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John Bee

Volvo EVC/mc Engine Data on Garmin MFD

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I learned here on Panbo that Garmin offers a new version of 7400/7600 series MFDs which now feature a J1939 connector. This sounded very interesting to me as my engine has no N2k interface.

So I ordered a 7407xsv with J1939 port and want to connect it to my engine.

My Volvo Penta D3-160 A-A from early 2005 features EVC/mc instrumentation.

There are different connectors on the EVC-HIU with lots of wires labeled J1939. There are also wires labeled J1708 which seems to be another engine data protocol.

Here is the engine´s wiring diagram:!pV023ZrK!GSSJ6ee9_CC6m1Rwu0P-bwnEWSgOubIzsV082QRxJzs

Can anybody give me some advice, how to connect the Garmin J1939 wires to the Volvo EVC/mc system?

14 Replies

  • John, Have you talked to Volvo Penta, Garmin or a good technician about this?

    I would certainly try, but that said I think the key is finding the right accessory part to plug into "C5" in the diagram, or maybe it will require splicing. I think that J1939 CAN_LO and CAN_HI are the two data wires that you are trying to get to the right pins on the Garmin J1939 port but there be more to it.

  • Hmmm...the diagnostic port (C12) that seems to hang off C5 also seems a possibility. Its data pins are described as J1708 but that seems to be a precursor to J1939.

  • Hmmm...the diagnostic port (C12) that seems to hang off C5 also seems a possibility. Its data pins are described as J1708 but that seems to be a precursor to J1939.

  • Thanks for your replies.

    Yes, I have talked to Volvo and Garmin. Garmin says, I have to ask Volvo. Volvo says, EVC/mc cannot be connected to MFDs. But I don´t trust them.

    I will try to splice to C5 first. Just CAN_HI and CAN_LO or also GROUND and/or POWER ?

  • So I made a Y-cable for connector C5 and connected
    Garmin blue wire (can_lo) to pin 3
    Garmin white wire (can_hi) to pin 10
    and Garmin black wire (gnd) to pin 7

    I did not connect Garmin red wire (power) to anything because Garmin and Volvo are running on different batteries. I was afraid to join batteries if I also connect red wire.

    Unfortunately I had no success. Garmin J1939 device list is empty.

  • I further investigated the J1708 standard. This seems to be RS-485, not can bus. So this seems to be no option.

    My next try was to splice to the multisensor on C4 (also labeled J1939). But this also did not show up in the J1939 device list on the Garmin.

    Did anyone already succeed connecting anything to the Garmin J1939 input port?

  • Sorry for your frustration, John, but J1939 to NMEA 2000 bridging has been going on for a long time, and that's what's going on inside your Garmin. You might, for instance, find some hints in the Maretron J2K100 manual.

    I think that quite a few modern diesels have J1939 ports that are there for data interfacing with 3rd party gauges. Apparently your Volvo Penta doesn't. I don't know, but my guess is that you've come close and that a technician with CANbus skills could figure out how to do it.

    FYI, I have a 1999 Volvo Penta with electronic shift and throttle and a diagnostic port. A Maretron tech once walked me through a test for J1939 that involved jumping a couple of the diagnostic port pins to a serial port on my laptop which was running HyperTerminal. We did not find J1939 (and I did not really understand the test), but the point is that there are ways a knowledgeable tech can find it.

  • This Maretron application note looks valuable:

    For instance: "The network wiring actually requires three wires: two CAN bus signals (usually designated CAN-H and CAN-L, usually yellow and green respectively), and a ground used as a reference (usually designated as CAN-SHLD). Refer to SAE J1939-11 and J1939-15 for recommended practices in connecting CAN-H, CAN-L, and CAN-SHLD."

  • John, Garmin sent this along for your benefit:

    "The Garmin J1939 port requires a power insert so they can either build a separate J1939 bus with the Garmin plotter drop, power drop (same battery as the engine as there is a ground reference needed), engine drop and terminators or they can wire the J1939 from the engine using power, ground, CAN H, CAN L and shield if the engine ECU supplies power."

    I think what this means is that the microprocessor inside the Garmin J1939 port needs 12v power (just like most N2K ports do). So maybe you can get that from the engine ECU or you can build a tiny CANbus network that would just have a power feed/drop, a drop to engine data wires, a drop to the Garmin and two terminators.

  • Hi Ben!
    Thank you for helping to investigate the problem.

    I measure no voltage between POWER and GROUND on the Garmin side. So you are absolutely right. POWER is not an output but an input here.

    Meanwhile I spliced all 4 Garmin wires to the Volvo C5 connector:
    POWER to C5-6
    GROUND to C5-7
    CAN_HI to C5-10
    CAN_LO to C5-3

    I did not connect Garmin SHIELD as the Volvo wires are unshielded.

    Unfortunately I still receive no data.

  • After all I got in contact with Aleksandr from Yacht Devices.

    With their engine gateway it was possible for me to record CAN bus data to SD card. It became clear that my Volvo uses proprietary Volcano protocol, not J1939. He implemented this protocol in the gateway.

    Now I have engine data on the Garmin via NMEA 2000. I also have depth, speed and water temp from the Volvo transducer (second gateway needed for this).

    Here is the result of the project:

    Those gateways are inexpensive and easy to install. I really recommend them.

  • Yacht Devices now has a gateway for older Volvo Penta engines (like mine ;-):