Any one know if it is possible to hook up a Garmin 546s to the Merc smartcraft gauge for an 2005 optimax. Looks like the new gauges use the NMEA 2000 system not sure about the older ones...
My guess is yes, but read your manual. NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 are two completely different animals. The specs sheet for the Garmin 546 says:"NMEA 0183 compatible and NMEA 2000 certified” I assume that means you can select which NMEA it talks in setup.
I don't know when Smartcraft changed to the new NMEA standard. Per the Smartcraft manual printed June 2000: "NOTE: The GPS unit must comply to the National Marine Electronic Association NMEA 0183 Interface Standard v1.5, v2.0 or later compatible version."
So if you've got a choice in your 546 setup you've got it covered, otherwise you'll have to buy a converter.