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Interfacing Radar and GPS

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Gary, Oct 22, 2004.

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  1. Gary

    Gary Guest

    I recently bought a 1995 320 Albemarle Express Fisherman. It has a Furuno
    1830 Radar and a Garmin 220 GPS. In reading through the manuals for these
    pieces of equipment, I have noticed that it's possible to connect a GPS to
    the radar and it will display some nav information on the Radar unit as well
    as having the ability to plot the speed and direction of various targets on
    the radar.

    Is this simply a matter of purchasing and attaching some sort of cord
    between the units, and if so, where do I get this? I am not sure if they
    are fairly universal or do I need to contact one of the vendors for this,
    and if so, which one...Furuno or Garmin?

    Is there more to it than this? Any idea how much it costs?



  2. You can find the owner's manual on the Furuno web site. Your specific
    manual is at

    If it's like my Furuno you'll simply need to get a Garmin cable and connect
    the NMEA output from it to the radar.

    -- Geoff
  3. I needed two cables to connect my Garmin GPS to my Furuno 1622 Radar.
    The Garmin cable costs about $35. It has a Garmin connector on one end and a
    serial connector (for a PC) on the other.
    My Furuno cable cost about $60. It has a Furuno cable on one end and bare
    wires on the other.
    I wired a serial connector to the Furuno bare wires and plug one serial
    connector into the other.
    Your Furuno may just have screw posts for the Garmin wires to connect to.
    When the GPS is wired to the radar, the radar disply can indicate your
    course and speed, latitude and longitude, and waypoint bearing and distance.
  4. No, ARPA functions are much more complicated that the simple NEMA
    interface on the small commercial Furuno Radars. You need an compass
    input to get the Waypoint Popsicle on the Radar Display. ARPA takes a
    complete ARPA Unit which is a complete cpu based system that is in
    addition to the basic radar display system.

    Bruce in alaska
  5. Gary

    Gary Guest

    I saw a few people said something about needing a fluxgate compass. I also
    have a Robertson AP3000X autopilot that is connected to a fluxgate compass.
    Am I going to need 3 cables now, or is the GPS most likely connected to the
    fluxgate compass already?
  6. Andy K.

    Andy K. Guest

    The ARP11 (10 target ARPA) is listed as an option for your radar. As far as
    the data connection between the GPS and radar, if the Garmin cable is the
    same as most of the others they make it would have some un-terminated wires
    plus the red and black for power. You need the NEMA data cable for the radar
    (the one with the bare ends). Nothing more then connecting 2 wires from each
    cable and setting up the data outputs and inputs on each unit. Sorry I can't
    remember the colors you need to connect and the info is at work.

    Andy K.
  7. I am under the impression that ARP is and add on option for all the
    small commercial Furuo Radars. I am not 100% sure on that exact model
    (1833) but I bet Doug could give us a difinitive answer. Any add on
    option is going to cost BIG BUCKS, however and probubly not worth the
    cash for a noncommercial users. The standard NEMA input for these type
    Furuno Radars is to display the Position Information, Speed, Course over
    Ground, and Next Waypoint Bearing and Distance, at the bottom of the
    screen in the NAV Info Position. If you want the Waypoint Popsicle to
    display on the screen, then you must input Compass Data on the Gyro
    Input, and that is a seperate connection from the NEMA Input. All the
    Furuno's I have dealt with will NOT accept Compass Data from the NEMA
    Data Stream, but only on the Gyro Input.

    Bruce in alaska
  8. Using NMEA from my Garmin (Etrex Mariner or GPS 12) to my Furuno 1622 does
    provide the Wapoint Popsicle, in addition to everything else.
  9. Yep, that's how I remeber it as well Doug. I haven't seen an 1833 in
    person, but my assumption (I know...Bad idea) is that the 1833 would be
    the same. Maybe Furuno has changed the firmware in the 1833 to use
    NEMA compass data, for generating the Waypoint Popsicle, but it hasn't
    been the case in any of the previous models.

    Bruce in alaska
  10. In " The Radar Book - Effective Navigation and Collision Avoidance " by
    Kevin Monahan, he points out that the compass bearing given by a GPS will be
    unstable at low speeds. If you want your radar to show proper compass
    bearings and work in the North-up/Course-up modes he says you must connect
    to some type of fluxgate or gyro compass. So if you just connect your GPS
    NMEA output to your radar it seems you may not get correct heading
    information while creeping along at low speed, for example, in fog.
  11. Monahan's book may predate the discontinuance of selective
    availability. You have to be going very slowly indeed to make the GPS
    track reading less stable than a mag compass nowadays.

    It is easy enough to compare on your own boat.

    Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a

    "Religious wisdom is to wisdom as military music is to music."
  12. That would very much depend on the GPS, its Position Update Rate, and
    internal Math Capabilities. I would suspect that any GPS that updates
    faster than every .5 Sec, and has a good floating point processor, would
    give good resolution down to at least 2 to 3 knots.

    Bruce in alaska
  13. The latter is a relevant concern. I haven't seen a recent GPS that had
    a problem at walking speed or even slower, but they do say where you
    are actually going, not your heading.

    The difference can be considerable in areas with strong currents.

    Rodney Myrvaagnes NYC J36 Gjo/a

    "Religious wisdom is to wisdom as military music is to music."
  14. Tamaroak

    Tamaroak Guest

    I have a Raymarine SL72 Plus radar and a Garmin 182 GPS/chartplotter. I
    was at the dock in Bayfield, Wisconsin this summer and a guy came by and
    wanted to see my electronic setup. He told me I could interface the two
    and promptly crawled under the dash and connected a wire from each
    together and that's all it took. He had to change the default setting on
    the Garmin, but it works like a charm.

    No cables, no nothing. It cost me a beer.

    Now when I put the radar cursor on an object it gives me the GPS
    coordinates and more.

    Capt. Jeff
  15. Dave Baker

    Dave Baker Guest

    Especially if your engine is in reverse! :)


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  16. would
    give good resolution down to at least 2 to 3 knots.<

    Exactly Kevin Monahan's point. At low speed, creeping through fog, you will
    not get a stable heading readout. I have a Garmin 182C plotter with WAAS.
    Below 2 knots I start to see the "compass" heading wandering.
    Kevin's book is quite recent and takes into account the current situation.
    I'm planning on purchasing the Raymarine Seatalk/NMEA conversion box so that
    I can feed my Autohelm fluxgate compass heading to my JRC radar. The JRC
    has two NMEA inputs, one for GPS and one for Compass. Internal software
    selects the Compass heading input over any GPS heading input.
    Maybe this isn't necessary a lot of the time but I'd like to be able to rely
    on what the radar is showing at all times.
  17. Yep, that squares with my memory. ARP is a seperate function that must
    be added on to any of the small commercial Furuno Radars. Once you get
    into the Big Boat Stuff it is built in, but the cost are significant.

    Bruce in alaska
  18. Andy K.

    Andy K. Guest

    All 4 of the 1833 radars on the Furuno site list the ARP11 as an option.
    Look under "Features/Specs".
  19. Dave Baker

    Dave Baker Guest


    How about the CSI-Wireless Vector Lite? We've been using one for over a year
    now on oil rigs.



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  20. Andy K.

    Andy K. Guest

    KVH has one for around $3k. Have not seen it in use.
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