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post #1 of 8 Old 10-05-2009 Thread Starter
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NMEA2000 GPS Receiver question

I have a Lowrance LMS 330C chartplotter/fishfinder combo with a dead GPS receiver. I've read a lot about persistent problems with Lowrance's receivers and wonder if anyone knows if I can use a receiver from a different maker? It is on an NMEA 2000 network cable with (I think) Lowrance connectors. Other than needing an adapter to connect it, can I use a Humminbird? I think that the LMS 330C is also sold by Humminbird with a different model name and maybe without the proprietary connectors.

There's also a Maretron GPS 100 receiver that is NMEA compliant. Anyone know if that would work?

I really like the LMS 330C and have invested in Nautic Path chart software for it so I want to keep it.

Thanks,
Mike

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post #2 of 8 Old 10-05-2009
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I have had a Lowrance 3500C NEMA 2000 for 4 years without issue

With Lowrance your dealing with old blue connectors and new red connectors (which are suppose to be MORE 2000 which is the issue .

Various builders all make NEMA 2000 stuff BUT there is no real guarantee that Brand A sensors will work with a Brand B network


it is all a bit tricky as if you only use one item like the GPS puck you set it up with a single 60 ohm terminator ,when i added fuel flow and stuff i had to to move cables around and put TWO 120 ohm connectors , one at each end of the network

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-06-2009
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MtHopebay;

Yes, in theory any NMEA 2000 puck would work. Garmin also makes one, and there is an upgraded puck from Lowrance as well. According to Ben Ellison on panbo.com, these new receivers are better than even the one-year ago models be a considerable margin. better at acquiring and keeping satellites.

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-06-2009
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Airmar PB200

Hello,

Since the NMEA 2000 is a standard, you should be able to use any GPS receiver that outputs NMEA 2000. You may need a special cable since the Lowrance stuff MAY NOT be compatible (red or blue connectors?).

Anway, since you need a GPS received, you may want to look into this:
AIRMAR Electronic Catalog

If the link doesn't work it's the Airmar PB200, which is a GPS receiver AND an ultrasonic weather instrument. it also has a compass. This makes it possible for the unit to calculate true and apparant wind speed and direction.

It's probably expensive, but it provides a lot more info than just location.

I'm thinking of getting one, so I would love for you to be the ginuea pig!

Barry

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post #5 of 8 Old 10-06-2009
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Well

Lowrance was really out of the gate ahead of everybody else and made blue connectors which did NOT fit other peoples 2000 stuff hence the NEW red connectors which are supposed to meet the standard


Among the many early problems are things like the wire size being to small on fuel flow unit to pass CG rules about MIN wire size in the engine area for fire safety

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-06-2009
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Mike,
GPS info to plotter doesn't need any fast update nor special NMEA sentences, so NMEA2K protocol is just a fast mean to carry lazy information (unlike GYROs or other transducer where info must travel very fast to be useful on quick actions). I suggest you take a simple GPS unity (like Ray125 or any other using "older" NMEA 0183) and conect it using your NMEA 0183 port at 4800 baud. It will simplify intallation (very simple data cable) and save a lot on GPS side ....

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post #7 of 8 Old 10-07-2009
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As there have been 3 firmware updates to MY GPS puck which had to be done through the GPS head unit i would be wary of mix and match working

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post #8 of 8 Old 10-08-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I'll have to do some more research on the GPS receivers and NMEA nets. I can't find the Humminbird model number that most closely corresponds to my Lowrance unit, but I think Humminbird is made by Lowrance or vice versa. Humminbird has a GPS NMEA 2000 receiver that is much less expensive than the Lowrance model and I may give it a chance.

I have time for all this though since the boat comes out of the water by the end of this month.

Thanks again.
Mike

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