N2K instruments, install details

Panbo_N2K_instrument_array_build1

My obsession with NMEA 2000 instruments continues. To better test and photograph them in real light conditions, I installed the array in a single, more serious panel. The weapon of choice was that 3 5/8″ hole saw above, which is a little bigger than needed but gave me wiggle room for final alignment. It would have worked for surface mounting the Maretron DSM 250 too, but I decided to flush mount it so it didn’t overwhelm the others. The ST70 can also be flush mounted, while the others are all surface only (correction: Furuno will offer a flush mount kit). Note that I did the layout on a template (which, in my case, also became a backing piece), which I then used to make neater and surer cutouts in the white finish panel. A good idea if you are actually cutting holes in your helm or cockpit!


In the image below, I’m applying a foam gasket to a Furuno FI-50 prior to screwing it down. It’s the only model that gives you a choice of surface fasteners or studs with nuts tightened from behind. Simrad and Garmin are surface fastened only, Raymarine and Maretron stud and nut only. The latter makes for a somewhat cleaner install—i.e. no bezel or screw covers to get damaged or lost someday—but also means you have to have good access to the back of the panel. The bottom line, though, is that they are all easy to install, and interchangable, especially given that they’re all getting data and power from the same cable (Garmin power excepted). At any rate, the finished install looks pretty good, I think, and is ready for an outdoor workout once I get back to HQ.

Panbo_N2K_inst_array_build2_lr

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher since 4/12/2005, and now excited to have Ben Stein as a very able colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2018 and beyond.

3 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    Whats more exciting to a Panbophile that the back of an instrument panel? Why its a NAKED back of an instrument panel! By the way Ben, can you show us a picture of a hole saw for rectangular cutouts?

  2. artist/scientist says:

    Could you make a short comment on mix and matching display bezel colors! Are any of the greys the same? Maretron has several colors.
    Have two different people with the idea to put one Maretron display flanked by in once case ST70’s and in the other SIMRAD. Don’t have all in hand to compare.
    From your images it looks like the Maretron/Simrad grey might match – but a slight miss could make it better to do Maretron black and Simrad grey? I know its taste.
    The ST70 seems very different from the Maretron black and grey.
    Why you may ask the Maretron – well 1 – it can facilitate setup and 2- the wind pseudo-analog display is sharp and changeable from 360 to 120 range(close haul) as well as it can cycle displays.

  3. Wildfish says:

    Ben, the Furuno FI-50 offers an optional flush mount kit but you will need one of those square hole saws! Very easy and very neat, the finish and style of the flush mount matches the NavNet 3D MFD perfectly.

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