How to add depth to Garmin plotter? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-08-2009
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How to add depth to Garmin plotter?

Probably a dumb question but after talking on the phone to two dealers and getting different info. I thought I would consult the experts here. I have a Garmin 3210 chartplotter and I want to be able to display depth on it. I know it will require a transducer, but do I need the black box that gives it full depth sounder capabilities ($450). All I want is a number in the box, don't need all the video, etc. One place said I did, the other didn't really know but didn't think so. I have another depthsounder, a Nexus, that works great when the water is 200' deep, but as soon as I enter a shallow area it takes a coffee break and shows no reading, so I want a redundant system. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-09-2009
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I just purchased the entire 3210 package on a close out sale. The screen, depth unit, network switch, XM radio module, all antennas and wiring for just a little more than the complete install price of the 353s with all functionality short of AIS. That will be next. I had been planning to install the Garmin 353s but opted for the larger screen. I think the network that supports the 3210 does require the depth sounder component. It was built into the 353s but the display for the 3210 does not include that "intelligence". Garmin has discontinued the "Network Switch" design of the 3210 for linking components in favor of the "old" coax "ring" type of network which makes good sense given the environment of a boat. That should put the module you require into a favorable price bracket. Do some searching. It also means that the cat 5 cable you now have running from your network switch to the screen will carry the necessary data to the "smart" screen without any additional wiring from the switch to the display. There is no transducer input on the 3210 screen module. I did install a "Garmin", "shoot thru" transducer while the boat was on the hard in anticipation of the 353s and it turns out it will work properly with the 3210. The transducer connects to the depth module and that in turn to the "smart switch". I have yet to hook everything up. I am still relying on charts and my OLD Datamarine depth warning sounder that seems to operate intermittently now.



George
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Old 06-09-2009
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Just wondering which Nexus transducer you have, the older one with an amp box or the newer one without? I have an older one, and every once in a while it just decides to display zero feet depth for a bit...
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Old 06-09-2009
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Downeast- thanks for the info. I don't have a network, just the chartplotter so I don't have the network switch. I assume I will need to buy the depth module and the ducer. I was hoping it would be simpler, and cheaper to add depth.

jarcher- mine was installed in 2001 and I have a depth module between the ducer and server. Comnav says to replace it with the newer one, but I hate just throwing money at a problem when they don't know what is wrong. Either way it sounds like it's going to cost some dough to get a reliable depth instrument, and as important as it is cost isn't the most important issue for me.
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Old 06-09-2009
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1) Tie marked string to plotter.
2) Fix bitter end to secure point on deck.
3) Consign plotter to briny deep.
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