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  #1  
Old 12-27-2009
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I need help networking my electronics.

OK, first of all I know this type of question has been asked and answered many times and many ways, but I am still unclear what will work best for me. So, here we go.

I have the following electronics onboard and want to know the best way to get them talking.

I have a
Standard Horizon DSC VHF. It is the old Model Quest. I have a ram mic setup on that.

Standard Horizon 180i chart plotter

JRC 1500 mk II radar

I have a Raymarine ST40 depth and speed unit, but that will be for sale shortly as I will be installing a through hull bronze tridata transducer linked to the SH CP180i

I am considering adding a Tack Tick wind instrument cluster as well.

I will not be adding auto pilot in the future as I have a wind vane.

I am considering adding AIS in the future.

I do want the ability to link my laptop (MAC) to swap data with the CP

I will also want to have the ability to link to a hand held GPS for backup purposes. My Etrex died, any favorites out there I should consider?

So i put it to you guys, what should I do and how should I do it.

Thanks everyone and happy holidays.

Rob.

Last edited by SVPrairieRose; 12-27-2009 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 01-10-2010
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The common language is NMEA where there is a library of words that the various instruments will be able to send and other to understand.
example:
$GPGLL,4916.45,N,12311.12,W,225444,A,*1D
Where: GLL Geographic position, Latitude and Longitude 4916.46,N Latitude 49 deg. 16.45 min. North 12311.12,W Longitude 123 deg. 11.12 min. West 225444 Fix taken at 22:54:44 UTC A Data Active or V (void) *iD checksum data

I was able to hookup a Garman 45XL through the power coard to a Raymaring 630 color chart plotter by the NMEA connections for GPS position . I later added a Raystar 120 GPS antenna for GPS position through the seatalk connecton. I can take the 45 with me when I go on charters.

The latest NMEa standard it 2000:
NMEA
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Old 01-10-2010
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Rob-
You need to find out piece by piece if the pieces can all speak a common language. NMEA 180 or 183 would probably be the most common ones, but they are obsoleted by NMEA2000 which sadly is a family of standards, not just one. In each case you have to make sure each gadget will speak the same version of the same standard, or can work with the others.
Then all you need is to adapt that standard into your computer. NMEA 18x used to wire right up to pc RS-232 and mac RS-434(?) serial ports but I'm not sure if the new spec does, you may need a "black box" at some point.

If everything speaks the same language, the rest is just simple wiring. (Yeah, sure, on a boat? {G} )
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