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NMEA 2000 & 0183 Interop Testing

Posted on Fri 01 October 2010 in Maretron, NMEA 2000, Systems - Electronics

The timing of this post is triggered by the fact that all the NMEA big wigs are here in Seattle so I thought I’d take a second and tell you my experience thus far.

Ben over at Panbo has been plugging together a stack of NMEA 2000 gear. I’m playing in more mixed environment. Most of my gear is new Maretron equipment, but I’m also connecting in the following gear that is not NMEA 2000:

  • Standard Horizon DS50 NMEA 0183 Depth Sounder
  • Icom M504 NMEA 0183 Listener only for GPS and Time
  • SCS PTC-IIUSB NMEA 0183 for GPS Data and Weather including navigation data (speed, heading, etc)
  • Various Laptop Software Packages using two different NMEA Gateways
    • Maretron USB100 (0183)
      • NavMonPC (0183)Actisense NGT-1 (2000)
      • Coastal Explorer (2000) (I think)

Here are my experiences thus far:


I’ve tried connecting the DS50 via a Simrad AT10 (0183 to 2000) gateway and via an Actisense NGW-1. The depth messages are on the network but there is no offset being passed with the data. The Maretron DSM250 will not display the depth and neither will Coastal Explorer. NavMonPC did not either until a new build was released which stills shows depth (DPT) when the offset is missing.

  • I’ve asked Maretron for a similar fix to the DSM250 that I have for NavMonPC.
  • I still need to contact Coastal Explorer.
  • I also plan to hook my DS50 directly to the laptop via serial cable and verify if the DS50 is transmitting the offset and the gateways are stripping it or if it’s not outputting it at all.

Airmail and the SCS PTC-IIUSB

I can see the position data, but no heading, speed or weather information is coming through.

Next Steps: Can’t think of any right now, but this isn’t a priority at this time.


The location is displayed on my M504 display, but the timedate is wrong. Even when I configure the offset for pacific time.

  • Icom Support asked me to turn off RMC messages.
  • I’m working right now (at 00:27!!) with a guy from Actisense on that not sure it’s changing anything or that the config tool is changing what we think it should be.

I have more to say on this, mostly that the SW that is out there is still pretty weak, but I’m tired so I’ll whine about that later. Winking