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Capt RD

Lowrance Link-8 VHF AIS and NMEA 2000

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After living with my new Lowrance Link-8 and my Garmin GPSmap 740s for a few weeks now, I've noticed some odd behavior on the Link-8 radio. After configuring the radio, entering my MMSI, and setting other settings as desired, the radio kept prompting me to enter my lat/lon. I thought this was odd since I have the Link-8 connected to my NMEA2K network, but I complied with its demands and entered my location manually. I had AIS targets showing on the radio screen and the 740s chartplotter as expected. From the 740s I could see all the data on the AIS vessels and within about 3 minutes, the screen is full of ships. On the Link-8 screen you get a much smaller view of the area, but the information is there with a few button presses. I made a DSC test call and that worked as expected also. I powered down the entire system and powered it up again to make sure all was well. At power up, the Link-8 failed to show any location data. After a few minutes the alarm on the radio started sounding urgently requiring me to enter my location! Again, I thought this was odd since I configured the Link-8 to get its location from the N2K network. After several more attempts to get the Link-8 to get the location from N2K, I finally emailed (Lowrance) Navico Technical Support. In a few days I got the answer I did not want to hear: "We do realize that the owners manual states that NMEA 2000 can be used, however we have come across a glitch regarding the GPS signal when sitting still. Until a resolution has been released we recommend using NMEA 0183". Well, there you have it. The Link-8 interfaces AIS with NMEA 2000 just fine but it doesn't get its GPS information via N2K. You have to have your location for the AIS (and DSC) to work. You can enter it manually or connect a GPS via the NMEA 0183. Tech support says they're working on it... Aside from needing TWO network connections (0183 and N2K), I like the radio. The N2K problem needs to be fixed ASAP.

5 Replies

  • Thanks Capt RD. These problems have discussed on the Panbo thread about the (similar) Link-8 and Simrad RS-35 radios and at least the RS-35 software update is out:

  • I got the same problem on my 2013 model Link 8, no GPS signal, when will an release software come??

  • I have been bench testing a Lowrance LINK-8 radio. I use a NMEA-2000 connection to the GNSS receiver (in a Lowrance HDS-8). There are no alarms or problems associated with the radio obtaining position data via NMEA-2000. The software version of the radio is given for a very brief instant on the screen when power is first applied. The radio Is using Software Version 1.112 US.

  • Anyone who know if this is still a problem.
    I consider a link-8 and a Garmin 721xs, connected with n2k.

  • If by "this" you mean that the LINK-8 radio fails to obtain a position from a connected GNSS receiver via NMEA-2000, then please see my reply three years ago when I indicated there was no problem for a LINK-8 to get position data via NMEA-2000 and gave the software version in use.