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Old 06 July 2015, 14:26   #1
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Invalid GPS data to ICOM M506 from Garmin Chartplotter

I have a new Icom M506 connected via NMEA 2000 to a five-year-old Garmin 551s chartplotter/sounder. The NMEA2000 hardware is all new Garmin stuff and there are only these 2 devices on the network at the moment.

The chartplotter and the radio can "see" each other on the network and I was able to go into the radio's menu to enable the chartplotter as the specific NMEA2000 GPS source. The chartplotter gets all the AIS data from the radio without any configuration - AIS contacts are displayed on the chartplotter instantly the radio is turned on and all the functionality of CPA alarms etc etc is there.

The problem however is that the radio says it's getting invalid GPS info from the chartplotter (indicated by a flashing satellite icon and ??? displayed in these fields on the radio screen).

I've updated the chartplotter's firmware all the way from v2.5 to v4.6 via a download from Garmin onto an SD card. This has made some nice improvements to the chartplotter but did not fix the invalid GPS data.

I hooked up the NMEA0183 feed from the chartplotter to the radio, and went into the radio's menus to set the NMEA 2000 GPS source to "none". Hey presto the radio immediately started receiving a valid GPS position and time from the chartplotter. The AIS feed continues to work fine via NMEA2000.

So I do have a fully-working system BUT it's annoying that something as simple as the GPS position won't work over NMEA2000. It doesn't give me much confidence to add more gizmos to the NMEA2000 network!

Does anyone have any idea what is going wrong? Must admit I haven't tried contacting Garmin or Icom yet (suspect they will blame each other). Any suggestions gratefully received.
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Old 06 July 2015, 14:40   #2
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I had exactly the same problem with a 506 connected to my Lowrance HDS. Try tightening the all the nmea2000 cable connection & "T" s, that's all I did & it sorted itself out, I'm not convinced that's what the problem was but it hasn't reappeared. I suspect that there was a bad connection in the input data line to the radio, the radio was outputting ok, so the head unit saw the radio on the network & the data from the radio was going onto the bus, but the radio wasn't receiving data off the bus.


.....sh1t happens.......
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Old 06 July 2015, 16:52   #3
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Wow I would never have thought of that but it sounds very logical. Will give it a try tomorrow!
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Old 06 July 2015, 17:27   #4
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Wired one of these recently to a Lowrance NMEA2000 network - 100% plug and play. I'm liking Pikey's plan as an easy check.
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Old 07 July 2015, 13:00   #5
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Well I had a good go at cleaning and tightening all the connections today. Also dismantled the whole NMEA 2000 network and swapped the cables and Ts round in different combinations so that different ones connected to the radio, GPS and power. (I thought this might reveal a bad cable or T.)

No joy - every combination resulted in AIS working but GPS not.

Guess I have to assume that either my radio has a bad data input or my GPS has a bad data output.
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Old 08 July 2015, 03:03   #6
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Iirc, you can go into the menu on the radio & set the source for the GPS, I think it's in the nmea2000 menu.


.....sh1t happens.......
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Old 08 July 2015, 03:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Iirc, you can go into the menu on the radio & set the source for the GPS, I think it's in the nmea2000 menu.


.....sh1t happens.......
Yep that's right. If I set it to Garmin 551s, the M506 complains of invalid gps data (flashing satellite icon). If I set it to none, the NMEA0183 feed takes over and the M506 is happy (solid satellite icon and gps position displayed on the radio screen).

I can leave it like this but it's just annoying that there's a glitch somewhere in my NMEA2000 system.
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Old 08 July 2015, 09:29   #8
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Are there any settings on the garmin to output the GPS data to the nmea2000 bus?


.....sh1t happens.......
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Old 08 July 2015, 18:52   #9
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No settings on the Garmin when it was running v2.5 firmware.

Now that I've upgraded to the latest firmware v4.6, there is a NMEA2000 config screen for the M506. However the only setting that's there is to input your MMSI number. Not sure why this is needed, I'm guessing it's something to do with the AIS/DSC integration.

Didn't make any difference, GPS position via NMEA2000 reads as invalid on the M506 both before and after the firmware upgrade.
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Old 08 July 2015, 19:40   #10
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Just a random thought - but have you tried changing the GPS format - i.e. is it in digital format?
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