet are links to a trawler blog explaining what it's doing for them while cruising the Inside Passage: http://goo.gl/99zLO

Posted by: Ben at May 20, 2011 8:18 AM | Reply

A little background before we discuss the Mas-Tech M-200 analog to NMEA 2000 “black box”. One of my company’s four units is a Marine Services division. Our boat a 1996 12 meter Beneteau was hit by lightning sitting in our slip at our yacht club in Coconut Grove and all electronics were “fried”. Our boat had fairly new and sophisticated electronics but not NMEA 2000. It had some Raymarine instruments, NorthStar chartplotter, Furuno Radar, Simrad Autopilot, Nera Sat Phone, Sony stereo, CruiseAir air-conditioning, Fischer Panda 6kw, Xantrex Freedom Marine 2500 inverter/charger with Link 2000 & Link 10, two Icom VHF radios, etc., just to mention some of the equipment that was all “toast”.

After sizing up the newest equipment at the last IBEX in Miami, I made final design and equipment decisions. Decided that the boat would have NMEA 2000 and not to replace the expensive, outdated and limited Yanmar JH engine control panel, albeit a solid workhorse of a panel. Instead I looked at both the Maretron EMS100 and the near identical Mas-Technologies M-200 analog to NMEA 2000 box. Both had similar abilities and both looked like they were manufactured by the same firm, but what I found was that the slightly less expensive M-200 offered additional capability for less cost, specifically two fuel inputs which I liked as I have two fuel tanks one for the main 4JH2 Yanmar and other for the gen/set. Also, their tech support team headed up by Ron List was very knowledgeable and simply great to deal with, well that clinched the deal for me for the M-200.

Now to interface the engine data into the NMEA system I first needed a new system. I chose Simrad across the board with some exceptions. The systems incorporated the then “new” NSE-8 MFD as the main chartplotter located at the helm in custom built teak dash/box that also holds the Simrad Ap-28 Autopilot control head. Below the NSE-8 and in place of the Yanmar engine control panel I installed the Lawrance HDS-7m more on this later…, five Simrad IS20 instruments Wind, Tack, with Graphic & Combi’s for speed, depth etc. Four of these reside in a custom built teak dash board at the companionway with one IS20 down below at the nav station with an AP-24 Autopilot control head. Simrad 18” radar dome on the radar arch and NAIS 300 for the AIS transceiver joins with the Simrad AC42 Autopilot Computer, RF300 Rudder Feedback and RC42 Rate Compass round out the base equipment. All this equipment is wired to each other into the N2k backbone cable via SimNet with joiners and converters. Also added the Navico BSM-1 Ethernet based depth/fish and Navico NEP-1 Ethernet expansion hub.

To generate the data I chose the Airmar PB-200 ultrasonic wind/weather transducer at the top of mast alongside the custom mounted Lopo anchor/tri-light and Digital antennas for VHF and cell phone repeater. For speed we went with the Airmar CD-4500 ultrasonic speed transducer (no paddle wheel) with temperature and for depth and “fish” two Airmar in-hull P-79’s one for standard depth and the second for the broadband depth/fish finder. Two Icom M-504’s round out this basic system. Each have NMEA 0183 wired to them for position data from the NSE… why two 504’s, well both have separate power and separate antennas, one antenna top of mast from the radio at the nav station with rear panel mic with a switched emergency Henry Radio power amp and the second radio located in the cockpit in a custom stainless accessory box with its own antenna mounted off the aft railing with a command mic II station at the helm. All 12v is powered by three 4-D Lifelines house bank.

The Mas-Tech M-200 plugged into the Yanmar wiring harness perfectly, I needed to add the extended Harness EIM to the helm, a new key switch and their ignition harness along with the unit itself. I have now done a few of these installs, the first one did not use the key start function but a rocker switch for start/stop with fuel solenoid for shut off on a client’s boat with all Garmin equipment. I chose the key start and old fashioned existing mechanical pull lever to shut off the fuel supply to shut down the engine for my own boat. My reasoning for this was that a key cannot be hit “accidently” like the rocker switch can.

