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Dabbles

Running NMEA cable from electronic box to console R222

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I have a 2018  R222 with fiberglass t-top, the vhf radio is mounted in electronics box. I want to run a nmea cable from vhf to garmin gps in center console via the nmea backbone. That way the vhf dsc feature sends gps coordinates with a distress call.  Does anyone know how the wires in the electronics box are routed to the center console? Are they routed inside the t top tube frame down to the console or what? I was hoping to avoid drilling holes but not sure if that's an option.

I don't know why they didn't just connect these units together at factory when they put the nmea backbone in the boat  they are both factory installed.

 

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I don’t see why you would need to drill.  I just ran wires all through the t-top aluminum tubing for the lighting and vhf antenna.  My R222 is a 2019   My t-top has a fairly  large hole near the top of the rear starboard column/post that allows for rigging wires from what would be the electronics box.  The wires then would run down the column/post and into the console within one of the side mounting brackets.   You need to remove the cover that is inside the console, which cover the back of the steering and electrical panels.   Then you will see how it easily can be rigged.  

Also, since it is a small boat (22 ft), I opted to use the NEMA 0183 rather than the bulkier NEMA 2000.  And I didn’t have to spend a penny buying a thing, but small shrink tubing.  It works nice and super easy to do.  It uses very thin 22 gage wires

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OGR I just want to thank you for your knowledge and willingness to share. I got your emails on the R222 leakage solutions and the wiring .

Detailed and very helpful

 

 

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I ran the boat all morning.  Washed the boat with soap and water, spayed water everywhere big time.  Removed the drain plug and less than a gallon of water drained from the boat. Pretty good.  

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On 9/7/2018 at 8:04 AM, Dabbles said:

I have a 2018  R222 with fiberglass t-top, the vhf radio is mounted in electronics box. I want to run a nmea cable from vhf to garmin gps in center console via the nmea backbone. That way the vhf dsc feature sends gps coordinates with a distress call.  Does anyone know how the wires in the electronics box are routed to the center console? Are they routed inside the t top tube frame down to the console or what? I was hoping to avoid drilling holes but not sure if that's an option.

I don't know why they didn't just connect these units together at factory when they put the nmea backbone in the boat  they are both factory installed.

 

NMEEA CABLE Update: So after getting a $1200 dollar quote by my local Robalo dealer while it was in for warranty work,  I decided to try it myself. I traced the existing wire to the rear starboard TTop down tube. That's where all the wires are routed in inside  the electronics box of the fiberglass ttop. I tied  50lb braide line to a  1/2 oz eggs sinker, other end to the cable and dropped the sinker down the tube. Then you have to fish the braided line  out the tube from inside the console. This was not an easy task, must be patient and determined, also best to have a helper to jiggle the string so person in console can locate and retrieve it.

Tip: My buddy thought of using a long zip tie to snag the braided line from inside the console. He cut little angled slits in the edges of the zip tie to snag the braided line. Its very tight and flexibility of zip tie was the ticket. OHHHH and  of course we ran another line and left in place for any future wiring needs like radar.

 

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To make routing wires easier, you can get a $2.5 pick up tool like this one

https://www.harborfreight.com/24-inch-2-in-1-pickup-tool-94162.html

Snake cameras like this one is also helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073ZFC59R/

I am actually going to do this same thing later this week -- NMEA cable for a Lowrance Point 1 GPS antenna mounted on the t-top.

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Yes both good ideas, keep in mind space is very tight inside the tube so not sure how useful snake and pick up tool will be. We used the modified zip tie to insert into the down tube and retrieve the braided line, its pretty tight in there. Dont forget to run a second line afterwards and leave in place for any future wiring needs.

Some Vhf radios have built in gps now so you dont have to connect to your gps/plotter anymore to get coordinates automatically for DSC or MMSI digital calling. Only thing is you wouldn't be able to see the gps location of other vessels on your gps that have put out a DSC distress call. Oh well, good luck it took us about a good solid 2 hours but its done and learned a couple of tricks in the process.

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Another way to fish the cables through the aluminum t top tubing is unsung a magnet.  What is needed:

Stong Magnet

One 4-40 or 6-32 zinc coated nut or steel nut.  NOT STAINLESS STEEL

Braided fishing line (the thinnest the better)

Tie the braided line to the steel nut and insert it in the tube.   Using the powerful magnet, slowly run it on the t top tubing thus pulling the nut and braided tile through the tubing.  You are using the magnetic pull to move the nut within the tubing.  You may want to place a piece of masking tape on the magnet to avoid scratching the t top aluminum tubing.  Then use the braided line to plull the wire through.  

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Dabbles your zip tie idea was great. My tube was very hard to access, and it already has 2 wires for the navigation lights. I could drop down a braided line tied to a bullet sinker, and I could feel the line with my finger, but it was impossible to get it out. So I used a zip tie to make a big loop and inserted that into the hole, dropped the sinker through the loop, and voila, I caught it!

IMG_0177.jpg.3c444c4fcd4b92f17748788547b42dc5.jpg

Pushing the NMEA cable up was equally hard, and the cable's "head" was so big that it couldn't come out from the upper hole. The solution -- TWO zip tie loops!

 

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On 10/10/2018 at 7:56 PM, ba_fisher said:

To make routing wires easier, you can get a $2.5 pick up tool like this one

https://www.harborfreight.com/24-inch-2-in-1-pickup-tool-94162.html

Snake cameras like this one is also helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073ZFC59R/

I am actually going to do this same thing later this week -- NMEA cable for a Lowrance Point 1 GPS antenna mounted on the t-top.

Update us on what worked when you finish.

Thanks

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Update us on what worked when you finish.

I was done yesterday. Zip ties worked the best. I pulled the NMEA cable out of the tube with two zip ties -- one at the notch at the bottom of the "head" of the cable, so I could easily jiggle the cable up and down. Then I tied another zip tie close to the top of the head to guide it out of the small hole. I had tried to use my finger to pull it out for 15 minutes with no success. With the two zip ties it took just 1 minute.

I did bring my picker tool and snake camera to the dock, but I forgot to charge the snake camera so I couldn't use them. Together they might have been able to pick the fishing line out, but would have been much more work than using the zip tie. They would not have helped with getting the cable out of the hole.

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On 10/11/2018 at 7:25 PM, Dabbles said:

Some Vhf radios have built in gps now so you dont have to connect to your gps/plotter anymore to get coordinates automatically for DSC or MMSI digital calling. Only thing is you wouldn't be able to see the gps location of other vessels on your gps that have put out a DSC distress call.

The GPS antenna I installed has a heading sensor, so when I stop the boat, my fish finder still knows where the boat is pointed to. It also has better precision than the built-in GPS in my fish finder.

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Ba Fisher and OGR thanks for your contributions to the forum, you have helped me and provided support that I haven't found with dealers or corporate.

 No kidding but if Robalo hired you guys for tech support it would be a huge improvement, got my vote heck I might even get a finders fee...just kidding.

Thanks Guys

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One other thing about your R222. Be very careful cleaning the raised Hook decal on the sides of the boat.  Use a soft bristle brush.  The pointy ends of the decal will peel back.  The point is so thin, that there is not much adhesive surface.   I was wiping the sides on the boat with a towel and the threads of the towel got caught up on the points.  

Enjoy the boat.   I ran mine for three hours yesterday.  Runs nice. 

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