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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
FYI.... this is not an ad and I am not associated with this company. This is a quick review and how to for NMEA.

I recently bought a NMEA kit from Golden Channels (Marine Wire Cables Mounts - Golden Channels Home) and had a great experience. Eric was extremely helpful.

Why I chose them is that they make shorter engine cables and also can do custom lengths. The stock Tohatsu cable is 20 feet, which is way too much cable for my Whipray. I did not want excess cables coiled up in my stern storage.

Eric made me an 8 foot cable, and also a shorter battery drop cable, then a 6 footer to run to my Simrad. He also guided me on how to make the right connections.

I've included some pics of the kit below. Worked flawlessly.

The biggest challenge was getting the engine drop cable ran through to the engine with all the other cables. Luckily, there was one last spot in the grommet, but it was a tough squeeze.

A few points:

I did a dry run to make sure it all worked before running everything in its permanent spot. This included wiring directly to the battery instead of my power hub.

The engine has to be running for data to be sent.

My Simrad allows me to configure what info I want on the side overlay - this allows me to watch my navigation and also my engine data at the same time. Extremely important when jacked all the way up - I can see my engine temperature. Amazing how 1" can raise the temp 20 to 30 degrees.

Here is the kit:

White Font Electrical wiring Automotive tire Gas



An important point, probably the most important, is that NMEA works on a backbone / bus system. The beginning and the end must be terminated. Off the backbone you run drop cables to your devices, and from your engine, but the system must be powered. I read not to use the same battery as the engine battery on some other site, but that is a misconception, but the power should be fused. I ran to my power block and used a 5A fuse as recommended by Eric.

The engine drop is on the left, the battery drop in the middle, and the drop my Simrad on the right. I have another pic lower down that shows these parts in detail. The series of these connections make the "backbone."

Next is the male engine plug located in the electrical box near the front of the engine. It is tight, but I was able to connect and tuck it back in.

Tire Hand Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood


And the female end of the engine drop cable - this plugged into the above, then was ran through the grommet with the harness, throttle cables, etc.

Tire Watch Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood



Next is where my Simrad is located. This console was from the Skiff Shop, and I modified it to make it sturdier by bonding star board under the fiberglass. I did not punch any holes in the console shelf, the cables are ran to the side and tucked away. I did have to add a switch for GPS, which was quite fun considering how thick the original side console is. Luckily my dremmel made it easy for me.


Water Automotive tire Lake Gas Recreation


Now a little more detail - below is a kit from Tohatsu.
Automotive lighting Font Bicycle handlebar Bicycle part Circle

1 - the engine drop
2 - the battery drop (again, must be powered)
3 and 4 - terminator (each end must be terminated to close the data feed)
5 - NMEA "T" connections - this allows the backbone to the extended, allows for a drop to be connection, and then termination.
6 - this is a Tohatsu guage that has NMEA, but this could be any device - a GPS, fuel level sensor, etc.

Note, this backbone can be as long as you want it with numerous devices - this example is the smallest and easiest example. A longer backbone cable could be ran off #5, but it would require a T connection and terminator as shown.

Another important point - the power, engine drop and devices can be any order.

Hope this helps. And here is a link directly to Golden Channel's NMEA page: NMEA Components & Starter Kits Archives - Golden Channels
 

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Thanks for posting this! I’ve been wanting to install NMEA on my 50hp Tohatsu and Simrad….but was a little intimidated about doing it myself. This simplifies things. If I may ask…what was the cost of the “kit?”

Edit: just found it on the website…is $150 about right?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for posting this! I’ve been wanting to install NMEA on my 50hp Tohatsu and Simrad….but was a little intimidated about doing it myself. This simplifies things. If I may ask…what was the cost of the “kit?”

Edit: just found it on the website…is $150 about right?
That's it! Comes with all the parts you need to make the install easy. Reach out to Eric if you have questions, cool guy and was very helpful.
 

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Thanks for posting. When I was setting up my Simrad two years ago, I had some fun finding information on how to do it. Everything I read made it seem complicated, but in fact it's rather simple. I have a 2020 mfs60 that I put on the network like yours, along with my fuel sending unit, which was pre installed by the tank manufacturer. I just needed to purchase a Lowrance fuel level sensor that was wired to the ending unit, then powered, and then added to the backbone with the NMEA connector.
 

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I have been looking at his type of network for a while but have not settled on a components provider for my Suzuki/Lowrance combo. It always seemed more complicated than described but its good to hear it was a simple setup.

