Can MFD12 display DTS from triducer?



I have been thinking of adding the NMEA 2000 Smart triducer which sends DTS to my MFD12 but looking in the Instruments section of the operations manual I do not see any reference to this capability. The manual only talks about displaying wind information. Can I connect the NMEA 2000 triducer to the NMEA 2000 port on the MFD12 and see DTS? IF not directly could I do this indirectly by connecting a separate DTS display head to the MFD12?

I am also wondering how the wind speed/direction display works. The manual says this is a NMEA 2000 instrument. Would I need the separate display head connected to the masthead sensors and then connected to the MFD12 or could I connect the masthead sensors directly to the MFD12?

The MFD can use NMEA 2000 info from your triducer, if it is properly interfaced (with a suitable NMEA 2000 backbone structure). To use it as your Depth/Water Speed/Water temp source just pick the DST200 as the source of these items in the GLOBAL - DATA SOURCES setup of the Installation Wizard.
Thanks Johnny

So I can just plug the NMEA 2000 triducer into the the MFD12 NMEA 2000 input?

What about the wind instruments? Could I connect the mast head unit directly to the MFD12 through some type of junction box that fed into the NMEA 2000 input on the MFD12? I assume if I had this junction box the triducer would connect through it as well?

I'd like to add these instrument functions to my MFD12 but don't want to end up purchasing stuff that will not connect/display.

"So I can just plug the NMEA 2000 triducer into the the MFD12 NMEA 2000 input?"

Not exactly. You need an NMEA 2000 (N2K) backbone; you cannot just plug the sensor into the back of the MFD. The MFD is a device that is attached to the network backbone, as is the triducer and the wind instrument. N2K is a serial bus with power for each device's isolated interface and often the power to drive the device. The backbone of the network needs to include the tap for providing power to the network. Also there needs to be terminating resistors at the two ends of the backbone (pull-up resistors). If you buy the masthead unit it will likely have a terminating resistor available at the unit or in the cable, and so another will be needed, probably near the MFD.

The "standard" connectors for N2K are called "DeviceNet" connectors, which Furuno uses :jump . Some other vendors have proprietary connectors but otherwise are N2K "compatible" and can be interconnected with (overpriced) adapter cables. If you plan on doing this yourself you may benefit by reading Maretron's catalog, which has a nice primer on N2K.

Don't be put off by the apparent complexity of an N2K network: in fact, it is easy to plug together, and the generic cables and such are not that expensive either. I referred to the Maretron catalog ( ... 2_V3-2.pdf) because they are a major supplier of the cabling, etc, that is used and their catalog is very informative. Page 90 has a nice illustration of a backbone. For a more detailed explanation, take a look at Furuno's guide: ... 0Guide.pdf

Any N2K device (sensor, display, gateway, etc) can be connected to the backbone and will be compatible from a signalling perspective. However, it is necessary that you check that the display(s) you have chosen can understand the output of the sensors you have attached. The output sentences (called PGNs in N2K-speak) are identified by 6-digit numbers, which are usually listed on the relevant data sheets. Currently the TZtouch products recognize and display more PGNs than the NN3D products, but of course that is subject to change with software updates. Always check before buying sensors (the PGNs for the MFD12 can be found in the specs at the back of the current operator's manual).

The OP hasn't responded - I hope I haven't put him off. The PGN information was perhaps more than needed: the triducer and weather sensor will work just fine with an MFD12 - no need to check them. I was reacting to a different recent thread, where the OP discovered that the MFD8/12 doesn't display tank levels (unlike the TZtouch products) - apparently he had purchased the tank sensor before checking. It always pays to check first. I am hopeful that Furuno will add this capability (displaying tank levels) to future NN3D firmware releases.

Hello Greg
Thanks for the detailed explanation. Furuno should be paying you a retainer.
It does sound pretty complicated but I will study the links you have provided.
The Furuno Sirius Satellite Weather receiver includes 4 Hub ports. Are these N2K ports? Would that be the interface for the triducer and masthead wind sensor?
Or is this what I need?

FI5002 NMEA2000 Junction Box

The FI5002 is an NMEA2000 Certified, 6-Port Junction Box for use with for use with any NMEA2000 network. The FI5002 features 2 NMEA2000 backbone ports, as well as 6 NMEA2000 ports. It will support up to 2A or 40 (LEN) on a 12VDC network.The FI5002 will also support 24VDC networks.


2 NMEA2000 backbone ports
6 NMEA2000 ports
Less than 2A power requirement on a 12VDC system
OK, I have read the Furuno CAN bus design guide and it offers a pretty good explanation of how to connect everything. It seems you have three options:
1. network cables with terminating resistor units
2. terminal strips with the resistors added
3. the FI5002 junction box which has 2 terminating resistors included.

