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 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Bayliner
Subject Topic: Connecting Garmin GPSMAP 478 to Navman 71 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: February 07 2007
Posts: 2
Posted: July 10 2013 at 23:08 | IP Logged Quote n4wwl

I just connected my Garmin GPSMAP 478 to my Navman
7100 VHF radio to make full use of the radio’s DSC
capability. The experience was frustrating to say the least,
so I thought I’d share it with others who might be using the
same equipment and wondering how to interface the two.
I’m not an electronics expert (but I have stayed at a
Holiday Inn Express), so my experience may not be the
best example of how to do this properly, but at least it
seems to work.

Having checked numerous internet posts, I found
contradictory information. While the Navman manual was
helpful in deciphering the proper wiring, the Garmin manual
did not label the colored wires according to their NMEA
values (e.g., IN, OUT, +, and -), which I gather is the
standard protocol for sending and receiving data between
multiple electronic units.

I have a 2006 Bayliner 285 cruiser. The VHF radio was
already installed at the helm when I bought the boat. I
think many of these Bayliner 285 models come with the
Navman radio already installed. The Garmin is a portable
version which came with a power cable with a “cigarette
lighter” plug on one end that I plug into the accessory
socket on the helm for power. To connect the GPS and
VHF radio, I needed two additional data cables – one for
the radio and another for the GPS.

I could not find the Navman cable available for purchase on
the internet, so I called them. The person I spoke to said
the data cable usually comes with the radio when it is sold,
but since I bought the boat used and the radio was already
installed I didn’t have the extra cable. He told me they
don’t sell these cables separately on line, but that they
occasionally keep them in stock for customers who request
one. Not only did he find one, he shipped it to me free of
charge – talk about excellent customer service! Next, I
was able to find the Garmin data cable (it is both a power
and data cable) on the Garmin web site and ordered it.

Both the GPS and VHF connector cables have one end that
plugs directly into their respective units and the other end
is a collection of thin, insulated colored wires. Once I had
both cables the trick was figuring out how to wire them
together properly. Of course, it’s not as simple as
connecting the blue wire on the GPS cable to the blue wire
on the VHF cable, because different electronic products
have different color-coded wiring. That’s when the
confusion started.

The radio’s DSC capability is enabled by receiving data
from the GPS that allows the radio to display the boat’s
GPS coordinates on its screen and to transmit those
coordinates in an emergency. Therefore, data must flow
OUT from the GPS and IN to the radio.

The Navman 7100 installation manual has a wiring detail
chart that shows which colored wires are used to connect to
a GPS. There are four – two that send data and two that
receive it. Since I wanted the GPS to send data to the
7100, I only attempted to connect the two VHF wires that
receive data from the GPS… those are the YELLOW wire
(NMEA IN +) and the GREEN wire (NMEA IN -).

So far, so good. But the GPSMAP 478 manual has graphics
that indicate the function of each colored wire, as “Voice,”
“Alarm,” “Data In,” “Data Out,” etc., and not “NMEA IN “ or
“NMEA OUT.” That meant I had to identify the two wires
that would be the equivalent of “NMEA OUT +” and “NMEA
OUT –”. By process of elimination I discovered that the
BLUE wire (labeled in the manual as “Data Out” is the NMEA
OUT + wire and the ORANGE wire (labeled in the manual as
“Voice (-)” is the NMEA OUT – wire.

Connecting the BLUE wire on the GPS cable to the YELLOW
wire on the 7100 cable (+ to +) and connecting the
ORANGE wire on the GPS cable to the GREEN wire on the
7100 cable (- to -) produced the desired results. When
both the GPS and VHF are turned on, the VHF screen
displays the boat’s coordinates on the radio, which means
the radio is receiving the necessary data from the GPS. I
also noticed that when the clock on the GPS advances 1
minute, the time display on the VHF screen also advances 1
minute, so they appear to be in sync.

GPSMAP 478         &nb sp;     Navman 7100 VHF

NMEA OUT + (Blue) ------> NMEA IN + (Yellow)

NMEA OUT – (Orange)     ----> NMEA IN – (Green)

I can’t vouch for any other GPS or VHF unit, but at least I
hope this is helpful for those with similar electronic
equipment to mine. Of course, even though it now seems
to work, I can’t swear I did this correctly. If I missed
something important, I hope someone will point it out.

Good luck!
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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: September 16 2010
Posts: 1
Posted: July 11 2013 at 13:03 | IP Logged Quote Sea-Alice

I can sure tell you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express! This
is an excellent write-up showing perseverance and
excellent research. The only thing I can add is the
Garmin data output is uni-polar, i.e., it is a signal wire
accompanied with a ground. Many of the manufacturers
just give you one ground for all of the different inputs
and outputs they have like voice, data (in and out),
sonar, etc. This means that you have to connect the
grounds from the different devices together outside the
Garmin's connector to that single ground wire so
everything works. Thanks for the great write-up.

"For general NMEA use with a gps receiver you will only
need two wires in the cable, data out from the gps and
ground. A third wire, Data in, will be needed if you
expect the receiver to accept data on this cable such as
to upload waypoints or send DGPS data to the

Above quote from:

'76 Glassmaster-18 '77 Merc 1150
'91 Bayliner 2002 WA '94 Yamaha SW 150
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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: February 07 2007
Posts: 2
Posted: July 11 2013 at 13:15 | IP Logged Quote n4wwl

Thanks for the reply. I wondered about the ground, since
there is only 1 ground wire (black) on the Garmin cable and
that is hooked to the "cigarette plug" that provides DC power
to the unit (as is the red "Power" wire).

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