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Six Tips for Ensuring Proper NMEA 2000 Connections

NMEA 2000 T-Connector 6 Ports Cable

The NMEA 2000 protocol facilitates dialogue between GPS and sonar, engine and display, autopilot and electronic compass, and chartplotter and AIS. These conversations take place over a network using plug-and-play components such as T-connectors and breakout cables. A proper connection ensures that network communications function as expected.



1. Network power


NMEA 2000 networks require power. A connector with integrated positive and ground wires (the positive wire has an in-line fuse) provides on-board power for the backbone (the system's main communication channel). For the system to work properly, connect the power supply in the middle of the backbone.



2. Verify voltage


NMEA 2000 networks use only 12V DC power. Avoid connecting the power cord to any other power source, such as 24 Vdc.



3. T-junction function


When connecting to a system, people tend to string multiple T-connectors together, but such strings can be easily damaged and disconnected. Instead, use T-connector fittings. They are stronger and more compact.



4. Short and sweet


NMEA 2000 signals can be hindered by resistance, which increases with cable length, so keep individual incoming cables within 20 feet. If you need a longer cable run, use a tee in the middle of the run to connect the 12V DC power supply. Adding power helps prevent excessive voltage drops.



5. Side action


Use only the side of the T-connector to assemble the NMEA 2000 backbone. Also, use only the top of the T-connector to connect devices and sensors.



6. Terminator


In order for the network to function properly, terminators are required at each end of the NMEA 2000 backbone. Use one female and one male terminator at both ends of the NMEA 2000 backbone.



Premier Cable supplies a full line of NMEA 2000® Approved cabling and connectors to form a reliable backbone for any NMEA 2000® system.



NMEA 2000 Field-installable ConnectorMarine NMEA 2000 Female Terminator

NMEA 2000 Micro 8 Way Drop Cable

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