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Tips for building an NMEA 2000 Network

Start network


Remember that NMEA 2000 networks require 12V DC power. Special connectors with positive and ground wires (with an inline fuse for the positive wire) allow you to provide onboard power to the so-called backbone - the system's main communication channel. These power lines should be connected near the center of the backbone for proper system operation.


NMEA2000 Cable for Marine Electronics Network

NMEA2000 5-way Splitter Micro-C


Avoid long strings of T-connectors


When you add NMEA 2000 compliant electronics and sensors to your backbone, you tend to string together multiple T-connectors when connecting to the system. This is a mistake, as a long string of T-connectors can be easily damaged and disconnected. Replace these long strings with T-connectors - two to four unified T-connectors. These are stronger and more compact; a four-way tee is 25% shorter than a string of four connectors.



Keep Drop Cables Short


Avoid long-distance cables (the cables that connect electronic equipment to the backbone network). NMEA 2000 signals may be blocked by resistors, causing a voltage drop. The maximum length of single branch cable is 20 feet. If you need a longer cable run to connect things like sensors or sea surface temperature sensors, use T-connectors at the end or middle of the run to connect to the 12 volt power supply. Adding power in this way helps prevent excessive voltage drops.



Don't forget the terminator


NMEA 2000 backbones require terminators at each end. You will need one female and one male terminator at each end of the NMEA 2000 linear backbone.



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NMEA 2000 Yacht Yamaha Engine Interface Cable

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