Remember this is a 12 meter sloop S/V and there is not much space at the helm for equipment, hence the NSE-8 not the 12 and I had to choose the engine control panel replacement to fit into the same area as the original Yanmar panel. The Lawrance HDS-7m physically fit with some minor fiberglass trimming at the helm. More importantly it used the same marine chart chip as the main NSE-8, the Navionics Platinum Plus, it was totally compatible with all the other Simrad / Navico equipment, was N2k compatible, has choice of a number of “dashboard” screens, has built in GPS antenna and could function as total stand alone with separate power supply back up to the main MFD should the main MFD or GPS antenna go down, and the HDS-7 was very reasonably priced and I felt a good value at the time.

Now with two MFD’s I generally have the marine chart up on the NSE-8 and engine data displayed from the M-200 on the HDS-7. I have all the basic info set up on the engine display screen; engine RPM, oil pressure, water temp, voltage, fuel for two tanks, from the M-200, speed (SOG), speed thru water, water temp, air temp, you name it can be displayed from the N2k. Of course this is more info than the basic Yanmar control panel could offer and for less money.

With this HDS-7m and the M-200 I can have chart up on the NSE-8 (or vice versa) and have choice of other displays on the Lawrance such as engine data via the M-200 or the depth/fish finder, radar, weather/wind info, navigation data, etc.… no standard engine control panel can do this that I know of. The addition of the M-200 was a logical addition a complete NMEA 2000 system, although we still have analog gauges and WEMA senders for water, fuel.

Additionally the M-200 can be and should be ordered pre loaded with the amount of engine hours so you don’t have to start at zero and recalculate engine hour use. I do not know why Mas-Technologies does not market their equipment more aggressively, from my experience they do know what they are doing, they certainly know Yanmar engines, they do it at fair prices and they offer good support… all good reasons for why I chose their equipment in this last total re-fit. Additionally I have also received outstanding support from the Simrad rep trying to work out a bug in the equipment. I would not hesitate to replicate this system in a client’s boat and would only make minor changes if I had to redo this on my own boat.

Posted by: Jeffrey at May 20, 2011 11:34 AM | Reply

Ben it is pretty easy to put data on an N2K network. The Maretron EMS100 can be configured pretty easily. To display info a $150 Lowrance unit will displace a $300+ Yanmar analogue tacho. Life is good.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 21, 2011 7:49 PM | Reply

Or use the RS11 from Noland Engineering.
No standard connector but pretty straight forward and a lot cheeper

hendrik

Posted by: Anonymous at May 22, 2011 3:35 PM | Reply

Here's a good Panbo entry (by Adam Block) about the Noland RS11: http://goo.gl/J38vn

Also, I just added a photo above of Jeffrey's HDS7 showing his Yanmar engine info via the M200 system.

I wish it was easy to get NMEA 2000 engine data from my 10-year-old semi electronic Volvo Penta TAMD74C-A (EDC), but I haven't found it yet. Suggestions welcome!

Posted by: Ben at May 23, 2011 9:31 AM | Reply

The plot thickens! Now I think that the M200 is actually being manufactured and marketed by a company called MBW Technologies:

http://www.mbwtech.com/Home.php

I've also learned that there is probably no link between this device and the Maretron EMS100 except that use a similar off-the-shelf casing.

Posted by: Ben at May 31, 2011 12:38 PM | Reply

I've purchased the M200 from MAS Tech just recently; and have briefly been able to play with it after install. It's simply installs by plug and play, with all the initial settings pre-configured prior to delivery. As easy as it possibly can be!

I was able to pull up most of the information broadcasted on my N2K/Simnet network on my Simrad IS20 Graphics' and my NSE chart plotter.

An engine oil pressure and cooling water sender has also been tied into the system; all provided with great accuracy from MAS Tech.

Wheeling a sailboat it's definitely a great surplus to have all the engine data on the chartplotter; combined with the excellent alarm system in the NSE. I'm happy to let go of the original plans of installing several gauges in the cockpit - it's now all a more or less a "hidden" and an "embedded" installation. Future utilization of the engine data is easily available from the N2K network.

Tank level sensor inputs are also available, and I will utilize these soon. This device has so far proven to be a great product covering my "needs" for engine monitoring.

Posted by: Stian Haukås at June 20, 2011 3:40 PM | Reply

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