NMEA demonstration will return to METS

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With ConnectFest, the National Marine Electronics Association will again demonstrate to Marine Equipment Trade Show visitors this year how the global network communications standard NMEA 2000 works.

The free "live" demonstration will be held Nov. 19 from 2-4 p.m. at the Amsterdam RAI event center. METS, the largest trade show serving the recreational marine industry, will open the previous day.

NMEA 2000 is the CAN-based open industry network standard that permits different brands of electrical and electronic equipment to communicate seamlessly with each other. Electronic devices can be added to or removed from an NMEA 2000 network without downtime or any effect on the overall operation of the system.

"METS has again invited NMEA to produce an NMEA 2000 ConnectFest," NMEA technical director Steve Spitzer said in a statement. "This is an important event for NMEA 2000 manufacturers and for the international attendees at METS."

During the demonstration, several manufacturers will connect their equipment to the NMEA 2000 backbone, a lightweight cable, to show the simplicity of adding or removing devices and to demonstrate their interoperability on the network.

Spitzer will introduce the session with an overview of NMEA 2000 and be there, along with the manufacturers, to answer questions ranging from costs and installation to configurability, scalability and expansion of the system to meet future needs.

He also will discuss several new PGNs, or network messages, the NMEA has created, including PGNs for watermakers, power generation, power distribution, man overboard and AIS-automatic identification systems.