Friday, April 29, 2016

NMEA 2000 Device Score Card

At various times I've made comments about how frequently I find problems in the NMEA 2000 interfaces on devices.  A while ago I made a rough tally, but decided it would be good to be a bit more methodical about it.

So here's a table showing all the devices I've worked with, where I found problems, and most importantly which ones have been fixed.  When issues have been fixed, I have included the software/firmware revision that resolves the problem(s).  I'll do my best to keep this up to date, and if anyone hears of fixes, please let me know.

Please note that just because a device has issues with its NMEA 2000 interface doesn't necessarily make it unusable.  Many of the problems only show up under certain circumstances, and many times the problems do not completely impair operation of the device, or can be worked around in one way or another.  I continue to use a number of the devices below even though they still have problems.

Also please note that this is just about the device's NMEA 2000 interface, and not about other aspects of the product.  I've reported on a number of other products that have serious issues, but they are not directly related to the N2K interface, so not reported here.  Maybe someday I'll do a score card looking more broadly at products, but not here and now.

NMEA 2000 Device Score Card

Manufacturer Device N2K problems found Fixed?
Simrad AP24 Yes No
AP28 Yes No
AC12 Yes No
AC42 No -
RF25 Yes No
FU80 Yes No
GS15 No -
NAIS400 Yes No
RS35 Yes No
OP40 No -
RC42 No -
% broken/fixed 67% 0%
Maretron WSO100 No -
TLM200 No -
TLA100 No -
TMP100 No -
FPM100 No -
RIM100 No -
USB100 No -
IPG100 No -
J2K100 No -
SSC200 No -
GPS200 Yes Yes (v1.1.0.1,,
DSM250 No -
% broken/fixed 8% 100%
NavPilot 700 Yes No
TZTouch2 MFD Yes Yes (V3.01)
NavNet3D MFD12 No -
GP330B No -
% broken/fixed 40% 0%
Hemisphere GNSS Simrad HS70 Yes Yes (v1.6.2)
V103 No No
% broken/fixed 50% 100%
ICOM M506 Yes No
% broken/fixed 100% 0%
AMEC NK80 Yes No
% broken/fixed 100% 0%
Bennett Trim Tab Indicator Yes No
% broken/fixed 100% 0%
RosePoint NT50 Yes Yes (v1.30)
% broken/fixed 100% 100%
Airmar DT-200 No -
PB200 No -
% broken/fixed 0% 0%
Actisense NGT No -
NGW Yes No
% broken/fixed 50% 0%
Offshore Dynamics 4272 Tank Sender Yes No
% broken/fixed 100% 0%
Industry-wide % broken/fixed 35% 17%


  1. What does it stand for?

    No Mention of Electronic Aptitude?

    Never Made Easy Again?

  2. Ha, I think your suggestions may be better than reality.

    National Marine Electronics Association. It's the industry organization that defines standard interfacing between marine electronics devices.

    NMEA 0183 has been around forever, and allows for one device to send information, and multiple devices to listen to that data. It's like tuning into a radio station. Lots of people can listen, but only one is transmitting. If multiple devices need to transmit data, then multiple "stations" are needed, one for each device that has something to send. Listening devices now need to tune into multiple stations to collect all the data they need. It gets complicated pretty fast.

    NMEA 2000 allows for multiple devices talking and listening on a single set of wires. You just wire everything together, and all the devices take turns talking, and anyone can listen to whatever they care about. It's like a big conference call where anyone can talk, and you can decide who to listen to and who to ignore.

  3. Peter what was the issue with your iCom M506? Mine has stopped transmitting but the NMEA 2000 and AIS side seems to work fine.

    Glad to see Maretron is one that knows NEMA 2000. I love my system!

    Quiet Company
    Great Harbour GH47

  4. There are two articles on the M506 issues I've encountered.

    You can also use the search feature in the column on the right up at the top.

    None of the issues I've encountered have anything to do with transmit and receive. That part of the device has worked very well.

  5. Just spent several enjoyable hours reading over Tanglewoods adventures from 2013 to date. Wow, what a journey! And superinformative for boaters.

    It took me awhile to put it all together after we pulled into Ketchikan last week. There was Tanglewood. That triggered some thought about a twisted tree. I read CE forum and TF, and so finally put it all together.

    I'm getting close to a new build and your blog cleared up many things for me, including:

    1. Better than full radar overlay is a talker radar that sends ARPA data to CE
    2. NMEA is really good for sensor monitoring, but best to use NMEA 0183 for navigation equipment interfaces.
    3. If the US Navy ships use the Furuno black box product, it's probably a great radar.

    Thanks for your time and effort in documenting your experiences, including bluntly communicating manufacturer faults. For me, mvTanglwood and mvDirona blogs have terrific in the field info.

    Alex,, just off Tanglewoods port side.

  6. Alex, thanks for the kind words. I've been reading your blog and love it. You have given me some great new anchorage ideas. I look forward to crossing paths this summer.

  7. Hi Twisted

    We're back in Ketchikan. Waiting out tomorrow's big seas and winds. I'm sure you are monitoring TW from afar, but if you need something checked aboard, we're here. Alex on WB


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