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Analog instruments on NMEA network

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I was curious if there were any devices out there that would allow you to plug in multiple analog transducers (i.e. speed, depth, wind etc) and generate NMEA data suitable for connecting an NMEA compatible network. I'm currently looking at NMEA 0183 but if there's an NMEA 2000 solution that will work as well. The purpose here is I'm tying to make all my boat data available to onboard devices (PC, phones, tablets, etc.). I could go and buy all NMEA transducers but then that would render my cockpit displays useless (which means more money to buy compatible displays). About the only things I've been able to find so far are either meant for engine sensors or require proprietary hardware and protocols (I.E. SeaTalk etc.)


4 Replies

  • Actisense has a DST module that might help you with the depth, speed, and temp sensor, but I can't think of any converter that works with direct analog wind sensor output.

  • Raymarine ITC-5 will do it, but only with Raymarine sensors

  • Not sure how much you are "into" homebuilt electronics but I am currently engaged in making a device to do much what you want, i.e. read the analog inputs from my masthead transducer and out put them (in my case) as an NMEA0183 sentence, which supplies other N183 instruments and is then passed via an Actisense converter to make it NMEA2000 which will be readable by my raymarine STNG network used by the a/pilot.
    All this is done using an Arduino micro controller, and a few cheap electronic components. Build cost should be under $10 in total.
    BUT - I'm still working on it and have yet to test it fully; I'm very much dependent on a friend who is a real brainbox when itv ones to programming the Arduino, but on the face of it it can be done.
    I am also trying to find out if its possible to write an NMEA2000 sentence directly instead of NMEA0183 but it seems the N2K protocol is a bit of a proprietary secret so I'm stuck on that!

  • Hi Graeme,

    Did you manage to get the converter to work, I am looking into building a similar converter.

    can you help?