Updated version of NMEA 2000 released

SEVERNA PARK, Md. – The NMEA 2000 Standard Committee have released an update of the NMEA 2000. Called the NMEA 2000 Standard Edition 3.10 February 2015, the National Marine Electronics Association says the new version of NMEA 2000 yields better product interoperability through more stringent certification requirements and minimizes implementation misunderstandings through improvements in the NMEA 2000 Main Document language.

Nineteen new NMEA 2000 Network Messages (PGNs) have been added to Appendix B, including 12 Audio/Entertainment PGNs, which manufacturers can use to implement standard audio controls via NMEA 2000-certified multi-function displays (MFDs). Three new AIS PGNs along with all PGN amendments from 2013 and 2014 have been rolled into the new version. These include additions such as Man Overboard, Heave, Watermaker, Heartbeat and user-defined alerts.

Other changes include consolidation of certification levels A and B into a single level for all products, along with elimination of listen-only devices with the exception of diagnostic tools. Enhancements to the Application Notes (Appendix D) will provide better standardization of device implementations by manufacturers. In addition, there are new testing documents for device and data instances within Appendix C.

Manufacturers are required to certify new products to the updated standard within 18 months, although NMEA is encouraging them to do so before the July 2016 deadline. NMEA is also urging manufacturers to update their current products' firmware to the latest edition.

"The volunteer committee members spent countless hours ingesting, digesting and reviewing the technical minutiae that is needed to get it right," said Steve Spitzer, NMEA Director of Standards. "They and all of the partner manufacturers deserve huge kudos for their involvement and investment in NMEA 2000."

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