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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know of a way to connect a Garmin handheld (specifically GPSmap 78sc) into a NMEA network? The unit has a 4-pin serial plug on the back, does any sort of converter exist to run from the GPS unit itself into a NMEA (either 0183 or preferably 2k) network?

I've found a cable to convert 0183 data to 2k compatible data, if that would help.

Anyone ever successfully done this? My reasoning is, I'm getting a new Suzuki DF30 soon, with the SMG4 gauge, and if it was doable with the equipment I currently have (plus investing in a NMEA backbone) I'd like to have the MPG and trip data on the new motor, but not sure I want it enough to buy a new chartplotter or GPS antenna setup.
 

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Garmin makes a power/data cable for that handheld. Then you can NMEA 0183 to the input on another device to use its gps data like waypoints, routes and track lines. Don’t think it offers you anymore than that.
 

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The MPG really becomes irrelevant after you get an average, and you can do that with an old fashioned pencil and paper.

Fill up your tank, go on a trip, fill it up again and divide the miles ran by the gallons used. Do it 2 or 3 times and you have your MPG.

Not sure what trip data you are looking for. Your hand held will tell you miles, the the motor records hours I think.

I decided to skip the nmea2k network all together after talking to several guys. It's a cool toy, but on a smaller boat with small outboards the uses are limited even when plumbed to a good MFD.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ya, I know it’s not something I need, of course...! Haha, just wondering if I could do it easily/without too much expense. The Garmin serial wire is like 30 dollars, which I’d be willing to spend for the novelty of having it, but that only gets me to NMEA 0183. I think I’d need a converter to NMEA2k (150ish dollars) plus a backbone kit (another 100ish) which likely makes the expense outweigh the cool factor.
 
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