More Garmin N2K, analog adaptors


I just recently realized that Garmin has developed five analog-to-NMEA2000 adapters — the GRA 10 Rudder Angle Adapter, the GST 10 Water Speed and Temperature Adapter, the GFL 10 Fluid Level Adapter, the GET 10 Engine Tilt Adapter, and the GBT 10 Bennett Trim Tab Adapter. They each cost $199, which seems a little stiff, but then again they seem quite able at getting sensor systems you may already have onto an N2K backbone for display, or use in calculations…

The fluid level adapter, for instance, seems able to automatically detect several kinds of sensors and gauges (which you can keep using if you want), can be calibrated to odd shaped tanks, and supports the standard N2K Fluid Types (as suggested on the GMI 10 screen above) and multiple tanks of any fluid type.  Maretron’s TLA100 (tested here) can do the same thing, mind you, but the more the merrier, and besides Garmin has three adapters Maretron doesn’t.
   Then there’s the calibration issue, which we know must usually be done with a same brand display (and ditto with firmware updates).  So if you have a Garmin MFD or GMI 10 instrument on board, you just may want to go with Garmin adapters. I dare guess that the calibration routines on either are easy and elegant.  But interestingly, the Garmin adapter manuals (down-loadable here) describe an alternate ‘generic’ calibration routine in case your Garmin display’s software hasn’t yet been updated with the specific routine. The manual section below describes this generic calibration for the rudder angle sensor. It’s a simple command line process that makes me wonder if another developer might be able to implement it. For instance, could someone like Nick White write a routine into Expedition so that you could not only get data from an existing Airmar ST850 speed/temp transducer (one of the ones Garmin’s adapter supports) but also calibrate it?  I don’t know the answer, but I’m curious.
   Garmin, incidentally, now has more certified NMEA 2000 products — with 60 — than any other company besides Maretron, which has 115.  But I’m beginning to realize that the certification process may be overly strict in some cases, which I’ll discuss next week.


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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

5 Responses

  1. gene says:

    I would be very interested in some real world info on the GBT 10 – I have a 5212 and Bennett Sportabs…not sure how it hooks up after reading the manual on line

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I haven’t tried one, Gene, but it looks to me like the GBT10 wires either right into the back of your Bennett trim indicator, without removing the wires from the trim sensors (if you want to keep the indicator), or directly to the sensor wires (if you want to remove the indicator). Then the NMEA 2000 end of the GBT10 is tee’d into your N2K backbone.
    I’m not positive that the 5212 can show trim tab states right now, but the GMI10 instrument display definitely can.

  3. gene says:

    I’m gonna get one this week Ben, and I’ll report back here how it works, Got the wiring directions right a few minutes ago with a Garmin tech. Tying it to the chartplotter and a GMI 10. When I’m done, I’ll have all my Smartcraft, Bennett and Garmin functions running thru the plotter (with redundant gauges of course)

  4. gene says:

    Finished mounting the Bennett tab indicator today – very simple install.
    Likes: more dash real estate for other devices, no more Bennett indicators, ability to set tab range.
    Dislikes: no pop up function, no read off of Garmin chartplotter, just the GMI 10. Cryptic software set up

  5. Jeffrey says:

    I wonder if the Garmin tank adapters will not only feed data to a N2k MFD like the Simrad NSE-8 and have a digital read out, lets say fuel tank and and the same time show up on the analog fuel gauge too? Anyone have tried this or have thoughts on this.
    Jeff in Miami
    PS Ben we will be at the show on Thurs…if you like i will buy you a cold one for all your great info we get from Panbo.

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