Mixed Networking - NMEA 2000 / 0183 Furuno and Navionics


OK, so I have a minor problem to solve (and beer doesnt help it). Wondering if any of you have solved a similar one..


I have a very old Lowrance LCX-15MT under the dash with a GPS puck - it's sole job is to feed my Furuno 587 a GPS coordinate in order to mark spots, and I'm trying to do away with it (the LCX).. Reason being, I have my outboard being fed a GPS signal by a separate NMEA2000 networked GPS Puck, and I want to share that - and use my navionics app on my 10" tablet better.  


So, I have both NMEA 2000 and 0183 devices, and I want to combine them on the one network - which I can do with a gateway www.yachtd.com/products/nmea0183_gateway.html

I also want to add a NMEA 0183 wi-fi bridge to feed the tablet (and anything else), which I can also do www.yakbitz.com/Yakker.aspx



GPS puck feeds the network

Engines feed the network with all related data

The Furuno would be fed GPS by the gateway

The wifi bridge would also be fed by the gateway (you can have mutiple listening devices on one NMEA 0183 output). 


This will allow the same data to be transmitted accross my devices - and hopefully allow better navigation data in Navionics.. It will also allow me to create sonar charts live on my tablet.. 




I am trying to get away with only one NMEA gateway (the gizzmo that turns NMEA2000 into NMEA 0183 and vice versa, acting as a conduit). 


Without getting a second NMEA gateway - can I get the Furuno to talk depth to the Wifi Bridge and would the above theory work? 


I'm hoping the single gateway can transmit GPS to the Furuno - receive depth and GPS from the Furuno, then transmit all three to the wifi bridge for the Navionics app (along with whatever other data is on the network).

I could just have the wifi bridge coming straight off the furuno Rx wire, but I don't know what sentances the Furuno transmits - and it what format, and I don't want to limit just that Furuno data being sent to the tablet, as the Navionics app has AIS functionality, among others.. 


Footnote: the Yak unit is a (much) cheaper version of the Digitl Yacht Sonar Server. Here is a vid of sonarcharts live in action over wi-fi to the Navionics app. 













dmck's picture

Posts: 277

Date Joined: 07/03/19

An interesting project.....

Sat, 2021-07-24 11:41


You may be familiar with the computer networking term plug-and-play..?


Well, when you dabble in marine netwroks the term becomes... "plug-and-PRAY' ....


I have been through a similar task linking a 585 to garmin GPS via a MARKFISH.


Even with 50+ years experience it was a ....."learning experience"


So,,, here goes.... attempting to pass on some help.


The Furuno has 2 x NMEA0183 ports.  It can be programmed to repeat input from 1, to become output on the other (I cant remember which way) but its only 1 way ie 1>2  not 1>2 AND 2>1

So, you can put the GPS and Motor data (both NMEA2000) via the gatewat on to  port 1 (2?) and get GPS and depth and motor-info etc out on part 2 (1?)


Port 2 can then connect to the wifi gateway.

The first problem will be if the FURUNO does NOT pass the motor data,  You can download a manual (I did) and get the sentences it uses but it still MAY repeat others - check witha Furuno expert. 


The second issue is the actual wiring of the components.  The 585 has 'balanced' inputs and outputs, I note the wifi device has an 'unbalanced ' input.  This means that one wire from the Furuno output must be connected to earth/ground.  Which one? trial and error, probably either.............


The info page for the gateway implies it can be either 'balanced or unbalanced.  In the first instance try connecting both wires of the gateway to both wires of the Furuno, without earth/grounding either wire(s)


Third problem:  There may not be an app for your tablet to display mootor data.   I cant help on this issue.


THe Furuno has a useful facility in that you can bring up a screen that displays the NMEA0183 data strings coming in..... I cant remember if it shows output strings.

So proceed slowly and logically.

1 Connect up the GPS to the NMEA2000/0183 gateway (ensure all NMEA2000 terminations etc are correctly fitted)

2 connect gateway to Furuno.

3 POwer up and watch for smoke and/or sparks.  If none... proceed.

4 Find the FUruno port monitor screen and verify incoming data. 

5 Set the furuno to repeat/forward the data to the other port, moniter the other port if possible. to see if the data is being repeated.


At this stage it will be really helpful if you have acces to a PC/laptop with a serial port input OR a USB-serial-port adapter.  You can connect the serial adapter in place of the wifi gateway and check the data strings coming from the FURUNO.


If you can verify the data FROM the Furuno is OK... or your just going to chance it...

6  connect the Furuno to the wfi ... and test...

If all is OK

7 connect the motor to the NMEA2000 network



8 Find the Furuno port monitor screen again and see if the motor data is present.

9  If you have the PC with serial adapter, monitor if the motor data is being relayed through the Furuno.  If its not.. your stuffed

   You CANNOT have more than 1 NMEA0183 sender on a wire.  NMEA0183 is point to multipoint; 1 sender- many receivers


Hope this all makes sense and helps.



dmck's picture

Posts: 277

Date Joined: 07/03/19

Just done some more reading of the manual.

Sat, 2021-07-24 12:34


Manual implies:

Furuno will repeat any sentences from other equipment

Port monitor will not show output sentences.


You will have to program the Furuno for the required output sentences and the NME0183 'speed'  AND the WIFI thing for the same speeed.



PS... I'd love to do a 'house call' and assist... but I'm in Lockdown.... in Adelaide....

(its OK.. I've sanitized my keyboard... and been jabbed twice...)

Posts: 65

Date Joined: 19/05/13

 Champion!! Is Don. Is

Sat, 2021-07-24 19:45

 Champion!! Is Don. Is good. 


This is some good stuff.


I bought a laptop with RS232 specifically to tune the engine management on a race car I once had, alas the car and laptop are no longer... 


The fact the Furuno can repeat is about all I need to take the plunge and start (praying)..


It's like back in the day when we used to lan party with unreal tournament. 5 guys would rock up to your place with their desktop pc, and you would spend the entire night trying to get everyone to join the network. End result, 1hr of gaming and a 3am finish!! But at least you got to play... 


BTW, I asked Mark.Fish if I could transfer WPL over wifi. No dice.. 


I'll let u know how I go.. 




dmck's picture

Posts: 277

Date Joined: 07/03/19

The only thing.....

Sun, 2021-07-25 08:58

 I can add...

is -

If you have a USB port on your tablet you can probably use a USB-RS232 converter.  I use one successfully with my laptops.


No doubt there will be a 'terminal ' app you can download.


Look forward to your reports.

Posts: 65

Date Joined: 19/05/13

 I've found a better

Tue, 2021-07-27 17:49

 I've found a better solution..




All in one unit. 


AND balanced outputs. Even if the Furuno had unbalanced, there is a protocol bridge available.. Here, for those playing aong at home www.quark-elec.com/product/qk-as03-nmea-protocol-bridge/






dmck's picture

Posts: 277

Date Joined: 07/03/19

Good find!!

Wed, 2021-07-28 14:01


that should save a lot of headaches.