I noticed that Golden Channels does not provide a Zuke option but there are interface cables out there so I may have to build my own network.

Great review and outline.
 

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I ended up piecing mine together. @coconutgroves gave a lot of good info on a nice package which I am sure is less than what I paid. I have a Humminbird and needed their converter "black box" as well. This is a helpful thread for Tohatsu owners too:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have been looking at his type of network for a while but have not settled on a components provider for my Suzuki/Lowrance combo. It always seemed more complicated than described but its good to hear it was a simple setup.

I noticed that Golden Channels does not provide a Zuke option but there are interface cables out there so I may have to build my own network.

Great review and outline.
Reach out to them, they may be able to source the cable.
 

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I have been looking at his type of network for a while but have not settled on a components provider for my Suzuki/Lowrance combo. It always seemed more complicated than described but its good to hear it was a simple setup.

I noticed that Golden Channels does not provide a Zuke option but there are interface cables out there so I may have to build my own network.

Great review and outline.
Precision Marine in Largo, FL has all the kits for Zuke. I got everything to install on my new skiff but builder agreed to install later. But I had it all mapped out and it’s really pretty straightforward.
 

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Talked to Eric and the Suzuki harness is going live on the site. As the Zuke cable interface is unique, they have to source it from Suzuki.

This dude is awesome, he turned this around in less than 24 hours!!
 

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Thanks, it's all good info. I bought a used skiff and had to figure out and reconfigure a 10 year old NMEA network with an Evinrude Etec. I took out the old blown Evinrude I Command gauges and replaced and T-eed into the backbone with the new Evinrude 4" Icon multi function tach gauge and that daisy chained to a 2" Icon water temp gauge - to fill those two holes (4" and 2") in the dash. The power cable should come into the backbone near the middle "T" spot. Lowrance HDS Live is another tee. There is a piece of small diameter rubber tubing running from the engine (where it is a zip tied closed end) forward to under the console to a small black plastic "EP-90R" - I believe water pressure sensor - and that should tee into the network too, but it is decomissioned - the rubber tube should be attached to a fitting on the engine block, I just haven't figured that out, yet, but been told water pressure reading is just as important as water temp. Had a fit trying to get the ETEC engine info to work, finally found out the connector end of that particular backbone NMEA tee was corroded or bad - old stuff. There is a guy - "continuous wave.com" - goes into detail on NMEA, particularly ETEC , if you're interested. Just my experience with it all.
 

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If whatever gauges you have are currently working, hooking a Simrad unit to a NMEA backbone should not change the function of those gauges. It will allow the Simrad unit to show/share info with other electronic devices which are also connected to the NMEA network. For instance, if the engine is connected to NMEA the Simrad unit most likely has a ‘gauge’ function to show rpm, engine water temp, etc - some folks use that instead of traditional dashboard gauges, especially if the old gauges are blown and need to be replaced.
 

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Will your regular gauges still work? If I hook up my SIMRAD?
Yes, the original gauges still work. In my case, I actually used the NMEA connection that went to the gauge to convert the Yamaha plug into a standard NMEA through the use of a new hub. I then plugged the gauge back into the hub and used a Yamaha Gateway to get the standard NMEA connection. Here is my first draft of what I ended up doing to make it work:

Guitar accessory Font Parallel Musical instrument Handwriting


That was an early diagram. Ultimately, I went with the Yamaha Gateway in lieu of the the Command Link to NMEA cable from BOE. Using the cable would have been the most economical, but going with the Gateway gets you a Yamaha page on your Simrad and looks factory Yamaha (although I never use it and it's pretty much a waste). For anything Yamaha not listed above, here are the part numbers:

Item #Description
Qty
6Y8-82582-01-002 PIN CAP ASSEMBLY 6Y8-82582-01-00
1​
6Y8-85371-01-00GRAY MAIN BUS TERMINATOR RESISTOR CAP 6Y8-85371-01-00
1​
6Y8-82582-11-004 PIN CAP ASSEMBLY 6Y8-82582-11-00
1​
6Y8-82521-11-002 FT PIGTAIL BUS WIRE 6Y8-82521-11-00
1​
6YG-8A2D0-00-00COMMAND LINK PLUS AND COMMAND LINK N2K GATEWAY 6YG-8A2D0-00-00
1​
6Y8-81920-01-003 PORT MULTI-HUB ASSEMBLY 6Y8-81920-01-00
1​
 
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