It looks like I could connect the MFD12, DTS and wind instrument through the FI5002 junction box as it has 3 terminal strips. The FI5002 has a connection for 12v power. The network cable from the MFD12 would have 5 wires including 2 power wires. I guess I would leave these unconnected since the FI5002 would be providing power to the DTS and wind instrument? Other than that it seems pretty straightforward. :think

If I included the display head for the wind instrument I assume I would connect the masthead sensor to the display head and then connect the display head to the FI5002? :think
Oh boy, now we're into it :D

The hub in the Sirius weather station is for the ethernet network. Furuno uses ethernet for connecting radar, fish finder, weather, and secondary MFDs among others. They also use ethernet to carry N2K data inside ethernet packets in some cases; for instance, it is possible to attach an N2K GPS receiver to the DRS4D radar sensor, and the data would be relayed by the radar sensor to the MFD12 over the ethernet. For the most part the ethernet network is quite distinct from the NMEA 2000 network, and is used for devices requiring high bandwidths (i.e. large quantities of data).

The NMEA 2000 (N2K) network is primarily used for instrument sensors and displays, but has been used for all sorts of things. Typical devices are wind sensors, knotmeters, digital depth sounders (NOT fishfinders), autopilot controllers/heads, compasses, etc. While some transitional instruments have proprietary connections between displays and sensors, and then N2K out to the rest of the boat, this is not the best way to go if possible. There is a broad selection of sensors available which output directly N2K and do not require a specific display to function. The data can be displayed on an MFD, generalized N2K display, or a dedicated display. Or it can be communicated via a USB or WiFi adapter to a PC or tablet. Because there are lots of synergies to be had by making available all data to all devices, when designing a new instrument package it is greatly preferred to have all devices use N2K. And by using N2K sensors a single cable (the backbone) can be run fore-aft in the boat instead of separate cables for each sensor.

I'll break here and then write about what an N2K network might look like.

First let me give the example of my N2K network. Because it is a relatively small network I chose to standardize on the "micro" DeviceNet connectors and cable; the same micro connectors can be used with "mid" cabling for longer runs. Large systems with many devices require heavier cabling which uses the "mini" size connectors and cable, and handles double the current. Unless you have a large powerboat with extensive electronics the micro size will be fine - it supports up to 4A @12VDC power (or 8A by using a tap in the middle with 4A out in each direction). My entire cabling is done with waterproof connectors, and most devices are waterproof as well. I personally would not consider using the FI5002 because it is not waterproof and it is not plug-and-play but requires attaching individual wires for each cable.

The power tap (Maretron Micro/Mid Powertap Tee) has two female micro connectors, and can be considered to be the middle of the backbone. DeviceNet uses cables with a male connector on one end and a female on the other, and thus everything is chained out from the central power tap. Most descriptions show the use of tees at every point in the backbone where a device is connected; there are times where this is appropriate but for most applications this is not the way to go because there is usually a need to attach several devices in any one place (e.g. near the instrument panel). So far I have not used any tees, and do not see that it will be necessary. Instead I have used 3 Maretron Multi-port Boxes, each with a single male and 4 female connectors.

I have one MultiPort Box under the bridge deck. It has one terminating resistor with a male connector plugged into one female socket. The MFD8 and an AIS are plugged into 2 female sockets, and the last female socket will be used for a small multi-purpose display (such as the Furuno RD33: ... nstruments). A 2 meter cable is attached to the male connection, and is run to the saloon.

In the saloon the cable from the bridge deck is plugged into the power tap, which in turn is plugged into the male connection of the second MultiPort Box. The autopilot and solid state compass are attached to 2 of the female ports. An Actisense USB adapter is connected to a 3rd female port, and the 4th has a 3 meter cable attached which is run to the head just forward of the mast.

In the head, the cable from the saloon is attached to the male connection of the 3rd MultiPort Box. For now a terminating resistor is plugged into one of the female sockets. A depth sounder is plugged into one female socket, and the knotmeter/temperature sender is plugged into another, with one spare socket. I plan on installing a masthead weather system, which will plug into the box in place of the terminating resistor, as there will be a terminating resistor either in the mast cable or the sensor.

Most of my devices either have a male connector on the back (and use a standard M-F cable to connect to the backbone) or they have pigtails attached (paddlewheel, depth transducer). The AIS has a proprietary connector and uses an adapter cable to the box, and the autopilot has a terminal strip so I made up a pigtail.

I did not choose to use dedicated displays. The MFD does a great job of displaying all of my data. I do want to add a multi-purpose display as a backup, and as a readout when the radar/chartplotter is not needed.

I recommend that you consider something very similar to this. If you like you can use dedicated displays for the data but I think you will find it better to pick a good multipurpose display like the RD33.


