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Better Choice - NMEA Network or VesselView Mobile  

 

Wildcater
(@nhulsing)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
April 13, 2018 8:15 pm  

I recently bought a boat that has the Smartcraft SystemView, Fusion Stereo, and new Garmin chartplotter installed.   am debating whether to install a NMEA 2000 Network to connect all three, or just go simple with the Mercury VesselView Mobile for engine data on my phone.  I've not installed much on a boat but the NMEA network looks pretty straight-forward. 

Any one have a opinion they would like to share?


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Ben Stein
(@ben-stein)
Member Admin
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 46
April 13, 2018 8:21 pm  

NMEA 2000 is quite straightforward.  If the three devices are close to each other it's as simple as a NMEA-2000 starter kit and an extra tee connector or two.  You will have to supply 12v to the NMEA2000 backbone, insure both ends are properly terminated (terminators are included with starter kits) and you should be good to go.  Fusion link control on your Garmin chartplotter can be nice to have, plus you'll have the option of installing other devices on the network.  

Ben

Publisher, Panbo.com


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Steve Mitchell
(@stevemitchell)
Member Moderator
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 57
April 14, 2018 2:02 pm  

I agree with Ben. Having a NMEA 2000 network will allow you to add more devices over time, especially if one or more of the components you have now gets old or needs to be replaced. At that point you will have a lot more options as to what to replace it with, rather than sticking with a proprietary networking solution.

However, you do mention that you are looking at just using the VesselView app, which you could still do with NMEA 2000, but you could also have that engine data on other devices as well.  I don't know off the top of my head if SystemView shares its data with correct NMEA 2000 PGNs for Garmin, but that would be good to investigate.

Editor, SailBits.com


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Wildcater
(@nhulsing)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
April 14, 2018 4:56 pm  

Thank you for the reply, Steve.   Sounds like I should install the NMEA 2000 Network to help me now and in the future.  Glad I found this forum!


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Wildcater
(@nhulsing)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
April 14, 2018 4:58 pm  

Thank you for the reply, Ben.   From what I can tell, the Fusion stereo may actually be connected with a NMEA 2000 network as it has the wired remote installed and Fusion has said that NMEA is the only way to connect that device.  The SystemView and Garmin are both in the helm so all 3 should be very close together along with a 12v power source.  Sounds like the best thing is to get the Starter Kit and set up my NMEA network!  Thank you for the advice!


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Steve Mitchell
(@stevemitchell)
Member Moderator
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 57
April 15, 2018 12:07 am  
Posted by: Wildcater

Thank you for the reply, Ben.   From what I can tell, the Fusion stereo may actually be connected with a NMEA 2000 network as it has the wired remote installed and Fusion has said that NMEA is the only way to connect that device.  The SystemView and Garmin are both in the helm so all 3 should be very close together along with a 12v power source.  Sounds like the best thing is to get the Starter Kit and set up my NMEA network!  Thank you for the advice!

 

Depending on the model of Fusion radio and remote, they are correct. Fusion used a standard NMEA 2000 network cable between many remote heads and the main unit. Be careful if you decide to add both or one to a new NMEA network, as they also tend to use power from the main head unit to power the NMEA 2000 network, and adding a second power source will cause a short circuit. You can get a cable for most Fusion radios that eliminates that pin, and allows it to be part of the NMEA 2000 network. Or you can leave it cabled as is now, and only use the NMEA 2000 for the other devices, and expansion.

Editor, SailBits.com


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Wildcater
(@nhulsing)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
April 15, 2018 1:55 pm  

I see.  So the Fusion network is getting power from the Head Unit, and that power source cannot be used when other devices are connected to the same network.  So I would either have to rework it to remove the power from the head unit, or not connect the Fusion to a new NMEA network that I install for the Mercury and Garmin.  Is it just a matter of switching the Drop Cable from the Head Unit on the Fusion or is it more complicated than that to remove the power?  I would like to have the Fusion as part of my overall network so I can control the stereo on the larger Garmin chartplotter.


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Steve Mitchell
(@stevemitchell)
Member Moderator
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 57
April 15, 2018 3:39 pm  
Posted by: Wildcater

I see.  So the Fusion network is getting power from the Head Unit, and that power source cannot be used when other devices are connected to the same network.  So I would either have to rework it to remove the power from the head unit, or not connect the Fusion to a new NMEA network that I install for the Mercury and Garmin.  Is it just a matter of switching the Drop Cable from the Head Unit on the Fusion or is it more complicated than that to remove the power?  I would like to have the Fusion as part of my overall network so I can control the stereo on the larger Garmin chartplotter.

Depending on the model, you should be able to order a specific drop cable without the power and connect both the head unit and remote display to your new NMEA 2000 network.

Editor, SailBits.com


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Wildcater
(@nhulsing)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 5
April 15, 2018 3:44 pm  

Thank you for the great information, Steve!  


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Odo
 Odo
(@odo)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 6
April 25, 2018 11:59 am  

I’ve got a NMEA 2000 network on my boat with an Axiom Chartplotter and VHF/AIS on it as well as the engine (via VesselView NMEA 2000Gateway). It shows engine data on the Axiom. I recently installed the Vesselview Mobile module on my Mercruiser 6.2L. I’m a newbie to boating and it took me about 5 minutes to install it. Very easy. The one thing that the VesselView Mobile+App combo gives me over the Axiom/VesselView NMEA 2000 Gateway setup is the ability to read engine fault messages and codes. I wasn’t able to do this on the NMEA 2000 network and its already come in handy over the past 2-3 weeks.


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