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NMEA2000 against NMEA0183

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Alexandre Heil Franca, Mar 25, 2005.

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  1. Hi there!

    I know quite well NMEA-0183 and unfortunately have never had contact
    to NMEA-2000. Can anyone point me to information about NMEA-2000?
    Or maybe just list some of the most noticeable differences between
    both specifications? I am interested on its architecture, telegrams
    and electrical specs.

    Thanks in advance,

    Alexandre Heil França
  2. Doug Dotson

    Doug Dotson Guest

    Totally different animals. NMEA2000 is based upon the CAN (Controller Area
    Network) protocol. Tons of info on CAN on the net. You can buy a copy of the
    spec from NMEA for something like $1500. Noticible dfferences are that they
    nothing in common other than the meaning of the info transfered. I got a
    copy of the spec just before it was released but I was sworn to not share it
    penalty of having to keep suffering with 0183 :)

  3. Larry W4CSC

    Larry W4CSC Guest

    Oh, boy! Another proprietary, improperly documented, non-standard data
    protocol designed to keep the marine electronics assholes swimming in money
    for another decade.......

    Ethernet? Firewire? Bluetooth? Not on your LIFE!
  4. CAN is a properly documented, standard, non-proprietary protocol. It is
    well suited for control and data is harsh environments. Much better than
    what you metion.

    The problem is more that the way the standard base layers are used by
    applications is proprietay. But that has nothing to do with CAN and
    everything with the companies using it.

  5. John Proctor

    John Proctor Guest

    This has been discussed before. CAN is used in a wide variety of
    application areas including most atomotive vehicles designed today.
    However, you'll never convince Larry that ethernet isn't the ultimate
    answer for marine instrumentation. He's never seen a boat that couldn't
    bennefit from some Netgear hardware :)

    The real argument as has been pointed out many times is not the
    underlying technology but the bonehead marketing efforts of the NMEA
    and their very expensive boys club!
  6. Doug Dotson

    Doug Dotson Guest

    That's it. There is nothing wrong with CAN. It is the way that NMEA is
    handling the application specific part.

  7. Larry W4CSC

    Larry W4CSC Guest

    Name 5 items prior to this announcement that uses CAN protocol.....
  8. John Proctor

    John Proctor Guest

    All Jaguar motor cars. All Volvo motor cars. Holden (Australian GM)
    motor cars. All Bosch automotive electronic control modules. Many
    different industrila control modules but look at Intel, National and
    Philips semiconductors for fully integrated interface chip solutions.
    Plus the software drivers for Linix, as well as VME bus interface cards
    for CAN bus systems.

    Better yet do a Google search on CAN Bus and get a real appreciation of
    the technology. What is proprietary as I stated before is the bonehead
    data sent over the CAN bus as defined by NMEA and only available by
    paying them exhorbitant amounts of money for the complete data

    The CAN Bus is the easy part it's the NMEA data that is the problem! It
    would also be the same problem if the NMEA had used ethernet. The data
    sent over the bus is where the real IP (Intelectual Property) lies.
  9. Doug Dotson

    Doug Dotson Guest

    Thousands of factory floor and industrial process control applications. CAN
    isn't the problem, it the semantics of the NMEA data that is apparently a
    closely guarded secret. You have to be willing to shell out some big
    bucks just to play in the game.

  10. Larry W4CSC

    Larry W4CSC Guest

    Well, that was cars and industry apps....

    I do agree with the NMEA problem....and the secrecy involved trying to
    bleed $2500 out of a document....
  11. Me

    Me Guest

    The problen is CopyRight, not reverse engineering........

  12. Doug Dotson

    Doug Dotson Guest

    Right, plus you need to fork over a bunch of $$ to get your company
    unique ID.
  13. Jim Donohue

    Jim Donohue Guest

    Copyright is never a problem in such situations. You cannot copyright
    facts...only form. So the actual information and structure is free of

    The standard itself is copyrighted and cannot be distributed. But the
    content of the standard is fair game. In fact if one had a copy and simply
    published the meat in plain text there is likely no recourse. I would of
    course do it anonymously. The mere fact that it is legal will not keep you
    from being sued.

    Jim Donohue
  14. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Nice one Doug.
    Steve B
  15. Doug Dotson

    Doug Dotson Guest

    I can;t recall what the exact amount is, but it pretty much forces any
    small scale developer out of the market. I seem to recall it is around $2500
    I'm not sure. I gave up on it a long time ago.

  16. Doug Dotson

    Doug Dotson Guest

    Kind of locks out the small-time developer. Perhaps that is the intent.
  17. Meindert,

    Fortunately for you NMEA 2000 doesn't seem to catch on (yet) as it
    doesn't require multiplexers: it allows multiple talkers on the bus.

    I guess there would still be a market for a RS232/USB <-> CAN/NMEA2000
    <-> NMEA0183 interface converter though...

    -- Kees
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