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Programmable Maritime Application System Based on Raspberry Pi Supports NMEA 2000 Functionality

Posted by Industry News on

NMEA 2000 is a marine networking standard created and administered by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). The NMEA is an association of marine electronics manufacturers, dealers, and technicians.

The NMEA 2000 standard describes a low-cost, moderate capacity, bi-directional, multi-transmitter, multi-receiver instrument network. Typical data on a network using this standard include:

  • Position latitude and longitude.
  • GPS status.
  • Steering commands to autopilots.
  • Waypoint lists.
  • Wind sensor data.
  • Engine sensor data.
  • Depth sounder sensor data.
  • Battery status data.

NMEA 2000 is the most consequent and straightforward adaptation of SAE J1939. It is a modernized version of an older standard, NMEA 0183, and it has a significantly higher data rate (250k/500k bits/second vs. 4.8k bits/second for NMEA 0183). It also uses a binary message format instead of the ASCII serial communications protocol used by NMEA 0183. Another distinction between the two protocols is that NMEA 2000 is a multiple-talker, multiple-listener data network, whereas NMEA 0183 is a single-talker, multiple-listener serial communications protocol.

For more information on NMEA 2000, see our post  Introduction To The NMEA 2000 Marine Networking Standard.

PICAN-M - NMEA 0183 & NMEA 2000 HAT For Raspberry Pi With SMPS

PICAN-M - NMEA 0183 & NMEA 2000 HAT For Raspberry Pi With SMPS

In support of marine applications, Copperhill Technologies introduces the  PICAN-M (M = Marine), a Raspberry Pi HAT with NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 connection. 

The NMEA 0183 (RS422) port is accessible via a 5-way screw terminal. The NMEA 2000 port is accessible via a Micro-C connector. 

The board comes with a 3A SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supply), allowing to power the Raspberry Pi plus HAT through the NMEA 2000 network (12 VDC).

The board comes with easy-to-install SocketCAN driver software, and programming is supported by languages such as C and Python.  More Information on the PICAN-M...

Maritime Software Packages

The PICAN-M board works in combination with a variety of maritime software packages:

OpenCPN (Open Chart Plotter Navigator) is a free-of-charge software project to build a compact chart plotter and navigation software for use underway or as a planning tool. OpenCPN utilizes GPS information to determine the boat's position and data from an AIS receiver to plot the locations of ships in the vicinity. More Information...

OpenPlotter combines software and hardware to be used as a navigational tool on small and medium boats. It operates on ARM computers like the Raspberry Pi or any computer running a Linux Debian derivative. It is low-cost, low-consumption, and modular. The user will need some optional parts. The nature of the components depends on the application to collect, process, display data and what type of equipment the boat already holds. More Information...

Signal K is an open data format for marine use. Developed on standard web technologies, including JSON, WebSockets, and HTTP, Signal K presents a method for distributing information in a way that is beneficial to WiFi, cellphones, tablets, and the Internet. Signal K is the first open data format for the marine industry. It is set to transform how we utilize and interact with data on boats. Signal K is open source but helpful to companies that want to use it in closed source applications or hardware. More Information...

CANBoat represents a suite of command-line-driven programs to communicate with a boat's NMEA 2000 (CAN Bus) network. The NMEA 2000 database and implementation are copyrighted by the NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association), and access is restricted to paying members and parties. They cannot disclose the content of the database, thus making it impossible for open-source developers to obtain access. However, engineers have reverse-engineered the NMEA 2000 database through network observation and assembling data from public sources. Since they are reverse-engineering, they also incorporated company-specific PGNs from Navico, Airmar, Garmin, Raymarine, and Furuno. More Information...

Raspberry Pi 4 32 GB SD Card With OpenPlotter, Signal K Installed

Raspberry Pi 4 32 GB SD Card With OpenPlotter, Signal K Installed

The SanDisk Ultra 32 GB microSDHC Class 10 micro SD card comes with the Raspberry Pi OS pre-installed plus OpenPotter / Signal K installed for use with the Raspberry Pi 4 and the PiCAN-M NMEA 0183 & NMEA 2000 HAT.


  • OpenCPN
  • Signal K
  • I2C Sensors
  • NMEA 2000
  • NMEA 0183

The CAN Bus driver is configured at 250kbps for use with NMEA 2000. The RS422 is configured for NMEA 0183 input for use with OpenCPN.  More Information...

Metal Enclosure For PiCAN-M And Raspberry Pi 4

Metal Enclosure For PiCAN-M And Raspberry Pi 4

This metal enclosure was designed for use with the PiCAN-M NMEA 0183 & NMEA 2000 HAT and the Raspberry Pi 4.


  • Designed for PiCAN-M and Raspberry Pi 4
  • Made from metal
  • Cutouts for SD card, HDMI, LED and USB C.
  • Mounting flange allows wall mounting
  • Supplied with screws and rubber feet

More Information...

Advanced Marine Electrics and Electronics Troubleshooting: A Manual for Boatowners and Marine TechniciansAdvanced Marine Electrics and Electronics Troubleshooting

Whether you are a marine electronics professional or a boat owner, Advanced Marine Electrics and Electronics Troubleshooting helps you understand the new, more powerful methods of troubleshooting marine electrical and electronic systems.

A modern boat’s sophisticated installations and networked electronics can stretch the traditional diagnostic methods based on trouble lights and multimeters past their useful limits. 

This book will show you how to:

  • Use microprocessor-based diagnostic tools and techniques from the automotive and communications sectors, adapted for boats for the first time
  • Diagnose the most difficult AC and DC problems
  • Protect communications and navigation electronics from interference and lightning
  • Seek out and eliminate stray-current sources and galvanic corrosion

More Information...

Exploring BeagleBone: Tools and Techniques for Building IoT And CAN Bus Applications Using Embedded Linux

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CAN Bus Enabled Cortex-A5 Industrial IoT Gateway For Mobile Computing And Vehicle Applications

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Device Drivers Development For Embedded Linux

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ARM Single Board Computer Preloaded With Android 6.0 With Gigabit Ethernet And Mini-PCIe Slot

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Industrial Linux SBC With ARM Processor Supports WiFi, Bluetooth Plus Two CAN Bus Interfaces

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