Sorry for the delay. I have read your take on things and it appears you have it :jump

It looks like I could connect the MFD12, DTS and wind instrument through the FI5002 junction box as it has 3 terminal strips.
Yes and no. The MFD12 and DTS can connect directly to the FI5002 as they are both N2K devices. If the "wind instrument" you are referring to is an anolog wind instrument it would have to go to a wind display first, then the wind diplay would be dropped to the FI5002.

The FI5002 has a connection for 12v power.
Yes. Both 12VDC-24VDC

The network cable from the MFD12 would have 5 wires including 2 power wires. I guess I would leave these unconnected since the FI5002 would be providing power to the DTS and wind instrument?

You can hook up all five wires from the MFD12. The power wires of the MFD12's N2K connector have no power on them unless you supply it. This is done by applying power to Pin17 (Pink +) and Pin18 (L. Green-) on the big 18 pin connector (see attached document). Unless you make this connection, the MFD12 will provide no power on it's N2K connector, which in your case is fine since you'll be getting power from the FI5002.

Other than that it seems pretty straightforward. :think
It is. Like Carina PDX mentioned, once you get started, N2K is actaully very easy to work with. It seems like you've taken the time to learn what you are talking about and from what you have written so far you seem to have a good understanding of how everything is supposed to work.

If I included the display head for the wind instrument I assume I would connect the masthead sensor to the display head and then connect the display head to the FI5002? :think
You are absolutely corerct.

If you have any problems along the way, please feel free to get back with us. We are always willing to help. And YES, you can ask more than one question!



  • MFD8_12 Interconnect.pdf
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The first point I would make is that N2K is extremely flexible, and as such there are usually several ways to accomplish the same thing. I greatly appreciate that Furuno has kept interoperability with other standard N2K devices, which is a great benefit. You will have to ultimately decide your configuration.

You did not say whether you have already purchased the DST800 and weather sensor, and the model of the weather sensor you have or are considering. Also, you have not indicated the size and type of your vessel, and whether you have other instruments which you might wish to connect. If you are starting with a blank page (new boat, or at least all new instruments) then by all means limit your purchases to N2K sensors where possible, in order to simplify wiring among other things. The Furuno 200WX weather station is an N2K sensor and also uses solid state sensors (not spinning cups and wind feather) and is a great solution. If you have some legacy instruments w/o N2K then it may still be possible to connect using NMEA 0183, and the MFD12 can repeat the data on N2K for other devices to use. As I said, lots of flexibility.

The Furuno multiport box is a fine solution, which has the great advantage of being very compact and including the 2A power tap. It does require a dry area for mounting. Having lived aboard for 20 years and cruised most of them I am reluctant to say there is any such thing as a dry place on my small sailboat :roll: . If you have such a place then go for it.

As Stickman said the MFD can be used as a power tap for N2K if the power is provided through the Data2 cable as explained. This is spec'ed at 1A max (and should have a 1A fuse). This is probably ample for most installations but it pays to plan ahead. The DST uses 40mA and the 200WX 90mA; the MFD12's N2K interface likely uses 10mA or so. Then your installation would be less than 150mA - far less than the available 1A (1000mA). These sensors are probably typical for power draw; sensors requiring more power usually have a separate power lead and only draw a few mA for the interface.

I think it is best that you answer my questions at the beginning of this post before giving more advice.

Thanks Stickman and Greg for all the help on this.
I also found a 6 page guide from Maretron which explains NMEA2000 networks and by looking at NMEA2000 cabling on various vendor pages I have gotten a pretty good understanding of how it all works. Thanks Stickman for explaining the power options. It is hard to know where to look to find these things out. What I have is a 40 foot sailboat currently with an MFD12 and DRS4D radar. I did connect the N2K GPS to the DRS4D and that is working fine. The plug and play nature of N2K looks to make hooking things up to be very easy and consequently I am now thinking of replacing my old Standard Horizon wind, speed and depth instruments. I don't think I would use the FI5002 as I can't see the sense of cutting off the male plugs from the drop cables and then connecting individual wires to terminal strips. That seems like a step backwards from plug and play.

This is how I see things being hooked up. I would get two, 2m cables for the backbone with a Maretron powertap connecting them together. At the bow end I would have a T and the N2K DTS transducer would plug into this T. A terminating resistor would also be plugged into the T.At the aft end, in the engine compartment, I would plug the backbone cable into the male port of the Maretron multiport. The Wind and Depth/Speed displays would be connected together and one drop cable would plug into one female port on the multiport box. The MFD12 and AIS would plug into two other female ports. The 4th female port would have a terminating resistor. Sounds pretty simple really.

