Q&A

CAN I CON­NECT MY OLDER ELEC­TRON­ICS TO NEW EQUIP­MENT?

Boating - - ELECTRONICS -

Many new elec­tron­ics

(most of which use NMEA 2000 con­nec­tions) can be net­worked with older mod­els (that use NMEA 0183 pro­to­col) us­ing spe­cial data con­vert­ers or “gate­ways.”

NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 are data lan­guages that let your elec­tron­ics share in­for­ma­tion. For ex­am­ple, the GPS can send steer­ing com­mands to your au­topi­lot. Data con­vert­ers are lan­guage trans­la­tors that al­low older 0183 elec­tron­ics and newer 2000 equip­ment talk to and un­der­stand each other. These stan­dards also al­low elec­tron­ics of dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers to work to­gether and share in­for­ma­tion.

For in­stance, the Ac­tisense NGW-1

(shown above, $189.95, theg­ps­store.com) and the AMEC NK-80 ($179.95, mill­tech­ma­rine.com) both can send and re­ceive data from either type of NMEA net­work. Ver­sions are also avail­able to pass spe­cial AIS data mes­sages or be able to con­nect to your com­puter’s USB port.

— Ken En­glert

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