Slightly off topic, I was going to connect a PG500 heading sensor to the MFD12 to allow radar overlay onto charts. The other reason for this project was the ability to connect the PG500 to my Raymarine autopilot computer since it has NMEA0183 outputs and according to my Raymarine autopilot manual the course computer will accept heading data from other sensors.
This would get the chart plotter and autopilot using exactly the same heading information.
Now I see Furuno has a PG700 heading sensor which is N2K and this would be easy to add to my system except it does not seem to have any NMEA 0183 output. I think there are N2K to 0183 converter boxes? If that is the case I wonder if the output from one of these boxes could be connected successfully to my autopilot?
Thanks again for the help.
Valiant 40 #169
Sounds like you are on top of it now.

I have a couple of observations on the compass issue. As far as moving data around you needn't worry about the compass not having 0183; you can connect one of the MFD's 0183 ports to the compass and program it for sending the correct sentence to the autopilot. As I said earlier, the MFD is quite adept at bridging data between interfaces. If you look at the back of the Operators Manual, in the Specifications appendix, it lists the 0183 sentences that it can send, and the current firmware can send APB (autopilot sentence), HDG (heading) and HDT (heading true) so you should be good. Just check to see that the AP's requirements match (they should).

Depending on the age and condition of your autopilot you might consider an upgrade there as well. Most current autopilots include a "solid state" compass, so if you are planning on upgrading you will solve the compass issue as well. For instance, the Furuno Navpilot 711 includes the PG-700 compass. Admittedly it is a lot of money and may not be for you; personally I would like to upgrade my AP controller at some point in the not-too-distant future and will then have an extra compass to deal with.

RobertC mentioned the calibration issue; it is a can of worms that I didn't want to open until you had the basic N2K design in mind. I think we are there now. So a little primer. Many (most?) transducers have the ability to be programmed for calibration. With a 0183 interface it is usually simple to accomplish: just hook up with a serial-USB adapter to your computer and send the commands via a simple terminal emulator program. This is how I calibrated my compass (Maretron); it worked well but was not very convenient (imagine steering your boat in circles while trying to read a laptop display in daylight). My depth sounder can have an offset programmed into it, and my knotmeter can have a +/- % correction applied, but these are both N2K-only so how to calibrate? There are basically 3 ways to accomplish this with an N2K sensor: 1) use a display that has the ability to send the calibration data to the sender (best), 2) use a computer with an N2K-USB adapter and appropriate N2K-specific software to calibrate the sensor (good), and 3) don't bother, and just apply the corrections in the display (not as good). The MFD8/12 displays are capable of internally applying an offset to the depth, and IIRC they can also apply the scaling to the knotmeter; the problem is that the data on the N2K bus is not corrected - only that on the display. If the MFD is the only way you have to view the data then it doesn't matter. But if the data will be on both the MFD and on another display then it is better to have it corrected at the sensor than have to program corrections into both displays. So back to #1: Many dedicated and multi-purpose displays do have the ability to calibrate sensors, so check to see if your planned purchases can control the calibration. It helps to know that most of the knotmeters and depth transducers are made by Airmar (no secret there) so there is in effect a standard for calibration. Many other N2K products are made by Maretron, and the two signed an agreement that their display products would calibrate transducers from both companies. The big players like Furuno and RayMarine are adding these capabilities into their MFDs and smaller displays as well, and for products like the MFD12 there is at least the possibility that such capabilities will be added in future firmware releases. Finally, option 2: I purchased an Actisense NGT-1 N2K-USB adapter, which works with free Airmar software (and a lot of other programs). Not only can it display N2K data (and specifically weather data) but I have been told that it can calibrate the transducers. I have to admit that I haven't gotten around to doing that yet, but it should be possible. So there you have the calibration issue...

Finally, if you haven't purchased the DST transducer yet I suggest an alternative. As I noted in an earlier post, this draws 40mA. Needless to say that doesn't allow for much power for the depth transducer, and hence it has a very limited range (230 feet according to the spec). I am using the 235-IHF in-hull transducer which has a range spec of 500 feet and 200mA power consumption; if in-hull is not your thing then look at the 235-MSLF or others that mount through the hull and have a 590' spec. Then get a speed or speed/temp transducer separately (I bought an ST-850 N2K transducer).

Enough for now.

On further reflection, I should point out that by using the MFD12 as a bridge between the N2K compass and the autopilot you will need to run the MFD whenever using the AP. For low-power systems it might be better to go direct, another reason to consider a new AP controller. BTW I am providing the N2K compass data to my RM AP (directly) instead of using the rather dated compass that was included.

I can calibrate our N2K airmar depth and speed transducers using free Maretron software and free Actisense software with a PC. Our Furuno MFD8 does not calibrate them - it only sets local offsets/calibrations.

Of course, that requires a USB-N2K adapter, but most boats with a PC will have one.